ESV Systematic Theology Bible

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The Satisfied Soul by Dr. John Piper

Satisfied SouDr. John Piper has a way of drawing me towards the realization that Christ is everything. His materials and sermons have impacted greatly and it is true of his newest devotional The Satisfied Soul. This work is the collection of three previous works: Pierced by the Word, Life as a Vapor, and A Godward Heart.

By combining these works into a devotional reading Dr. Piper has written a wonderful book to challenge the reader each day of the 120 day readings to see God, and Christ, as supreme. I have been throughly challenged by the readings I have done and am being left to read more.

These work should be considered for those who want more from a devotional than just a verse or two and a thought. If you want richness and depth I highly recommend this work.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Evidence That Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell & Sean McDowell, PhD

225_350_book-2411-coverThe Christian faith has been under attack since the very start of it. By either trying to deny the resurrection of Christ or to claim that Christ never said He was God, antagonists have tried their best to discredit and malign Christianity. Some have managed to turn followers of Christianity away from their faith believing that no evidence exists to support their beliefs.

Josh McDowell and his son Dr. Sean McDowell have updated the classic work Evidence that Demands a Verdict. This work is designed to arm Christians with information to support their faith and answer critics. Ranging in topics like: evidence for the Bible being true, supposed contradictions in the Bible, evidence for the resurrection of Christ, and evidence for truth. By addressing this issues, the McDowells have given Christians ammunition to attack the lies that try to threaten their spiritual foundation.

One area that was of particular interest to me was the appendix relating to issues posed by Dr. Bart Ehrman. Dr. Ehrman has written several books attacking Christianity by attacking the Bible but not in a methods from previous attacks.Rather, Dr. Ehrman focuses on the variants in the manuscripts and tries to use this to show that we cannot be sure of words in the New Testament. The McDowells address this and other arguments presented by Dr. Ehrman and give some excellent information on why Dr. Ehrman’s information is faulty.

This book should be in every Christian’s library as more attacks are being made against Christianity and Christians need to be able to defend their beliefs.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Getting the Gospel Right by R. C. Sproul

9780801019692The Gospel. How important is it to get the good news of Jesus Christ right? What are the ramifications of such an undertaking? Some would say that Roman Catholics and Protestants are in agreement with what the Gospel is. Others would say that they are vastly different. Is it such a big deal?

In his book, Getting the Gospel Right, Dr. R.C. Sproul examines two documents: Evangelicals and Catholics and The Gift of Salvation. These documents were signed by Evangelicals and Catholics leaders in an effort to agree on the fundamental teachings of the Gospel. R.C. Sproul sets forth to show that, while the documents were signed, the doctrinal teachings of Roman Catholicism and Evangelicals are not the same.

By highlighting the two documents and breaking down each of the statements contained therein, Dr. Sproul demonstrates that what was written is not Scriptural. He carefully exposes some of the flaws of these documents and champions the mottos of the Reformation: sola gratia (grace alone), sola fide (faith alone), soli Christo (Christ alone).

This book is a great introduction into the variances within Christendom between Roman Catholics and Evangelicals. I encourage those want to know more to read additional titles by R.C. Sproul to get a viewpoint from a reformed theologian and contrast that with those from Roman Catholics.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publishers in exchange for my honest review.

The King James Study Bible, Full-Color Edition

225_350_book-2356-coverThis particular Bible is a unique Study Bible in that rather than focusing just solely on study notes it also as the dynamics of archaeological notes, personal profiles, as well as some cultural studies. I was rather surprised how helpful I found these additional notes and know that I will benefit greatly from using them.

I will say the difference in this Study Bible versus other Study Bible is that this particular Bible is really more trying to get the reader to understand Scripture. It’s not so much after trying to present a particular doctrine, although there are some that are obvious for those who know where to look, but rather it is trying to get the reader a full immersion on what it is stated in Scripture.

Often times we study Bible we have to be careful not to come at it with an American mindset. This can be very damaging because we will assume that our culture is similar to what was happening back then. This is not the case. As such we need to have a good understanding of the cultural historical context in which scripture was written..

This particular Bible does that very well so that the reader is given a sample of the mindset that would have happened back when the Bible was being written. However, we also need to be careful that we don’t so caught up in historical context we actually lose the presentation of scripture. Scripture does go against cultural things and this need to take into consideration.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

225_350_book-2335-coverWhen a Bible is read it is often done through the lense of the reader. This is not a bad thing unless the lense of the reader is understanding something that is not there. This happens more than realized because our cultural dictates how we understand something we read. It is the same with the Bible.

The NKJV Cultural Backgrounds Bible seeks to give the reader an understanding of the culture of Scripture. By doing this, the reader should have a better comprehension of what the writer was trying to say. Instead of viewing it as a foreigner, the goal is to place the reader in a setting as if they were alive as the Biblical events are taking place. I found this Bible to be a great help in understanding what a person in Biblical times may have thought.

As to this Bible itself, it is a heavy Bible coming in at just over four pounds. The text is easy to read and the photos are stunning. The articles are well placed and not distracting. There are also great aids in the back of the Bible such as a weights and measurement section and a brief concordance.

This is a great Bible for study and it would do well for those that want to better understand the day in which Biblical characters lived. For those wanting a devotional Bible, seek elsewhere.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Exalting Jesus in Acts by Tony Merida

ActsWhen going through any book of the Bible one must take note to recognize what the author is trying to convey. Each author has a specific way in which they present Jesus Christ as the Redeemer and Savior of mankind. Therefore, the reader must take note as they are reading Bible passages to see how Christ is being presented or hinted at in various passages.

In his book, Exalting Jesus in Acts, Tony Merida has written a commentary on how Jesus Christ is exalted throughout the books of Acts. Merida shows how Christ is exalted in Acts and does so in a expository and devotional way.

For example, the section on the first seven verses of Acts has: the main idea of these seven verses, bullet points on the various topics within those verses, as well as its commentary on these verses. In addition, at the end of this section are reflection and discussion questions. These are very helpful for someone who is leading a Bible study or perhaps a pastor who is preparing a sermon.

I was rather surprised by this because most of the commentaries that I have strictly try to take from scripture what the verses are trying to communicate. There is not much in the way of devotional thought. By adding this element, I enjoyed reading the commentaries and using the questions to see my risen Savior in the passage.

With this guide in mind I can see this particular series being very helpful to those who want to do Bible study with a devotional aspect but not a pure devotional study or a pure exegetical study. Rather it is almost a hybrid between the two and I really enjoy that type of approach.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.