Pilgrim’s Keyboard

March 2, 2017

Books I read in 2016 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:58 pm


  1. Baptists in America: A History – Thomas S. Kidd & Barry Hankins | Published by: Oxford University Press, 2015, ISBN: 978-0-19-997753-6. Overall I enjoyed this book. As its title states it is a history of American Baptists. The inside jacket note reads, “[After] four hundred years … Baptists [have become] the second-largest religious group in America, and their influence matches their numbers.” I think this book could be more informative concerning who the Baptists were/are in this country. It does go into some detail for some Baptist groups and yet not so much on others. It is written by “respectable church historians in the academy today” (R. Albert Mohler, Jr.). I recommend it only on the sense that if you have a Christian/Church/Baptist history section in your personal library – for no book is completely useless in a library. However, if you do not have such a section you may just want to check the book out from a public-library and then glean some info from it for knowledge while saving your $$ for some other book. | (12/28/2015) 01/01/2016


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

  1. The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones – Steven J. Lawson | This is the story of the successful doctor who became a premier preacher. One of the twentieth century’s most influential sovereign grace preachers. He had one purpose when he walked into his pulpit and that was to show forth the Glory of God of which he did through one way and that was expository preaching of the Word of God. This bio is the latest edition of the “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” series edited by Dr. Steven J. Lawson published by Reformation Trust (Ligonier Ministries). If you have enjoyed any of the books from the series this one will be just as much a delight to read. I highly recommend this book, as well as, the series. | 03-19-2016
  1. Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson – S. C. Gwynne | Civil War History is often captured from the bios of famous men/women who were prominent during their era. Stonewall Jackson was such a prominent actor during the Civil War. This book examines his personality and traits in an excellent manner that let the reader get to know this Southern Christian Gentleman who was a major factor in the War between the North and the South. One can only assume that the outcome of the Civil War may had been quite different if our Sovereign God had allowed Thomas J. Jackson to have lived longer and fought more battles. He was a master in combat and along with his Stonewall Brigade nearly unstoppable. | 08-21-2016

Tools – Booklets – Pamphlets

  1. Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors – David Alan Black | Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1993. ISBN: 978-0-8010-1043-9. | 03/22/2015

December 21, 2015

Books I Read in 2015 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst,Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 4:20 pm


For several years now I have posted a list of the books that I have read over the past year. Ever since the Lord God saved me in Christ Jesus I have had a desire to read books. I have found that reading books allow me to journey to places i will never see and to have conversations (so-to-speak) with many wise men/women of the past who teach valuable knowledge. Plus there is also the healthy aspect of just keeping my mind active as I age.

I usually read about Theology, Christian History (mostly Baptist), Old Saints’ writings, and The Revolutionary War & The Civil War era history/bios. I am not crazy about political writers, or any of TV pundits’ books. I hope that this list might inspire you to pick up on of these books or some other book to enjoy to begin a new journey of adventure. Make a new friend today – read a book!

The List …

1. BIBLE: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011 – Gordon Campbell | Published by: Oxford University Press in 2010. I enjoyed this book. It is a history from an Englishman’s point of view concerning the King James Version Bible. He discusses the origin of reasoning for this English translation, looks at the various printers, mistakes they made (some accidental, some deliberate), examines its beauty as a historical literary work, the significance of inspiration (Hebrew and Greek manuscripts), and the King James Only debate (Trinitarian Bible Society in the United Kingdom and the Dean Burgon Society here in the United States, as well as, many of our various types of churches, etc.). The KJV is now over 400 years old. This book is a brief history of this particular translation that God has used in bringing multitudes of people to a saving relationship with Christ. For that reason alone – it is worth the time to read. | 01/30/2015

