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The Book That… (10)

Author
Category Articles
Date February 2, 2018

John J. Murray, Michael Butterfield, and Kees van Kralingen agree to talk to us about books that have impacted their life and faith.

* * *

Iain Murray is one of the founders of the Banner of Truth Trust. He is currently reading Mozley’s Coverdale and His Bible. Books that have helped him grasp more of what true preaching is include those written by and about J. W. Alexander, Dabney, Jay of Bath, Lloyd-Jones etc, and a book that he considers underrated would be d’Aubigne on the Reformation.

Iain adds, “God suits different books to different Christians at different points in life. What is best for one is by no means the top book for others. The same difficulty arises if one took a questionnaire on ‘which words of Christ helped you most?’”

* * *

John J. Murray is a retired minister of the Free Church of Scotland (Continuing).

Michael Butterfield is a PCA minister in the USA.

Kees van Kalingen is the Editor of the Reformation Today magazine.

* * *

The book that I am currently reading…

J.M: Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom by Carl Trueman (Crossway)

M.B: Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow’s Experimental Preaching by Tanner G. Turley. After reading Winslow’s Works, I wanted to know more about his preaching, particularly as I find his preaching spiritually challenging and effective , hopefully to improve my own preaching.

K.K: Hans Burger, Being in Christ, and the abbreviated Dutch version (Leven in Christus). This is a glorious theme! A great book by this Dutch Reformed Theologian.

The book that changed my life…

J.M: Like so many of the choices to be made in answering these questions, it is difficult to choose between the books mainly used in my conversion but they were Human Nature in Its Fourfold State by Thomas Boston (Banner) and The Christian’s Greatest Interest by William Guthrie (Banner).

M.B: Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology. It came into my hands after a cathartic theological conversion from Arminianism to Calvinism. I read it and copied it word for word into a notebook in overnight sessions of voracious reading.

K.K: D. M. Lloyd-Jones, The Cross (his sermons on Galatians 6:14), together with some of his other sermons (the first sermons from Ephesians 1) have been a profound spiritual blessing in bringing me to an assurance of faith. This happened following a period soon after my conversion when I became trapped in introspective, hyper-Calvinistic teaching (looking inwardly for assurance rather than to Christ).

The book I wish I could have written…

J.M: The Whole Christ, Sinclair Ferguson (Crossway).

M.B: The title gives all the reasons for this book and one that is needed in my life: The Godly Man’s Picture, Drawn with a Scripture Pencil, or, Some Characteristic Marks of a Man Who is Going to Heaven, by Thomas Watson.

K.K: I would have loved to have written something on biblical theology and redemptive history, but there are now many excellent resources in this field. I have enjoyed some of the volumes in the NSBT series, especially Alan Thompson, The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus.

The book that helped me in my preaching…

J.M: The Christian Ministry by Charles Bridges (Banner).

M.B: The book that helped me in my preaching could easily be the books that helped me in my preaching. However, one that stands out to me at the moment is An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times, by John Angell James, as well as D. M. Lloyd-Jones’ book Preaching and Preachers. 

K.K: Three books that have been most helpful: Stuart Olyott, Ministering Like the Master; Stuart Olyott, Preaching Pure and Simple; and Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers. 

The book that I think is most underrated…

J.M: The Collected Writings of John Murray (Banner). [A different John Murray.]

M.B: I want to say An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times, by John Angell James. I have, to date, met only one preacher who said he has read it. I am sure more have. However, Missionary Methods: St Paul’s or Ours by Allen Roland is one that I would cite.

K.K: Perhaps not underrated (certainly not by those who have read it), but it is simply too little known: S. B. Ferguson, The Holy Spirit. His treatment of the order of salvation is superb! Geoff Thomas’ book with the same title is a most worthy companion volume.

The book that made me say amen as I read…

J.M: God’s Grand Designs by Sean Michael Lucas (Crossway).

M.B: D. M. McIntyre’s wonderful little book The Hidden Life of Prayer. It is one of those books you read and are encouraged to pray rather than feeling as if you have never prayed.

K.K: D. A. Carson, A Call to Spiritual Reformation. Another one under this heading is Tim Keller on marriage.

The last book that made me weep…

J.M: Diary and Journal of David Brainerd (Banner).

