Brothers in Valor, The Prayer of a Broken Heart, and The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology

(Courtesy of Google.)

(Courtesy of Google.)

Brothers in Valor by Michael O. Tunnell

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I7HDW44/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00I7HDW44&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=T5WI2U3D3CBC67WZ

I almost put this book down because the writing needed work. At first I couldn’t get my brain to stop editing the sentence structures and word choice. Even though it was 1st person, I couldn’t get into the head of the main character. I couldn’t even picture him, and keeping track of him and his two friends wasn’t easy. About to give up, I looked it up on Goodreads to see if everyone else had this same problem. All the ratings were very high. Curious, I Wiki-ed the side character and totally spoiled the story for myself. But, that one spoiler drove me to finish the book.
This is the story of three boys in Germany who stand up to the Nazis and pay a stiff price for their bravery.
I still wouldn’t claim it to be the best written book I’ve read, but the story was gripping. It showed what life was like for Germans during the war, the pressure to toe the line, and the persecution of not only Jews but other religions. It’s not detailed but it is chilling. It is also a reminder that no matter how young a person is they can be brave and stand up for others. Children and teens aren’t incapable of understanding, nor are they incapable of fighting. If you want a MG-YA book where teens don’t mope around in their bedrooms, this is a good place to start.
Parental Warnings/Talking: The main characters are Mormon. The book never suggests this is anything but true Christianity. There is a fair amount of violence. Not graphic but still there.

Rated: PG

(Courtesy of Solid Ground Christian Books)

(Courtesy of Solid Ground Christian Books)

The Prayer of a Broken Heart: Expository Discourses on Psalm 51 by Robert S. Candlish

http://www.solid-ground-books.com/search.asp?searchtext=prayer+of+a+broken+heart

I enjoyed this little book expositing Psalm 51. It was both convicting and encouraging as it delved into the different aspects of the Psalm. There was only one point I disagreed with doctrinally: at one point Candlish explained something as being entirely based on a deep emotion. He spent two pages talking about the deep emotional joy that was unexplainable. I can’t imagine that being very helpful for someone struggling with sin or in the process of repenting. I wish he had expounded more of that section with the truth and less with emotion. Other than that one part, the book was a delight to read.

Rated: G

(Courtesy of Google.)

(Courtesy of Google.)

The Distinctiveness of Baptist Covenant Theology by Pascal Denault

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1599253259/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1599253259&linkCode=as2&tag=genandquispi-20&linkId=XBFUHKJYIUIS2CGL

Well, this may be the first book this in-depth and technical that I’ve managed to finish! Denault’s writing is easy to read and fairly easy to follow, though I think sitting through several of his lectures during our conference last year helped. I don’t think this book would necessarily convince a Pedobaptist to become a Baptist, but it is very encouraging to someone of like mind…like me. I’m thankful for the work Denault put into researching and tracking the Baptist distinctiveness. I don’t think I followed every argument, but I followed more than I expected. I would highly recommend this book to those looking for their Baptist roots, and for those seeking to understand the covenants.


(If you follow the links above they will take you to Amazon where you can purchase these books which will gives me a small tip. Thank you in advance!)

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Sunday Thoughts: God’s Love

We're on a ship!

He loves me!

 

 

Using my husband, the Lord has graciously taught me the value of systematic theology and sound, solid doctrine.

It’s not like I didn’t know before that theology and doctrine were important. I did. But I kept theology in one hand and practical application in another as if the two were totally different things that never touched each other. It’s an easy thing for the modern Christian to fall into, even one raised in the Reformed faith.

Over the last three years, the Lord has shown me the practical benefits, personally and corporately, of sound theology.

During this process, one of the greatest things I’ve learned is that the greater God is, the greater our salvation! The more we grasp and hold to the creature/Creator difference, the more powerful, gracious, and merciful our salvation is. Praise God that He would save me!

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Pastor Pascal Denault

This same truth struck me a few Sundays ago when Pascal Denault preached for us after our SBFC-SW: God didn’t save us because He needed us. He saved us because He loved us!

What a powerful thought! What a harbinger of hope!

Think about all that Christ endured in this life only to die a torturous death, but then you see He did that out of love for me and His church, oh my heart! Here is beauty! We, the church, the chosen bride of Christ, are loved by Him that much! Not because He was incomplete without us. No, because He loves us. Oh how great God is! How great is salvation when it is all of grace! How great is this love!

He didn’t need me! He loved me!

We sell our salvation cheap when we think we are saved because God needed us somehow. It lessens God and glorifies man. It’s all about me. It’s all about me being something. It steals glory from God and leaves room for my pride. And, perish the thought, if He ever doesn’t need me anymore, or a better me comes along, I’m lost. What slavery!

I don’t want my husband to keep me around only cause he needs his socks cleaned or his meals cooked. I want him to love me outside of my abilities. I’m sick and can’t do much. One day, I’ll get old and be able to do less. If he only wants me for what I do for him, then I’m sunk. But, if he loves me, cooking and cleaning because a joy and no longer a burden. Old age can be faced with less fear because I know he loves me. He won’t abandon me when the road is dark, because he loves me.

The same is true of the Christian walk. If I obey out of fear that God will stop needing me, I don’t love Him. I’m only thinking about me. But If I obey not to earn God’s love, but because of it, than I am free from fear. I’m free to obey without worrying about losing my salvation. I did nothing to earn it. It is safely held in the sovereign, impassible hands of our mighty God.

Do you see how sound theology is infinitely practical?