2. The End Times In Chronological Order: A Complete Overview to Understanding Bible Prophecy – Ron Rhodes | Published by Harvest House Publishers in 2012. The title basically defines the outlay of the book. One’s doctrinal stand on eschatology will probably determine what you think of this book. The Pre-mills will say, “It’s great” – the A-mills will say, “Aint no way” – the Post-Mills will say “Just wait” – and the Preterist will say, “Old news.” However despite all of our biases the best way to approach this book is with an open mind. If that can be done then I think you will enjoy its contents. We should not only read books that agree with our theology but we should also be willing to read what others contend for concerning the faith. I do not recommend reading heretical material but I do think we should be willing to challenge our doctrinal thoughts w/o fear. | 02/12/2015

3. The Churches of the New Testament – George W. McDaniel (1875-1927) | This book is just as its title implies: a look at the churches of the New Testament. The author begins by looking at the meaning of the word church in the Greek, which is translated “church” (“congregation” – Tyndale NT) in our English translations. From here McDaniel examines each NT book that mentions the word “church” in its context. He discusses the location and circumstances of each local church and the why of their existence. I think most would enjoy the book who like the study of ecclesiology. Especially Landmarkers (or “local-church” buffs) more so than the Reformers because it significantly leans toward the Greek usage of the “local church” in contrast to the teaching of today that “everybody-is-in-the-church” syndrome. I enjoyed the book. I hope you will too. I found it through Amazon, Yokai Publishing, ISBN: 9781907703096. | 03/09/2015

4. The Origin of The Baptists – Samuel Howard Ford (1819-1905) | I enjoy reading old books. I enjoy reading about Christian history. Especially those of old Baptists. In some of my Baptist history books I will find where the author will quote or make reference to S. H. Ford’s The Origin of the Baptists. So it was exciting when I came across a used copy of this book on Amazon.com [copyright 1950 – Baptist Sunday School Committee]. Ford wrote his book sometime around 1860 (J. R. Graves, “Introduction” date). The premise of the book is found in his question: “Where Did the Baptists Come From?” He begins his quest by looking at the Baptist in Virginia and then moves through the different centuries and ends up in the NT at Jesus Christ, the founder of Baptist churches.
I highly recommend old history books concerning the Lord’s NT churches and Christianity. I think you would enjoy reading this little book. | 04-09-2015

5. Why Is My Church Dying? – Russell C. Lambert | Whenever we consider anything that will help the church grow in its teaching, reaching out, or bringing in we often look to avenues that will help us to achieve our stated goal. We usually gather the information we need from sources that are purposely keyed in such directions. This little book is one of those sources. No pastor or teacher or church member wants to see their church dwindle down and eventually die. To prevent such a mishap one needs to understand the situations that lead to their decline. Lambert’s book is a good place to start. It is small yet the author covers a number of different aspects in regard to the Scripture as his basis of thought. (Worldwide Distribution, 2015, ISBN: 978-1-329-06192-7). | 05-27-2015

6. Prayer A Biblical Perspective – Eric J. Alexander | “For those who find it difficult to pray there is much encouragement here as the author … addresses the common problems believers face when coming to pray.” This is a small book (approx.. 90 pages), which means you can read it in a day or two. The author does not emphasize the “how to” of praying as much as he does the “why to” of prayer. This book was recommended to me by my preacher friend Dr. Allen Raynor. I now pass that recommendation on to you. I think you will enjoy this helpful book and I hope that it will be a good tool to guide you as you engage the Lord in prayer. (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2012 [reprinted 2013], ISBN: 978-1-84871-149-5). | 06-05-2015

7. Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon – Tom Nettles | It has been a long time coming in my reading to finally finish this book. I have been reading it – setting it down – reading it – etc. It definitely has been time consuming (at least for me). Now that I have finished it I am convinced that the time was well spent.. Tom Nettles, is a excellent historian and this book showcases his talent. It is one of the premier books on Charles Spurgeon. If you do not have this book it in your Christian Library I urge you to obtain a copy. You will not regret the time and effort in reading. (Christian Focus Publication, Mentor Imprint, 2013, 683 pages, ISBN: 978-1-78191-122-8). | 10-17-2015

