Book Reviews
Read Good Books in 2008!


By Pastor Michael D. O'Neal

Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia

E-Mail:brothermike@brothermike.com

Updated Feb. 23, 2009

Hello!

I would like to encourage you to read your Bible through from cover to cover this year. Also, I would like to advise you to get a hold of some good books that will either instruct or inspire you in living for the Lord in 2008. I enjoyed an average of a book a week last year, which is my goal this year.

Below are brief reviews of books that I have read in 2008. Some of the books I will recommend are no longer in print, but you can usually find a copy on Ebay if you are patient. I hope that you will read some good books this year. If you have a recommendation for me, feel free to email me at the above address. - Brother O'Neal

1. The Land and Life of Rest - W. Graham Scroggie - Read 01/05/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1951 by Pickering & Inglis Ltd., in London, with 87 pages. This book is a study of the book of Joshua in light of the New Testament. These were addresses given at the Keswick Convention.

Scroggie was born in 1877 and trained for the ministry under C.H. Spurgeon. If I'm not mistaken, he may have been in one of the last graduating classes that CHS taught. During World War II he became the pastor of Spurgeon's old church.

I enjoyed the book, and I recommend it to you, if you can find a copy.

--

2. What New Doctrine is This? - Bob Shuler - Read 01/18/08

This copy is a hardback with a dustjacket published in 1946 by Abingdon-Cokesbury Press , New York, NY, with 192 pages. It is a collection of sermons by a famous Methodist preacher of his day. Shuler pastored the Trinity Methodist Church of Los Angeles, CA for 33 years before retiring. The first book of sermons I ever got by him was published by the Sword of the Lord in 1953. If you will search on the Internet for his name with the word "fundamentalist" you will find that he was generally considered to be one. 

In spite of that reputation as a fundamentalist, that he had a book published by the Sword of the Lord, and that the majority of these sermons and the material in them is sound, he was weak on the literal nature of hell on p. 102 and 108 and, not surprisingly, weak on eternal security.

Shuler would certainly cause a riot in the average Methodist church today, as would Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. or Evangelist Sam Jones before him. By the way, if you ever get to read the sermons of either of these two men, you won't be disappointed, and I say that as a Bible-believing, fundamental, independendent Baptist.

3. What do the Prophets Say? - C.I. Scofield -  Read 01/25/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1918 by The Sunday School Times Company, Philadelphia, PA, with 188 pages. 1951 by Pickering & Inglis Ltd., in London, with 87 pages. This book was written by the famous editor of the King James Bible which bears his name during World War II. It is a great series of studies on the work of God through dispensations and ages. The book could have been a lot shorter had he not printed out the entirety of each text to which he referred in the book. Interestingly, on page 143, Scofield said that the Antichrist would not be a Jew.

4. Before I Forget - Wilbur M. Smith - Read  01/25/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1971 by Moody Press, Chicago, IL, with 304 pages. This book is an autobiography of a man who had many contacts with the previous generation, especially in connection with D.L. Moody. His father was converted under Moody, and his parents were married by William G. Moorhead, one of the Scofield Reference Bible editors. His father was assistant Sunday School director at Moody Memorial Church and was on the board of elders. Billy Sunday and his wife often stayed at their home in Chicago. Smith pastored some in the Presbyterian church, but he is most known for his work as a writer and editor. He taught at Moody, Fuller, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His most famous book is probably Therefore Stand. In his later years he seemed to grow steadily weaker in conviction. Some of this may have been due to age, or perhaps his associations. 

I enjoyed the book as I do most biographies of fundamental and conservative leaders, and I recommend it to you, if you can find a copy.

5. The Coming and Kingdom of Christ - Read  03/27/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1914 by The Bible Institute Colportage Association (Moody Press), Chicago, IL, with 252 pages.This book's contents are revealed by its subtitle,

A Stenographic Report of the
Prophetic Bible Conference
Held at the Moody Bible Institute
Of Chicago
February 24-27, 1914

This book took a while for me to read because of the small type, but it was extremely interesting, both for its content and for its historical value in American premillennialism. Some of the sermons were by James M. Gray, C.I. Scofield, Charles Trumbull, W.B. Riley, L.W. Munhall, William L. Pettingill, Bob Jones, A.C. Gaebelein, Ford C. Ottman, R.A. Torrey, and many others! I feel very blessed to be able to own and read a copy of this book. It helped me imagine what it might have been like to have been in attendance at the conference.

