Fault lines by Voddie Baucham Jr.
Listening to the news these days is pretty depressing but also rather informative! BLM, social justice (not biblical justice), CRT (Critical race theory), CSJ (Critical Social Justice), and “intersectionality,” are topics in the mainstream media. But, it’s not only there. These theories, this propaganda, have infiltrated our schools, our workplaces, our government, and our churches.
All of these things fall under the umbrella of “social justice.” And as such, they pose severe and destructive harm to us as a people, as Americans, and as Christians. Why? Because of the anti-God, anti-biblical suppositions, the people who hold to these theories seek to impose, often by manipulation and force, are deadly to any society and catastrophic to the church, seeing they are categorically opposed to the gospel.
That is why I was happy to pick up Voddie Baucham’s book “Fault lines.” I know Voddie to be theologically sound and a great orator. So, it seemed wise to learn from the wise on these issues permeating every facet of our society and thereby become equipped for the battle ahead.
First, let me say that Voddie has a unique way of weaving personal stories into a topic that, as one person said, is arresting and moving. Throughout this book, he does not shy away from telling the truth, naming people who have given into the lure of the movement for various reasons, or even calling out organizations playing with this fire. His teaching is clear, research carefully documented, and the topic is written in any easy-to-understand format.
In the introduction, he explains that our problem is this: social justice versus biblical justice. Not political division, not growing ethnic tensions, but “true” justice for a people. In chapters one and two, he shares his background and experiences as a black man, as a black Christian man in the church, living in Africa, and the new perspective that gave him on ethnic and racial issues.
Throughout the rest of the book, he exposes the social justice movement for what it truly is: a new religion with its own priesthood and its own canon of truth that supersedes any other, including the biblical canon. He discusses the damage that it is doing to our institutions and our churches. Voddie does not leave us despairing but provides necessary reminders to the church to prepare for the battle ahead.
He reminds us that our war is spiritual (2 Corinthians 10:3), our weapons are spiritual (10:4), and that we fight with the truth of the gospel! We fight back with the truth of biblical justice, with the unity of the body of Christ, recognizing that our weapons are powerful!
Voddie included in the appendixes the Dallas statement on social justice and the gospel, the original resolution on critical race theory and intersectionality, and the SBC resolution nine on Critical race theory and intersectionality (the version written that was adopted without taking the original authors name off of it).
I found Voddie’s book very instructive and insightful in all he sought to bring to light regarding these issues. I believe you will as well. If you’re a pastor, this book should be placed on your reading list sooner rather than later. If you’re a Christian trying to navigate through these trying times and want to understand the issue better, purchase this book, you won’t be disappointed.
THE IMPERATIVE OF PREACHING, A theology of sacred rhetoric
By: John Carrick 12/18/2020
As an Elder in a local church and a person who serves in pulpit supply from time to time, I am always looking for good material that I can benefit from in regards to better preaching. I found just that in this book by John Carrick. This book is about what “constitutes effective and powerful preaching.” If you are a preacher, Sunday School teacher, or layman in some ministry format, I recommend this reading to you.
Is preaching still relevant? Is it important? Is it effective? John argues that it is and our preaching can be greatly enhanced “if preachers make use of the pattern of communication laid down by God in Scripture.” In his introduction he explains the difference between “spurious” rhetoric and “sacred” rhetoric, and I think clearly makes the argument that simply because rhetoric can be abused, the abuse does not invalidate its proper use.
John’s thesis is that the normal structure we see God using within the writing of our New Testament is one of the indicative-imperative. He also observes that God made use of two other grammatical or rhetorical categories, namely, the exclamative and the interrogative. Obviously the breadth of this topic goes well beyond just these four categories, but John’s view is that there is “something foundational about them.”
John takes a chapter each to explain the individual grammatical moods and there usage in Scripture. But what I thoroughly enjoyed about this book was the amount of examples he brought forth in relation to preaching itself! Examples from the preaching of Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, Samuel Davies, Asahel Nettleton, and Martin Lloyd-Jones.
“If we believe that prayer – soaked biblical preaching ‘in demonstration of the Spirit and power’ (1 Corinthians 2:4) is the grand battering ram for the demolishing of the bastions of ignorance and vise, and if we believe such preaching to be the unrivaled means ordained of God for the conversion and edification of men, then careful attention must be given to the biblical answer to the question, “what constitutes effective preaching and why is it so?”
This book has been a great help to me by way of instruction, and as an enjoyable delight to my soul in all the preaching laid out on these pages by those great preachers he quotes in this book.
This book is 202 pages long, 7 Chapters with additional illustrations, and citations throughout. This work get’s my strong recommendation!
A THEOLOGY OF THANKSGIVING
I have recently read through this book by pastor and author Trevor Bates. A self published book, 82 pages in length, double spaced, and in large print, makes this book an easy read for those who are not looking for a writing that is academic in nature. That doesn’t mean this book is weak in addressing its topic, by no means, Trevor covers his topic well, i.e., how the Psalms give us a theology of thanksgiving which at its core involves how we should view and worship God.
I enjoyed the manner in which the author broke down various aspects of a Psalm, and showed how they lead to thanksgiving and praise throughout or by the end of the Psalm. I also appreciated the time the author spent in chapter two instructing the reader to slow down and truly read, not just for the sake of reading, but read to understand the intended meaning of a writing.
Priced at only $6.99 on Amazon, this investment will not hurt your pocketbook, and I believe will be helpful in gaining a biblical perspective on thanksgiving.