8. The Daring Mission of William Tyndale – Steven J. Lawson | One of my favorite heroes of Christianity is William Tyndale. He is the Father of the English Bible. He is the first to translate the Greek New Testament into English. His goal was to put the English Bible into the hands of the average plow-boy because he felt that the common man needed to have God’s Word to read for themselves. The KJV NT is approximately 80% from the Tyndale NT and of the books he translated in the OT about 60% of their content is based on his work. All of our English translations were and still are based on Tyndale’s efforts and labors. Tyndale’s reward for putting the Scripture into English for common men such as me to read – he was charged with the high crime of putting the Bible into English, hunted down by the English Royalty and Church authorities, strangled to death by an iron chain, after which his corpse was burned and blown up by gunpowder that had been spread around his incinerated body. His final words, “Lord, open the king of England’s eyes.” That dying prayer was answered for two years later King Henry VIII ordered that the Coverdale Bible was to be used in every parish in the land (the Coverdale Bible was largely … Tyndale’s work). I highly recommend this book. | 05-21-2015

9. The Mighty Weakness of John Knox – Douglas Bond | This is another book from the series – “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” by Stephen J. Lawson. This book like the others in the series is a biographical picture of a man used by God to demonstrate His sovereignty and providence in Christendom. John Knox was prominent in establishing the faith throughout Scotland. As in all of the books in this series I recommend that take the time to read of our Christian heroes from the past. | 11-02-2015

10. The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen – Sinclair B. Ferguson | This book is also from the series – “A Long Line of Godly Men” by Stephen J. Lawson. This book is about the old Puritan preacher and theologian John Owen. It is a short look at Owen’s treatment of the Trinity in his writings. Sinclair wrote: “Pastor, Theologian, and military chaplain John Owen lived during troubled times, and his life remained marked by tremendous changes in his circumstances. But even as his position rose and fell, he remained steadfast in his faith in the triune God of the Bible.” I have found this to be an excellent read. One I recommend. The book can be obtained from Ligonier Ministries. | 12-02-2015

11. Using New Testament Greek in Ministry: A Practical Guide for Students and Pastors – David Alan Black | Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 1993. ISBN: 978-0-8010-1043-9. | 03/22/2015


December 27, 2014

BOOKS I READ in 2014 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:27 pm




1. How to Study the Bible – John MacArthur | I think you will enjoy this little book. It will be especially helpful for the young Christian to understand the importance of just how “vital [it is] to know how to study the Bible. … This book will help you do it” – (back cover). I like MacArthur’s books. He is an excellent teacher concerning biblical matters. I highly recommend his writings. I do not always agree with what he states, but I do respect his opinion for I know he is thorough in all that he studies. Enjoy! | 01/24/2014

2. One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal? – Dave Brunn | Darrell L. Bock writes in his endorsement of this book, “If you want to understand translation work and appreciate what English translations do and how, then this book is for you.” That is a good description of this book. The author Dave Brunn was a missionary/translator in Papua New Guinea to the Lamogai (lah-moh-guy) people. His and his team’s responsibility was to develop a completed Lamogai New Testament. This book reflects those efforts and gleans those aspects to the reader as to what translators have to deal with when going from one language to another, such as, from Hebrew-Aramaic | Greek to English. The book is thorough and well laid out. If you enjoy getting technical – I recommend that you take the time to read it. If not – save your money. | 01/30/2014

3. The People Called Baptists – George W. McDaniel | While reading another book by McDaniel I came across the title of this little book. It was published in 1925 and is currently out of print. I finally found it among the used book dealers listed on Amazon.com. I have found in reading old biblically-based books that one can get a brief historical view of many subjects. This book is of no exception. In it the author deals briefly with Baptist history, the meaning of “local” church, ordinances, and their Baptistic distinguishing marks.  I enjoyed what the author had to say about the Baptists of his era. If you can find a copy I think you would too. | 05/13/2014