6. A Treasury of Vance Havner - Read  04/28/08

This copy is a hardback with a dustjacket published in 1988 by Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, MI, with 265 pages. It was compiled by Betsey D. Scanlan. Vance Havner, born in 1901, started preaching at the age of 12 and preached for over 70 years. Although he was a Southern Baptist, he was a maverick evangelist for most of his ministry, not a politician. He wrote 38 published books.

Brother Havner's style was witty and unique. There is an abundance of sermon thoughts, outlines, and sharp sayings in his writings. Although my refusal to give the appearance of supporting SBC churches and their Cooperative Program meant that I would not attend a Southern Baptist Church even to hear him, I always enjoy reading his books. The editor of this book excerpted from his books and grouped these into subjects comprising 12 chapters.

7. Religion With a Song -  Millard Alford Jenkens - Read  04/28/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1942 by Broadman Press in Nashville, TN, with 160 pages. This book is a series of 9 sermons on the subject of Bible songs. While I am not one who reads sermon outlines, I do enjoy sermon books. The author, who inscribed and signed the book in the front, was an old Southern Baptist preacher who pastored the First Baptist Church of Abilene, TX. I know nothing about him other than that. I got the book among others from a seller on Ebay and thought it might be worth reading. My wife read it first and recommended it to me. If you like reading sermons you would probably enjoy this one.

8. The Golden Alphabet - C.H. Spurgeon - Read  04/30/08

This copy is a hardback published around 1887 by Fleming H. Revell Co. in New York, NY, with 341 pages. This book is a series of studies on Psalm 119.

As some of you may know, after completing a series of Wednesday night sermons, one per each of the Psalms, I proceeded to preach 22 sermons on the 22 octaves of Ps. 119. I knew that I had a copy of the above book in my library, so I thought it might be a good time to read it for inspiration and provocation of my thinking.

Spurgeon has written a lengthy exposition of the longest chapter in the Bible, but it really wasn't that helpful to me. I guess that outside of his Lectures to my Students and John Ploughman's talks, I haven't really benefited much from reading his wordy works. I am hoping to get Salt Cellars in hardback someday, as I had the chance to browse through it once and it looked good.

If you're wanting to study Psalm 119 you might find his book helpful. As for me, I got much more out of just studying the chapter one section at a time. I have about four more sermons to complete the psalm and have thoroughly enjoyed both the study of the psalm and the preparation of the messages. I called the series, "The Glory Book." 

9. Through Night to Morning - A.C. Dixon - Read 05/10/08

This copy is a hardback published without a date, but probably around 1965, by The Gospel Hour in Greenville, SC, with 244 pages. This is a book of 19 sermons, called "Gospel talks" by Dixon in the preface.

A.C. Dixon was born in 1854 North Carolina. He attended Wake Forest and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and was ordained to the ministry in 1876. He served a number of pastorates, the most famous being Moody Memorial Church in Chicago and Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. He and R.A. Torrey worked together in editing the multi-volume work, The Fundamentals.

Although Brother Dixon made about a half dozen statements in the book with which I disagree, I recommend the book as a good book of sermons worthy of anyone's time and effort to read and contemplate. It would do preachers well to be a little acquainted with one of the influential Baptist Bible expositors of the past.

10. Why Was Christ a Carpenter? - Robert T. Ketcham - Finished 05/20/08

This copy is a hardback with a dustjacket published in 1966 by Regular Baptist Press in Des Plaines, IL, with 176 pages. This book is composed of 17 sermons on various topics. The book is signed in the front by the author. 

Born in 1899, Brother Ketcham was one of the early leaders of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. He was virtually blind for most of his ministry. He memorized a great deal of scripture to compensate. He also read with a magnifying glass and read notes at the pulpit written on black paper with a white grease pencil. He died in 1978. 

The sermons revealed a couple of unusual quirks of reasoning Brother Ketcham had in his theology, but overall they are very solid and enjoyable.

11. Charles G. Finney - Basil Miller - Finished 06/09/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1941 by Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Raids, MI, with 137 pages. This book is a study of the life of C.G. Finney in light of the many revival efforts he made throughout his life. Finney is probably the best known revivalist of America's history. 

