Thursday, June 06, 2013

Luke Volume 2, J.C. Ryle

My journey with Ryle through the gospels marches on. With Matthew, Mark and volume 1 of Luke under the belt that leaves volume 2 of Luke and the three volumes on John. I simply can't recommend these volumes highly enough.  They just drip godly wisdom and sound exegesis.  Volume 1 covers the first ten chapters of Luke.  As with the other volumes the passages of Scripture are bite size portions with a few pages of comment.  The footnotes should not be skipped - a gold mine stuff in there.
If you don't have this new set published by Banner you simply must buy it. No home should be without it. Useful for personal devotions for teenagers, busy middle agers, and OAP's.
Buy it for others for their birthday, engagement present, wedding present - whenever - just get it into the hands of others.
Now for volume 2 of Luke.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Famine in the Land

This useful book on preaching by Steven Lawson is sub titled "A passionate call for expository preaching." The book is divided into four chapters:
1. Feat of famine - the priority of Biblical preaching
2. The need of the hour - the power of Biblical preaching
3. Bring the book - the pattern of Biblical preaching
4. No higher calling - the passion for Biblical preaching
While there is nothing new in this short book there is much here to commend this volume to the reader. Steven Lawson has a clear and easy style of writing.  This volume is well dotted with super quotes from great preachers throughout the centuries.  A useful little volume for any student for the ministry and indeed for ever minister to remind themselves what ministry of the Word is about.
Below are a few of the notable quotes - some of Lawson and then some he quotes.

The typical preacher today aspires to be a motivational speaker rather than an exegete.

“The most urgent need in the Christian Church today is true preaching; and as it is the greatest and the most urgent need in the Church, it is the greatest need of the world also.”

“The true idea of preaching is that the preacher should become a mouthpiece for his text, opening it up and applying it as a word from God to his hearers, talking only in order that the text itself may speak and be heard.”

Biblical preaching should always lead to bold praying. These go together like the two sides of a coin. As the Word goes out, prayer should go up. A preaching church will be a praying church.

The Scripture itself—not merely books about the Bible—must saturate the minds of pastors if it is to flow from their lives and lips as “bibline.”

A shrinking study time will result in shrinking power in the pulpit. 

D. L. Moody once said, “God did not give us the Scriptures to increase our knowledge but to change our lives.”

“Preaching is the public exposition of Scripture by the man sent from God, in which God himself is present in judgment and in grace.” JOHN CALVIN

“The great object of every minister of the Gospel ought to be to give the services of the pulpit the pre-eminence over every other department of ministerial labor.”

The preacher, as the worship leader, should follow Paul’s instruction to read the Scriptures publicly, and not allow other activities to crowd it out.

Preaching must do more than simply inform the mind; it must grip the heart and challenge the will.Biblical preaching is as much perspiration as it is inspiration.

The rigors of exposition drains the entire man—mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.“The pulpit calls those anointed to it like the sea calls its sailor; and like the sea, it batters and bruises, and does not rest…. To preach, to really preach, is to die naked a little at a time, and to know each time you do it that you must do it again.”

Laughter seems to have replaced repentance as the goal of many preachers. Laughter means people feel good. It means they like you, it means you have moved them. It means you have some measure of power. It seems to have all the marks of successful communication—if the depth of sin and the holiness of God and the danger of hell and need for broken hearts is left out of account.

These three aspects of his Word-oriented ministry—learn it, live it, and let it out.