4. The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America – John Price | This book is like most End Times books in that it deals w/scripture references that the author believes are the proof texts that justify his/her subject matter – i.e., “The End of America” which the author demonstrates that he believes the term “Daughter of Babylon” found throughout the bible represents according to the eschatology he endorses. Two things: 1) the scenario he describes is possible (none of us know what the future holds) and most likely it is true that America is facing inevitable destruction due to its immorality and wickedness found in our culture, and 2) he follows his own advice to flee the coming destruction and has relocated to a Latin American country. However, he has failed to adhere to one of the three most important aspects of Scripture interpretations – i.e., context, context, context!! The author uses several OT references and he relates them to America – bad idea- his references appear to refer to Babylon as found in the OT not something of today. It is true that many OT prophecies have a double interpretation but I think he outstepped his bounds this time. The book is an interesting read. The author builds up the idea that is so popular today that Islam is the force that will be reckoned with in the future and that we – America – need to flee that wrath to come. If you are interested in end time scenarios then you may consider this one as good as any to read. As for me, I think reading the Bible will give you more insight in to how to live your life in these last days. | 06/04/2014

5. The Mystery of the Shemitah – Jonathan Cahn | “Within the Hebrew,… shemitah literally means, ‘the letting fall,’ ‘the letting collapse.” … The warning here us this: if America continues on its present course, its place as the head of nations will fall and the American age and global order will be allowed to collapse” [243]. This point is the summation of this book by Cahn, author of  the New York Times Best-Selling The Harbinger. [A book that I thought I had read, but C. had only borrowed it and apparently I did not.  This is despite that familiarity of some references made to The Harbinger. Go figure.] Anyway this book is a follow up to The Harbinger.. Like all book is this category – i.e., eschatological in nature, your end time doctrinal standings will help to determine if you think it is a good book to read. I enjoyed some aspects of it, but as many books along this line it is a “let’s wait and see what happens” before final judgment can be made. One thing I agree with the author about: If America does not get its act together soon morally, politically, economically, and socially – I do not know how long she can remain a strong vibrant leader of the world. Now that is sad and a little scary. | 10/10/2014      

 6. Basic Bible Doctrine – Don Fortner | I have been studying through this book for several months. It is not the most in-depth book concerning all biblical doctrine. However, in the doctrines that he does examine Fortner uses several scripture references in proof of his defense. Fortner has made the basis of this book to be solely found on our sovereign God and Savior Jesus Christ. To me that is a good place to start and end. I highly recommend this book to be a part of your “Reference” section of your Christian library. | 06/25/2014            


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.

7. The Poetic Wonder of Isaac Watts – Douglas Bond | “Alas! And Did My Savior Bleed” – “Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come” – “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” – all familiar hymns (along with other great hymns of Watts) are still sung throughout churches today. All written by the skillful hands of Isaac Watts (1674-1748), the “Father of English Hymnody”.  This little book (138 pp) is one of the “Long Line of Godly Men” series edited by Steven J. Lawson. Lawson’s series looks at giants of the faith to show how they used their particular spiritual gifts, personality traits, or ministry abilities in serving God. I thought that this book was a delight. I highly recommend it and the series as well. You can’t go wrong when you examine the saints of old. | 03/20/2014

8. The Heroic Boldness of Martin Luther – Steven J. Lawson | This book is another of the “Long Line of Godly Men” series edited by Steven J. Lawson. The book is short (122 pp) and a quick read. Upon completion of this book I have now read four books of this series. As with the others that I have read (John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, and Isaac Watts) this too has been an enjoyable book. It is informative pointing out many of the traits of Martin Luther especially concerning his regard that the Bible is God’s Word and his respect of it as he preached. The books of this series are designed to introduce giants of the Christian faith and show how God has used them, their talents, and personalities in the advancement of His kingdom from a reformed perspective. This book does not disappoint. I highly recommend that you get a copy and enjoy the read. | 06/20/2014

