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Basic Luther: The 95 Theses, Address to the Nobility, Concerning Christian Liberty, a Small Catechism
Basic Luther: The 95 Theses, Address to the Nobility, Concerning Christian Liberty, a Small Catechism
by Martin Luther
Edition: Paperback
5 used & new from $30.54

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fire and Hammer of the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29), February 7, 2005
I'd like to comment primarily on my very favorite of all Luther's works, "Concerning Christian Liberty."

Martin Luther's treatise "Christian Liberty" (or "The Freedom of a Christian") is perhaps the most powerful and concise presentation of the Christian life ever written. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. I rank this among the very best of Luther's works (and that is really saying something). If an inexpensive copy were still in publication I would buy every copy to give as gifts to friends and family. The power, discernment, brevity and readability of this work make a true gem among Reformation writings (and Christian writings in general). Here you will find the essence of the spirit of the Reformation distilled into a guide for practical, biblical living.

With the clarity and bold authority of a true prophet, Luther sets forth the whole of the Christian life in two theses: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." We are free from sin and the law (subject to none) but slaves to Christ in love (subject to all). As Paul writes in Romans 6:22, "But now...you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God."

Luther writes as a shepherd of the common people and the tone and content differ greatly from his better-known debate-oriented works (ie. Bondage of the Will, 95 Theses). The doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the heart and soul of Luther's message, founded upon a firm conviction in the authority of scripture alone.

He writes, "One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ."

And again, "It ought to be the first concern of every Christian to lay aside all confidence in works and increasingly to strengthen faith alone and through faith to grow in the knowledge, not of works, but of Christ Jesus, who suffered and rose for him.... No other work makes a Christian.... 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent' (John 6:29)."

And regarding our service to God, "...In this way the stronger member may serve the weaker, and we may be sons of God, each caring for and working for the other, bearing one another's burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. This is a truly Christian life. Here faith is truly active through love. That is, it finds expression in works of the freest service, cheerfully and lovingly done, with which a man willingly serves another without hope of reward; and for himself he is satisfied with the fullness and wealth of his faith."

I cannot personally vouch for this volume, but this treatise has been published in a number of other individual volumes and in at least one very worthy compilation entitled "Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings" (ed. Timothy F. Lull, 1989) which also contains a number of other infinitely worthy works such as Luther's "Small Catechism," the stirring "Meditation of Christ's Passion," and the thesis chapters of the foundational "Bondage of the Will." I imagine this volume (if the binding and print are good) would be an excellent buy for someone looking for a cheaper, smaller alternative to Lull's massive tome. However, any version of this monumental treatise is bound to bless you. It is the fire and the hammer of the Word of God to consume the adversaries and break apart the stone hearts of impenitant men.


On Christian Liberty (Facets)
On Christian Liberty (Facets)
by Martin Luther
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.40
91 used & new from $0.77

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fire and Hammer of the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29), February 7, 2005
Martin Luther's treatise "Christian Liberty" (or "The Freedom of a Christian") is perhaps the most powerful and concise presentation of the Christian life ever written. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. I rank this among the very best of Luther's works (and that is really saying something). If an inexpensive copy were still in publication I would buy every copy to give as gifts to friends and family. The power, discernment, brevity and readability of this work make a true gem among Reformation writings (and Christian writings in general). Here you will find the essence of the spirit of the Reformation distilled into a guide for practical, biblical living.

With the clarity and bold authority of a true prophet, Luther sets forth the whole of the Christian life in two theses: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." We are free from sin and the law (subject to none) but slaves to Christ in love (subject to all). As Paul writes in Romans 6:22, "But now...you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God."

Luther writes as a shepherd of the common people and the tone and content differ greatly from his better-known debate-oriented works (ie. Bondage of the Will, 95 Theses). The doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the heart and soul of Luther's message, founded upon a firm conviction in the authority of scripture alone.

He writes, "One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ."

And again, "It ought to be the first concern of every Christian to lay aside all confidence in works and increasingly to strengthen faith alone and through faith to grow in the knowledge, not of works, but of Christ Jesus, who suffered and rose for him.... No other work makes a Christian.... 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent' (John 6:29)."

