Book Review: Killing Calvinism – How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside, by Greg Dutcher


Killing CalvinismI have started reading ‘Killing Calvinism – How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology from the Inside,’ by Greg Dutcher. This book was released by Cruciform Press in June 2012, so I have been reading a new book for a change. Generally I read books that were written many years ago, often several centuries ago, so this was a bit unusual for me. It was however the title of the book, along with a review that I had read somewhere, that drew my attention to it and so I decided to buy it at Amazon in Kindle format.

So reading the book I quickly discovered that it was a very easy book to read, even though it dealt with a subject that was indeed crucial, timely and weighty. Calvinism is the behemoth of Christian theology, being a system of truth that epitomises the teaching of Scripture. It has produced great works of theology, some very technical and verbose in nature. Yet here was a book looking at this system of truth that was easy to read and speaking straight to the heart with great warmth and even humour (yes humour).

However, it would be a mistake to think that this book dealt with Calvinism in a detached manner, somehow separated from the adherent to it. Indeed, this book seeks to penetrate the hearts of the adherents of Calvinism and to strike at the heart of the matter. This is not a book that somehow produces a barren formalism, rather it smashes through formalism and seeks the real Calvinism, one that comes from the inner person regenerated by the spirit of God and transforms the lives of those that profess it. It is a living Calvinism that this book seeks and challenges everything else that claims to be Calvinism, but yet has nothing of its soul. This book is a clarion call for a Calvinism that ignited the hearts of a Calvin, of a Spurgeon and of a Bunyan and desires a turning away from all that is not. I love Calvinism – it leads me to God and the way of life he wishes me to lead and live. This book reminds me of this and for that I am thankful to Him for allowing me to read it. It is as Dutcher describes it, the windscreen of truth that allows me to see God and how he wants me to live for Him.

Buy this book at Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Killing-Calvinism-Perfectly-Theology-ebook/dp/B0088PBC5G

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Announcement: New Blog – The Book Stand


I have started a new Blog to complement this one. It is called ‘The Book Stand.’ The Book Stand is a place to find free Kindle and/or pdf format ebooks, as well as good ebook offers every now and then. It is a Tumblr Blog.

For more visit:
http://bookstand.tumblr.com/

Article: Teen Starts Library for Homeless Kids


The link below is to an article about a teenager in Florida who started a library for homeless kids in Miami.

For more visit:
http://www.good.is/post/florida-teen-starts-giving-library-for-homeless-kids/

Website: BookRix


The link below is to a website that enables you to upload and sell your own ebooks. If you always wanted to be published and become a successful author, perhaps this site will give you the opportunity to get started. You may be able to earn a few bucks at the very least.

For more, visit:
http://www.bookrix.com/

At the BookShelf (Reading Club/Group)


I have started a book reading club/group in association with the Blog here – ‘At the BookShelf.’ The reading club/group will feature some of the books I post about here and will give opportunity for members to obviously discuss the books being read. This is something I’m quite excited about and look forward to seeing grow. I hope you will get involved with the club/group.

The reading club/group will also be networked with my websites, including the http://particularbaptist.com site, providing a social network feature that has been missing at the site for some time. In  doing so, I will also try to network the website, the Blog and the Facebook page into the particularbaptist.com community that is slowly being built. Please get involved – over time as the network grows, the interaction increases and the fellowship expands, I’m sure it will be a blessing to us all.

The book reading club/group is simply called At the BookShelf (the same as the Blog).

Visit at:
http://www.bookclubit.com/bookclub.php?id=404

 

Terrorism and the Illuminati – A Three Thousand Year History, by David Livingstone


I have started to read ‘Terrorism and the Illuminati – A Three Thousand Year History,’ by David Livingstone. I haven’t read a lot as of yet, but it appears to be a book full of conspiracy theories about a secret society (the Illuminati) that are behind world events. Not being a believer in such a theory I am not sure just how much of this book I’ll be able to stomach, but having only read the introduction at this point I’ll try and keep myself restrained from speculating too much on the book. I do have to say that what I have read in the introduction had me thinking ‘is this for real?’ I don’t mean that in the sense of being convinced, but rather in the sense of ‘can anyone really believe this?’

With the death of Osama Bin Laden recently and the various conspiracy theories that have surfaced as a result, this sort of book will probably be enjoying a wider audience at the moment. If conspiracy theories interest you, then this book may very well be of interest to you. There are various associated links below.

There is an online version at the book’s website:
http://www.terrorism-illuminati.com/

You can also find the book at Scribd:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/42090550/Terrorism-and-the-Illuminati-A-Three-Thousand-Year-History

If you prefer to buy a copy at Amazon, it is available at:
http://www.amazon.com/Terrorism-Illuminati-Three-Thousand-History/dp/1419661256

 

Post War – A History of Europe Since 1945, by Tony Judt


I have now started to read ‘Post War,’ by Tony Judt. The edition I have was published in 2005 by The Penguin Press. It is a massive work of over 900 pages, that includes both photographs and maps.

The period of history being dealt with is post war Europe from the end of World War II to 2005. It includes the immediate aftermath of World War II, right through the Cold War period and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Though I have only just started (yesterday) I have completed about 100 pages thus far, which has taken me through the preface, introduction and the first chapter, ‘The Legacy of War.’ The first chapter deals with the immediate aftermath of the war and its consequences for the people of Europe. It is an horrific picture of post war Europe and the devastation it had on the entirety of Europe – nations, cities and towns, peoples and families. It is the legacy of total war.

 

‘Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin – An Update


 

As visitors to ‘At the BookShelf’ would know, I have been reading ‘Reformers and Their Stepchildren,’ by Leonard Verduin. I have now started chapter four and progress through the book may appear slow and you may think this is a reflection on the quality of the book. That would be a mistaken assumption however.

In reality I am finding the book a brilliant treatment of the differences between the ‘partial reformers’ (such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc) and the more ‘radical reformer’ who sought a complete transformation of the church to that which more accurately reflected the New Testament model.

The ‘slowness’ of my reading is more a reflection of my reading half a dozen or so books at the same time. Reading so many books at any given time is fairly normal for me – in fact, I would call normal (for me) reading far more books at any given time, but I am trying to reign myself in a little here. I just love reading – I am a bibliophile and bookworm remember 🙂

The third chapter of Verduin’s work has to do with the lack of true church discipline in the churches of the Reformers and their indifference (generally speaking) to ungodliness in the church (remembering that their churches basically included all in a given location or region).

The third chapter presents a very clear case of the real time contradiction of the Reformers and the reform they were bringing to bear on such places as Geneva, Zurich, etc. To a large extent their work of reform didn’t go anywhere near far enough to satisfy their ‘stepchildren,’ who when they tried to go further were branded as heretics, with their efforts at a more thorough reform being identified by the reformers as evidence of their heresy.

It is a very engaging chapter I believe and one that is helpful for shedding light on Christianity even to this day.

The History of the English Baptists


 

from the Reformation to the Beginning of the Reign of King George I, by Thomas Crosby.

I have just started to read the above titled book – well, at least the first volume anyway. This title is made up of four volumes, all of which are over 500 pages in length. I have also started to add the work to my web site at:

 http://particularbaptist.com 

The original work (Volume 1) was first published in 1738 and includes some old English, which in the version I am placing on my web site, I have tried to update without changing the overall sense and flow of the text.

It is generally understood that Crosby deals with a mix of both the Particular Baptists and General Baptists, or if you prefer, the Calvinistic Baptists and the Arminian Baptists.

To follow my progress and to read the book, visit:

http://particularbaptist.com/library/Crossby-Thomas_Vol1_HistoryEnglishBaptists_contents.html