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SHORT, TO THE POINT SPIRITUAL LESSONS FOR CHILDREN AT CAMP

03/14/2017

Hi,
Each summer I help with a camp that has an emphasis on orchestral and choral music. However, we have Bible study with the campers (ages 10-15) each day. Our camp is only 4 days long, so it has been hard to find Bible studies to use. We usually write our own. We would love to find something which we could at least adapt. Some of our campers are Christians, others are not.


Do you have any suggestions? Thank you so much! Teresa Waggoner


Teresa,

Thank you for your good question! Let me recommend the following, which I have used, though in a different context.

Kenneth Osbeck, 101 HYMN STORIES
Kenneth OsbecK, 101 MORE HYMN STORIES

Robert Morgan, THEN SINGS MY SOUL, Book 1
Robert Morgan, THEN SINGS MY SOUL, Book 2
Robert Morgan, THEN SINGS MY SOUL, Book 3

A hymn is listed and how it came to be written is spelled out with a spiritual lesson, You can pick four widely known hymns and explain them to the kids.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for more book reviews and spiritual lessons.

Posted: 12:58:00 PM :: permalink


WHICH EDITION OF CALVIN'S INSTITUTES SHOULD I GET AND WHAT CAN HELP ME READ THEM DEVOTIONALLY ?

03/03/2017

Dear Pastor Steve Martin.

I would like to read through Calvin's Institutes devotionally. I have thought I would get the 2 volume edition edited by John McNeill and published by John Knox Press, but perhaps I should get the new Banner of Truth edition translated from the 1541 version. How do these compare and what would you recommend to read devotionally? Thanks

Aric Wardian



Aric,

Thank you for your good questions! I recommend the 1541 edition published by Banner of Truth. Many have thought that the Battles/McNeill edition of the INSTITUTES reads like Calvin was dependent upon Karl Barth's theology! (Both McNeill and Battles were Barthians.) It has tons of footnotes and is usually accurate but it does have its detractors for the reason mentioned above. I find the 1541 edition published by Banner quite nice.

What's more, long time church historian and writer of great history (see his two volumes on PRINCETON SEMINARY from Banner of Truth) David Calhoun has just come out with KNOWING GOD AND KNOWING OURSELVES (Reading Calvin's INSTITUTES Devotionally).I have just begun to use it myself and find it a gem.

I would think that these two volumes would be all your need.

Let me know if you agree when you are finished.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 10:27:00 PM :: permalink


12/27/2016

Looking for copies of All Things New, by Peter Jeffery, is it still in print, under a new title, or no longer available? If it is out of print do you have access to a publication comparable to it?
Thanks, grace and peace,
Bob Gray

Bob,

Thank you for your inquiry. ALL THINGS NEW is not in print.

The Lord's blessings.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Posted: 02:43:00 PM :: permalink


RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON THE DOCTRINE OF SIN

10/01/2016

I've been reading Plantiga's "Breviary on Sin" and been disappointed thus far. It seems more anecdotal than textual or theological. Any other books on the doctrine of sin that you'd recommend?

Thanks for any help.
Matt


Matt,

Thank you for your good question. Yes, Plantinga's book leaves a lot to be desired. May I suggest the following:

Various authors, FALLEN: A THEOLOGY OF SIN;
Crossway

Ian Campbell, THE DOCTRINE OF SIN; Christian Focus

Thomas Gracie, SIN AND THE UNFOLDING OF
SALVATION (Lectures From Spurgeon's College);
Solid Ground Christian Books

Ralph Venning, THE SINFULNESS OF SIN; Banner of
Truth

Jeremiah Burroughs, THE EVIL OF EVILS; Soli Deo Gloria

These should answer any questions as to why we need a Savior

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Check out my website for other good book information:

WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 11:54:00 AM :: permalink


HELPS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE STRUGGLING WITH THEIR SINS

08/22/2016

Hello Pastor Steve!

