To guide your summer getaway book selections, try this formula: E=FB²
None Other: Discovering the God of the Bible
Without foreword or introduction, John MacArthur jumps right into expounding what God’s Word says about who He is. God is gracious, sovereign, good, powerful, holy, and loving—and He is a saving God. How do the doctrine of election and the problem of evil relate to this God? MacArthur expertly answers the standard objections, ending with a call to hospitality: Show tangible love to those who can’t repay, just as Jesus did. The book has one odd omission. Though the seven highlighted attributes shine through the activities of the three Persons of the Trinity, MacArthur hardly mentions God’s triune life.
Pastor Mark Jones offers his trademark blend of heavy-duty theology with profound application to the Christian life in this collection of 27 meditations on various aspects of Jesus Christ. It covers topics ranging from “Christ’s Declaration” in eternity past that He would come to earth to save His people, to the faith He exercised while performing that mission. Jones explores with beauty and passion Christ’s inseparable companion (the Holy Spirit) and His names, offices, and face. He wants readers to know the God-man in His divine-human fullness. This is a book by a lover of Christ for lovers of Christ.
Prophet, Priest, and King: The Roles of Christ in the Bible and Our Roles Today
Richard P. Belcher Jr.
What does the Old Testament say about prophets? Richard Belcher, dean of Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, N.C., answers that question, and then shows how Christ fulfills the role of prophet in the New Testament. He does the same for priesthood and kingship. Adam inchoately exercised all three roles in Genesis 1-3, but Jesus does so consummately. In a way, every Christian is a prophet, priest, and king. As prophets, believers handle God’s Word. As priests, we offer ourselves to God. As kings, we take dominion over our areas of responsibility. Belcher’s prose style is bland, but his content is profound.
Practicing the Power: Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life
“Eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy,” Paul urged in 1 Corinthians 14:1. Sam Storms eagerly desires such gifts for contemporary church life. His case against cessationism (the doctrine that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues and prophecy ceased with the apostolic age) is stronger than his description of how to use spiritual gifts. “Prophecies” like “So-and-so is sick with x disease” seem underwhelming—plus, according to Storms, they are often wrong! He argues that prophecy edifies the church but needs a short leash. Unintentionally, his treatment shows the Spirit’s graces (faith, hope, and love) to be a more excellent way.
“Dr. Clark,” one of his students in a philosophy class asked, “why do you always answer our questions with more questions?” “Well, why not?” came the predictably dry and withering response. Gordon H. Clark was a dominant force in evangelical academia in the mid-1900s, but never as influential as he might have been with a less edgy personal style.
Douglas J. Douma’s The Presbyterian Philosopher (Wipf and Stock, 2017), a warm and admiring but frank biography, traces Clark’s impact to a student philosophy club he helped organize at Wheaton College in the 1930s and his personal friendship with J. Gresham Machen. Clark never seemed comfortable in any of the several Presbyterian denominations with which he affiliated. He painted as a hobby in his later years, but his rationalist philosophical tendencies left him frustrated: The idea of a vanishing point, he thought, was a denial of reality. —Joel Belz