Finney left the Presbyterian church over the doctrine of Limited Atonement, the third of the notorious Five Points of Calvinism. To this day Calvinists hate Finney because of his departure from Calvinism. He urged sinners to make a decision to trust Christ. Calvinists blame him for the "public invitation."

Although some of the incidents in his life seem suspicious or unscriptural, such is true of most biographies of "great men." I enjoyed the book, and I recommend it to you. An interesting note is on page 14, where the biographer tells of Finney studying Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, but saying, "I never possessed so much knowledge of the ancient languages as to think myself capable of independently criticising our English version of the Bible." Amen. Every Greek student or professor should have so much sense as Finney as stated in that quotation.

12. The Midnight Cry - H.A. Ironside - Finished 06/10/08

This copy is a hardback published without a date by LifeLine Publishers in the Philippines, with 63 pages. Ironside, who was a good expositor of the scriptures where he stuck with the King James Bible, is always worth reading. This particular book wasn't that impressive to me, however, since I disagreed with its major premise, i.e., that there are signs of the Rapture's nearness.

I believe the church dispensation is a mystery and not the subject of prophecy, and that no signs were given for the catching up of the body of Christ. The "midnight cry" has to do doctrinally with Tribulation saints, not church saints.

I hold that believers were justified in looking for the Rapture in the early days of the church, and that they are justified in looking now (Tit. 2:13). I don't believe that there is anything now or anything before now that "had" to happen before the Rapture took place. Nothing makes it nearer except that time has passed. Don't look for the Rapture to happen because of what you read in the newspaper. Look for it because of what you read in the Bible. Don't look for it to occur in the Spring of 2009; look for it in the Spring (which doesn't end until June 20) of 2008! Look for it today!

13. The Pastoral Epistles - Peter S. Ruckman - Finished 06/14/08

This copy is a paperback published in 1989 by Bible Baptist Bookstore in Pensacola, FL, with 478 pages. This is a volume in Dr. Ruckman's The Bible Believer's Commentary Series. In my opinion, any Bible-believing preacher or student of the word of God would benefit by studying Brother Ruckman's commentaries, and this is no exception.

I disagreed with about a half dozen or so things in the book, but considering the number of doctrines and issues dealt with, that's a pretty small amount. In my opinion, the actual commentary on the pastoral epistles actually only runs around 150 pages. The rest consists of pointing out the errors of other commentators, especially where they tried to "correct" or inprove on the reading of the King James Version.

There are also 23 appendices that run around 80 pages. These have nothing to do with the pastoral epistles but rather with the controversies over Bible versions. I enjoyed the material greatly, even though it seemed kind of strange that they were placed in the rear of this particular book.

14. The Twenty-Third Psalm - John McNeill - Finished 06/18/08

This copy is a hardback published without a date, 2nd edition, 4th impression, by Pickering & Inglis in London, with 94 pages.  This is a delightful little book of meditations, one chapter per verse of Psalm 23. It is simple, sincere, and fresh. I plan to have my wife read it shortly. 

From Chapter 21 of J. Wilbur Chapman's biography of Moody, D.L. Moody, The Life and Work of D.L. Moody, titled, "His Co-Workers":

Visitors to the great World's Fair at Chicago will never forget the great midday meetings conducted in Central Music Hall by the Rev. John McNeill. He is a Scotchman of the true type, as one-writer says, with a converted soul, a granite mind, and a great big loving heart. Essentially, he is a man of the people and has no use for ecclesiastical formalism. In his introduction to one of the volumes of Mr. McNeill's sermons, the Rev. Dr. A. T. Pierson says; "Some men, like their Master, cannot be tied; John McNeill is one of them. He needs no introduction. On both sides of the sea he has won men as any man will win them who thinks and speaks in dead earnest. There is a great difference between having to say something and having something to say. He has shown that he has much that is worth saying, and therefore much that is worth hearing. Those who read his sermons will not need to be told that the man who followed Dr. Dikes at Regent Square, is a free, fresh, truthful, helpful preacher."

It was found in Chicago that some people were forgetting the World's Fair in their great desire to hear John McNeill speak at Central Music Hall. He is considered by many to be the greatest preacher that has ever come to our shores from abroad. He is a delightful man socially, and wins all to him, as they hear him talk in his own inimitable way.