We're involved in a young adult's bible study (ages range from 13-25ish) and we've been using different Ligonier Ministries DVD series. The goal is to be deeply Christ-focused and working toward a higher view of God in every study and these series have been great helps. But I've become more aware of the fact that many the kids that come are wrestling with deep issues; porn, depression, alcohol abuse. Many are believers and they are truely wrestling and want freedom. And many come and watch the DVD and join the theological discussion but leave feeling like they're the only dirtbag who struggles with these issues. Are there resources available from a solid, reformed perspective, that will take a high view of God and in a thoroughly Gospel driven way help us honestly talk about and work through deep sin issues that our young people face today? Do you have pastoral advice for us as we try to deal with these things? Thanks so much!

(Name Withheld)


Dear Brother,

Thank you for your important question. Many young people attending church meetings do not understand some basic issues about Christ and His work and how it applies to everyday life. The following should be of real help. Taken together, they provide a solid foundation. None stand alone as "silver bullets".

Chris Lundgaard, THE ENEMY WITHIN; P & R--a modern classic which takes the rich, biblical teaching of John Owen on indwelling sin in believers and how to deal with it. Shows believers, particularly young ones, how they are not alone in dealing with their remaining sins.

Jerry Bridges THE GOSPEL FOR REAL LIFE; NavPress--the best book for laymen on the atonement of Christ. Shows the many facets of Christ's work and the total sacrifice He made for all of our sins. A huge balm on a sin-wracked heart.

Jerry Bridges, THE BOOKENDS OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE;
Crossway--the two "bookends" are (1) the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believing sinner as their status before the Father; and (2) the on-going power of the Holy Spirit to change our lives. A great antidote to despair on one hand and self-righteousness on the other.

Wayne Mack, A FIGHT TO THE DEATH; P & R
A very practical and biblical study of how to put our remaining sins to death.

Kevin DeYoung, THE HOLE IN OUR HOLINESS Crossway

Mark Shaw, UNDERSTANDING TEMPTATION (The War
Within Your Heart); Focus Publishing

Graustein & Jacobsen, GROWING UP CHRISTIAN; P & R
Sometimes young people growing up in Christian homes have blind spots about the Christian life. This book seeks to expose those blind spots and help the young person have a relationship with Christ and His saving work on their own..

Studying and discussing all these books would take a year or two BUT would be eternally worth it.

i used to work with youth for many years and I highly recommend such a study.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for more helpful information on related subjects.

Posted: 12:48:00 AM :: permalink


HELPS FOR STUDYING BAPTIST COVENANT THEOLOGY

07/28/2016

I am a Southern Baptist pastor who believes in Baptist Covenant Theology. I'm trying to help another SB pastor, who is also a 5-pter, understand BCT. What works would you recommend? Anything--books, booklets, articles, etc. Anything I could download would be especially helpful, but I'm open to whatever I can find. I had a great article, I think by Earl Blackburn, but I gave all my BCT mat'l away to a young SB collegiate minister some time ago. Praise God, many of our brethren are returning to their Reformed roots!

Thanks and may God bless you!
William Hatfield
Russellville, AR

Pastor Hatfield,

Thank you for your very good questions. There is a growing wealth of Baptist covenantal material becoming available. Let me recommend the following:

INTRODUCTORY:

Sam Waldron and Richard Barcellos, A REFORMED
BAPTIST MANIFESTO (The New Covenant
Constitution of the Church); Reformed Baptist
Academic Press

Earl Blackburn, ed.; COVENANT THEOLOGY (A BAPTIST
DISTINCTIVE); Solid Ground Christian Books

Rob Ventura, ed.; GOING BEYOND THE FIVE POINTS:
Published under his name

Booklets by Earl Blackburn and Walt Chantry on Baptist Covenant Theology; Reformed Baptist booklets

NEXT LEVEL BOOKS ON COVENANT THEOLOGY:

Michael Lawrence, BIBLICAL THEOLOGY IN THE LIFE OF
THE CHURCH (A Guide for Ministry); Crossway

Carl Trueman, THE CREEDAL IMPERATIVE; Crossway

O Palmer Robertson, THE CHRIST OF THE COVENANTS;
P & R

Pascal Denault, THE DISTINCTIVENESS OF BAPTIST
COVENANT THEOLOGY (A Comparison Between
Seventeenth Century Particular Baptist and Paedo-
Baptist Federalism); Solid Ground Christian Books

Richard Barcellos, ed.; RECOVERING A COVENANTAL
HERITAGE (16 Essays in Baptist Covenant Theology);
Reformed Baptist Academic Press

I suggest you men purchase these books and study and discuss them together as the best way to glean the most.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin--and check out my website
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for free downloads and articles, some of them on Baptist covenant theology.

