Pilgrim’s Keyboard

December 27, 2019

2019 |Book Reading List

I did not get a good start this year reading books. Between selling our house in Hinesville, then the cabin in Fairmount, & and finally buying and moving to our town-house here in the Savannah area we lost a lot of free time.
Thus my list is short for this year.
1. The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliver of Israel – James Montgomery Boice | P & R Publishing, 2018 by Linda M. Boice, Phillipsburg, NJ, ISBN 978-1-59638-753-9.
This book by Boice is more of a conversational commentary between the preacher and the congregation. It is a study of Moses life as “- the renowned lawgiver, prophet, friend of God, and deliver of his people … -“ a leader of Israel found in the Scriptural books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and the beginning chapter and the last few chapters of Deuteronomy. Boice was a preacher and a teacher who had an extraordinary gift to share with the saints of God. | 02/01/2019
2. The Montanists, The Gnostics, and The Alexandrines – W. K. Fleming | Kessinger Legacy Reprints Publishing 2018, http://www.kessinger.net, ISBN 9781162822310.
This book is small – It gives a very brief accounting of the Montanists’ Christian movement approximately around 170 A.D. of Phrygian in the region of Galatia It lists Montanus as the founder, their prophets, Perpetua and Felicitas. The movement was based on “charismata” spiritualism more than intellectualism. Their most prominent apologist was Tertullian, who was perhaps drawn to them because of their basic message: “Back to primitive Christianity!” | 03/01/2019
3. American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths – Thomas S. Kidd | Yale University Press, 2016, New Haven, CT, ISBN 978-0-300-18732-8.
This book is great review of the conquering and the settling of the American continents. It is mostly concerned with North America but it does show how faith was a big reason to come to the new lands. It covers those from Spain, France, and the English. It looks in particular to the Native Americans and to the slave movement from the coastal Islands to the mainland. This book is an important part of the aspect of this country’s historical/religious background leading up to the pre-Revolutionary War era. | 10/07/2019
4. The Apostles’ Creed: Discovering Authentic Christianity in An Age of Counterfeits – R. Albert Mohler Jr. | Thomas Nelson Books 2019, Nashville, TN, ISBN 978-0-7180-9915-2.
Dr. Albert Mohler is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary located in Louisville, Kentucky. He is a theological scholar. He is also an avid reader. Thus whenever he authors a book one can know with assurance that his subject has been thoroughly researched and fine-tuned for the reader’s understanding. This book is of no exception. His review of “The Apostles Creed” is a theological goldmine concerning the important basics of this Christian faith declaration of great historical teaching from the early history of Christianity. | 10/09/2019
5. The Inerrant WORD: Biblical, Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives – John MacArthur, editor, w/various Contributors | Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 2016, ISBN 978-1-4334-4861-1.
Is the Word of God inerrant, infallible, truth! There is a battle that has been raging since Genesis 3, “Has God indeed said” was uttered by the serpent to Eve. This book is a reply to that attack and of those that have followed and will no doubt continue on into the future. The book is divided into four sections: 1) Inerrancy in the Bible: Building the Case; 2) Inerrancy in Church History: Showing the Precedent; 3) Inerrancy in Theological Perspective: Answering the Critics; 4) Inerrancy in Pastoral Practice: Applying to Life. The book’s editor is John MacArthur, the “Foreword” is written by R. C. Sproul, and the remaining twenty-four chapters throughout the book were written by other inerrant defenders. It is an excellent book to have on your library shelf in the argument {apologetics} of how God has made Himself known in His Word. | 11/05/2019
6. Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots – J. C. Ryle | Hendrickson, Peabody, MA. 2007 – 5th Printing 2017, ISBN 978-1-59856-222-4.
This book title tells of its subject matter and its author’s reputation puts the book into its proper biblical perspective. There are 21 chapters and each one looks at the different aspects ranging from “Sin” through “Holiness.” The book is intense and thought provoking concerning one’s standing before God in Christ. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to dwell into the Scriptural doctrine of Holiness. | 11/27/2019
7. The Christian on the Mount: A Treatise on Meditation – Thomas Watson \ The Northhampton Press, Orlando, FL. 2009, ISBN 978-0-9798579-6-6.
The best description of this book is to quote the author concerning meditation, Watson wrote: “is a holy exercise of the mind whereby we bring the truths of God to remembrance, and do seriously ponder upon them and apply them to ourselves.” Meditation is not spoken of too much today. Because we live in a “hurry-up” culture we do not take the time to slow down and “smell the roses.” We as believers of God and His Word need to return to this old biblical practice – Meditation, “How blessed is the man … {whose} delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” –– Psalm 1:1-3 (adapted). | 12/05/2019
8. One Foundation: Essays on the Sufficiency of Scriptures – Jeremiah Johnson, editor | Grace To You, Valencia, CA. 2019, ISBN 978-0-578-54235-5.
First I need to note that this book is dedicated to Pastor John MacArthur to celebrate his 50 year pastorate at Grace Community Church. The theme of the book is the sufficiency of Scripture or the Latin – sola Scriptura (scripture alone). There are twelve chapters laid out by individual writers. Dr. Steven J Lawson’s, “The Standard of Sound Words: A Mandate for the Pulpit,” was the most excellent one I enjoyed. This is a book that I highly recommend for one to purchase, to read, and to reference it often when looking into the aspect of “Scripture Alone” as the only foundation of hearing God speak to us. | 12/16/2019
9. A Divine Cordial (Romans 8:28) – Thomas Watson | Sovereign Grace Publishers, Inc., Lafayette, IN. 2001, ISBN1-58960-077-0.
This is an exposition of Romans 8:28. It is a short read – 94 pages. The author does an excellent breakdown of the verse. His approach is Calvinistic from his Puritan perspective. I enjoyed reading this work and recommend it for purchase. | 12/18/2019
Currently Reading –
Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure – D. Martyn Lloyd Jones | Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1965.
Hope to finish this in January 2020. Lord willing!
Bruce – bea0210@hotmail.com

