Sunday, June 08, 2008

Books Read in June 2008 (9)

1. Minority Report by Carl R. Trueman

Carl Trueman is to church history what Fred was to fast bowling. He is the best for enjoyment and he sends down some bouncers too. Carl is a great read. he is a challengingly intellectual historian and theologian. He will make you think, provoke you and make you laugh. Part one of this book is the longer more formal papers. This is not the easiest of starts but keep going. the fun is part two. Yes, Carl can make history fun. He is the best historian I have read for linking the past to the present. I think he has convinced me that I too am a Zen Calvinist and like him I recommend the Psalter. All human life is there. Read this book. be challenged and smile.

2. Latvia (The Bradt Travel Guide) by Stephen Baister

I found this a helpful guide when visiting Riga, Taking the walks in the old city you do need a more detailed map.

3 Old Man and ME Again by Allan Prior

Allan Prior, famed for Z Cars, has written a fine novel of post WWII life in Blackpool. each chapter is a self contained short story in he life of a budding writer whose father is an inveterate gambler. his uncle is an intellectual genius, as eccentric as only an Englishman can be. This is delightful account of a lost working class northern culture. It is a delight and makes one want to read its predecessor about the life of the father, the old man of the title.

4. The RAF in Camera: Archive Photographs from the Public Record Office and the Ministry of Defence: 1939-45 v. 2 (The RAF in Camera Series) by Roy Conyers Nesbit

A fine book of photographs about aerial warfare in WWII.
I was particularly pleased to find a picture of a Halifax bomber flying from my home village in Yorkshire. A fitting memorial to brave young men who helped win the war.
It was moving to see how German airmen who died over England were buried with full honours.

5. Guillemont: Somme (Battleground Europe) by Michael Stedman

This book details what happened in one part of the front on the Somme. Detailed and horrific. Hell on earth. Several VCs are described including the only man to receive a VC and bar. Instructions for visiitng are given.

6. The Three Forms of Unity - published by The Reformed Church in the United States 2001

The Reformed Church in the United States originally held only to the Heidelberg Catechism as its statement of faith. The 1995 Synod meeting officially adopted the Belgic Confession of Faith and the Canons of Dort, which along with Heidelberg are known as the Three Forms of Unity, and which are commonly used together by Reformed churches (especially those coming out of the Dutch branch of Reformed churches). Our own denomination is considering adopting these standards alongside the Westminster Confession of Faith. Of these, the Heidelberg Catechism is most useful as it is a very warm and practical doctrinal affirmation suited to liturgical use. One thing this book does not tell you is where these confessions have been altered not in translation but content. The original Belgic Confession said that the civil magistrate should suppress false religion. These documents do not. As with the WCF, our American friends have moved from the European originals.

A Dutch friend tells me, "Just a short comment on your comment on undermentioned book.
The Synod of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, convened in 1905, decided to scrap the words concerning the task of the government concerning idolatry and false religion. These churches ar not to be confused with the Dutch Reformed Church. It was probably due to the influence of Abraham Kuijper that the changes were made."

7. Travel with the Martyrs of Mary Tudor: The Burning of Protestants During England's Reign of Terror by Andrew Atherstone

This is the forgotten heritage of Protestant England. read it and weep at the suffering and courage of ordinary people as well as the famous martyrs of Bloody Mary. Nearly 300 died in less than for years. They were the queen's loyal subjects who refused to be subject to her false teaching from the bishop of Rome. They died for their faith. They denied the sacrifice of the mass. They did not seek martyrdom though some who could have fled into exile refused to leave their people. Some died quickly in the flames. Others endured prolonged agony. Their brave suffering left a heritage of Protestant zeal which at times was not according to grace but it helped make England Protestant. These martyrs wee a million miles from those today who commit suicide and claim martyrdom. Their testimony lives on in this fine guide. Read it and visit their forgotten memorials. This is our Christian English heritage.

8. Shadow of the Cross: Studies in Self-denial by Walter Chantry

This is the best short book I have ever read. I fist heard two of the chapters in a tape of the author at the banner of truth Leicester ministers' conference. Chantry teaches that to deny self is of the essence of becoming and being a Christian. "Self is the idol to which all men naturally bow." In five short chapters he teaches what it is to deny self following Christ and taking up the cross. He teaches on Christian liberty, marriage, ministry and pray, all linked to self denial. This is an important neglected subject in our hedonistic culture. read it and grow in grace.

9. Zondervan NIV Study Bible

One again I thank God for keeping me consistent in daily reading through another year, two OT, a Psalm and one NT chapter a day at least.

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