Recommended Reading

Given his importance in the history of the Church in Scotland it strikes me as surprising that so little has been written about Thomas Chalmers, and that so little is known about him by Christians in his home country, never mind elsewhere in the world.  Described by one of his early biographers as “the chief Scottish man of his time”, hence this biography’s title, it is remarkable that he is so largely forgotten and overlooked today.  

Finlayson has written a compelling account of Chalmers’ life and ministry, from his humble beginnings on the Fife coast to his prominence as a church statesman, bringing to life a man who was mightily gifted by God

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Dr Joel Beeke contributed a series of articles to The Puritan Reformed Journal which, I am delighted to say, have now been brought together in a short book, published by Evangelical Press, entitled How to Evaluate Sermons. Note, though, it’s aimed at preachers evaluating their own sermons – not how to evaluate other people’s sermons!

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If you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, what should you judge it by? Well for me, one of the great tests is how many passages have I highlighted, how many quotes underlined, how many notes scribbled in the margin? On the basis of those criteria, this book rates very highly and so it should.

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preacher Charles Spurgeon, and it shows in this latest addition to his excellent series `A Long Line of Godly Men’. This is a truly masterful summary of the ministry of “…arguably the preeminent preacher of any century” and the theological convictions that underpinned that ministry, giving it both depth and passion. Lawson quotes extensively from the Prince of Preachers demonstrating a remarkable breadth of knowledge of Spurgeon’s work.

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With a line-up of contributors that includes John MacArthur, John Piper, Eric Alexander and Sinclair Ferguson, you know that this book is going to live up to its expectations and do exactly what is says on the cover. Frankly any one of the 11 chapters would be worth the price of the book. These are men who, in this regard, practice what they preach and most of whom have done so over a lengthy period of time.

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In some senses, this book could be regarded as a potential `Last Will and Testament’ of its author who, at the time of writing, was undergoing treatment for cancer with only a 25% percent likelihood of success. Mercifully, at the time of my reading this book, David Gordon is currently in remission, and equally mercifully, did not significantly edit his work which is marked by a sense of urgency and conviction. He speaks his mind, in a gracious but earnest manner, and about things that need addressing in such a way.

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