And regarding our service to God, "...In this way the stronger member may serve the weaker, and we may be sons of God, each caring for and working for the other, bearing one another's burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. This is a truly Christian life. Here faith is truly active through love. That is, it finds expression in works of the freest service, cheerfully and lovingly done, with which a man willingly serves another without hope of reward; and for himself he is satisfied with the fullness and wealth of his faith."

I cannot vouch for the quality of this particular volume (the actual work is only 30 standard pages long), but the treatise has been published in a number of other individual volumes and in at least one very worthy compilation entitled "Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings" (ed. Timothy F. Lull, 1989) which also contains a number of other infinitely worthy works such as Luther's "Small Catechism," the stirring "Meditation of Christ's Passion," and the thesis chapters of the foundational "Bondage of the Will." Any version of this monumental treatise is bound to bless you. It is the fire and the hammer of the Word of God to consume the adversaries and break apart the stone hearts of impenitant men.


Christian Liberty
Christian Liberty
by Martin Luther
Edition: Paperback
42 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Fire and Hammer of the Word of God (Jeremiah 23:29), February 7, 2005
This review is from: Christian Liberty (Paperback)
Martin Luther's treatise "Christian Liberty" (or "The Freedom of a Christian") is perhaps the most powerful and concise presentation of the Christian life ever written. I cannot recommend this work highly enough. I rank this among the very best of Luther's works (and that is really saying something). If an inexpensive copy were still in publication I would buy every copy to give as gifts to friends and family. The power, discernment, brevity and readability of this work make a true gem among Reformation writings (and Christian writings in general). Here you will find the essence of the spirit of the Reformation distilled into a guide for practical, biblical living.

With the clarity and bold authority of a true prophet, Luther sets forth the whole of the Christian life in two theses: "A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all." We are free from sin and the law (subject to none) but slaves to Christ in love (subject to all). As Paul writes in Romans 6:22, "But now...you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God."

Luther writes as a shepherd of the common people and the tone and content differ greatly from his better-known debate-oriented works (ie. Bondage of the Will, 95 Theses). The doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the heart and soul of Luther's message, founded upon a firm conviction in the authority of scripture alone.

He writes, "One thing, and only one thing, is necessary for Christian life, righteousness, and freedom. That one thing is the most holy Word of God, the gospel of Christ."

And again, "It ought to be the first concern of every Christian to lay aside all confidence in works and increasingly to strengthen faith alone and through faith to grow in the knowledge, not of works, but of Christ Jesus, who suffered and rose for him.... No other work makes a Christian.... 'This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent' (John 6:29)."

And regarding our service to God, "...In this way the stronger member may serve the weaker, and we may be sons of God, each caring for and working for the other, bearing one another's burdens and so fulfilling the law of Christ. This is a truly Christian life. Here faith is truly active through love. That is, it finds expression in works of the freest service, cheerfully and lovingly done, with which a man willingly serves another without hope of reward; and for himself he is satisfied with the fullness and wealth of his faith."

This volume is currently out-of-print, but this treatise has been published in a number of other individual volumes and in at least one very worthy compilation entitled "Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings" (ed. Timothy F. Lull, 1989) which also contains a number of other infinitely worthy works such as Luther's "Small Catechism," the stirring "Meditation of Christ's Passion," and the thesis chapters of the foundational "Bondage of the Will." I cannot vouch for any other volume than this one and the one detailed above, but any version of this monumental treatise is bound to bless you. It is the fire and the hammer of the Word of God to consume the adversaries and break apart the stone hearts of impenitant men.


Romans 1-8 MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Macarthur New Testament Commentary Serie)
Romans 1-8 MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Macarthur New Testament Commentary Serie)
by John F. MacArthur
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.98
86 used & new from $7.33

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Commentary Ought to Be, January 18, 2005
Finally! John MacArthur has produced a commentary series that is willing to take a firm stand on the plainly-stated word of God.

You will not find "Dr. Dead-Scholars' 7 Possible Interpretations" of this or that verse. You will not find literary deconstructionism or even an argument for canonical criticism. You will not find meaningless word studies or pointless nitpicking over Greek tenses. No, you will not find any of that here.

