The Book That… (7)
Stephen Turner, Philip Eveson, and Geoff Lloyd agree to answer questions on books that have impacted their life and faith.
* * *
Stephen Turner is a retired Baptist pastor in Auckland New Zealand.
Philip Eveson is the retired principal of the London Seminary and a former minister in the Presbyterian Church of Wales.
Geoff Lloyd is the pastor of Wyndham Evangelical Church on the south island of New Zealand.
* * *
Philip Eveson: I write on the understanding that, like Desert Island Discs, the Bible is assumed!
The book that I am currently reading…
S.T: Rico Tice’s Honest Evangelism. The best thing I’ve read on this subject in the past few years.
P.E: I have just started The Book Of Isaiah and God’s Kingdom: A Thematic-Theological Approach by Andrew Abernethy in the Don Carson series on Biblical Theology (Apollos/IVP). I found the one by Michael Morales in the same series most helpful: Who Shall Ascend the Mountain of the Lord? I trust the present one will be equally stimulating, enlightening and uplifting.
G.L: I am about to become a father and someone recently slipped me a copy of John MacArthur’s Being a Dad Who Leads. Apart from that, I am slowly working my way through Owen’s Death of Death and devotionally reading extracts from the essays of F.W. Boreham, who had a pastorate not far from where we live, in the deep south of New Zealand. Boreham was a huge influence on apologist Ravi Zacharias.
The book that changed my life…
S.T: Bonar’s Memoirs and Remains of R.M. M’Cheyne. There is nothing like it! It’s still changing lives! One of the five greatest books I’ve read in my life.
P.E: Greshen Machen’s books.
G.L: This may be the hardest category to answer. There are a number of books that have had a huge impact on me, but the following three really stand out. Lloyd-Jones’ Studies in the Sermon on the Mount was mind blowing. I remember being stuck between not wanting to put it down and having to stop after each sermon to examine myself in light of what I had read. Walter Chantry’s Today’s Gospel transformed my attitude to evangelistic preaching. John Murray’s seminal, Redemption Accomplished and Applied, took three attempts after it was recommended by a pastor from mid-Wales. He kindly gave me his own copy which had notes in the margin defining all the long words. I have never read anything more head exercising and heart-warming on the nature of the atonement.
The book that I wish I had written…
S.T: S. Ferguson’s The Whole Christ. Many in the church have read this book this year. This will become one of the truly great Christian books of the century.
P.E: Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by Jim Packer.
G.L: Anything by A.W. Pink. I read his book on The Doctrine of Sanctification for a summer school and was humbled by the mind God had given him. It was not so much that I could not answer the questions he was asking, but I would never have even thought to ask the questions. I have been using a commentary for a series on Daniel called Against the Flow: The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism by the anthropologist John Lennox. Lennox is a fine apologist and although I could not endorse everything of his I have read, this book has been very helpful for understanding the cutting edge relevance of Daniel to modern culture.
The book that helped me in my preaching…
S.T: Olyott’s Ministering Like the Master. I can still see us studying it in India and how wonderfully clear and convincing we thought it was.
P.E: Lloyd-Jones Preaching and Preachers and his sermons especially those on the Old Testament.
G.L: I have run a preaching class with some of the younger men at our church and for that we use Stuart Olyott’s Preaching, Pure and Simple. I cannot recommend this book more highly. However, the two books that have had the most impact on my own preaching would be Evangelistic Sermons at Aberavon by D.M. Lloyd-Jones and Spurgeon’s Lectures to my Students.
The book that I think is most underrated…
S.T: A. Bonar’s Diary. A young intern this year is reading it and my belief in its excellence has been fully endorsed! Don’t be put off by the title.
P.E: Thomas Charles’ Spiritual Counsels, selected from Edward Morgan’s Letters and Papers of Thomas Charles (Banner of Truth).
G.L: I never hear anyone talk about Thomas Watson’s shorter works like The Art of Divine Contentment of The Mischief of Sin but they are well worth reading. Watson is so accessible and real. My wife recently picked up a book that she found immensely helpful called Finding Freedom from Fear by David W. Wright, the president of Indiana Wesleyan University. Sara really appreciated the book but sadly it is out of print.
The book that made me say amen as I read…
S.T: J. Stott’s The Cross of Christ. This is probably one of my most underlined books and is full of exclamations!
P.E: Herman Bavinck’s Reformed Dogmatics.
G.L: Holy, Holy, Holy by a number of authors, each contributing essays on the theme of holiness. The chapters on the holiness of the Godhead were particularly moving.
The last book that made me weep…
S.T: Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. He may not have been perfect but his cry to me remains perfect in my soft world.
P.E: My short term memory must be failing me but I do remember being moved many times reading Iain Murray’s 2 vols. on the life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones.
G.L: I am not a weeper as Sara, much to her annoyance, will testify. But I remember being deeply moved by the biographies of the covenanters in Jock Purves’ Fair Sunshine. More recently a book with the provocative title The Insanity of God by Nick Ripken, detailing the experiences of Christians suffering persecution, was a real heart-string-tugger and very convicting.
The book that I’m most ashamed not to have read…
S.T: Augustine’s City of God. What can I say? I’ve started it three times or more and not finished it. There has to be another attempt.
P.E: The second part of Pilgrim’s Progress.
G.L: Volume 2 of Iain Murray’s Lloyd-Jones biographies. I wrote a post-graduate thesis on Lloyd-Jones’ early ministry and read the first volume and Fred Catherwood’s Family Portrait but never the big red one.
The book that I most often give to new church members and young Christians…
S.T: Iain Murray’s The Forgotten Spurgeon. It was a wondrous book to me in my twenties and I still want people to hear of the greatest thing about God; that he reigns!
P.E: Walk Worthy by Peter Jeffery.
G.L:We really struggle to get good books in New Zealand at reasonable prices, so when I recommend a book, it needs to be one that is easily accessible. Knowing God by J.I. Packer, especially the chapter on adoption, is what I most often give away or suggest to young Christians.
The book that I give to people who are thinking of becoming Christians…
S.T: C. J. Mahaney’s Living the Cross-Centred Life. I like its brevity. I like its focus. I like its simplicity.
P.E: John Blanchard’s Ultimate Questions, and Seeking God by Peter Jeffery.
G.L: My dad would look for any opportunity to give away copies of Ultimate Questions by John Blanchard. It is simple and to the point. I should also mention Andy Christofides’ The Life Sentence, which I found so good to give away that I no longer have a copy.
The book that I wish I were able to write and would like someone to write…
S.T: The Eldership in the Light of Historical and Biblical Evidence and Current Practice.
P.E: The Presence and Absence of God (biblical, theological, historical, and biographical) — there is great confusion. Though God is omnipresent, he is committed to being especially present in some places and not in others. God is said to dwell in the high and holy place (‘Our Father in Heaven’) and with those who are of a humble and contrite hear,t for example. What does ‘drawing near’ to God mean? And ‘going away’ of ‘removed’ from God’s presence?
The best book for children…
S.T: S. Lloyd-Jones’ The Jesus Storybook Bible which my wife thinks is wonderful and gives away as presents to needy parents.
P.E: Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland.
G.L: I have just finished a series of four fantasy books in the vein of the Narnia series by author and musician Andrew Peterson called The Wingfeather Saga. There are amazing gospel parallels throughout and I am excited to read them to our own child(ren).
Books That Will Change Your Life
Authentic or Synthetic?
Stephen Turner, Philip Eveson, and Geoff Lloyd agree to answer questions on books that have impacted their life and faith. * * * Stephen Turner is a retired Baptist pastor in Auckland New Zealand. Philip Eveson is the retired principal of the […]