9. The Unwavering Resolve of Jonathan Edwards – Steven J. Lawson | This book is another of the “Long Line of Godly Men” series edited by Steven J. Lawson. The book is a short 166 pages. Jonathan Edwards, the American Puritan developed 70 “Resolves” by which he would live his Christian life. This book examines many of them showing the character of this Pastor/Theologian/Teacher. Jonathan Edwards, Arthur W. Pink, and Charles Spurgeon are my three favorite Christian/Theologian writers. Anytime I can find biographies concerning one of them I will read it. I highly recommend that you do the same on this little book by Lawson. You will not be disappointed. | 07/19/2014  

10. The Evangelistic Zeal of: George Whitefield –  Steven J. Lawson | “On the morning of October 23, 1740, in a field of Kensington Parish, near what is today Berlin, Connecticut, a colonial farmer named Nathan Cole received the news that the great evangelist George Whitefield would be preaching in the nearby city of Middletown. Immediately, he dropped his tools and ran to his house, hastily grabbing his wife and saddling his horse, and rushed to the announced site of Whitefield’s meeting twelve miles away. Cole and his wife alternated between riding and running to Middletown, for he simply must be present to hear this celebrated preacher. … Eager to hear Whitefield preach … Cole stood amid the crowd [est. 4000 +] and watched the evangelist make his appearance. … He described Whitefield as ‘a young, slim, slender youth before thousands of people, and with bold undaunted countenance.’ The talk circulating among the great crowd was, ‘God was with him everywhere.'” [91-92] I highly recommend this book by Lawson in his “A Long Line of Godly Men Profile” series. George Whitefield | A man of God who was not ashamed of the Doctrines of Grace found within the pages of Holy Writ. | 09/29/2014


December 28, 2013

Books I Read in 2013 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 9:11 pm



Between moving from Hinesville to Cartersville and the time it took to reset my study area – the list is small this year.


1.      A Guide To: Expository Ministry – Dan Dumas, Editor | Every once in a while you come across a book that is unique. It is like finding a jewel among smooth stones. This book is small about 100 pages. It contains only seven chapters, but each chapter is packed full of helpful insights. It is divided into two sections. The first deals with the preacher and how he is to approach the Word of God. The second deals with the hearer and how they are to respond to the preacher and the Word of God. I highly recommend this book to ministers and other serious individuals that wish to understand the importance of an “Expository Ministry. | 01/31/2013

2.      Biblical Eldership: An Urgent Call To Restore Biblical Church Leadership – Alexander Strauch | John MacArthur wrote, “Mr. Strauch has made a fine contribution to the subject of eldership. I am confident it will be helpful to many.” That defines the reason for this book. Mr. Strauch examines the aspect of what is an elder, what an elder does, and why NT churches should be elder-led. He is thorough in his examination of the appropriate texts and historical backgrounds. If one is considering the adopting an elder-led church this book should be on their reading list. | 02/20/2013


3.      Puritan Evangelism: A Biblical ApproachJoel R. Beeke | This book is only 78 pages. Thus, it is a good & quick read. If you like anything concerning the Puritans you will enjoy this little book. It has some very practicable and timely aspects about evangelism especially concerning the practices of the Puritans to those of our modern times. I highly recommend this book. | 05/07/2013



4.      The Minor Prophets (Vol. 1): An Expositional Commentary | Hosea-Jonah – James Montgomery Boice | The commentary is pastoral. Boice occasionally gives a deeper understanding of particular words, but over-all his comments are along the line of a pastor teaching the reader concerning these particular books from the OT. He shows that God is sovereign and that He displays His mercy to those He so chooses. Boice often demonstrates how these OT prophetic writings so often relate to the NT and especially of Christ Jesus. The author freely displays his evangelical leanings throughout the commentary. I recommend books by Boice – he has an easy-side approach in his teaching style. | 01/07/2013

5.      The Minor Prophets (Vol. 2): An Expository Commentary | Micah-Malachi – James Montgomery Boice | I highly recommend books by Boice. | 12/28/2013

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.