What you WILL find is a thoroughly researched, well-written, insightful, sincere, biblically-founded and ultimately inspirational commentary. Dr. MacArthur has dedicated his life to the study of God's word and this volume (along with the others in the same series) is the fruit of that life of faithfulness. The book is dense, but rewarding. It is theology and exegesis, not devotionals and anecdotes (though the book is peppered with plenty of both these things also).

It is so refreshing to read a commentary that actually seems to take the Bible more seriously than whoever happens to be teaching at Cambridge or Princeton at the moment. MacArthur's exegesis and interpretations are always founded solidly in the plain sense of the text. Of the whole book I only took issue at one point where it seemed that Dr. MacArthur's theological framework had overshadowed the plain interpretation (this is in Romans 6:1-11 where he suggests that Paul was not referring to water baptism, but "spiritual baptism"), but this is a minor thing and does not effect a proper interpretation of Paul's argument in that portion of the epistle. MacArthur, like Luther and Spurgeon before him, seems to have a gift for helping common folk (like me and you) understand the deeper things of God by opening to us the same scriptures we have read so many times but never fully taken hold of. May God raise up more men like Dr. MacArthur in this day and age.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 12, 2013 11:17 PM PST


Prayer, the Great Adventure
Prayer, the Great Adventure
by David Jeremiah
Edition: Paperback
48 used & new from $0.01

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If You Ask Anything in My Name (John 14:14), August 23, 2004
Dr. Jeremiah's teaching from the Lord's Prayer (Matthew 6) and Christ's High Priestly prayer (John 17) flow directly out of the conviction and passion of his heart that we "have not because we ask not."

After providing more-than-adequate arguments for the necessity of prayer, he goes on to plainly, powerfully and purposefully set out a "roadmap for prayer" from the Lord's Prayer. Worship, God's Will, Our Needs, Forgiveness and Protection are the basic building blocks he uses to construct a pattern for personal prayer. This is an excellent resource for any Christian--whether your prayer life languishes or flourishes.

One Caution: if you listen to Dr. Jeremiah's weekly radio program and thought to read this book as a supplement to the sermon series of the same name (Prayer, the Great Adventure), you should know that the text of chapters 4-10 (and parts of 1-3) are verbatim the same as the audio messages.

One Exhortation: if you don't listen to Turning Point (or missed the series Prayer, the Great Adventure), READ THIS BOOK! This represents the best of Dr. Jeremiah's teaching and some of the best teaching on the subject of prayer I've run across.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 2, 2015 12:12 PM PST


Knowing God
Knowing God
by J. I. Packer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.37
168 used & new from $2.95

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creature, Behold Your Creator, August 23, 2004
This review is from: Knowing God (Paperback)
If you only read one book other than the Bible, make it this one. Packer is an extraordinary theologian (arguably the greatest of the late 20th century) and this book is a distillation of the heart of his theology.

The focus of the book is the attributes of God and how they shape the way He relates to us. While you might be worried that the book will read like the second chapter of a systematic theology, you'll find no such dryness here. Packer's writing is passionate and lively. He discusses his Creator with the intimacy and excitment of a son talking about his beloved Father. His discussions of God's wrath and the "goodness and severity" of God are particularly stirring (possibly because they are all but absent from the theological vocabulary of our post-modern churches).

Packer is not content to objectively point out the attributes of God--instead he insists on making God's nature applicable to us as His creation. This fervor for the relationship between creature and Creator naturally flows into the final section of the book--a discussion of God's wonderful plan of redemption through Christ Jesus and our adoption as sons and daughters of the Most High.

His passion for the gospel and unwavering love for the Lord are highly contagious. You may find yourself in tears while reading this book (either with sorrow or joy). When I first read this book, God used it to teach me of the reality and significance of His divine anger toward sin. Now I turn to it when I need to be reminded of just how precious I am in the sight of my God. My only advice: read this book.