Posted: 04:27:00 PM :: permalink


EVALUATION OF THE COMMENTARIES BY J. VERNON MCGEE AND SIMON KISTEMAKER AND WILLIAM HENDRICKSEN

07/27/2016

Do you recommend J. Vernon McGee commentaries? and Are Simon Kistemaker and William Hendriksen in the same commentary series? If not, what series is better? I apologize for the broadness of the question. Thanks!

Tony,

Thank you for your questions. J. Vernon McGee is one of my heroes. Let me explain why. As a very young Christian I would listen to him on the radio and learn so much. He has the knack of "putting the cookies down where we all could reach them." However over time I began to see that while Dr. McGee might do well for babes, he was not good at feeding maturing Christians who studied their Bibles. For beginners, I know of none better.

For the more mature, Hendricksen and Kistemaker are far better. They are both reverent scholars and are pastoral in tone. You can learn a ton from them. I still use their commentaries though I have been in ministry for 40+ years!

You will have to gauge your own maturity level and make your decision.

Best Wishes.

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM for more info on books and devotionals.

Posted: 03:51:00 PM :: permalink


STUDYING JOHN OWEN'S WORKS

05/09/2016

On May 22 I will be meeting with several young men. We are calling ourselves "The Dead Theologians Society." Several of us are keen to study John Owen. I have told them that I prefer either his work on Communion with God or vol 6 of his collected works on temptation and sin. I think they are capable of appreciating Owen's unabridged work. So, I have two questions: Is it possible to buy multiple copies of either vol 2 or vol 6 of Owens' Works? Secondly, is a study guide available for either of those two volumes? Thank you for your help.


David

Thanks for asking.

Both volumes 2 & 6 of Owens works are available for individual purchase in hardcover. "Communion With God" is also available in a paperback edition if a less expensive option is wanted.

As far as I know there is not a study guide to these volumes although there is a study guide for Owen's "Mortification of Sin".

Best wishes for a profitable study.

Todd Jennings
cvbbs

Posted: 11:03:00 AM :: permalink


RESOURCE ON THE "ISMS" AND CULTS OF CHURCH HISTORY AND TODAY

01/25/2016

Pastor Steve,

I am looking for a good resource that will list and explain to me all of the "-isms" and movements of church history. As I read books from other centuries, I get tripped up because I do not know the heresies and opposing views that the author is addressing. In my mind, I am thinking of a list like the one at the end of Banner's Edition of "Truth's Victory Over Error." But I would like one that includes more entries and has a little more detail for each one. I do not trust Google or Wikipedia so where can I read one page summary of Amyraldism, Erastianism, Socinianism, Neonomianism, or Landmarkism?
Adam


Adam,

Good to hear from you again. Let me give you different kinds of suggestions.

There are some inexpensive paperbacks by experts like:

Justin Holcomb, KNOW THE HERETICS; Zondervan
" " , KNOW THE CREEDS & COUNCILS; "

These two volumes are great at showing the main errors in church history, who taught it, etc. KNOW THE CREEDS & COUNCILS reminds us how important truth is and the work of the Spirit of God to nail down truth in the councils.

Iain Campbell, HEROES & HERETICS; Christian Focus
takes the reader through twenty centuries of good guys and bad guys and what they taught and how that helped or hindered the churches. Very good.

James McGoldrick, CHRISTIANITY & ITS COMPETITORS
(The New Faces of Old Heresy); Christian Focus
Covers some of the same ground and shows how these heresies are alive today and influential, though under another name.

Louis Berkhof, HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES; Banner of Truth--old reliable!

If you want to invest more money, try these sturdy and tried and true resource volumes:

J. D. Douglas,ed.; NEW INTERNATIONAL DICTIONARY
OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH; Zondervan--covers the
whole church down through the centuries.

Daniel Reid, et al., eds.; DICTIONARY OF CHRISTIANITY
IN AMERICA; IVP--focused on America exclusively

Walter Elwell, ed.; EVANGELICAL DICTIONARY OF
THEOLOGY; Baker--very good standard reference

Sinclair Ferguson, et al.; eds; NEW DICTIONARY OF
THEOLOGY; IVP--ditto.