December 19, 2018

2018 | Book Reading List

1. The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones: 1899-1981 – Iain H. Murray | Published by: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2013, ISBN: 978-1-84871-180-8.

This book is a re-cast, condensed and, in parts, rewritten version of the author’s two volumes D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years (1982) and The Fight of Faith (1990).  D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, the “Doctor of Medicine” whom God called to be “The Doctor of Preaching”.

Iain H. Murray is the supreme biographer when it comes to Christian Ministers.  His writing of this book is of no-exception and along with the fact that he was a personal friend of Lloyd-Jones one ends up with an intimate loving story of a great Christian man, preacher, and writer.  I enjoyed this book.  Reading about Lloyd-Jones was recommended to me by two friends: Gene McDuffie & Lacey Lounsbury. I gladly pass on the same recommendation to you. Buy it – read it – keep it on your bookshelf. You will not regret having this book to enjoy learning about a “man of Gods grace serving the God of Grace! | 01/16/2018


2. Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans: The Battle That Shaped America’s Destiny – Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger | Published by: Sentinel (an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC), 2017, ISBN 978-0-7352–1323-4.

 This is the third and latest book by Brian Kilmeade. He also wrote: George Washington’s Secret Six and Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates: The Forgotten War that Changed American History. I have enjoyed all of these books immensely. In this work the authors take you through the events that led to defense of New Orleans and the Western Territory of the Mississippi which was that was at stake of being lost to the British in the War of 1812. This book speaks of the courage and wisdom of General Jackson and his mixed bag of defenders resolve to save New Orleans and in effect become the second assurance of our nation’s independence. I highly recommend that you get this book and learn a little bit more history of the brave Americans who loved and served this great young nation of the United States of America. | 03/19/2018


3. From God To Us: How We Got Our Bible – Norman L. Geisler and William E. Nix | Published by: Moody Publishers, 2012, ISBN 978-0-8024-2882-0. (This is the second edition which has been revised and expanded from the 1974 edition.)

