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New Banner Of Truth Titles – June/July 2006

Category Articles
Date June 29, 2006

It is with great pleasure that the Trust brings to the attention of readers the publication of a number of new titles during June and July. Titles available from the end of June include Sharon James’s Elizabeth Prentiss – More Love to Thee (272 pp. clothbound, £15/$20, ISBN 0851519261). This is the first full-scale biography of Elizabeth Prentiss since the Memoir written by her husband in 1882. Sharon tells the story of a fascinating, gifted, and godly woman, who exercised a wide influence in America and beyond through her novels and other writings. As a result of various tragedies in her own life, Elizabeth came to the conviction that suffering is ‘Christ’s school’ in which we learn more of the love of God. Her various writings vividly communicate the joy of surrendering every detail of life to the Lord, and the liberation of fully embracing his sovereignty. In this moving biography, the author effectively takes readers into Elizabeth’s world, offering insights into some of the realities of life for women in the nineteenth century. She also helpfully places Elizabeth within the context of her time. This was the century during which the ideal of ‘true womanhood’ was promoted; it was also the era when theology suffered a down-grade due to the so-called ‘sentimentalization’ of culture. However, this biography is not merely of historical interest. The longing of Elizabeth’s life was summed up in her best-known hymn: ‘More love, O Christ, to Thee’. Her story demonstrates that every Christian can grow in love to God, both through obedience expressed in the duties of everyday life, and through the tragedies which most of us will, at some point, experience.

They Were Pilgrims (272 pp., clothbound, £15/$20, ISBN 0851519288) by Marcus L. Loane is the fascinating story of four remarkable men who shared a common spiritual aim and ideal. They were David Brainerd, Henry Martyn, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, and Ion Keith-Falconer. Their average life-span was only thirty years, but they left a spiritual impact on their generation which was altogether out of the ordinary. Their lives covered the period of history from 1718 to 1887. Henry Martyn, from Brainerd and Martyn to Robert Murray M’Cheyne, and from Martyn to Ion Keith-Falconer. They were all linked to the missionary movement which had its birth in the great spiritual awakening of the eighteenth century. They were pioneers in this missionary movement: Brainerd with the Native North Americans, M’Cheyne with the Jews of Palestine and Central Europe, Martyn and Keith-Falconer in the Muslim world of Persia and Arabia. Their contribution to missionary work would be enough in itself to invest their lives with outstanding interest. But the greatest single feature in their lives was their unqualified self-surrender to the claims of God. This book tries to pull up the blinds to let readers see through the window and trace the inner spiritual development of these exemplary Christians. It is the freshness and clarity of this record of personal devotion which makes the story of their pilgrimage so relevant for the whole-hearted disciple of Christ today. Commenting on this book, Iain Murray writes: ‘The young men in the following pages are eminent examples of what Christian passion means. . . Here some readers will have a first meeting with Brainerd, Martyn, M’Cheyne and Keith-Falconer. And for other readers, who have long revered these names, there will be the pleasure of meeting them again, as true to life as any book can make them. For us all there is the challenge to live with greater devotion to Christ. What follows in these pages aims to deepen what is a fundamental New Testament conviction, and it will surely help us to understand the prayer of Robert Murray M’Cheyne: “I long for love without any coldness, light without dimness, and purity without spot or wrinkle. I long to lie at Jesus’ feet, and tell Him I am all His, and ever will be.”

Getting the Gospel Right: Assessing the Reformation and New Perspectives on Paul (112pp., paperback, £5.50/$6, ISBN 085151927X) by Cornelis P. Venema is a small paperback that seeks to summarize, in a popular and readable format, the issues raised by those who are advocating a new perspective on the apostle Paul’s teaching. The author believes that every generation of Christian believers faces the challenge of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ with integrity and in conformity to the teaching of the Scriptures, but asks, What do the Scriptures teach about the central message of the gospel? He briefly explores whether the Reformers were correct in their insistence that the good news of God’s gracious and free acceptance of guilty sinners, on the basis of the obedience and atoning sacrifice of Christ, lies at the heart of the gospel? Or are the ‘new perspectives’ on Paul’s teaching, which have been advocated in recent years by those who have made a fresh study of the relevant historical sources, to be accepted instead? These issues are of crucial importance: since the new perspectives challenge some of the basic features of the traditional Protestant understanding of justification, they require careful study and thoughtful evaluation, for nothing less than the shape of the evangelical church’s proclamation of the gospel is at stake today.

Susannah Spurgeon was the wife of the nineteenth-century Baptist preacher C. H. Spurgeon. While much is known of her famous husband, comparatively little is known about the woman whom he adored and affectionately called ‘Wifey’. Brought together in a single volume for the very first time, Susannah Spurgeon: Free Grace and Dying Love (256 pp., paperback, £7/$15, ISBN 0851519180), are two titles that will help redress this imbalance. Mrs Spurgeon’s A Carillon of Bells consists of twenty-four daily meditations on selected texts of Scripture. The warm, spiritual devotion to Christ which burned in the heart of this godly woman shines through on every page. The Life of Susannah Spurgeon by Charles Ray is an affectionate love story, but one that also records the fascinating work of Mrs Spurgeon’s Book Fund. Through this agency thousands of pastors, preachers, and missionaries received gifts of good books that proved useful to them in their ministries. But her life is also the inspiring story of the all-sufficient grace of God – in the midst of debilitating chronic illness Susannah Spurgeon was enabled to do a truly great work for her Saviour, and her inspiring example continues to bear fruit to this day in the work of the Banner of Truth Trust Book Fund.

Evangelistic Calvinism – Why the Doctrines of Grace are Good News (32. pp., booklet, £1.50/$2, ISBN 0851519296) by John Benton is a booklet that addresses a misunderstanding widely held among present-day Christians. According to the author, ‘Calvinism’ has received a bad press and has been unjustly criticized on the grounds that its teachings undermine zeal for Christian mission and evangelism. Taking each of the so-called ‘five points of Calvinism’ in turn, John Benton convincingly shows how the ‘doctrines of grace are in fact five beautiful diamonds from which the glories of Jesus wonderfully shine to attract those who are lost in sin.’ He demonstrates how ‘they address the sinner’s deepest fears in the most heart-warming way imaginable’, and comes to the conclusion that, ‘rather than being truths of which we are to be wary, they are in fact an integral part of the gospel to be proclaimed’. A timely call for passionate, persuasive preaching.

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