I managed to obtain a "ticket" that allowed a person to come and hear D.L. Moody and John McNeill at the World's Fair. If you can come visit our church sometime I'll show it to you.

15. Broken Things - M.R. DeHaan - Finished 06/20/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1970 by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, with 152 pages. 

M.R. DeHaan was a good student of the word of God, but this is not a book of deep or controversial Bible doctrine. It is a book of comfort and help for those who are afflicted. The volume is subtitled, "The Ministry of Suffering." Brother DeHaan was a medical doctor before he was saved and surrendered to the call to the ministry, so he had already dealt with a lot of people who suffer. He had a great radio ministry, and he realized that many of his listeners were people who were unable to be active because of health problems.

This is an enjoyable, comforting book that I recommend to all of you. It could be of help to you and anyone you know who is suffering.

16. Seven Splendors and Other Sermons - R.G. Lee - Finished 06/29/08

This copy is a hardback with a dustjacket published in 1970 by Christ for the World Publishers, Orlando, FL, with 128 pages.  Christ for the World Publishers was the printing effort of Evangelist E.J. Daniels. The front of the book is signed by Brother Daniels.

R.G. Lee, longtime pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, was one of the "star" preachers of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the most eloquent Baptist preachers in the last 100 years. He often preached for well-known independent Baptist pastors such as Jack Hyles and others. The sermons in the book are scriptural and solid, and they show a rare example of a large use, perhaps overly so, of metaphor and simile.

This book does not have quite the polish of other Lee books I've read, and I wonder if the sermons were not transcribed by someone else and unedited by Brother Lee.

I don't know of a single living Southern Baptist author I would recommend today, but any lover of preaching should enjoy this book. As for my own convictions on the Southern Baptist Convention, see my booklet, "Why I Left the Southern Baptist Convention," available through www.brothermike.com/study.html.

17. The Right Path - Paul Chappell - Finished 07/06/08

This copy is a hardback published in 2003 by Sword of the Lord Publishers in Murfreesboro, TN, with 187 pages. 

This, like nearly everything else I have read by Brother Chappell, is very simple and basic. However, I recommend it to even the most studied reader of scripture and theology for the heart of the author and his zeal for soul-winning. To read Brother Chappell's illustrations of his personal efforts in reaching people is motivational enough to me to want to read anything he writes.

18. Things I Have Learned - Bob Jones - Finished 07/15/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1944 by L.B. Printing Co., Inc., New York, NY, with 224 pages.

This is a book of 20 messages that were "chapel talks" given to the students of what was then called Bob Jones College. The messages are almost totally dealing with issues of Christian character and conduct. The traits Brother Jones dealt with in those talks are sadly missing in many Christian folks today. I recommend this book highly to pastors and all Christian workers who want to grow in the Lord.

19. Jeremiah - William Kelly - Finished 07/24/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1978 by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IN, with 95 pages. This books full title is Jeremiah: The Tender-Hearted Prophet of the Nations.The introduction by W.J. Hocking says that "this comparatively brief outline" was prepared from records of the author's oral ministry and serves as a valuable introduction to the study of the prophecies of Jeremiah.

William Kelly was one of the most famous writers of the church known as the Brethren. As one of the Brethren, he held to the premillennial position. I didn't get much out of this particular book, but I will probably at least read one of his other books that might be a more detailed exposition of scripture. On several occasions Kelly corrected the King James Bible text and in one place said that we should hold fast to inspiration, "always making allowace for errors of copyists" (page 50). On those occasions, of course, my practice is to disregard the author completely and accept the reading of the Authorized text as being infallible and perfectly accurate.

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

20. Soul Winning - The Heart of God - Michael D. Ray - Finished 07/27/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket, published in 1994 by Hopewell Ministries, with 239 pages. This book consists of 56 short chapters on techniques of soul-winning. In the Foreword Jack Trieber called it the finest work that he had read. I, like any Christian, have an inner desire, put there by the Holy Spirit, to be fruitful for Jesus in bringing souls to God, so I'm always interested in reading books on the subject, especially by independent Baptists. The author is a graduate of Hyles-Anderson College.

