Archive for the ‘Book Recommendations’ Category
I am slow at getting to this review. This book is not a massive book at all and in fact is a quick read. I suppose one could read it in just a couple of days at only 122 pages. With the amount of reading I had on other subjects, along the way Killing Calvinism was pushed back and forth. Yet I say that to write that I should have kept reading. This book is a well thought out book that I enjoyed much. Brother Dutcher loves Calvinism but I appreciated his heart for loving the gospel more and for seeing what I (an Arminian) already see, that Jesus is our salvation and not a system of theological thought from a sinful man in the 16th century. While I appreciate much about Calvinism, I admit that I am no Calvinist and that I often write against Calvinism for its inconsistencies. That said, I enjoyed Dutcher’s honesty about Calvinism and about how he (and others) have loved Calvinism more than Christ Himself. We Arminians should read this book not just to see Dutcher’s heart but to be honest with ourselves and love Christ more than Arminius. Again, Jesus is our Savior and we must love Him more than our systems (Colossians 3:1-4).
The chapters of this book are great titles themselves. The chapters fit into how to kill Calvinism:
- By Loving Calvinism as an End in Itself
- By Becoming a Theologian Instead of a Disciple
- By Loving God’s Sovereignty More Than God Himself
- By Losing an Urgency in Evangelism
- By Learning Only from Other Calvinists
- By Tidying Up the Bible’s “Loose Ends”
- By Being an Arrogant Know-It-All
- By Scoffing at the Hang-ups Others Have with Calvinism
Each chapter stays on target and Dutcher does not chase rabbits along the way. His stories of honest moments for him as a Calvinist are well worth the time to read.
All of these chapters are titles that we Arminians can learn from. I pray that I don’t love Arminianism above the gospel. I pray that I can learn from others including my Calvinist brothers and sisters. I pray that I see that being an Arminian does not necessarily mean that I am a disciple of Jesus. Jesus calls me to love Him (John 14:15) and to follow after Him. Arminianism may or may not help me to follow Christ but the end of my journey should be to follow Christ always and not the ways of the flesh nor of man (1 John 2:15-17).
Overall this is a solid book that should be read by all. Both Arminians and Calvinists will learn from Dutcher. I do recommend this work.
I promise this to be the last post on the issue of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement and the Holy Spirit. This blog is not a blog that focuses on these issues and even we Arminians don’t fully agree on these issues. Some Arminians are Pentecostals while many are not. I myself was raised in the Assemblies of God (Royal Rangers and all!) and was saved in an A/G church in 1992. I even was in full-time ministry for about 10 years in the Assemblies of God so I know much about being a Pentecostal.
The following are books that I have read from a Pentecostal-Charismatic perspective on the person and work of the Holy Spirit. I found it ironic that Dr. John MacArthur stated at The Strange Fire Conference that charismatics have not offered any theological works to the Church. I would disagree. The following books would show that if they are read and studied. These books are not placed in any given order.
1. What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit by Stanley Horton. A classic A/G book on the Spirit that once was required reading for all A/G students. Dr. Horton remains one the greatest Pentecostal scholars in history.
2. The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective by Anthony Palma. A great book that focuses on the doctrine of the Spirit. Palma’s chapters on the baptism in the Spirit and on his comparison of Ezekiel 36:25-27 with Joel 2:28-32 is worth reading.
3. Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere. Deere, a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor, writes a defense for the sign gifts in this book. One of the best books I have ever read that deals with cessationism.
4. The Gift of Prophecy by Wayne Grudem. One of the most attacked books by cessationists. This book focuses on what the Bible teaches about prophecy and how God can use it today. A well written book.
5. What Meaneth This by Carl Brumback. Brother Brumback is best remembered for his book on the Trinity against the Oneness Pentecostals but this book focuses on the issue of speaking in tongues. Brumback argues not just for the gift of tongues but also the initial, physical evidence of the baptism in the Spirit.
6. Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? 4 Views edited by Wayne Grudem. This book allows four major views on the gifts of the Spirit. Dr. Sam Storms writes for the charismatics and Dr. Douglas Oss for the Pentecostals. A very good book that I have read three times already.
7. The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Interpretation by L. Thomas Holdcroft. This book is an excellent introduction to the Pentecostal teaching on the Spirit. While very much evangelical (except the chapter on Spirit-Baptism), the book is well written.
8. Spiritual Gifts: A Fresh Look by David Lim. The commentary on the gifts of the Spirit is standard Pentecostal but what makes this book worth reading is Dr. Lim’s exegesis on 1 Corinthians 12-14. His commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 is very well done.
9. The Speaking in Tongues Controversy by Rick Walston. A well written and thought out book on the issue of speaking in tongues in regard to the baptism in the Spirit. Dr. Walston’s book will challenge you if you hold to speaking in tongues as the initial, physical evidence.
Had an e-mail this week ask me to name my five favorite Arminians and Calvinists and why. So here is a brief top five along with short reasons why.
Top Five Arminians
1. Dr. Vic Reasoner. I enjoy his commentaries on Romans and Revelation as well as his other works. He is an expository preacher, President of the Southern Methodist College, and a very skilled writer.
2. Dr. Robert Picirilli. His book, Grace, Faith, Free Will, is simply a good book. I have read it nearly three times. He also advocates expository preaching. I do differ with him over the KJV as he believes that the KJV is the best English translation though he is not KJV only.
3. Dr. Roger Olson. While I don’t agree with Dr. Olson on all issues (see inerrancy), I do enjoy his books especially his book, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities.
4. Dr. Jack Cottrell. While Dr. Cottrell is part of the Restoration Movement, he does consider himself an Arminian. His books, especially his commentary on Romans and his trilogy on the doctrine of God, are classics. Dr. Cottrell will make you think and he always takes theological issues and wrestles with the Scriptures for the final say.
5. Dr. Michael Brown. One of the best Christian apologists and a good debater. He and his friend Dr. James White often aim at each other yet Dr. Brown remains a godly man through it all. I met Dr. Brown back in the 1990′s and he was a man with a fire for Jesus. His preaching is a call to holiness. His book, Go and Sin No More! is a great read.
Top Five Calvinists
1. Dr. John MacArthur. I truly enjoy Johnny Mac. I had the honor of meeting him and found him to be a godly, warm man. His writings are full of Scripture and I love his passion for expository preaching. His book, The Gospel According to Jesus, is a must read for all disciples.
2. Matt Chandler. I enjoy Matt’s preaching style. He is not a deep expositor like MacArthur above but he does teach the Word faithfully and calls people to radically follow Jesus. His book, The Explicit Gospel, is a must read.
3. Paul Washer. This brother burns with a passion for Jesus. Paul describes himself as a “Spurgeonite” when asked what he believes. I love his zeal for the lost, his hunger for holiness, and his preaching of repentance.
4. Dr. Gary DeMar. DeMar use to have a 2 hour podcast that I would download and listen to in my truck. I first downloaded it to disagree with him but more and more he opened my eyes to many things. While I don’t always agree with Gary, he is an excellent thinker and writer. His book, Last Days Madness, is a good read.
5. Dr. Richard Mayhue. Some may not know who this is. Dr. Mayhue is one of John MacArthur’s right hand men. He is a good Bible teacher, a deep thinker, and signed a book for me once. His book, The Healing Promise, is a good read.
I love to read. I have read thousands of books. Sitting next to me is no less than probably 150 books. My desk is covered with books. I have three book shelves that are full of books. I have books on the floor. And this is but a little taste of the books that God has blessed me with. I am more than blessed to have these books and Bibles.
I wanted to write a post on books that have floored me. I have read many books but few have floored me. In my years as a disciple of Jesus, there have been actually few books that have caused me to fall on my knees in worship or repentance (most repentance). But some have. Here are just a few of those titles that I can remember. I am not posting them because I agree with them all theologically but because of what they did to my soul and for my soul.
1. Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala. I know that some have taken issue with this book because Cymbala is no cessasionist. I have read some Reformed bloggers reviews of this book in which they seek to kill the book because of Cymbala’s use of phrases such as “God said to me.” This book, however, gave me a passion to pray. How can you read Cymbala’s testimony and not be moved to tears? How can you not weep at your own prayerlessness when you read how God has used Brooklyn Tabernacle Church to impact souls for eternity? This book left me hungry to pray and I praise God for that. I have read this book three times and I need to read it again.
2. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This book opened my eyes to my need to love my wife by speaking her love language. I am not perfect at it still but I am trying. God wants our marriages to reflect His love for His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33). This book will open your eyes to see your own love language (mine is words of affirmation) and others around you (my wife is quality time). We tend to speak our own language to our spouse or those we love the most yet we don’t often try to speak their love language. This eye-opening book is a must read for both married and unmarried folks.
3. All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon. I bought this little book while in college. At that time I was struggling with legalism in my own life. I was graceful toward others (sometimes) but was not toward myself. I hated myself. I hated my lack of prayer and lack of passion for the lost. I would read great stories of men and women of God and would weep at my own carelessness in spiritual things. And then I read Spurgeon’s book. This book is based on Acts 15:11 (KJV). I needed to hear Spurgeon’s sermon on the grace of God and that salvation is all of grace and not by works. God saves sinners by His own mercy and grace and not by my works (Ephesians 2:8-9). I was freed by the grace of God to see that He loved me despite me and in spite of me and He saved me by His grace and not by my flesh (Galatians 2:16; 5:1).
4. Humility by Andrew Murray. The Bible says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Pride will damn a soul to hell. Pride is a destroyer. Pride is the reason we sin. Pride is why people will not repent. Pride is what keeps us from prayer. Pride is what ends revivals. Pride always destroys. This is why we must read Murray’s work. Murray shows us the humility of the Lord Jesus and how we are to imitate Him (Philippians 2:1-11). I pray that I would be a humble servant of God and that I would always focus on pleasing God and not myself. This book floored me by showing me my own pride and how God didn’t want to hurt my pride but kill it.
5. Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians by J. Gilchrist Lawson. This book is full of stories of people hungry for God. I don’t agree with all the theology of the people here but I did enjoy reading how passionate these folks were for Jesus and to be full of the Holy Spirit. Many of them were powerfully used by God because they waited on the Lord and were powerfully anointed by God for His glory. Some of them I have never heard of until I read this book but I was hungry for the Lord after reading this book and passionate to be full of the Spirit from reading this book.
6. Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill. I bought this book while going to the mountains at a small book store now gone. I had read Keith Green’s life story and had heard of Leonard Ravenhill from that but I had never heard of nor read Ravenhill. Then I got this book and it floored me. I was so convicted by my lack of prayer. It rained most of that weekend but it poured in my soul as the Lord first convicted me of my prayerlessness and then He showed me how to pray (Romans 8:26-27). Ravenhill was truly a prophet of God who was used to call people to repent and the Lord used brother Len to do that to me.
7. The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur. This book was given to me by a brother only about a year after I was saved. I read the book and begin to teach others the principles I was learning. I was shocked as people often hated my teaching on the Lordship of Christ. I was shocked to meet people who actually believed one could be saved and on their way to heaven despite living for the devil. I was shocked to hear sermons that taught that one could be a “carnal Christian” and live in sin while claiming Jesus and His salvation. MacArthur’s book destroyed such lies and helped give me strength to preach against sin in my own life and in others as well. If Matthew 1:21 is true, Jesus can save us from sin!
Leonard Ravenhill was a true man of God. In his later years, brother Leonard would spend up to 9 hours a day in intercessory prayer. His book, Why Revival Tarries?, remains one of my favorite books along with his book, Revival Praying. Brother Leonard was himself trained under Samuel Chadwick and was friends with A.W. Tozer. He also discipled Keith Green. His passion for God was known by many. He is dearly missed.
This link will give you book titles you can get on your Kindle. I would urge you to read them all.