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18 Words: The Most Important Words you will Ever Know Paperback – September 20, 2010
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"This is a good book for young Christians seeking a more profound understanding of doctrine and a good refresher course for older hands" (The Gospel Magazine)
"A doctrinal Solomon... Mediating debates on everything from a particular Bible translation to the acceptability of free-flowing Pentecostal spirituality, Packer helps unify a community that could easily fall victim to its internal tensions." (Time Magazine)
"This is a good book for young Christians seeking a more profound understanding of doctrine and a good refresher course for older hands" ~ The Gospel Magazine "A doctrinal Solomon... Mediating debates on everything from a particular Bible translation to the acceptability of free-flowing Pentecostal spirituality, Packer helps unify a community that could easily fall victim to its internal tensions." ~ Time Magazine
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But it is a great book to keep in your purse or car for times when you will be playing the waiting game. Doctors offices, meetings, airports, etc. Bring a highlighter though - you will want to revisit this book often. Rest assured that J.I. Packer is not one of those authors that leaves the Bible by the wayside while he goes off on tangents and stories. He sticks to the point, develops it and cites Scripture without. An excerpt from the aforementioned foreword: "Biblical references in the studies themselves are not, however, skippable; they are part of the argument, and are meant to be looked up."
This may not be the best book for a brand new Christian, lest they be the diligent, studious type; it is however a book that I would say is a must read for every faithful Christian due to thorough handling of 18 Words that encompass a significant understanding of the Christian faith (faith being one of the words as well :-)
Below are (2) brief excerpts:
**regeneration, pg. 144** - <quote> Since the seventeenth century, Reformed theologians have tended to distinguish between regeneration and new birth.They defined regeneration as the first act of God instilling spiritual life into dead souls, below the level of consciousness; and they understood the new birth as the first conscious manifestations of that life in new spiritual apprehension, affections, and acts - the initial exercises of faith and repentance. On the basis of this narrowed definition, they have insisted strongly that regeneration must be related to faith as cause to effect. Deny this, they say, and you deny faith to be a gift of God's grace; and what youa re saying then is that man is his own savior, inasmuch as his faith is the decisive factor in his salvation and now becomes "all his own work'. <end quote>
**election, pg 155** - <quote>The very idea of election implies that some are not elected. God discriminates; He selects some, not all. Out of the nations, He chose only Israel (Amos 3:2, Psalm 147:20). Out of Israel after the flesh, salvation in Christ was enjoyed only by a remnant 'according to the election of grace': 'the election obtained it, and the rest were hardened' (Romans 11:5,7). Speaking of His elect at Corinth, whom He purposed to bring to faith through Paul's preaching, Christ told Paul in a vision, 'I have many people in this city' (Acts 18:10), but this did not mean the whole population (cf. 1 Corin 1:26-29). Part of the mystery of election is that God never appears to have chosen all whom He might have chosen. Thus He impresses upon us that His choice is absolutely free, and teaches us to value the grace that has come to us personally. <end quote>
Amen and amen!
(Zondervan), Bible scholars have been writing about the words of the Bible and their meaning. Dr. Packer demonstrates how to do a word study and takes 18 important words from the Bible and takes the reader through both testaments to demonstrate what each word means in the inspired Word of God.
If I had the power, I would require each Protestant pastor and seminary student to master this volume and keep it near at hand when preparing sermons to check one's theology. It is that good.
Pastor Steve Martin.
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Mandatory reading for ALL Non-believers: test the strength of your resolve to remain a Non-believer.