This book examines the journey of the Word of God – our Bibles. The major topics discussed are inspiration, canonicity of the OT, the Hebrew Masoretic Text (MT), the Greek Septuagint (LXX), and the discoveries of the Dead Sea Scrolls and The Documents in the Judean Desert. Also, the canonicity of the NT, the various Greek manuscripts such as the Textus Receptus (TR), Majority/Byzantine text (M), Alexandrian/Critical text (NU) used in the English translations of today. Personally, I found this book will be a useful resource concerning “How We Got Our Bible.” However, as in all books on this subject – one’s bias opinions usually determines whether they will like it or not! I think it is worth spending the $$. | 08/10/2018


4. God Has Preserved His Text! : The Divine Perservation of the New TestamentWilber N. Pickerting | 2017, ISBN 9-780997-468625.

This book had been one the most technical I have read since Seminary. Its focus is based on the title. Throughout Dr. Pickerting (Ph.D), is giving his defense for the Majority Text / Byzantine manuscripts family superiority over the Alexandria Text / Vaticanus & Sinaiticus manuscripts family. I have been an advocate for the Majority Texts for years as the preserver of the Koine autographs. So I enjoyed reading it even when it got bogged down in all of his stats. It is not a fast read. | 08/30/2018


5. Assured by God: Living in the Fullness of God’s Grace – Burk Parsons, editor | Published by: P & R Publishing Co., 2006, ISBN 978-1-59638-029-5.

This is a book on the doctrine of Assurance. Along with the editor there are several contributors, such as: Philip Ryken, Albert Mohler, Jr., Sinclair Ferguson, John MacArthur, and others. The Foreword and Epilogue was supplied by R. C. Sproul. The book abides by its title throughout. I also found it to be very informative and supplied with much Scripture. However, Ch. 8 gave me some reserve thoughts. As a Baptist I am always hesitant to tie the ordinances/elements (sacraments – author) of the Lord’s Supper and Baptism to anything other than memorial in use {cf. 144, 146} or of prayer {153} as being indicated as part of a means of grace. I will leave it up to the readers to determine if my hesitations are appropriate or not. Over all this is a good book for anyone who is often dealing with doubts and fears concerning their salvation. For it truly shows that salvation is of the LORD (Jonah 2:9). May we always remember concerning our assurance – “It is always about God and not us!” I recommend this book to be read and kept in your library. | 09/12/2018   /////   [Joanna – I urge you to read this book. It has been a great help to me. For I too have faced some of the same struggles. Bruce 🌷 SDG]


6. The Holy War – John Buyan | Whitaker House, 1985, ISBN 978-0-88368-706-2.

The jacket reads:  “From the author of The Pilgrim’s Progress comes a powerful allegory about the battle being fought for man’s heart, mind, and spirit.” I enjoyed the book as I do most of John Bunyan’s writing.  However, I do not think this meets up to the same standard as his Pilgrim’s  Progress. Bunyan does use a lot of metaphor names which reflects many of our “Mansoul’s” fleshly traits and of course those from the enemy “Diabolus”.

If you like reading John Bunyan may I also recommend to you his, “Grace Abounding: to Sinners” – it is an excellent testimony of his journey from the “most notorious rebel in his village to a great man of faith. | 09/22/2018


7. Authorized: The Use & Misuse of the King James Bible (KJV) – Mark Ward | Lexham Press, 2018, ISBN 978-1-68359-055-2.

This small book is written about the author’s experience of reading the KJV throughout his early years. It also speaks of his love for the KJV’s vulgar “Elizabethan English,” (which was “the man on the street” or Tyndale’s “plough boy” language). His book looks at the KJV translator’s common language then meanings then are compared to their meaning now. He also writes of some of the KJV Elizabethan words then are no longer used now and have become even obsolete today. Thus the author argues that as the KJV was a “book-of-the-common-man” then – so too there is the same necessity of having our English translation(s) more aligned with our common vulgar of today. The author’s argument is very plausible and should be examine closely. I think one would benefit from this little book. Therefore I recommend it to be purchased and read. | 09/25/2018


8. The Cross and The Covenants – R. B.C. Howell, D. D. | Sprinkle Publications, 1994 reprint of 1854 and 1855 respectfully by the author, ISBN N/A. This small book contains two separate writings by the author Howell.

