Free Download: Life in a Risen Saviour by Robert Candlish

Life in a Risen Saviour Being Discourses on the Argument of the Fifteenth Chapter of First CorinthiansLife in a Risen Saviour: Being Discourses on the Argument of the Fifteenth Chapter of First Corinthians by Robert Candlish is free from Logos Bible Software this month as part of their Free Book of the Month program. After you get the free book, you can read in one of the free reader apps for PCMaciPhoneiPadAndroid, or Kindle Fire—or online at Biblia.com.

You can also enter to win a free copy of the 15-vol. Works of Robert S. Candlish.

Life in a Risen Saviour consists of 21 sermons. Here’s how Candlish introduces the volume:

I have endeavoured, in these Discourses, to illustrate the line of argument pursued by the Apostle. It is not, as I apprehend it, an argument about the resurrection generally. It has respect to one particular view of the resurrection; its bearing on the believer’s spiritual and eternal life. I have sought to trace the line of thought which gives unity and coherence to the Apostle’s reasoning. I have by no means, however, aimed at anything like a complete commentary or exposition. I have rarely discussed different interpretations, and have abstained from minute criticism. There is no attempt, on my part, to occupy the place already so well filled by such learned and acute scholars as Dr. John Brown, and other recent writers, who have bestowed research and study on the examination of this portion of Scripture. I have not quoted authorities. But I must name Isaac Taylor’s “Physical Theory of Another Life,” as having suggested interesting lines of thought connected with the future state.

I crave indulgence for some diffuseness, as well as for occasional repetitions, not easily to be avoided in a series of compositions for the pulpit, prepared often hastily from week to week, and all having reference, more or less directly, to one theme. I might have recast what I had thus prepared, so as to give it the form of a more compact treatise. But that is always an irksome task,—and not always a successful one. I have thought it best to publish the Discourses very much as they were when I preached them.

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One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation

One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of SalvationA reader pointed out a forthcoming book on union with Christ: One with Christ: An Evangelical Theology of Salvation. This 256–page book by Marcus Peter Johnson is supposed to be published by Crossway on August 31, 2013.

Here’s the description from Amazon:

Regeneration, justification, sanctification. These are the primary words that come to mind when talking about the theology of salvation. However, the Bible teaches that each of these concepts is firmly rooted in something more foundational: our union with Christ. In this accessible book, Johnson introduces us to this neglected doctrine, arguing that it is the dominant organizing concept for salvation in the New Testament. In eight thought-provoking chapters, Johnson shows how a believer’s position “in Christ” is the lens through which other all other facets of salvation should be understood. Interacting extensively with the biblical text and drawing on lessons from church history, Johnson presents a compelling case for the unique importance of this beautiful, biblical doctrine.

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D. A. Carson on Assurance of Salvation

D. A. CarsonYesterday Andy Naselli highlighted six resources by D. A. Carson on assurance of salvation. It reminded me of Carson’s article “Reflections on Christian Assurance,” which is one of my favorites on the subject. Carson skillfully holds together what many tear asunder. If you haven’t read it, I’d strongly encourage you to. The balance he strikes is exemplary. I can’t speak to whether some of his other treatments are better, but this one is superb.

He originally presented “Reflections on Christian Assurance” as a paper at Tyndale House in June, 1990 as the Annual Biblical Theology Lecture. Two year later it was published in Westminster Theological Journal 54, no. 1 (Spring 1992): 1–29. In 2000 it was republished as “Reflections on Assurance,” in Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace, ed. Thomas R. Schreiner and Bruce A. Ware (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000), 247–76.

Here’s the outline of his article:

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Responding to Cancer

Rod DeckerProfessor and blogger Rod Decker posted on his blog this weekend about his cancer. It appears to be more widespread, more aggressive, and more serious than they originally thought. He’s begun treatment to control and reduce the cancer, and he’d appreciate your prayers—as we all would if we were in his shoes.

As I read his post, I was reminded of how often I hear about a friend’s or acquaintance’s getting or dying from cancer—especially with how connected the internet has made us all. I was also reminded that the chances are good that it will touch me or my family at some point.

While it’s not appropriate to worry about a “frowning providence” that God might have in store for us, it is good to equip ourselves with biblical thinking about sickness and death (Ec 7:2). To that end I’d encourage you to read Rod’s post, especially the third paragraph.

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Does Matthew 5:48 Require Sinless Perfection?

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48).

This is often interpreted as a call to sinless perfection, something that Christians cannot attain prior to glorification. As such it’s used as a hermeneutical key to understanding the Sermon on the Mount as a whole. In this view, Jesus is not laying out the way of life for his followers. Instead, he is setting the bar so far out of their reach that they must turn to him for mercy and find acceptance in his righteousness.

I fully embrace the theological conclusions of this position: Christians cannot live sinlessly in this life and can only be accepted by God on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Jesus. However, I don’t think this text teaches that.

There are three reasons for understanding this verse as something that every Christian should and can obey.

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God’s Love: A Bible Storybook

God's Love: A Bible StorybookIf you have an iPad and kids or grandkids (or plan to one day), you’ll definitely want to download the iPad app God’s Love: A Bible Storybook, which is free until Monday morning.

Here’s the description:

Explore God’s love from the creation of the world to the ascension of Christ. Featuring 120 story pages and three hours of spoken audio, this storybook app can help parents and Bible teachers alike share God’s majesty with children.

