Louis Berkhof (Introduction to Systematic Theology):
The position of the Church in the world calls for a united testimony. Every Church owes it to other Churches and to the world round about her, to make a public declaration of her teachings. If it is but natural that w desire to know something about the character and convictions of the people to whom we would entrust our material interests, it will certainly be considered highly desirable, and in fact quite essential, that we know exactly where a Church stands, in which we would seek spiritual guidance for ourselves and for our children. Moreover, one Church will have to know where another stands, in order to be able to determine in how far it can correspond, cooperate, and possibly affiliate with such a Church. The Church of Jesus Christ should never seek refuge in camouflage, should not try to hide her identity. And this is exactly what she does in the measure in which she fails to give a clear and unequivocal expression of her faith.
A Serrated Edge: A Brief Defense of Biblical Satire and Trinitarian Skylarking by Douglas Wilson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Love that refuses to defend that which is loved is not biblical love at all. Such a sentiment is actually self-absorption. Love that shuns a fight is an oxymoron, and so I turn the charge around. The modern evangelical world says peace, peace, but there is no peace. Neither is there love.
I love the right worship of our triune God, the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit of both. I love the Church, despite the make-up she is currently using. I love the Scriptures, and the message of free grace it brings to a race steeped in idolatrous folly. I love my wife, children, and grandchildren. Thought I haven’t seen them, I love my great-grandchildren and want my descendants to have a place to live in the world where they can worship God with more than three chords. I love my parents, brothers, sister, cousins, nieces, and nephews. God has given us a heritage that I intend to love fiercely until I die. I love the Reformed faith – both its glorious past and yet more glorious future.”
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For the past couple years I have looked back on the books I have read and listed my favorites (see: 2015, 2016). And this year I will do the same. In total, Goodreads says I read 72 books in 2017. It was a good year for reading, and the amount of books increased due to my Greyfriars Hall studies. I enjoy taking the time to list my favorites so that I am able to look back and see what I enjoyed / my trajectories. With a large pile of personal to-read books for 2018, I look forward to the coming year.
Here are the books I enjoyed the most in 2017, in an order that is intentional but not thoroughly thought through. Click on the book covers to read more or purchase.
In the year of our Lord two thousand and sixteen, I got married. And I also read all these wonderful books [link].
The following is a(n updated) list of my favorite books I’ve read this past year, out of a total of 55 [link]. In somewhat of a particular order…
What follows is an excerpt from Joe Rigney‘s excellent book The Things of Earth. I highly recommend purchasing this book and putting it at the top of your to-read list. As Doug Wilson has said, “Buy this book. Make it one of your earthly possessions. Read it to find out what that is supposed to mean.”