The following excerpt from Charles H. Spurgeon (Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol. 40) makes me wonder what he would say today!
Oh, what would some preachers do to get the people to hear them at all? Ah, what are they not doing, dear friends? As things now go, I should not wonder at all if we were to have, in some of our places of worship, a part of Mr. Barnum’s show, in order to attract a congregation! We have all kinds of fiddling, and tinkering, and I know not what, going on to get people to come and hear what is called the gospel. “Oh,” said one, “but he brought so many to the place!” Yes, if they had had a clown out of the theater, he would, no doubt have brought still mere. If that is all that you want, — simply to gather a crowd together, — it is not so very difficult if you are not squeamish about the means you employ. But, oh! when God sends the people to hear the gospel and nothing also, and they come and listen to what a man has to say to them about heaven and hell, life and death, the cross of Christ and the way of salvation, that is the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees.
During this semester at TEDS, Dr. Barry Beitzel has had the cover of a forthcoming book taped on his office door: Biblica: The Bible Atlas: A Social and Historical Journey Through the Lands of the Bible. I asked him about it this morning, and he said that the book has been available in Australia for two months and should be available in America in November. Apparently, Costco and Sam’s Wholesale Club purchased a massive number of copies and will be selling them at a discount. The retail price is somewhere around $150 each, and Sam’s may sell them for $90 or $100. I just found it here for $80, almost half the price of retail!
Dr. Beitzel, who is well known as the author of The Moody Atlas of Bible Lands, was the project coordinator, and he invited a large spectrum of scholars to participate, including Jews and Catholics. So evangelicals will disagree with the content in some of the articles. Since I haven’t even scanned the content, I can’t comment on it. I did, however, see a copy of the book in Dr. Beitzel’s office. Wow. It’s massive. It’s is the largest hardback I’ve seen in recent times. High quality paper, too.
(And a little trivia for my BJU friends: Dr. Beitzel was in Dr. Sam Schnaiter‘s wedding.)
I highly recommend Dever MP3s. They are first-class: always interesting and biblically informed. And the interviews are lots of fun!
Biblical Training has recently released two more “classes” with free MP3 downloads:
- Old Testament Theology by Dr. Paul House, author of Old Testament Theology
- New Testament Theology by Dr. Frank Thielman, author of Theology of the New Testament: A Canonical and Synthetic Approach (I’ve dipped into Thielman’s NTT several times; it is insightful, up-to-date, and well researched.)
If you’re not familiar with Biblical Training, you’ll want to explore the site, register, and start downloading MP3s for many other classes. It’s an outstanding resource.
Happy 155th birthday (tomorrow) to one of my heroes:
Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield
Born: Nov. 5, 1851
Died: Feb. 16, 1921
Last night my wife, Jenni, and I finished reading Letters Along the Way: A Novel of the Christian Life by D. A. Carson and John D. Woodbridge.
We really enjoyed reading it, and I highly recommend it. This isn’t your typical novel. It’s the compilation of (fictitious) correspondence between two people: Dr. Paul Woodson (i.e., Woodbridge + Carson) and Timothy Journeyman. Professor Woodson is a professor of systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Tim spends part of the book as a student in college and seminary and part of it as a rookie pastor. Tim perennially asks for advice, and Woodson shares his wisdom on all kinds of issues, including assurance of salvation, perseverance, campus evangelism, evangelical seminaries, evangelicalism, foreign politics, marriage, psychology, spiritual formation while in seminary, pastoring, and much more. Reading these made-up letters is almost as personal as if you wrote the question to Drs. Carson and Woodbridge themselves and then received a thoughtful reply.
This is not a heavyweight theological tome. It’s light reading. Jenni would usually read it aloud (to give my eyes a break from reading print and electronic resources all day) while cleaning up after dinner or lying down just before retiring. We’re kind of sad that the book is over, but it was a thoroughly edifying adventure.