6.      William Tyndale: A Biography – by David Daniell | This book is the second that I have read by author, David Daniell. This book, like the first …. | 05/29/2012


7.      John Gill: And The Cause Of God And Truth – by George M. Ella | I first became aware of this book from a textual footnote while reading (actually, I am still in the process of reading) History of the English Calvinistic Baptist 1771-1892: from John Gill to C.H. Spurgeon by Robert W. Oliver. Though it has taken me several months to read this book on Gill, (due to my library of books being packed away in boxes while moving from Hinesville to Cartersville to resetting up the library), it is one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. The author sets out to disprove the notion that John Gill was a Hyper-Calvinist. The author has accomplished this goal with great success.  He not only shows that Gill was not a Hyper-Calvinist, but he also demonstrates that he was indeed an evangelical minister, as well as, an avid theologian, preacher, and yes a Calvinist. If you have not taken the time to read Gill’s works you are missing out on some great theological teaching. I highly recommend that you read this book. As far as I know it is only available in a used format. I was able to find it through Amazon.com about a year ago. So happy book hunting and enjoy the read – it will be well worth your time. | 12-19-2013




December 27, 2012

Books I Read in 2012 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 8:30 pm




1.      Alone with God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer – by John MacArthur | This book as the title indicates is about prayer. It is based on what is often referred to the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthew Ch. 6. As with all of MacArthur’s works this book is informative, thorough, and an encouragement to those who desire to have a more effective prayer life. It is book that I would recommend to any who needs a light push in the right direction concerning their prayer life and the requirements of it. | 02/04/2012

2.      Are We Living in the End Times – by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins | I was asked to read this book by one of the older Christian men of church, of whom I have a great deal of respect. The book is dispensational in its core, pretribulational and premillennial in its genre. The book looks at the End Times from this viewpoint. Whether or not one is a dispensationalist, an amillennialist, or a historical premil – the book would prove to be profitable to read. Thus it is one that I recommend to anyone interested in eschatology. Agree with it or not will help one to sharpen their own doctrinal standing in these matters. | 02/18/2012


3.      Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission – by Darrin Patrick | A good book. It lives up to its title in that it addresses church planting and helps to equip the type of person it takes to accomplish such a task that God has set before him. However, I did not fully agree with the last couple of chapters. I understand his concept of social service being used in sharing the gospel when the need is there. But, it appears to me that too much emphasis was placed on “culturalizing” than was on “gospelizing.”  Other than that it is a book that I would recommend. | 03/02/2012

4.      Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching – Ligonier Ministries / R. Albert Mohler, Jr. … [et al.] | As the title indicates this is a book written for preachers by other preachers (11 in total). During seminary studies, as ministers, we were encouraged to read certain books at least once a year over and above any books or commentaries that were being used for one’s personal studies. This reading list was to include first and foremost the Bible (preferably a different translation each year), a systematic theology book, a book on Christian History or biographies, a book on today’s Christian culture, and a book on preaching. This is a good book for preachers to read. There is sound advice on the preacher’s ability to preach to their congregation. If you are a minister and have not read this book – spend the few dollars that it will cost. It will be a good investment for you as you go forth preaching the Biblical Gospel of Christ and the whole counsel of God’s Word. | 05/30/2012

5.      Is Hell For Real Or Does Everyone Go To Heaven? – R. Albert Mohler, Jr. … [et al.] | This booklet was written to discuss the biblical doctrine of hell. Is it fake? A fraud? Or is it real? In our culture hell is taught to be either non-existence or of-little-consequence for any or all of the individuals who have lived and died. However, the Bible teaches a great deal concerning the subject of hell and since it is a reality, according to the Scripture, it behooves us to understand the accuracy of the biblical teachings about it. This book will help with this evaluation. The contributors thoughtfully and carefully examine the end-game of whether there is a hell or if there is not a hell and the consequences of how the individual thus will respond. | 06/06/2012