Gospel According to Jesus
Gospel According to Jesus
by John F. MacArthur
Edition: Paperback
73 used & new from $0.01

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Remedy to Modern Antinomianism, August 6, 2004
"The Gospel According to Jesus" is a modern-day theological masterpiece. With piercing discernment, Spirit-led exegesis, and Christian love John MacArthur exposes the error of the "cheap grace" theology that plagues the church today. His analysis of Christ's words is the much-needed cure for the common misinterpretations of Paul which have led to antinomian teaching. This book is a response to those who "distort [Paul's letters], as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction" (1 Peter 3:16). The passion and understanding of this book far outmatch any other modern theological work you will come across. MacArthur adheres to the plain sense of the scripture and refuses to allow the words of Christ, apostle and prophet to be trampled underfoot by the anti-lordship teachers. His gentleness and kindness in dealing with those he argues against is admirable (Paul, Luther or Calvin would have verbally torn them apart). This book has been used by God to awaken many to the truth of Christ's undivided person--that He is both Savior and Lord. I pray He will use it even more in the years to come.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2006 4:43 PM PST


Systematic Theology
Systematic Theology
by Gary McGee
Edition: Hardcover
50 used & new from $2.94

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good Content, Bad Concept, August 6, 2004
This review is from: Systematic Theology (Hardcover)
I was very excited about this book when I first ran across it. Being a charismatic myself, I've been longing for a systematic treatment of theology that incorporates the charismatic/pentecostal view of pneumatology into the whole of biblical doctrine. I was, unfortunately, sorely disappointed in what I found.

This volume is written by a dozen or so different authors, each of whom contribute a chapter to the book (actually an essay touching on the subject assigned to them). The various essays are then compiled, edited and presented in the form found here. While the theology is pretty solid overall, there are a number of significant problems with the book. I'll discuss the pros & cons of three particular areas and suggest helpful alternatives.

1. Authorship: Because the chapters of the book are written by a number of independent authors there arise two significant concerns.

First, some of the chapters are well-thought out, compelling, and sound theologically while some are more disorganized, dry or left standing on a shaky theological foundation. This book screams for single (or even dual) authorship. In some places the writer of a later chapter attempts to build off a foundation that was improperly laid in the earlier chapters, and while their theology may be sound (and even substantially proven in classical theology), the result could be disastrous for the unlearned student.

Second, the authors spend a fair amount of space in some places recovering the same ground touched on by earlier chapters. This doesn't seem like such a big deal until you consider that they are attempting to cover the whole system of theology in only 700 pages! That doesn't leave much room for needless redundancy.

2. Classic Theology: As with any true systematic theology, the bulk of the book deals with theology proper, christology, soteriology and ecclesiology. I have only one issue with this portion of the book.

While the treatment of classic theology (that which is not unique to Pentecostalism) is good and somewhat thorough, it is not nearly as excellent as most orthodox systematic theologies. The essays dealing with these subjects tend to rely upon the ideas of other theologians whose own writings deal with the same issues in a more compelling, precise, and thorough manner. I honestly feel like I'm reading a collection of essays written by seminary students on the various divisions of theological study instead of a genuine, comprehensive theologial work. If you're looking for a full system of theology, then you can do a lot better than this. I'd recommend the writings of Martin Luther (particularly his Commentary on Galatians) or the one-volume "Systematic Theology" of Wayne Grudem (a charismatic-influenced theology) as a better introduction to the fundamentals of Christian theology.

3. Pentecostal Theology: A full quarter of the volume is taken up with the discussion of pneumatology (theology of the person and work of the Holy Spirit). I found two major problems with this section.

First, the pneumatology of the book is not fully integrated into the other areas such as christology and soteriology. With so many different authors writing there is overlap in places where there ought not be overlap and a lack of common ground in those places where it is most needed. What bearing does a pentecostal theology of the Holy Spirit have on salvation? On personal holiness? On the meaning and mission of the Church? Some of these questions are addressed, but not in a comprehensive manner. It's the difference between a genuine theme--an undercurrent of thought that guides and directs all other thoughts--and an afterthought. The earlier chapters may touch on the unique pneumatology of the Pentecostals occasionally, but the force of the theme is lost in the awkward break of the chapters. This is the primary reason I believe a single author would have done a much better job.