Brother Ray is obviously dedicated to the task of soul-winning, and his book had many things in it that I found helpful. However, I was grieved to see how that he repeatedly obscured the presentation of the gospel by saying out of one side of his mouth that a person is saved through faith, then saying out of the other that a person is saved through asking for salvation. Brother Ray claimed to have been saved in the 9th grade, then backslid into teen temptations and rebellion for a couple of years, and lost assurance of salvation. His pastor led him to assurance, based on his having asked for salvation two years earlier.

How sad. It is no wonder that so many independent Baptists lack assurance of salvation when they base their salvation on their own actions rather than trust the Savior and His atoning work for them on the cross of Calvary.

In spite of a number of helpful items discussed in the book, I wouldn't recommend it for its doubletalk about the sinner's response to the gospel and the manner in which salvation, the gift of God is received.

Once again, I recommend everyone to consider the material in my booklet, "The Sinner's Prayer," found on the Internet at www.brothermike.com/sinner.html.

21. The Prophet of Hope - Expositions in Zechariah - F.B. Meyer - Finished 08/10/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published by Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids, MI, with 128 pages. The title page is missing, so I don't have its publication date, but my guess would be around 1950.

Born in London in 1857, F.B. Meyer was one of England's most popular Baptist preachers. He was a lifelong friend of D.L. Moody and was credited with helping introduce Moody to England. Spurgeon said of him, Meyer preaches as a man who has seen God face to face."

These studies are more devotional than doctrinal, but they are correctly brought from a premillennial standpoint. Meyer was a plain, practical writer, so the book is not dull. Unfortunately, he was influenced by the RV and the Bible correctors of his day, so that he misquoted Rom. 10:9 on page 83 to teach "Lordship salvation," and he denied on page 110 that Zech.13:6 was a prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ. In spite of this couple of flaws, the majority of the book is good and in line with the King James Bible text.

22. Gospel Hour Sermons - Oliver B. Greene - Finished 08/14/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1963 by Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, MI, with 132 pages. This is a book of seven sermons. Brother Greene was an independent Baptist evangelist who lived from 1915 to 1976. He preached tent meetings and revivals until his health no longer allowed it. For nearly 40 years he preached daily on the radio. These messages through books of the Bible were transcribed and edited, then published in beautiful hardback form. 

These sermons are good, with the exception of the fact that they could confuse both believers and unbelievers about certain aspects of salvation. In this book Greene stated on at least three different occasions that no Christian could doubt his salvation. Greene believed that anyone who has doubted his salvation is lost. That is a foolish error on his part. Parts of the Bible, according to 1 Jn. 5:13, were written so that those who believe may know that they have everlasting life. Those things would not have had to be written if all believers knew that anyway.

Other than that error, which is serious, the sermons are pretty solid and in line with the preaching of most fundamentalists. Of course, it should be noted that many fundamentalists unfortunately line up with Brother Greene (as he was then, not as he is now, in heaven) with the same kind of confusing preaching. The result has been a dishonesty among preachers and church members, as well as multiple professions of faith by individuals as the norm rather than the exception.

23. The Dynamic of a Dream - Marie Acomb Riley - Finished 08/26/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1938 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., in Grand Rapids, MI, with 201 pages. Probably some of my very favorite books have been biographies, and this one, written by the preacher's wife, certainly was enjoyable. Riley pastored the First Baptist Church of Minneapolis, MN for 45 years. Interestingly, in 1920 Riley got Louis Entzinger to come and work, resulting in an increase in Sunday School attendance. Entzinger was also very instrumental in helping J. Frank Norris with the Sunday School of First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX.

This book was signed by Brother Riley, who died in 1947. Someone dated the inscription 1945. 

The Sword of the Lord website compared the largeness of his work with that of Spurgeon in at least six particulars.

24. Esther - Carl Armerding - Finished 09/13/08

This copy is a paperback published in 1955 by Moody Press, Chicago, IL, with 128 pages. 

I don't know of too many good commentaries available on the book of Esther, so this might be worthwhile for you to obtain, but I didn't get a whole lot out of it. Like many teachers, Armerding bragged on the queen for her rebellion against the king, and he said that we should "admire" Vashti for having a mind of her own (page 16. He said that Vashti showed "true queenly grace" by her refusal to come at the king's commandment (page 20). Contrariwise, the Bible never gives one word of commendation to Vashti's behavior.

At the bottom of page 108 and top of 109 the author said that "the sword of the Spirit" does not refer to the Bible as a whole. In order to prove his point, he did the traditional tomfoolery of saying the King James Bible is mistranslated on that verse. Ho-hum. 