6.      Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic & Spiritual Challenges In Time? – Joel C. Rosenberg | “Implosion will help you understand, through the lens of Scripture, the enormous economic, social, and spiritual challenges facing the United States in the twenty first century and explain how you can make a difference at this critical crossroads in our history” [back cover]. This summary from the book’s jacket is an accurate description of its contents. Rosenberg gives an adequate picture of the problems facing our nation today and of the possible scenarios we are facing if nothing is done to address these problems. The book also provides us with what he thinks must be the ultimate solution for us who claim to be Christians – i.e., we must return to living for our God and Saviour in our minds, hearts, and life before others so that: 1) God will receive glory and 2) that others may see their need of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Can the “Implosion” be stopped? The author does not know. Can Christians return to their first love and serve our Lord? This he affirms wholeheartedly. I recommend the reading of this book. | 07/08/2012


7.      No Higher Power: Obama’s War ON Religious Freedom – Phyllis Schlafly and George Neumayr | “Freedom of conscience is the foundation of all our freedoms. […] this riveting account of Obama’s war on religious liberty is essential reading for all Americans who care about their country” (David Horowitz, back cover). [The authors] “ have nailed it – in its tyrannical arrogance, the Obama administration behaves as though there is no higher power than itself. It will allow neither the Constitution nor religious liberty to interfere with its agenda. In a second term, it [his administration] will be emboldened to do even more. If you want to know just how threatened our religious liberties really are, please read No Higher Power” (David Limbaugh, back cover). | 09/26/2012




8.      Romans: The NIV Application Commentary – Douglas J. Moo | I enjoyed this commentary. Though it is not an in-depth work (the commentary set style is not meant to be), he does however cover the major points of Romans and looks at the Greek words used in those passages. Douglas Moo claims to be a Calvinist (most likely a four-pointer, for he struggles with the doctrine of “Limited Atonement”). This book is a good warm-up read or introduction for further study in the book of Romans. It is a book that I would definitely recommend to a new or young Christian. I think his thoughts would be profitable for all.     

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.

9.      William Tyndale: A Biography – by David Daniell | This book is the second that I have read by author, David Daniell. This book, like the first, “The History of the English Bible”, will take some time to read. I asked a fellow minister concerning this biography and he told me that Daniell’s book was the definitive biography on Tyndale. I agree. William Tyndale was a giant in biblical history and so few today seem to know this or know of him. William Tyndale is the man whom God used to translate the Greek NT into English for the common man in England. It is estimated that approximately 80 % of the beloved King James Bible came from Tyndale’s labors in the 1500s. He was martyred in 1536 A.D., his crime – translating the Bible into the language of the common man. I highly urge the reading of this book. | 05/29/2012


10.  The Gospel Focus of Charles Spurgeon: The long Line of Godly Men Profiles – by Steven J. Lawson | This is a small book (127 pages). Lawson looks at how “Spurgeon firmly held to the sovereign grace of God in one hand and the free offer of the gospel in the other.” I highly recommend that you purchase this book (Reformation Trust). It is an excellent book and is well worth your time and money to read. | 11/28/2012


11.  The Expository Genius of John Calvin – by Steven J. Lawson | This is a short read

( 131 pages). The book looks at Calvin and his ministry. It deals mostly with his style of preaching – i.e., expository. If you are a minister I would highly recommend this little book for you. It is interesting to read, but most lay-members would probably only glean from it. Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote concerning Calvin: “Among all those who have been born of women, there has not risen a greater than John Calvin; no age before him ever produced his equal, and no age afterward has seen his rival. John Calvin propounded truth more clearly than any other man who ever breathed, knew more of Scripture, and explained it more clearly.” | 12/19/2012



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




December 31, 2010

Books I Read in 2010 …

Filed under: Annual Book Reading LIst — pilgrimskeyboard @ 7:46 pm

When I was a lot younger than today I despised the task of reading books. Part of this is because when I was in high school I had only 6 weeks of grammar in grade 9, plus another 6 weeks in grade 12 and all the rest of the time concerning the balance of those English classes I had to deal with literature. The other reason, I found out later is that I had trouble in my comprehension (I still do today). Thus I hated to read.  O’ by the way, my fiery-sidekick still says I am “comma impaired! ”  :~)

Well after God redeemed me in Jesus Christ (1975), I began to desire to learn about my Lord, the Bible, and Christianity. Consequently, I now appreciate and love to read. The majority of my reading is of course the Bible, books on Theology, Christian History, and Bio’s of some of the Lord’s precious saints.