Second, the chapters on pneumatology, like all the chapters, read like individual essays instead of integral parts of a whole. These chapters therefore offer little that individual articles and books on Pentecostal pneumatology could not. Because the book is so segmented, the reader would be better served in studying another systematic theology and supplementing it with Pentecostal or Charismatic-influenced works. I would recommend Gordon Fee's "God's Empowering Presence" (or even the abbreviated "Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God") or A. W. Tozer's "The Counselor" instead of this book.

Like the title of my review stated: good content, bad concept. I hope a solitary theologian (or even a group of theologians) in the charismatic camp will develop a better systematic theology in the future. Until then, look elsewhere.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 11, 2008 10:46 AM PST


Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World
Ashamed of the Gospel: When the Church Becomes Like the World
by John F. MacArthur
Edition: Paperback
52 used & new from $0.01

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Godly Discernment in a Dark Hour, August 5, 2004
With a piercing discernment that comes only from the Spirit of God and a firm founding in scripture, John MacArthur unmasks the shallow and potentially damning "market-oriented," "seeker-friendly," "entertainment-focused" philosophy of evangelism that has become so popular in American churches.

The Church is under attack--not from the impious world, but from some of the most influential leaders in American evangelical Christianity. These well-meaning, but woefully misguided teachers have adopted the strategies and tactics of Madison Avenue, baptized them, repackaged them and sold them to the modern church. The basic idea, however, is that pleasing the unregenerated masses is the only way to grow the church. While this in itself does not seem like something to fear, MacArthur demonstrates that when the Church's primary focus is on making the unbeliever comfortable the gospel message is inevitably lost. Uncomfortable topics such as sin, hell, discipleship and holiness are brushed aside and love and assurance are preached to the once-born, self-righteous, unregenerate masses!

Will God build His church, or must we? Will Christ save the souls of men, or has he given this greatest of tasks to mere men? Is there a Sovereign God in Heaven, or must we seduce the world into "making a decision for Christ" by appealing to their sensual, depraved minds? Sennacherib once again surrounds the walls of Jerusalem--the purity of the gospel and the souls of countless men and women are at stake. Where is the prayerful Hezekiah? Where is the bold Isaiah of this age? Arise, O Lord! Defend Your cause!

Note on Appendices: MacArthur's examination of the ministries of C. H. Spurgeon (Appendix 1) and Charles G. Finney (Appendix 2) alone is worth the price of the book.


Rut, Rot, or Revival: The Condition of the Church
Rut, Rot, or Revival: The Condition of the Church
by A. W. Tozer
Edition: Paperback
35 used & new from $3.85

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dying Church, July 20, 2004
This is one of the best collections of Tozer's sermons available. It deals with a single theme: the rapid decay of the Church. Tozer rightly discerns that the Church is in dire need of a return to Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, God-adoring worship and ministry!

Chapter Titles:

1. The Christian's Greatest Enemy

2. Errors in Thinking

3. Awakened Out of Sleep

4. The Church in a Rut

5. Getting Out of the Rut

6. Dealing With Spiritual Problems

7. Three Spiritual Laws

8. Breaking the Status Quo

9. The Voice of God Speaking

10. An Unchanging Book in an Ever-Changing World

11. Two Portraits of the Church

12. A Biblical Concept of the Church

13. A Model Church

14. The Voice of Faith

15. The Great Test: Modifying the Truth

From Back Cover:

"Change is one of the ingredients of Christianity. If people could not change, the gospel would be absolutely meaningless.... The fact that people can change is the only hope they have." (from chapter 4)

"Try what I call the pad and pencil method. This method is very simple and consists of getting on your knees with your Bible, a pad of paper and a pencil. Read the Bible and then write down what is wrong with you." (from chapter 6)

"Somebody once said that man is made of dust and tends to settle. People tend to settle down and do the samne things year in and year out, slowly going around in a circle. When this gets into religion, it is deadly and evil." (from chapter 8)

May God use the words of this great saint to direct the Church back to her first love in this corrupt and perverse age.


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