New Books Available for Review – Part 1

I am SO far behind on my book notices for the summer! So , while it is still summer, and I have a little time tonight, I acquaint you with three new titles from Reformation Trust (Ligonier). In the weeks ahead we’ll focus on some from Crossway and Reformation Heritage Books.

The first one is Final Word: Why We Need the Bible by Dr. John MacArthur (2019). This is the third in a series of titles on basic Christian themes (None Other: Discovering the God of the Bible [2017] and Good News: The Gospel of Jesus Christ [2018]). The publisher gives this summary of the latest in the series:

The Bible is under attack on all sides. Unbelievers denounce it as backward, narrow-minded, and intolerant, and even some professing Christians deny its truth to gain approval from the culture. With each assault, we hear echoes of the serpent’s question in the garden of Eden: “Did God really say?” Unfortunately, many believers don’t know how to answer these challenges and find their confidence in God’s Word shaken.

In Final Word: Why We Need the Bible, Dr. John MacArthur defends the trustworthiness of Scripture, with the goal of equipping the church to stand firm for the truth even when others abandon it. Only when God’s people recognize the Bible for what it is—God’s inerrant, authoritative Word—will they be able to fulfill their calling and carry the message of God’s salvation to the world.

In his opening chapter, “the Bible Is Under Attack,” MacArthur says this:

Without a doubt, the ground Satan most vigorously and continuously attacks these days is the trustworthiness of Scripture – its authority, sufficiency, inerrancy, integrity, and perspicuity. The battle for the truth is the battle for the Bible, and in this fight God’s people cannot flinch. Biblical truth is under relentless and endless assault. And like Luther and the heroes of the early Reformation, we must meet the enemy head-on and be willing to stand and fight for the truth, especially when others avoid or even abandon truth when it becomes controversial (p.2).

The other chapters in Final Word are:

  • The Bible Is Truth
  • The Bible Is Authoritative
  • The Bible Is the Catalyst of Spiritual Growth
  • The Bible Is Central to Faithful Ministry
  • The Bible Is Food for the Soul

The next two books cover the sacraments from a Reformed/Presbyterian perspective. Guy M. Richards has penned Baptism: Answers to Common Questions (2019) and Keith A. Mathison has written The Lord’s Supper: Answers to Common Questions (2019). Concerning the former, Reformation Trust gives this description:

When Jesus commanded His followers to go and make disciples of all nations, He instructed them to baptize those disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Since baptism is a central part of life in the church, why has it been controversial and divisive among so many Christians?

In Baptism: Answers to Common Questions, Dr. Guy M. Richard tackles the key questions people have about baptism: What does it mean? Is it necessary for salvation? Who should be baptized, and how should we baptize them? As he searches the Scriptures, Dr. Richard helps us think through what the Bible teaches about baptism and encourages us to deal graciously with our brothers and sisters in Christ even when we disagree.

The author (a PCA minister who is assistant professor of theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Atlanta) spends many pages on the question of who should be baptized, defending the Reformed position that children of believers ought to be and answering various Baptist arguments against. This is worthwhile material in knowing and defending the historic Reformed and biblical view.

Concerning the second book on the Lord’s Supper, the publisher states this:

As Jesus was celebrating His final Passover meal, He made some bold statements. First, He took the bread and said, “This is my body.” Then He took the cup, saying, “This is my blood.” Next, He commanded the disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of Him.

What did Jesus mean? Do the bread and wine literally become His body and blood? What happens when Christians take the Lord’s Supper?

In The Lord’s Supper: Answers to Common Questions, Dr. Keith A. Mathison walks through these questions and several others to help us better understand this sacrament. Far from being an empty ritual, the Lord’s Supper is a means of grace, a source of spiritual nourishment, and true communion with Christ and His church.

If you want to hear the author give his reasons why he thinks this book will benefit the church and Christians, then watch this video.

If you are interested in reading and reviewing any of these titles, please send me a note. The book is yours to keep – and others will benefit from your reading of it.