My friend  Allen Raynor (SBTS) has for the last couple of years sent me his annual reading list on his web-blog (araynorweblog@comcast.net). His list has encourage me to read some of the books he has listed. Hopefully my list here will encourage others to do the same.



1. Abstract of Systematic Theology – by James P. Boyce | As its title indicates this is a book concerning theology. If someone wants to have a deeper understanding concerning the theology of Scripture this book would be a good choice. However, if one is a new Christian instead of reading this particular book I would recommend that you should read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology first, and then consider Boyce.

2. Before God – by Mike J. Sarkissian | This book is about prayer and praying. I highly recommend this book. Sarkissian looks at all aspects of prayer, praying, and one’s prayer life.

3. How We Got the Bible – by Neil R. Lightfoot | This book is an excellent account of how the Bible has been preserved and handed down to our generation. It begins with the history of the ancient writings, the birth of the Bible, OT and NT manuscripts, the transition from Hebrew/Greek into English, and continues up to today with our English translations.

4. The Bible in English – by David Daniell | This book is a history of the different English translations of the Bible. This book is long (700 reading pages) and laborious to read. I enjoyed reading the history aspect, but I was tired of reading the book by the time I reached the end.

5. The Two Babylons – by Alexander Hislop | This book compares the pagan practices of ancient Babylon to many of the same practices (at least in appearance) as found in the Roman Catholic church up to his time era.

6. The Babylon Connection – by Ralph Woodrow | This book is an examination of Hislop’s Two Babylons. The author’s intent was to refute Hislop, but he approached it is such a malicious way his point was lost or at least diminished. Fortunately it was a short book.

7. The Disappearance of God: Dangerous Beliefs in the New Spiritual Openness – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | It is PC to “dumb down” God today. Dr. Mohler looks at this reality and warns of the dangers of such teaching in regards to God, sin, hell, etc., and the shifting sands undergirding Christianity today.

8. Culture Shift: Engaging Current Issues with Timeless Truth – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | Our culture today is transforming at a fast exploding pace. This book addresses how to stand up for the truth clearly, biblically, and passionately when facing such an ever changing worldview.

9. Words from the Fire: Hearing the Voice of God in the 10 Commandments – by R. Albert Mohler, Jr. | The Ten Commandments – not the Ten Suggestions. This book examines the Ten Commandments and how they apply to our minds, hearts, and lives today.

10. The Truth War – by John MacArthur | This book is about the war our culture is waging against Divine Truth. Seen ever so prominent in our postmodern society, so too, being waged openly among those within the Lord’s church. Dr. MacArthur reveals such with this book and encourages that the Lord’s people to stand for the truth of God’s decrees despite the heat of the battle being not afraid of the enemy. Though deceivers may think that they have won the battle, ultimately they will lose, for the truth will always prevail.

11. Pilgrim’s Progress: In Today’s English – by John Bunyan, retold by James H. Thomas | This is the 3rd time that I have read this wonderful classic. The first two times was in the Old English, this time in modern English. I found it much easier to read. But I would not rule out not reading the old style again. If you have never read the book I highly recommend that you do so.          

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.

12. James Petigru Boyce – by Dr. Tom Nettles

13. George Mueller of Bristol – by Arthur T. Pierson

14. John Newton – by Jonathan Aitken

15. Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret – by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor

16. The Shadow of the Broad Brim [About Spurgeon] – by Richard Ellsworth Day

17. Jonathan Edwards – by Iain H. Murray

18. Arthur W. Pink: Born To Write – by Richard P. Belcher

Just Finished

19. The Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation, Vol. 1 – by Justo L. Gonzalez | This is a 2 volume set. The book is a decent general history of Christianity. If you want more detail perhaps Schaff’s or Sheldon’s historical works on Christianity may best suit your needs. – Currently, I am now reading vol. 2.


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