May the Lord help you in your choices.

Your Book Servant,

Steve Martin



Posted: 02:49:00 PM :: permalink


MATERIALS DEALING WITH BEING COURAGEOUS

Pastor Steve,

The pastor at my church is preaching a series our courage. We read often in the scriptures to be strong and courageous because the Lord is with us. Could you recommend some books that deal with the topic of courage?

Thank you,

Kenneth Clayton


Kenneth,

Thank you for your question. I do not know of a book dedicated to "being strong in the Lord", but passages come to mind that have that biblical exhortation. Therefore Bible commentaries and expositions on these key passages should be consulted.

Deuteronomy 31:6,7, 23

Joshua 1:7-9

1st Corinthians 16:13

Ephesians 6:10

These and similar passages in Scripture are probably the basis of your pastor's sermons.

Also study commentaries and expositions that deal with the need to fear the Lord more than fearing men. You might look at the following too:

"Courage To Stand" by Philip Ryken; Crossway
"Courage" by Wayne Mack; Focus
"Courage To Be Protestant" by David Wells; Eerdmans

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Posted: 11:00:00 AM :: permalink


BASIC BIBLE STUDY METHODS FOR NEW BELIEVERS

01/13/2016

Pastor Martin,

What do you think is a good book (book selections) to teach a small group How to Understand the bible...i.e the basic bible study methods for new believers?


Rudy,

Thank you for your good question. Let me make a couple of recommendations.

Geoff Thomas, READING THE BIBLE; Banner of Truth
booklet (32 pages)

Duvall and Hays; GRASPING GOD'S WORD; Zondervan
how-to manual for getting more from Bible study.

These should do you well.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Posted: 05:10:00 AM :: permalink


BOOKS ON PRAYER...FOR THE NEW CHRISTIAN AND THE MORE MATURE ?

11/10/2015

An interest has been made at our church for books on prayer. What are your suggestions for those more mature in the faith and those who are just beginning their walk ?

George Higginbotham



George,

Thank you for your good question. I recommend the following on prayer:

FOR THE BEGINNER:

J. C. Ryle, A CALL TO PRAYER; Banner of Truth--a large
booklet setting out how believers are to pray.

Douglas Kelly, IF GOD ALREADY KNOWS, WHY PRAY?;
Christian Focus--on its way to becoming a classic!

David M. McIntyre, THE HIDDEN LIFE OF PRAYER:
Christian Focus--a classic!

Arthur Pink, THE ABILITY OF GOD (What God Can Do
With Our Prayers); Moody Press--follows Paul's
prayers in the New Testament.

FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

R. C. Sproul, THE BARBER WHO WANTED TO PRAY;
Crossway--contains Martin Luther's letter to his barber who asked him how to pray. Contains also the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments and the Apostles Creed. One to read aloud again and again!

FOR THE MATURING BELIEVER:

Beeke & Beeke, DEVELOPING A HEALTHY PRAYER LIFE;
(31 Meditations on Communion with God);
Reformation Heritage Books--practical

James Sire, LEARNING TO PRAY THROUGH THE PSALMS;
IVP--a great place to learn this discipline of prayer.

Thomas Watson, THE LORD'S PRAYER; Banner of Truth--
a classic on prayer and the Lord's Prayer by one of
the easiest Puritans to read and digest.

Charles Spurgeon, ONLIY A PRAYER MEETING; Christian
Focus--shows the importance and practical methods
of the weekly prayer meeting at church!

Matthew Henry, A WAY TO PRAY; Banner of Truth--
Matthew Henry learned to pray the Scriptures and
he teaches us how. Highly recommended.

These should get you started and lead you to other gems. But I hope they help your people to pray!

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Matin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 08:07:00 PM :: permalink


A QUESTION ABOUT GOD'S PROVIDENCE & CHILD-BEARING

09/17/2015

I am looking for a book that would have good counsel for a lady who is not able to have children. She is a professing Christian but is rather shallow. A book like "The Mystery of Providence" would probably overwhelm her. Is there anything "lighter" that still has some substance?

