Quick Takes: God, You, & Sex by David White; Entering God’s Rest by Ken Golden; Redemptive Reversals by G. K. Beale; Grace and Glory by Geerhardus Vos

The point of these quick takes post to catch up on my “To Write About” stack—emphasizing pithiness, not thoroughness.

 God, You & Sex

God, You, & Sex: A Profound Mystery

by David White
Paperback, 240 pg.
New Growth Press, 2019
Read: November 3, 2019
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

(the official blurb)
Okay, I’ve read Ephesians 5:32 and Solomon’s Song—I know there’s much to be learned about the relationship between Christ and the Church from human marriage (and vice versa), but…I still feel squeamish about aspects of that. Nothing against Mr. White, but he’s not Solomon, and I couldn’t really get behind much of what he said on that topic (not that he was wrong, necessarily, I just couldn’t agree with him).

But beyond that—it was refreshing to read actual positive teaching about human sexuality from a Christian perspective and not just a list of “No”s, “Don’t Do That”s, and so on. Yes, the positive teaching necessitates some of the “Nope”s, and I have no problem with that, but it just seems that all the conservative Protestant world can come up with are the anti-whatever books.

In the end, I quite liked most of this and got something out of it.
3 Stars

Entering God's Rest

Entering God’s Rest: The Sabbath from Genesis to Revelation—And What It Means for You

by Ken Golden
Kindle Edition, 112 pg.
Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals, 2018
Read: November 17, 2019
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

(the official blurb)
This is a really good book to cut your teeth with on the subject of the Christian Sabbath/The Lord’s Day. Golden does a decent job in tracing the doctrine of the Sabbath through the Scriptures, gives some good principles for modern observance of the Christian Sabbath and how we ought to think of it—and those who disagree with us.

In the end, he gives some examples of ways one might put those principles to use. Honestly, this last chapter is the weakest, and it seems to me that he wasn’t consistent in his application of his own principles, and ended up with suggestions that were pretty weak (and maybe a compromise?)

Ignoring the last chapter, it was a decent, quick and easy read. But I’d recommend Ryan McGraw’s The Day of Worship: Reassessing the Christian Life in Light of the Sabbath, Joseph A. Pipa’s The Lord’s Day, or Nicholas Bownd’s The True Doctrine of the Sabbath instead (ranked by increasing length, depth, and complexity).
3 Stars

Redemptive Reversals

Redemptive Reversals and the Ironic Overturning of Human Wisdom

by G. K. Beale
Series: Short Studies in Biblical Theology
Paperback, 189 pg.
Crossway, 2019
Read: November 10, 2019
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

(the official blurb)
I’m not really certain what it was that I expected this book to be, but I didn’t get it. What Beale gave us are looks at various topics in Scripture, showing how the way God has/is working is both counter to the ways of the world as well as human intuition.

It was a pretty approachable book, almost deceptive in its simplicity—most of what he says is worth more thought and meditation than your initial impressions might lead you to think. There’s also a lot of rich application for both thought and life—I didn’t expect a book about irony to give me things to do.

I’m not convinced that I walked away from this having learned anything, but Beale did make me think of things that I knew in a different way, with ideas on how to approach similar Scriptural topics/themes in a similar fashion in my own study.
3.5 Stars

Grace & Glory

Grace and Glory: Sermons Preached in the Chapel of Princeton Theological Seminary

by Geerhardus Vos
Paperback, 155 pg.
Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007
Read: December 8-15, 2019
Grab a copy from your local indie bookstore!

(the official blurb)
For most people (who’ve heard of him), Geerhardus Vos is known as a theologian—one of the Twentieth Century’s brightest stars, the man who showed that the academic discipline known as Biblical Theology wasn’t the domain solely of Theological Liberalism, but that a robust, Bible-believing thinker could (and should) contribute to the field.

But before he was a theologian or professor, Vos was a preacher. And this small collection of sermons shows how capable he must have been.

Yes, there’s rich theology behind these sermons, but they’re primarily expositions and applications of the texts for the hearers. And, yes, the audiences of these sermons were students at Princeton Theological Seminary (before the downgrade that led to the creation of Westminster Theological Seminary), but these were not airy, academic addresses.

I don’t think it was by design, it just worked out this way, but the second, fourth and sixth sermons were the ones that I appreciated most—my notes weren’t really that helpful, especially now. All I wrote about #2 “Hungering and Thirsting after Righteousness” was “Wow! Fantastic.” True, but that’s not really helpful—Vos opens up the idea about how Christ uses the believer’s faith (hungering and thirsting) to fill and bless them. The sermon “‘Rabboni'” (about Mary’s encounter with the risen Christ near the tomb) is less than twenty pages long, but was better than Richard Sibbes’ sermon series (184 pages in the Banner of Truth edition) on the same passage—I can’t do it justice here, so I won’t try. And the last sermon? It’s worth more than the purchase price of the whole book.

(I fully expect when I re-read this book in 2021 or so, I’ll say something just as strong about the odd-numbered sermons and wonder what I was talking about now.)

As Scott Clark mentions in his forward, Vos was a poet (particularly in retirement, but before then, too). And you can see that in some of these sermons—they practically sing. I can only imagine how captivating these were hearing them, they’re stirring just reading them.

One of the best collections of sermons I’ve ever read. My only complaint is that there were only six. Get this one.
5 Stars

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