A Bible student could read the book of Esther through at least a half dozen times in the time it would take to read this commentary, and he would probably make better use of his time by doing so.

25. Tom Malone - Joyce Vick - Finished 09/29/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published by the Sword of the Lord Publishers in Murfreesboro, TN, with 309 pages. 

This was one of the most enjoyable books I've read in some time. Brother Malone was one of my very favorite preachers. I am sorry that he is no longer with us.

The book tells of his birth in 1915 in New Orleans, LA; of his childhood, experiencing the sadness of his parents divorcing, and how that as a lad he heard Billy Sunday preach; of his conversion; his schooling at Bob Jones College, then in Cleveland, TN; and as his ministry as a pastor.

I found it interesting that J. Frank Norris invited him to take over the Fort Worth Church and Seminary, but Brother Malone turned down the offer.

Although attendance declined during the 1980's, Brother Malone saw the church he started, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Pontiac, MI, go from nothing to 2,004 in Sunday School in 1969.

I was unaware of Malone's hobbies. He loved motorcycles. He played softball. He played basketball every Friday night until he was 80 and had knee surgery. He got a pilot's license and loved to fly. He also played golf.

I don't think I could enjoy this, but his people apparently did so as his wife led both the choir and congregational singing for many years. At the time of writing of this book, Doris Young had been the church organist for 55 years.

At the time the book was written, he had read through the Bible 78 times.

I recommend this book to you, as well as any book of sermons by him. I also recommend that you listen to any recorded audio sermons by Tom Malone that you can locate. I think that he was one of the giants of our time.

26. Extravaganza - Roy A. Kemp - Finished 10/04/08.

This copy is a paperback published without a date by the author in Fort Worth, TX, with 126 pages.

The book is a biography of J. Frank Norris, by a preacher who was for years a member under Brother Norris' ministry. This book is not for the person who appreciates excellence in narrative. It reads more like newspaper headlines. However, it is not dull.

Norris could justly be called the father of the present independent Baptist movement in America. He is well known for his 40-plus years as pastor of First Baptist Church of Fort Worth, TX. At one time he was simultaneously pastoring that church and the Temple Baptist Church of Detroit, MI. Around 1950 there was a rift between him and G.B. Vick, ending in a split, Brother Vick staying at Temple Baptist as pastor, and the creation of the Baptist Bible Fellowship International. 

Norris was a flamboyant, controversial preacher who influenced many people for fundamentalism in his day. In the late 1920s, with no bus ministry, his church averaged 5,200 in attendance.

27. G.B. Vick - Mike Randall - Finished 10/14/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket self-published by the author in 1987, with 123 pages.

This is the story of the man who went to work full-time for J. Frank Norris, was placed by Norris over Temple Baptist Church in Detroit, MI, split with Norris and continued with the church in 1950, headed up the resultant fellowship split, the Baptist Bible Fellowship International, in its infancy and guided it for many years.

One of the best things in the book is "The Farewell Address," the commencement sermon given at Baptist Bible College in 1975. On page 107, Vick said, "We don't win the world by trying to dress like it and talk like it and act like it. I think some of our young pastors and some of our youth leaders could take special note (Amen! - MDO). You don't have to look like a hippie in order to reach hippies. You don't have to look like a child of the devil in order to reach the children of the devil. I say our spiritual power is largely dependent upon the measure of difference which we have from them."

On page 109 he said, "It's become fashionable to use many different versions of the Bible today. In some quarters, it's become fashionable to question it and correct that Bible, that English Bible which has been the source of the greatest revivals that the earth has ever known. I refer to that English Bible that has been the basis of the preaching of the gospel and the winning of more souls than even the original manuscripts, because they didn't last very long.  I'm not a crank on this subject, but I still believe that we need to shun such expressions as, "we come across some word that does not appear in the original documents;" "this could be more properly rendered as such and such." We need to quit trying to improve the Bible. Listen! This King James Version, the Bible of our fathers and mothers, is the one that has come floating down to us on the blood of Christian martyrs. It has been the one text of the Baptist Bible College, and it will be as long as I have anything to do with this school! Let's stick to the old Book."

I never got to hear you in person, but well said, Brother Vick. Amen, and amen.

