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Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation Paperback – September 9, 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage Books (September 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601782683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601782687
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Can anything new be said about Christ s incarnation? Actually, a lot of old things that we may have forgotten! Like a multifaceted diamond, the question Why did the eternal Son become man? admits a variety of answers. Probing some of those with wisdom bathed in the Scriptures is what makes this devotional guide so rich. It will be part of our family s Advent devotions and, I hope, a source of blessing for many others. --Michael Horton, professor of theology at Westminster Seminary California and cohost of the White Horse Inn

About the Author

Joel R. Beeke is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
William Boekestein is Pastor of Covenant Reformed Church in Carbondale, Pennsylvania.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book is very small and quite accessible.
Zack Ford
In this short book Joel R. Beeke and William Boekestein have provided Christians with short meditations on the why behind the Incarnation of Christ.
It would make for a great series of family devotions or for personal devotional reading during the advent season.
R. Hayton

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Boling on October 1, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
For many, the topic of the incarnation of Christ is reserved solely for the Christmas season with the singing of Christmas songs, putting up of decorations, and the reading of the Christmas story in remembrance of Christ coming to earth as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger. While acknowledging the fact that Christ came to earth, such an approach, one limited to Christ being that little baby in the manger, overlooks to a great degree the fullness of what the incarnation is about and why it matters. Dr. Joel Beeke and Pastor William Boekestein, in their book Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation, rightly position the doctrine of the incarnation in its proper place in theology as well as in our basic understanding of why Christ came to earth.

The authors present their overview of the incarnation and its vital importance in 31 short yet power packed chapters, each beginning with a passage or two that is elaborated on with great theological skill, focusing on that particular chapter's subject matter in a way that will be appreciated by scholar and layman alike. I was very impressed with the amount of information provided in each chapter and more significantly, the utilization of the Heidelberg Catechism throughout the book to further drive home the book's subject matter. Arguably, many readers might not be familiar with the Heidelberg Catechism which is quite unfortunate. Thankfully, Beeke and Boekestein utilize that excellent document in a way that is not overly scholarly in tone which allows the reader to recognize that the doctrine of the incarnation is not some fly by night or newly instituted belief.

Given the books overall brevity, it can be read almost at a single sitting or spread out over 31 separate devotional type readings.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Clint Letterman on November 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Dr. Joel R. Beeke (Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary) produced another ordinary book on the Christmas advent season. I do not write this to demean the topic or the author, but simply to affirm the author’s intent.

The structure of Beeke’s work is also mundane. 31 chapters for the 31 days of December. Yet in true Puritan philosophy, originality is never a goal and quite frankly, nor should it be. The reader is simply shown through the pages of scripture who the Messiah is and what His birth accomplished for humanity.

In this 160 page book, Dr. Beeke interacts with all the classic advent texts and brings his usual Christocentric, covenantal and Reformed perspective. Moreover, he sprays the pages with profound quotes from Calvin, Henry, à Brakel and the historic confessions, such as the Belgic and Westminster. Here the Puritan fondness of Beeke is clearly observed and yet, it provides a depth and breath that the American evangelical desperately needs.

Also, the reader will not see many contemporary illustrations used, which will no doubt bore the reader whose literary diet includes Sarah Young, John Eldredge or Joel Osteen. But modern Puritans such as Beeke would undoubtedly argue that the theological infancy of most American Evangelicals can only be combatted by exposing our minds to the theological musings of the 16th and 17th century Reformers.

Furthermore, another peculiar inclusion is the repetitive use of The Psalter (official worship book of PRCA, written in 1912/1927), which will seem strange unless you worship in a Protestant Reformed Church (PRCA) or a United Presbyterian Church (UPC).

Now many may conclude from the above paragraphs that I do not appreciate Beeke’s work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Lucian on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I know that ponderous has negative connotations but as I finished the first chapter my thought was that this is something that you need to slow down and think about or ponder; which means to consider carefully - to think about something carefully over a period of time (Encarta). I went back and read the subtitle which is 31 Meditations On the Incarnation and it fits. I must confess that I have been a fan of Joel Beeke's works for a long time, it is intellectually stimulating and heart warming, meditative and spiritual and thoroughly grounded in the Scripture. The subject of the book; the eternal God born of a woman and becoming a man.
1Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh. Glimpses and flashes of this mystery are here for us to see.

I received this Kindle book for free from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own, I really do think that Joel Beeke has a heart for the LORD. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Hayton VINE VOICE on November 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Why? Every young child’s favorite word is “why?” Why do we have to go to bed now? Why can’t we have licorice for dinner? Why do we have to always brush our teeth?

With the hustle and bustle of another Christmas season upon us. It is the grown up children among us who are asking “Why?” Why make such a fuss with wrapping paper, ribbons and bows, when the kids are just going to break the toy in a couple days and complain about it. Why go through with painful family trips to the in-laws, awkward holiday parties at work and endure the rush at the mall?

Christmas ultimately is much more than gifts and toys, we know. It is about a baby in a manger, and a donkey standing in the stable (or is the donkey really part of the picture?). The routine nature of Christmas choirs and holiday schedules threaten to have us asking “Why?” even as we think about the Christ child. We get it, Christ came. Can’t we make more of a fuss over the cross and the empty tomb?

Meditating on the incarnation

Against this backdrop, authors Joel Beeke and William Boekestein present 31 meditations on the incarnation in a little book titled "Why Christ Came." Unlike many Christmas devotionals, this book does not recount the Scriptural account of Christ’s birth. It doesn’t play gotcha about the donkey and other extra-Scriptural additions to the Christmas story. Instead this book focuses on the big question: Why. Why is it so special Christ came?
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