Here’s the book’s intro:

Before Creation, God’s heart overflowed with love for the other members of the Trinity. Then as God spoke the universe into existence, His love exploded into a kaleidoscope of shapes, sounds, smells, and tastes. Yet above all this beauty, we find the fullest and brightest expression of God’s love in the Person and work of Jesus Christ. As you explore God’s majestic love, we pray that this storybook will encourage your family to develop a new awe for Him.

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Piper on Calvinism, Arminianism, and Logic

TulipsI think John Piper is on target with this assessment of Calvinists, Arminians, and logic:

It is a great irony to me that Calvinists are stereotyped as logic-driven. For forty years my experience has been the opposite. The Calvinists I have known (English Puritans, Edwards, Newton, Spurgeon, Packer, Sproul) are not logic driven, but Bible-driven. It’s the challengers who bring their logic to the Bible and nullify text after text. Branches are lopped off by “logic,” not exegesis.

Who are the great enjoyers of paradox today? Who are the pastors and theologians who grab both horns of every biblical dilemma and swear to the God-Man: I will never let go of either.

Not the Calvinism-critics that I meet. They read of divine love, and say that predestination cannot be. They read of human choice and say the divine rule of all our steps cannot be. They read of human resistance, and say that irresistible grace cannot be. Who is logic-driven?

For forty years Calvinism has been, for me, a vision of life that embraces mystery more than any vision I know. It is not logic-driven. It is driven by a vision of the ineffable, galactic vastness of God’s Word.

Let’s be clear: It does not embrace contradiction. Chesterton and I both agree that true logic is the law of “Elfland.” “If the Ugly Sisters are older than Cinderella, it is (in an iron and awful sense) necessary that Cinderella is younger than the Ugly Sisters.” Neither God nor his word is self-contradictory. But paradoxes? Yes.

We happy Calvinists don’t claim to get the heavens into our heads. We try to get our heads into the heavens. We don’t claim comprehensive answers to revealed paradoxes. We believe. We try to understand. And we break out into song and poetry again and again.

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Download a Free Copy of Chafer’s Book on Satan

SatanEvery month since January of 2012, Logos Bible Software has been giving away a different free book as part of their Free Book of the Month program. This month’s free book is Lewis Sperry Chafer’s work on Satan. After you get the free book, you can read in one of the free reader apps for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, or Kindle Fire—or online at Biblia.com.

You can also enter to win a free copy of the 9-vol. Lewis Sperry Chafer Collection.

Here are the books that have been free so far:

  1. January 2012: Temptation and Sin, vol. 6 of The Works of John Owen, by John Owen (cf. the 24-vol. Works of John Owen)
  2. February 2012: Revelation and Inspiration, vol. 1 of The Works of Benjamin B. Warfield, by Benjamin B. Warfield (cf. the 20-vol. B. B. Warfield Collection) Continue Reading →
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What Is the Righteousness Required to Enter the Kingdom?

When the Time Had Fully Come: Studies in New Testament TheologyJesus said in Matthew 5:20, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Jesus here identifies a necessary condition for entering the kingdom, which is synonymous with gaining eternal life (cf. Mt 19:16, 23), so it’s important that we understand what “your righteousness” refers to.

Some believe that Jesus has in mind his own perfect righteousness, which is imputed to sinners by faith. It is often argued that no other righteousness could surpass the righteousness of the most religious people of that time. However, good reasons exist for understanding it a different way—as a reference to the internal, inherent righteousness of heart commenced at regeneration, continued in sanctification, and culminated in glorification.

Three points support the latter view:

  1. The immediately following context unpacks righteousness by contrasting false, external righteousness with true, internal righteousness.
  2. The other uses of righteousness in the Sermon on the Mount are best understood as righteousness of life.
  3. The Gospels don’t use righteousness to refer to imputed righteousness.

This interpretation coheres with Jesus’ teaching on the conditional nature of entrance into the kingdom (e.g., Mat 7:21; 12:50; John 15:14) and is theologically consistent with other Scriptural statements about the necessity of regeneration (John 3:3, 5), sanctification (Heb 12:14), and perseverance (Heb 10:36) for entrance into the kingdom—all of which intersect conceptually with righteousness.

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16 Tips to Raise Kids Who Love to Read

Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading BooksIn an age of smart phones, MP3 players, tablets, computers, TVs, video games, apps, and other electronic media, it’s important to be intentional about not letting reading take a back seat as we raise our children.

In “Raising Readers,” chapter 14 of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011), Tony Reinke shares 16 helpful ideas for making sure your children value books and reading:

  1. Fill your home with books. Many of history’s most prolific readers, writers, and leaders were raised in homes stuffed with books. . . .
  2. Read to your kids. . . . We all begin as readers who require aided discovery, that is, initially we need parents, pastors, classrooms, and teachers to help us to learn from books. . . .
  3. Don’t stop reading to your kids. . . . Parents should read aloud to their children from birth until college, the point in their lives when literacy plays the most important role in their educational success.
  4. Read your books in front of your kids. Young children prize what they see their parents prize. . . . Let it be obvious to them that books are cherished in your own life.
  5. Teach young children to read. . . . Every child will learn to read at a different pace, but try to teach your children to read early. . . .
  6. Push entertainment into the background. . . . It is not impossible to enjoy reading and entertainment, but your priorities must be settled first. In our home, reading is the priority over video games and television and movies. This is modeled in how we talk about books and how we limit electronic media. . . .
  7. Listen to audio books in the car. Over the years we have logged many miles on the road for family vacations. We have grown to anticipate these road trips and the opportunity they present for the entire family to enjoy audio books. . . .
  8. Hunt for the best books. . . . Take time to plan books by season, by personal interest, and even by school studies. Talk with other parents in your church to find reliable recommendations. . . . Continue Reading →
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