28. William Culbertson - Warren W. Wiersbe - Finished 10/18/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1974 by Moody Press in Chicago, IL, with 176 pages.

William Culbertson was a Reformed Episcopal, but in his early ministry he had fellowship with David Otis Fuller and Carl McIntire. For 23 years he was president of Moody Bible Institute. He claimed to be a fundamentalist, although most fundamentalists would not consider him to be more than an evangelical. On page 37 and 38 the book records: "In his 1906 Founder's Week message, he declared: 'And as president of Moody Bible Institute, I want to sound again the word of warning. If we as orthodox, as Evangelicals, as fundamentalists move from this doctrine (the inspiration of the Word of God) we are doomed to disaster'."

In giving the account of the MBI decision to teach Bible languages, Wiersbe quoted Dwight L. Moody as having said back in 1886 in his Farwell Hall address: "Never mind the Greek and Hebrew, give them plain English and good Scripture." D.L. Moody, the unlearned, unordained evangelist known simply as "Mr. Moody," was right, in my opinion.

29. My Pilgrimage - F.W. Boreham - Finished 10/31/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1941 by The Epworth Press, London England, with 253 pages.

This is the autobiography of a Baptist preacher unknown to most of today's believers but was the best-selling Australian author of all time. He was born Mar. 3, 1871 in Kent, England. His record of conversion and call to the ministry is somewhat strange, as is sometimes the case with those who dare publish such information for the world to read and critique. He lived in a time when he had the opportunity to hear C.H. Spurgeon, but he said that Spurgeon "never really appealed" to him. He did marvel at his power to attract the multitudes. He said, "I would have passed Mr. Spurgeon any day in order to hear Archibald Brown, W.Y. Fullerton, John McNeill or F.B. Meyer." He also had a meeting with Hudson Taylor.

He enter Spurgeon's College, but Spurgeon died before he was admitted. He was present at Moody's last preaching mission in England. He also was able to hear Joseph Parker. In 1895 he sailed to minister in New Zealand and later to the mainland of Australia. He authored 55 books and over 3,000 editorials.

While pastoring he visited four afternoons each week. He read a book a week for over 20 years. According to page 211, he did not give public invitations after his messages, and on page 251 expressed the regret that he did not see many people saved under his preaching in 34 years and three pastorates.

For exercise, he loved cricket and was President of North Hobart Cricket Club.

30. Strange Scriptures That Perplex the Western Mind - Barbara M. Bowen - Finished 11/05/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1962, 9th printing, by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, with 121 pages. The subtitle summarizes the book: "Clarified in the Light of Customs and Conditions in Bible Lands." The author, born 1874, died 1957, was the curator of the biblical museum at Bob Jones University. She and her husband, Frank, were missionaries and amateur archaeologists. 

The author attempted to solve problems of biblical interpretation in light of customs and manners of Bible lands. In fact, she repeatedly said that the King James Bible text was mistranslated and in error. She said that Joseph's coat of many colors was actually a white shirt with very long sleeves. She said that Eliezer put a jewel in Rebekah's nose, that the little children who mocked Elisha were not little children, and that the eye of a needle of which the Lord spoke was not the eye of a needle.

These are examples of an attitude displayed throughout the book, that the only way you can understand the Bible is to read a book about Bible archaeology, manners, and customs and to assume that the difficult texts of scripture are inaccurately translated. Believers would do well to disregard the attitude and advice of anyone such as this, no matter how long the person spent on the mission field or in studying ancient relics.

31. Brilliants from William E. Gladstone - Finished 11/06/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1894 by H.M. Caldwell Co., New York, NY, with 48 pages. This little book contains notable words of wisdom selected from the writings of William E. Gladstone. 

Born in 1809, Gladstone was a British politician and prime minister. One of his notable writings was a book on the defense of the Bible called "The Impregnable Rock of Holy Scripture."

32. Revival at Midnight - Angel Martinez - Finished 11/13/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1957 by Zondervan Publishing House in Grand Rapids, MI, with 119 pages. This book contains seven sermons that were preached by the author for R.G. Lee at Bellevue  Baptist Church in Memphis, TN. They are good, solid sermons with many thought-provoking ideas and statements.