M.B: If one has, it has been entirely too long so I cannot remember. My prayer is for such book, with Jeremiah 9:1 ringing in my ears, ‘Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!’

K.K: In this case, a book that made me almost weep for joy because of the particular circumstances when I read a large part of it: I am referring to Iain Murray’s 900-page volume two of the biography of Dr. Lloyd-Jones. I was delighted to have this in my hand luggage when I was stranded in the arrivals hall of the airport of Chittagong in Bangladesh in 1993. I had to wait for five hours for a general strike to end before I could leave. This book helped me to go through these hours in what was little more than a wooden shed, at 38C and 100% relative humidity with no fresh air, let alone air conditioning… Having said this, I equally enjoyed the book when finishing it later under more comfortable conditions!

The book that I regret not having read yet…

J.M: Princeton and the Work of the Christian Ministry (two volumes), James M. Garretson (Banner).

M.B: Painfully, I have to admit that it is Charles Bridges’ The Christian Ministry!

K.K: Too many, unfortunately… The one that comes to mind now is Richard Bauckham’s Jesus and the Eyewitnesses.

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

J.M: The Lord Our Shepherd by Douglas MacMillan (Evangelical Press of Wales), or The Person of Christ by Andrew Bonar (Christian Focus).

M.B: Your Mind Matters, by John Stott. With the prevailing anti-intellectualism, this book is of a size that will not intimidate a new reader and presents an enthusiastic and earnest appeal for Christians to use their minds.

K.K: A variety of books depending on the particular case, need, or opportunity.

The book that I give to people thinking of becoming Christians…

J.M: Booklets: It Can’t Be as Simple as That by Douglas MacMillan or Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard (EP). Books: Right With God by John Blanchard (EP).

M.B: The Gospel of John is what I like to first point them to, and then pass along John Blanchard’s Right With God or Ultimate Questions.

K.K: John Blanchard’s books and brochures.

The book that I wish I were able to write and wish someone would write…

J.M: The History of Evangelicalism in the UK in the 20th Century.

M.B: A small practical guide for ministers and/or church members that outlines the various pitfalls of the ministry. It is a variation on the theme of what they do not teach in seminary and what you ought to know about your pastor.

K.K: I wouldn’t even dream of writing such a book, but I would love to see a commentary by Don Carson on the book of Revelation. His sermons on Revelation 12-14, preached in Aberystwyth in 1992,  were a delight and a great help. His printed essay on Revelation 12 in the book edited by R. D. Phillips and G. N. E. Fluhrer, These Last Days, is a must read.

The book that I would love to see reprinted…

J.M: The Diary of Kenneth A. Macrae, edited by Iain Murray (Banner).

M.B: My knowledge of books that are out of print is quote limited, so I cannot immediately think of any that would be of such great use as to reprint.

K.K: David Kingdon, Children of Abraham.

The best book for children…

J.M: The Child’s Story Bible (three volumes) by Catherine Vos (Banner).

M.B: Dangerous Journey: The Story of Pilgrim’s Progress by Oliver Hunkin.

K.K: Perhaps not for children directly, but especially for parents to use with children: Marian Schoolland, Leading Little Ones to God. 

Books That Will Change Your Life

    The Cross

    The Vindication Of God

    by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones


    price $2.00 $1.80

    Description

    John J. Murray, Michael Butterfield, and Kees van Kralingen agree to talk to us about books that have impacted their life and faith. * * * Iain Murray is one of the founders of the Banner of Truth Trust. He is currently reading Mozley’s Coverdale and His Bible. Books that have helped him grasp more of what […]

    cover image for The Christian’s Great Interest
    price $9.00 $8.10

    Description

    John J. Murray, Michael Butterfield, and Kees van Kralingen agree to talk to us about books that have impacted their life and faith. * * * Iain Murray is one of the founders of the Banner of Truth Trust. He is currently reading Mozley’s Coverdale and His Bible. Books that have helped him grasp more of what […]


    price $34.00 $30.60

    Description

    John J. Murray, Michael Butterfield, and Kees van Kralingen agree to talk to us about books that have impacted their life and faith. * * * Iain Murray is one of the founders of the Banner of Truth Trust. He is currently reading Mozley’s Coverdale and His Bible. Books that have helped him grasp more of what […]

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