In his first book, The Cross one finds a thorough and an enjoyable read concerning the aspects of the Cross of Christ. In its ten chapters Howell asks the question – “By the Cross of our Lord Jesus …” as a prefix of his subject matter.

In his second book, The Covenants one finds his discussion of the covenants from the OT and the New Covenant concerning Christ Jesus. I enjoyed this book less. As so often with many during his era when one wrote concerning the covenants involving Israel they conclude that God has fulfilled them all. Their reasoning then was that Israel was scattered and that God is done with them thus carrying out the New Covenant now in Christ with the Gentiles. The problem with that is that Scripture does not support such teaching. Also, in 1948 Israel was reestablished as a nation, Jerusalem in 2018 it was announced as Israel’s capitol and has been so recognized by several nations as legitimate claim.

If you can find the first book I highly recommend it to you. The second book, I would tell you not to waste your money. However, I realize that I am being bias in my opinion for I do not think the author’s intent is supported by Scripture. | 10/27/2018


9. The Story of Scripture: How We Got Our Bible and Why We Can Trust It – Robert L. Plummer | Kregel Publications, 2013, ISBN 978-0-8254-4315-2.

One would think that a small book containing only seven chapters could not be of much help in discerning the Bible as a reliable source. Yet, Dr. Plummer does just that. In 87 pages he looks at “The Nature and Purpose of the Bible,” its organization, authorship, authority and accuracy, textual history, and “The Canon {icity} of the Bible.” His book goes straight to the point concerning these aspects of the English Bible.  I would highly recommend this booklet for the believer who wants to read about the “ins and outs” of Scripture. It is an excellent starting point in one’s research as to why we trust our Bible. | 11/11/2018


10. Ray’s Baptist Succession – David Burcham (D.B.) Ray | Foley Railway Printing, 1912 – Twenty-Seventh Edition / Reprinted by Larry Harrison, Foreword 2001, St. Johns, IN.

I must start out and tell you that I love Christian History – especially Baptist History! This probably means I am being bias as I write that this is a great-book and a must-read of anyone who examines the history of Christianity and of the Lord Jesus’ local-visible-NT-Church. May I dare say – “Baptist” – i.e., one of the names given to us from history!  Or perhaps best stated by William Shakespeare from his infamous Romeo and Juliet:  “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I will leave you with my recommendation  to read & enjoy. | 11/14/2018


Currently Reading

I am in the middle of two great books right now – I hope to finish them shortly after the first of the year. These are:

The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliver of Israel – James Montgomery Boice | P & R Publishing, 2018 by Linda M. Boice, Phillipsburg, NJ, ISBN 978-1-59638-753-9.


The Inerrant WORD: Biblical, Historical, Theological, and Pastoral Perspectives – John MacArthur, editor, W/Various Contributors | Crossway, Wheaton, IL, 2016, ISBN 978-1-4334-4861-1.






November 28, 2017

Obadiah Holmes

Filed under: Baptist Heritage ...,Bruce — pilgrimskeyboard @ 3:47 pm

Obadiah Holmes (1607?-1682) Baptist Pioneer Piety –
“In 1639 – the year after Dr. JOhn Clarke and others settles on Aquidneck Island in Narragnsett Bay – a sturdy Englishman in his early thirties arrived in Salem, Massachusetts with his wife and three year old son. This man was Obadiah Holmes, his wife Catherine, and their son Jonathan…. Upon arrival in Salem … Soon {1640} Holmes and his family united with the Puritan Church in Salem, and records indicate that he became identified with the prominent people of the community … In 1645 Holmes and his family moved to Rehobeth, a part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony outside the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay authorities…. Here he and Catherine united with the local church, also of Puritan persuasion…. however, he became almost immediately embroiled in controversy with the pastor, Samuel Newman…. So intense was the conflict … he soon was excommunicated from this congregation.