Martinez was saved in 1935 at at the age of 13 and preached his first sermon a few months later. At the conclusion of the message, every member of his family except his father was converted to Christ. Martinez' ministry lasted 60 years, ending with his death at the age of 73.

33. God's School and Other Papers - Alfred S. Loizeaux - Finished 11/14/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1943 by Loizeaux Brothers in New York, with 11 pages. It also has an ownership stamp by the late L.R. Shelton, a Baptist preacher of New Orleans, who was popular among Five Point Calvinists. 

I bought this book because of an interest in the author. The Loizeaux Brothers were a publishing outfit for many of the Brethren books, most especially those by H.A. Ironside. However, I had never seen a book written by one of them. 

The Brethren were doctrinally sound in most matters, being dispensational in their Bible study.

This book is a compilation of short articles published in a Bible study magazine. They are good, simple, and true to scripture. The introduction is a recommendation of the book by H.A. Ironside.

34. Duty, Not Preference - Art Wilson & Jonathan J. Stewart - Finished 11/21/08

This copy is a hardback with a dustjacket published in 1951, apparently self-published by Stewart, in Arlington, TX, with 300 pages. It is subtitled "The Life Story of Arthur W. Wilson." 

I never had the opportunity to hear Brother Wilson, but I wish that I had been able to hear him and to know him. The book was very inspirational. He founded the Wichita Baptist Tabernacle and pastored it for 31 years. It is now pastored by Steve Day, the third pastor, and its name has been changed to Friendship Baptist Church. Brother Wilson was skilled in music. In his early days he was leading singing in a meeting and found himself sitting between John R. Rice and J. Frank Norris.

This is a lively book about an interesting character. I recommend it to all.

35. Why I Know the Bible is the Word of God - William E. Biederwolf - Finished 11/25/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1929 by Pentecostal Publishing Company, Lousville, KY, with 153 pages. Biederwolf was a "fireball" Presbyterian evangelist of his day. He preached hard and plain. The 10 chapter titles alone could motivate any preacher to want to prepare a similar series of messages. If you can ever come across anything written by Biederwolf, I recommend that you get it and read it.

36. How Christ Came to Church - A.J. Gordon - Finished 12/01/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1909 by the American Baptist Publication Society in Philadelphia, PA. with 149 pages. 

This book consists of two parts. It begins with a biography of A.J. Gordon written by A.T. Pierson. The second part of the book majors on a dream that Brother Gordon had of the Lord Jesus Christ visiting his church.

Born in 1836, Gordon was saved at the age of 15. He began pastoring in 1863, but his most famous pastorate began in 1869 at the Clarendon Street Baptist Church in Boston, MA. He wrote several hymns, the most famous of which was "My Jesus, I Love Thee." He was called a forerunner of American fundamentalism, emphasizing the inerrancy of the Bible, the presence of the Holy Spirit and the imminence of the Second Coming.

I recommend the book to all who are interested in how churches operated over 100 years ago. In the book, Gordon spoke of pew rentals (which he stopped), a big choir with unsaved people in it, deaconnesses, etc.

37. Great Soul-Winning Churches - Elmer L. Towns - Finished 12/07/08

This copy is a hardback with dustjacket published in 1973 by Sword of the Lord Publishers in Murfreesboro, TN, with 245 pages. Those who were alive and active at the time would remember the 1970s as some of the most profitable years of the fundamental, independent Baptist movement. This book consists of 19 articles taken from a series of 36 articles that the author wrote for the Sword of the Lord newspaper in 1972 and 1973.

Although written over 35 years ago, the book is full of material that both inspired and instructed me. I plan to keep it on my shelf and read it again next year.

38. Divine Priorities - H.A. Ironside - Finished 12/09/08

This copy is a hardback published in 1945 by Fleming H. Revell in New YHork, NY, with 104 pages. This is a book of nine sermons by the author. A couple of the sermons are anti-Catholic in nature and are excellent. Ironside has a good definition of "dead works" on page 64, and he gave an interesting history of the term "Protestant" on page 50. On page 96 there is a good short study on healing and the atonement.

The worst thing in the book is on page 34, where he said that the King James Bible was in error, claiming that "Grecians" should be translated "Gentiles." I believe that Ironside was indeed a good and godly man, but even good and godly men sin and make mistakes. It is always a mistake to correct the Bible, the AV 1611 King James Version.

Nevertheless, I highly recommend the book.

 

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