• Books

    Review: Reformed Systematic Theology Vol. 1 by Joel Beeke & Paul Smalley

    ‘Reformed Systematic Theology’ is the latest volume put out by Joel Beeke, Paul M. Smalley and published by Crossway. This is the first in a projected 4-volume work, aiming to cover the broad category of Systematic Theology. This particular volume looks at the themes of Revelation and God (or Theology Proper). It has been said that the church needs good theology that engages the head, heart, and hands. In this volume, Beeke and Smalley say that they are aiming to do that as they ‘seek to strengthen a Christian reformed according to the Word of God’ (p. 114) From that description, you may feel that this is a cold academic…

  • Books

    Review: My Bible Animals Storybook by Dandi Daley Mackall

    10ofThose have been putting out some good quality children’s books recently (see Rosie & Friends for example) and this is no exception. The artwork is lovely, and the approach is fun too. The author has managed to write a Bible storybook around the ideas of animals – and one thing I’ve learnt since getting this book is that children love animals! There are two pages to each story, but the author does not make it so that the animal is central. When I first saw the title I thought it would be making the animals centre-stage, at the cost of the actual Bible message. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to…

  • Books

    Review: Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin

    What are the trickiest questions you think Christianity faces? Can you cut that down to 12? That’s what Rebecca McLaughlin does in her first book – Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion, published by Crossway. The author tackles 12 of the most commonly questioned issues people have with Christianity head-on. And when I say that, I don’t mean like other books on apologetics do. McLaughlin actually wrestles deeply with the issues, and shows the actual facts undergirding them. For example, in her chapter on ‘hasn’t science disproved Christianity?’, she takes a good look at why that might appear to be the case, and then shows historically…

  • Books

    Review: Before You Open Your Bible by Matt Smethurst

    What do you do before you open the Bible? What do you think to yourself? In this short book, Matt Smethurst challenges us to ask those questions of ourselves. And in doing so, he gives 9 reminders and correctives to help us approach God’s word. Each one packs a weighty punch, and does not take long to read. I found the author’s chapter on prayer particularly useful. As Smethurst mentions, even he did not think to add this chapter till the end. Prayer is so important to rightly handling God’s word, and something we regularly forget to do. I used this book for 9 days consecutively and found it a…

  • Books

    Review: Rosie & Family by Nicola Fairbairn

    Rosie and the family is the new series of books published by 10ofThose, written by Nicola Fairbairn and illustrated by Ruth Hearson. Currently there are three books in the series: Mummy’s New Baby, The Bad Dream, and Sports Day (that’s the order I placed them in – there is a very subtle story progression, see if you can spot it!). The Stories Each book is around 24 pages long, and speaks into the lives of children. I really like the formula that the stories follow. The issue for the child (Rosie in two of them, and her brother Joshua in the other) is shown, and the parents start to deal…

  • Books,  Reviews

    Review: Different – by David Martin

    Different is a short book (only 80 pages!) aiming to bring to the forefront the sins that we may not notice in our churches. The ‘nothings’ that the Western world are prone to in our time in history. Well what are they? They are: materialism, careerism, sentimentalism, and nationalism. David Martin does not call these out for no reason. No, he wants us to realise that they are there, and that they affect our witness to the outside world. The book is written in an engaging and witty way. I was able to read the whole book in one go. Now, it does poke where it hurts, but not in…