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Recommended Books

Last updated: 8/23/01

How To Prepare Bible Messages
James Braga, Multnomah Publishers, 1982, 257 pages
This is a how-to-do-it book that lives up to its promise. James Braga sets forth clearly and logically the step-by step process of preparing and delivering an effective sermon. Instructions are spelled out simply, so even a novice can follow them without a teacher's help. The method he presents combines recognized techniques of secular public speaking with time-tested theories of preaching. After thoroughly covering the principal types of biblical sermons and stressing the value of expository preaching, Mr. Braga carefully breaks down and discusses the mechanics of sermon construction. the revised edition includes an updated bibliography, additional examples, a new comprehensive index, and added steps which make sermon preparation easier than ever before.

Exegetical Fallacies
D. A. Carson, Baker Books, 1996, 148 pages
Carson's book helps the student of scripture to avoid many of the logical and linguistic pitfalls which result in erroneous interpretation. This book should be required reading for all Bible class teachers, deacons, elders, and preachers. By example from actual books, Carson illustrates many of the pitfalls he discusses.

New Testament History; A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Acts
Gareth L. Reese, College Press, 1976, 1046 pages
A mammoth volume that stands alone as the leading research and exhaustive study on the book of Acts. Includes special studies on various topics, such as The Person And Work Of The Holy Spirit, Speaking In Tongues, The Sects Of The Jews, Church Discipline, Demons And Demon Possession, The Faith That Saves, The Lord's Supper, and many others. Includes many maps and charts throughout.

Early Christians Speak - Faith And Life In The First Three Centuries
Everett Ferguson, ACU Press, 1999
A scholarly but highly readable study of the development of early Christian faith and practice. Based on writers of the first three centuries, topics include The Faith Preached and Believed, Baptism In The Second Century, The Beginning of Infant Baptism, The Christian Assemblies, Early Accounts of the Lord's Supper, Early Prayers, Early Hymns, The Organization of the Early Church, Acts of Mercy, The Christian and Military Service, Women in the Early Church.

What Christians Believe - A Biblical And Historical Survey
Alan F. Johnson and Robert E. Webber, Zondervan, 1989
This book surveys main themes of theology from pre-Mosaic biblical times up to contemporary thought. Topics include The Bible, God, Salvation, The Church, and End Times. On each subject the authors provide both a Biblical and historical summary. While the Biblical summaries betray their own theological bias, the historical summaries provide a very helpful guide to understanding what has been believed by Calvinists, Arminians, dispensationalists, non-dispensationalists, and other theological perspectives.

A Dictionary Of Early Christian Beliefs
David W. Bercot, Editor, Hendrickson Publishers, 1998
A compendium of quotations culled from the ten volume Ante-Nicene Fathers and arranged by subject for quick reference. The quotes include comments on 700 theological, moral, and historical topics from prominent figures such as Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Clement of Rome, and Hippolytus.

Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up?
David W. Bercot, Scroll Publishing Co., 1989
A look at today's evangelical church in the light of early Christianity. The author compares the views commonly held today regarding baptism, apostasy, predestination, salvation and other doctrines with the writings and views of the early Christians, including some who personally knew the apostles. Thought-provoking and challenging.

Baptism In The New Testament
George R. Beasley-Murray, William B. Eerdmans, 1994, 432 pages
This is an excellent treatment of the subject, by one of the foremost scholars among the Baptist denomination. He readily admits that his conclusions run counter to the views held by those in his own denomination.

Baptism And The Remission Of Sins
David Fletcher, ed., College Press, 1993, 400 pages
This collection of articles surveys throughout church history the view that baptism is for the remission of sins. It also discusses controversies surrounding "re-baptism."

The Bible & The Future
Anthony A. Hoekema, William B. Eerdmans, 1994
This book is divided into two sections. The first deals with inaugurated eschatology, the present enjoyment of eschatological blessings by the redeemed community. It considers such topics as the kingdom of God, the Holy Spirit and eschatology, and the tension between the "already" and the "not yet." The second part deals with future eschatology, specific details concerning last things. Matters of significance to individuals - physical death, immortality, and the intermediate state - are discussed, as well as aspects of cosmic eschatology - the signs of the times, the Second Coming, the millenium, the resurrection of the body, the final judgment, and the new earth. It analyzes all four major views: the postmillenial, the historic premillenial, the dispensational premillenial, and the amillenial.

Worthy Is The Lamb
Ray Summers, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1951
One of my favorite commentaries on the Book of Revelation. Describes the historical background and nature of apocalyptic literature necessary to understand the book. Clearly outlined and carefully documented, it offers a balanced and constructive interpretation.

Life In The Son
Robert Shank, Bethany House Publishers, 1989
This book addresses the issue of the security of the believer. Does the Bible teach "once saved, always saved"? The author demonstrates how our security is in Christ. As long as we remain in Christ, our salvation is secure. But this security is conditional, conditioned upon our remaining faithful to Jesus as His obedient disciples.

Elect In The Son
Robert Shank, Bethany House Publishers, 1989
This book provides a comprehensive treatment of election. Has God predestined certain individuals to be saved, leaving all others to be lost? Shank advocates class or corporate election, in which God has chosen the Body (i.e, the church) to be His special people, with entrance into the Body through an obedient faith. He makes a strong case for the position that Christ died for all and desires all to be saved (contrary to the Calvinistic doctrine of election).

 More to come...

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