Daniel
==================================

Daniel,


Thank you for your compassionate question. Let me recommend Jerry Bridges' TRUSTING GOD (Even When Life Hurts) from NavPress. Jerry wrote it when his first wife was dying of cancer and he carefully but accessibly works through God's providence and His love, wisdom, holiness and sovereignty. It is one of the best 2-3 books on God's providence and has helped many. I highly recommend it.

May I recommend you also get a copy for yourself so that should she have a question, you have "chapter and verse" at your fingertips. Plus, should another person have needs which require looking at God's providential care of His people. you are loaded for bear!

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Posted: 03:46:00 PM :: permalink


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND MATERIALS FOR THE HISTORY AND PROPHETICAL BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

08/13/2015

I am looking for a book or series of volumes that puts the Old Testament within its Historical / Social context. For example, an understanding of the greater political situation with the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians during the time of Hezekiah would seem to shine light on his decision to show the envoys the wealth/strenght of Judah.
Though some commentaries do provide a glimpse behind the curtain I have not seen anyone systematically lay this out in a way that puts the historical and prophetical books of the bible within their greater context. This historical context is a gap for most people that seems to hinder a fuller understanding of the the message of much of the Old Testament.
Interested to hear of any recommendations.

Jeremy



Jeremy,

Thank you for your good question! There is help for you.
There are Bible background helps available as well as commentaries which do an better than average job showing the background material.

Let me recommend the following:

Walton & Matthews, IVP BIBLE BACKGROUND
COMMENTARY: OLD TESTAMENT--shows the secular history and background issues that should lead to greater clarity of our understanding of the biblical text.

Walton, ZONDERVAN ILLUSTRATED BIBLE
BACKGROUNDS--OLD TESTAMENT; 5 volumes--given the fact it is five volumes rather than one (see above) it stands to reason that much more is included.

Arnold & Wiliamson, IVP DICTIONARY OF THE OLD
TESTAMENT: HISTORICAL BOOKS--1000 pages of
good stuff

Boda & McGonville, IVP DICTIONARY OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: PROPHETS--Ditto above

COMMENTARIES WITH HELPFUL HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDS:

Dale Ralph Davis, JOSHUA; Christian Focus
Dale Ralph Davis, JUDGES, Christian Focus
Dale Ralph Davis, 1ST SAMUEL; Christian Focus
Dale Ralph Davis, 2ND SAMUEL; Christian Focus
Dale Ralph Davis; 1ST KINGS; Christian Focus
Dale Ralph Davis, 2ND KINGS; Christian Focus

Robert Hubbard, ed.; NEW INTERNATIONAL
COMMENTARIES ON THE OLD TESTAMENT; Eerdmans
multi-volume set covering the complete O.T.

Two other resources are very useful.

NIV ARCHEOLOGICAL STUDY BIBLE; Zondervan--the faculty of Gordon-Conwell Seminary gives archeological and historical backgrounds for the whole Bible, aiding our understanding immensely.

James Hoffmeier and Dennis Magary, eds.; DO HISTORICAL MATTERS MATTER TO FAITH ?; Crossway--scholars from around the world show how the Bible is historical and it matters. Eight chapters are on the Old Testament.

These should get you started and provide much help.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin
WWW.THELOGCOLLEGE.WORDPRESS.COM

Posted: 05:19:00 AM :: permalink


1st CORINTHIANS 13

08/03/2015

Steve,
I am an elder in a PCA church and am looking for a good book on the treatment of love, covered in 1 Corinthians 13, vs 4-7, and particularly as they apply to love in marriage. I seem to remember seeing some really good verse by verse discussions in book(s) some years ago, but I don't seem to find books on it now as I browse through the internet. Are there any books along this line you would recommend. Thanks so much.
In Christ,
Bill Brownfield


Bill,

Thank you for your important question. I believe there are at least two resources that will help.

CHARITY AND ITS FRUITS (Living in the Light of God's
Love) by Jonathan Edwards and Kyle Strobel;
Crossway Books--Edwards classic treatment with
explanatory notes to update the application by Kyle
Strobel.

CHARITY AND ITS FRUITS by Jonthan Edwards; Banner
of Truth

I will keep my eyes open for other resources.

Your Book Servant,

Pastor Steve Martin

Posted: 01:42:00 PM :: permalink