Baptist activity in Newport, Rhode Island, was gaining strength, with the arrival of Mark Lucar, a member of John Spilsbury’s Baptist Church in England in 1648.Newport’s religious leaders began to reach out to Massachusetts and to Plymouth Colony, and in particular to the nearby Rehobeth settlement. While the Puritans saw the Baptists as a source of much disruption and conflict, the efforts of Lucar, Clarke, and others brought a long-sought sense of peace to Obadiah Holmes.  He wrote of the experience, ‘It pleased the Father of Light, after a long continuance of mine in death and darkness to cause life and immortality to be brought to light in my soul.’

Sometime during this period, Dr. John Clarke visited Rehobeth, and there found people hold essentially Baptist views, among them Obadiah Holmes. Clarke baptized Holmes and eight other men, and they formed a congregation in Rehobeth … although they were technically members of the Newport Church. Soon the group was prevented from conducting public services y the Grand Jury of Plymouth Colony. To escape this kind of religious persecution, Holmes and his growing family moved once again – this time to Newport, in the fall of 1650…. early in the summer of 1651 he found himself in the midst of the situation for which he is most remembered. In the month of July, Holmes, Clarke, and John Crandall, journeyed to Lynn, Massachusetts, to visit William Witter, an elderly man who was a ‘brother in the Church (in Newport), but by reason of his age could not undertake so great a journey as to visit the church.’

The three arrived at Witter’s home, about two miles from the center of the village, on Saturday … to spend the Lord’s Day there with their brother…. for it was determined that they should have religious services at Witter’s home. While Dr. Clark was preaching, ‘Two constables came into the house, who with their clamours [sic] for the arrest of Holmes, Clarke, and Crandall, carried them away to the alehouse …’ Later that day they compelled to attend the meeting of the local Puritan Church, although they indicated that they should be compelled to go, they would declare their dissent by word and by deed.’ The words were spoken by Clarke, who disrupted the congregation at worship, and the three persisted at the wearing their hats, even during the time the congregation was praying…. the next day they were sent to Boston.

After two weeks in prison, the courts imposed sentence: Crandall-5 pounds; Clarke-20 pounds, and Holmes-30 pounds, if they did not pay their fines, they would be publicly whipped. All three refused to pay the fines…. Clarke’s was paid by someone unknown to him. Crandall was released on his promise to pay … Holmes not only refused to pay the pay the fine himself, but he vigorously protested the efforts of his friends to pay for him.

He was led to the whipping post behind the Old State House in Boston, where he spoke to the crowd assembled, ‘Though my flesh should fail, and my spirit, should fail, yet my God will not fail.’ With this, the whipping began. The man wield a three-part whip, and with each blow he spat upon his hands three times. When finally the torment was ended and Holmes was released, he addressed the magistrate, ‘You have struck me as with roses.’ His body was bruised and bleeding, and for months afterward he ‘could take no rest except as he lay on his knees and elbows, not being able to suffer any part of his body to touch the bed where he lay.’

Holmes returned to Newport soon after his ordeal, and resume his work in the Baptist Church there, under the pastor and his close friend, John Clarke. …

Following Clarke’s death in 1676, Holmes became the second pastor of one of the oldest Baptist Churches in the New World {According to … J. R.Graves … this is the first and oldest Baptist Church in the New World}. … He died October 15, 1682.


[Gleaned from “A Pioneer of Religious Liberty: Obadiah Holmes – by L. Edgar Stone (“The Landmark Baptist” publication, Vol. 16, Number 3, May/June 2015), 1-5; Cf. “Baptist Piety: The Last Will and Testimony of Obadiah Holmes,” edited by – Edwin S. Gaustad (Christian University Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 1978).]

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