Pilgrim’s Keyboard

February 28, 2012

Books I Read in 2011 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 2:33 am



1.      40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible – by Robert L. Plummer | This book is intended to help one to understand the Bible. It is a good tool to use in understanding the various genre found within the Bible, the text, canon, and translation of the Bible, and for determining a general meaning when approaching the Bible. I think the book is a little above that for a new Christian, but does appear to be very appropriate for the Christian who has grown some in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. | 01/14/2011


2.      Jesus Loves the Church And So Should You – by Earl Blackburn | This book is not a long read (146 pages). Blackburn does a thorough job in addressing what a church is and what it means to be a part of a local congregation. He demonstrates Christ’s love for His church and shows how we as Christians too should love the Lord’s church just as passionately. It is recommended by two big hitters – Tom Nettles & Fred Malone (plus others). Even though I found a couple of minor things that I disagreed with – I would still recommend it to anyone who desires to have a better understanding of serving in a local NT church of the Lord Jesus. | 01/27/2011


3.      The Missing Gospels: Unearthing The Truth Behind Alternative Christianities – by Darrell L. Bock | This book deals with extant texts beyond the four gospels. The ancient texts at Nag Hammadi in Egypt are the most prominent in the author’s review. Bock’s work is an excellent comparison between those texts and of the four gospel accounts in the NT. The author makes a good argument in showing that most, if not all, of those other texts lean heavily towards the teachings of Gnosticism in opposition/competition with Christianity. As to recommending this for one to read: unless this type of information is more to your “cup of tea” – I would think for many readers of Christian literature that they would find this book is perhaps too technical and dry for them. As for me, I enjoyed it quite a lot. I found this wonderful book at a discount book store for $1.99 + tax. To me it was well worth every bit of the two bucks and change that I paid. | 03/09/2011


4.      Dispensationalism: Rightly Dividing the People of God? – by Keith A. Mathison | This book is a defense against dispensationalism. The author goes to great effort to show what he thinks is an unbiblical doctrinal belief. Throughout the book he is found showing what he thinks the scriptures teach against such a doctrinal stand concerning dispensationalism. However, as good as his argument may be, as one reads the book the reader cannot but help to feel the author’s distaste for the doctrine and its proponents. I do not think that this was the author’s intent – if it was then he achieved his goal. But because of such disdain I find it difficult to recommend this book to anyone whether you agree with his stance concerning dispensationalism or not. I just do not like to read books that are so negative of what other brethren believe. Defend the truth, but do so in a tactful way. The author failed miserably in the second aspect. | 04/02/2011


5.       The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day,  Vol. 2 – by Justo L. Gonzalez | This is a 2 volume set. The book is a general history of Christianity. If you would want more detail perhaps Schaff’s or Sheldon’s historical works on Christianity may suit your needs. | 04/14/2011


6.      What In The World Is Going On?: 10 Prophetic Clues You Cannot Afford To Ignore – by Dr. David Jeremiah | I found this book at a discount book store in an outlet mall in Savannah. It was the last copy available. The book concerns the eschatology of the end times. It is dispensational in its teachings. Dr. Jeremiah gives a good presentation, it is easy to read and understand. If you are leaning towards the pretrib – seven year tribulation – 1000 year reign of Christ camp (such as I) you will enjoy the book. If not, probably will not read it anyway. But if you do – you just may find his stated arguments beneficial in understanding the “latter days.” | 05/04/2011     


7.      Amazing Grace: God’s Pursuit, Our Response – by Timothy George | This book is a short paperback (142 pp). Its subject matter deals with the Doctrines of Grace, as well as the presentation of such in an evangelistic way. The book’s presentation is not done so in an harsh matter but more in an softer-tone, yet found to be standing strong in its defense of the Calvinistic view. The book was enjoyable and is one that I would recommend to anyone who wishes to study the sovereign workings of God in their life and the obligation of sharing the gospel with a lost and dying world concerning the good news of Jesus Christ in their life. | 08/09/2011  


8.      The Baptists: Key People Involved in Forming A Baptist Identity: Beginning In Britain, vol. 1 – by Tom Nettles | This is the first of three volumes concerning the history of the Baptists. This volume looks at the era of the 17th to the 18th centuries. Starting with John Smyth (d. 1612) and ending with William Carey (1761-1834). I enjoy reading Christian history, but especially Baptist history. I am looking forward to the next two volumes. | 09/17/2011


9.      Three Witnesses For The Baptists – by Curtis Pugh | This book is written by the Landmark Baptist Pugh. Its purpose is to demonstrate from different witness that Christ has established a particular type of church with distinguishing marks. That this type of church has been in existence since Christ’s personal ministry on this earth. He accomplishes his argument to a good deal of degree. Unless one is familiar with Sovereign Landmark Baptist Churches and their teachings – this probably not the best book to use to begin a study on constitutes NT churches. | 09/19/2011


10.  Pinheads and Patriots: Where You Stand in the Age of Obama – Bill O’Reilly (Harper, 2011 paperback). | I have read books by Mr. O’Reilly in the past. This book as those he has written before are found to be much in the same context as his TV show “The O’Reilly Factor.” He is “Fair and Balanced” here much as he is in most of his TV segments. Thus the book is more of the same only in written format instead of being spoken from the television set. I read the book because a friend asked me to. Normally I would have not done so. The context is fine and fair. If you like this style of book you will enjoy it – if not, you can take it or leave it. That is my attitude towards these type if genre and their authors. Their rhetoric is the same in print or by voice – nothing really changes in that aspect. | 10/10/2011


