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The Book That…

Author
Category Articles
Date November 10, 2017

Robert Strivens, Austin Walker, and Mike Iliff agree to answer questions about books that have impacted them in their faith.

* * *

Robert Strivens is the pastor of Old Baptist Church, Bradford on Avon, and former principal of London Seminary.

Austin Walker is the retired pastor of Maidenbower Baptist Church, Crawley, Sussex.

Mike Iliff of Aberystwyth is a former secondary school design and technology technician, and present day blogger. His blog can be found here.

* * *

The book that I am currently reading…

R.S: Paul Wells, Cross Words, on the atonement.

A.W: John Calvin, Tracts and Letters, Vols. 4-7 (the letters).

M.I: I have several on the go, but the most gripping is Grieving, Hope and Solace by Al Martin.

The book that changed my life…

R.S: J.I. Packer, Knowing God is high up the list, as is Dr. Lloyd-Jones’ sermons on Ephesians 5, Life in the Spirit in Marriage, Work and Home. The former reversed my opinion about theology and showed me it is thrilling; the latter reversed my opinions about the work of the Spirit and showed me that it is precisely in the ordinary things of life that he works in an extraordinary manner.

A.W: A.W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God. Although I would like to add John Owen’s On Communion With God. They were crucial at different stages of my Christian life.

M.I: I’m a little bashful about acknowledging it. It is a book I couldn’t reccomend now. The book is Nine O’ Clock in the Morning by Dennis and Rita Bennet. I wasn’t a Christian when a friend gave me this book to read. It had the ‘sinner’s prayer’ at the end. ‘So, this is how I must speak to God,’ I thought and I prayed it as best as I could. By the grace of God, it was a part of a process that changed my life and my eternal destiny.

The book I wish I could write…

R.S: Calvin’s Institutes.

A.W: A book on the biblical doctrine of adoption to sonship.

M.I: Since the death of my dear wife, I would like to be able to write a book on Christians grieving.

The book that helped my preaching…

R.S: Most recently, Charles J. Brown, ‘Elements of Pulpit Power’, in his, The Ministry: Addresses to Students of Divinity (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2006) pp.63-78. Overall, hard to say — a combination of Haddon Robinson, MLJ, Chappell, Dabney and others.

A.W: D.M. Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers (probably because I was also at WTS Philadelphia when he gave the original lectures). Spurgeon and Bridges are not far behind.

M.I: I preached for several years in the open air, and there are two books and one leaflet that were helpful. Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer and Today’s Gospel by Walter Chantry. The leaflet is Packer’s ‘Introductory Essay to The Death of Death by John Owen’. I was also helped by Life by His Death, an abridged version of Death of Death.

The book I think is most underrated…

R.S: No idea, but it would be very good for us all if we were to read John Owen on topics such as justification, mortification, and communion with God.

A.W: John Murray, Redemption Accomplished and Applied.

M.I: The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston. My late wife Sue and I read it many years ago — and it was foundational for our understanding of the providence of God.

The book that made me say amen as I read…

R.S: Plenty of these, but most recently, probably Thomas Watson on the Beatitudes.

A.W: Edward Donnelly, Life in Christ.

M.I: The Potter’s Freedom by Dr. James White. It is a defence of the absolute sovereignty of the God whose only limitation in whatever he does is his will. The book is a critique of another book by Dr. Geisler, but it is written in a way that draws out the reader’s heart in gratitude, and he falls on his face before God.

The last book that made me weep…

R.S: George Eliot’s Adam Bede, I confess!

A.W: It was a book that described the martyrdom of Cyprian of Carthage — I cannot recall whether it was Nick Needham’s 2000 Years of Christ’s Power, or in a book by Michael Haykin.

M.I: The I Will’s of the Psalms by P.B. Power (also Grieving, Hope and Solace by Al Martin).

The book I am most ashamed not to have read…

R.S: Lots, but probably Thomas Boston’s Fourfold State ought to be high on my list for reading soon.

A.W: Calvin’s Institutes (I have read different chunks at various times but never from beginning to end).

M.I: Holiness by J.C. Ryle

The book I most often give to new church members and young Christians…

R.S: I’m ashamed to say I don’t give many books to others — I should do.

A.W: Depending on their ability: Peter Jeffery, Bite Size Theology and J.C. Ryle’s Holiness.

M.I: They are both written by Peter Jeffery, through whose ministry I came to know God. All Things New and Walk Worthy.

The book I give to people thinking of becoming Christians…

R.S: See above.

A.W: Peter Jeffery, Which Way to Godand John Blanchard, Ultimate Questions.

M.I: I have given Seeking God by Peter Jeffery.

The book I wish I were able to write/want someone to write…

R.S: A persuasive, thought-provoking book on the reality of the unseen spiritual world, as the denial of this seems to be central to western society’s mindset today — and this affects Christians too.

A.W: A book that would settle once and for all the vexed question of baptism and put an end to the division among the churches of Christ!

M.I: A book on Christian Liberty, the adiaphora.

The best book for children…

R.S: Sinclair Ferguson’s Big Book of Questions and Answers.

A.W: Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

M.I: Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress.

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