Friday, 1 August 2014

More chat

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OK! Been busy the last few days and didn't get posting here at all, since last Saturday. Left my somewhat excited son Andrew down to the FPC youth camp in Newcastle on Monday morning. This gave me a chance to visit the Beulah Christian bookshop in the town. Usually any business done with our FP friends there is via a book table at some convention where only a limited stock of books are on display. I am seldom in Newcastle unless passing through on the Lord's Day to preach in that direction, and the bookshop is closed. So this was an opportunity I didn't want to miss. 

The stock is tremendous, mostly (although not exclusively) Reformed, but embracing all of serious conservative Christianity. The only Bible for sale is the AV. 

Between that shop and a charity shop in the town (run by the Elim Pentecostals) I picked up the some books second hand. I tend to buy mostly second hand these days. I picked up the following:

"The Princeton Theology 1812- 1921" (p/b) by Mark Knoll (P&R) which is a collection of various bits and pieces ("an anthology") written by the very thorough (and delightfully Reformed) theologians of Princeton College before it went all apostate on us. These are drawn from the works of Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, A.A. Hodge and B.B. Warfield. These are names to look out for because they are the names of theological giants. I have already some of the Hodge commentaries (1Corinthians/Romans/Ephesians) along with their doctrinal works. The only thing I have by Alexander is his history of the Log College, the pioneer American Presbyterian forerunner of Princeton. I have very little by Warfield, whom I generally find hard to read. He spent most of his days in the rarefied atmosphere of academia and it shows in his style of writing. 

For a few pence, I bought "Is Jesus God?" in h/b (#SoTL) by John R. Rice, which I found enjoyable reading. While I did not discover anything that I did not know before, yet Rice writes engagingly and it is refreshing to traverse over the old ground again. I quoted him during the week on Twitter.  He drew upon Calvin and Luther as reliable defenders of the doctrine of the Virgin Birth (p.80) while defining repentance (among other things) as "willing to turn from your sin" (p202) Somewhat ironic that this book should be published by the Sword of the Lord whose later literature, via Rice's successor (Curtis Hutson) effectively denied this truth. David Cloud (bless him) battles it out here for those interested.

Another interesting p/b book (again for a few pennies) from my Newcastle searches, was "Good News For the World" by Roger Steer (Monarch Books) which is the history of the British and Foreign Bible Society. I have started reading this one which is very well written and contains a wealth of information from its earlier days before it later capitulated to the unscriptural ecumenical movement. The BFBS was effectively started by Calvinistic Methodist Thomas Charles and other names that pop up include William Carey and Wilberforce among other Calvinistic heroes. No doubt a great work was done in those days. 

I spent the rest of the week evangelising in Dublin, the progress of which I cover in my wee_evangelist Twitter account.  

Dublin has two city centre Christian bookshops. One is very ecumenical and yielded very little to me (although it has quite a few 2nd hand stuff) while the other, in Lower Abbey Street, brought me a few more books for my collection. Again, prices were good.

I got the Banner/Truth (always a good name to look out for)  h/b edition of the "Lives of Philip and Matthew Henry". It has been around a bit, but still very serviceable. I got this one for a mere euro. Matthew Henry is the famous Calvinist commentator, while Philip was his preacher father.  

I also picked up a new, though reduced in price  p/b copy, of "Risking the Truth" subtitled, "Handling error in the church" (Christian Focus) which is basically the transcript of a number of candid interviews which Martin Downes conducted with no less than 20 well known Christian leaders from here, there and yonder, including Joel Beeke and Geoffrey Thomas. I read a few of these during the week and found them very balanced and helpful.

Lastly, I picked up (new) two of the laminated fold outs by Rose Publishing for 50c each. One was on 10 questions about Atheism and Agnosticism and the other on the Pop Spirituality (think of Orpah Winfrey) which are useful enough in the sparse space at their disposal. 

So, a good week's evangelism and book hunting. Nice to be home again. Picked up one tired Andrew this morning. He enjoyed his camp (9/10 on the scale) and I'm heading out in a couple of hours for a slightly belated Anniversary dinner tonight in a lovely restaurant about 16 miles away. Married 27 years on the 29th July. During the week, I also worked at two messages for the Lord's Day. 

That's all. See you around. 

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