11.  Thoughts on the Atonement – Wm. Doyal Thomas and Oscar Bryan Mink (Philadelphia BC, Decatur, AL – Sovereign BC, Northport, AL, 2011). | As the title indicates this is a book concerning the biblical doctrine, the atonement of Jesus Christ. In a sense it is two books in one.  Thomas does an excellent review of this doctrine and examines it in all of its aspects in a thorough fashion. Mink concentrates his writing more on the scope of the application of Christ’s atonement. It is a book that I recommend to any who wish to begin or to know more about the biblical subject of the atonement. (This book may be purchased from “The Berea Baptist Book Store’’ http://www.bereabaptistchurch.org, at $5.00 + SH) | 10/28/2011


12.  Life Brought To Light – W. E. Best (Houston, TX: WEBBMT Publishers, 1992). |

This book covers the salvation of men and of how it is by God’s sovereign workings. Sometimes the book can get a little too much in dragging out the deeper aspects of the author’s positions. The author also uses many Greek words (transliterated) with their definition in order to have the reader understand what the verse is to do. Sometimes it is a little bit to much to comprehend. The books are easy to read (print size), and the subject is discussed extensively. A good book – but its contents  are guarded and sometimes hard to follow his directions. Novice read it at your own risk. Old-timers you will find it more to your liking. | 12/20/2011


13.  The Four Hundred Silent Years – H. A. Ironside (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, Inc. 1914). | I have had this small book for many years. I just read it for the first time this past few days. It is a book that briefly looks at the history in Israel and Jerusalem during the time that elapsed between the OT writing of Malachi and the NT writing of Matthew. Considering its smallness, the book is informative with the many names and places associated with that time period concerning Israel and Jerusalem. I am not sure if it is still in print. If it is it would be a good book to read either electronically or through paper. 


Bios – Anytime you get the opportunity to read about the saints of old – I highly recommend that – God’s people of the past are an inspiration to His people today.


14.  The Life of Arthur W. Pink – by Iain H. Murray | This is the second biography that I have read on A. W. Pink. At the end of last year I read: Richard Belcher’s Arthur W. Pink: Born to Write. I highly recommend that these two books be read one after the other. Where one book may leave blank spots or is perhaps too brief concerning circumstances in Pink’s life the other book supplies. Together they form a good biography of A. W. Pink. One of my favorite writers is Arthur Walkington Pink (April 1, 1886 – July 15, 1952). Perhaps someday you too will pick up his writings and come to understand why I hold him in high esteem. | 03/06/2011  


15.  John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock – by Iain H. Murray (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011). | I first came to the knowledge of the Doctrines of Grace in the mid 1970’s. Around that time I began to hear about a preacher who was in California that was adhering to this doctrinal teaching and was preaching through the books of the NT verse by verse. Over the years I stayed aware of his teaching style of expository preaching. I was fortunate enough a few years back to get the opportunity to hear him preach at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary – I even got the chance afterward to shake his hand. (To me that was quiet an honor.) Over the years I have had been able to obtain several of his books, his study Bibles, and now his biography. I have often said that God raises men up for their time – we think of Luther, Calvin, Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, and Whitefield, etc., and I believe for our time – John MacArthur. I hope you read this book. It is by no means the last chapter, but it is definitely the beginning of coming to know a “Servant of the Word and Flock.” A man that God has definitely raised up for our time – John MacArthur.  | 08/26/2011


16.  50 People Every Christian Should Know: Learning From Spiritual Giants Of The Faith – by Warren W. Wiersbe (Baker Books, 2009). | This book was recommended to me by a couple of pastors. I must admit that I had not heard of many of those that Wiersbe chose to write about. However, there were actually some stories about the “giants” as the author called in his title calls that I enjoyed reading about. Names such as: Katherine von Bora – Martin Luther’s wife; Samuel Rutherford; Matthew Henry; Jonathan Edwards; the one-eyed Christmas Evans, Andrew Bonar; Fanny Crosby – a prolific hymn writer of many of our beloved songs we sing today; of course Charles H. Spurgeon; D. L. Moody; A.C. Gaebelein; B. H. Carroll – the founder of Southwest Theological Seminary, Texas; A. Z. Tozer – whose writings seem to becoming more and more popular today among evangelicals; etc., etc., the list individuals goes on and on. I always find reading biographies to be enlightening. Some I enjoy, some not so much. There were some individuals mentioned by the author that did not hold my interest as other bios have in the past. I am glad I decided to finish the book. It is always good to know a few tidbits of those from the past. I would recommend the book but with a word of caution. One may find it is not as exciting as one may be led to believe, however, despite that thought,  it is important to read of those from the past that have served the Lord and have left their legacy for us learn by. Wierwbe’s statement at the end of the book sums up the importance of reading bios of “giants” when given a chance. He states, “In time there arises ‘a generation that knows not Joseph,’ and we must not complain if yesterday’s spiritual heroes become but memories. But there are many of us who give thanks for the privilege of … not forget[ing] the lessons [they] taught us” [adapted]. | 12/08/2011





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