The Destruction of Christless Empires

By guest author: Caleb Meyers

The cause of any nation’s downfall is one of the most interesting and debated subjects. This is especially true if the nation in question was a powerful one, or if it fell in a sudden or unexpected way. And yet as I gaze at the plain of history, there seems to be one overarching cause for the downfalls of the great empires of man, particularly those before Christ was born. In other words, the same sins reappear and repeat in some form or another in the destruction of empires prior to Christ.

Some might object that though there similarities, these similarities are not significant, and that the general causes are different. If this were true, it would mean that either God has no effect on the fall of empires or it would mean He is unjust, and doesn’t have ethical grounds for his actions. The former is atheism and nihilism, while the latter is Hinduism, animism, or the Greek polytheism. These six empires or countries: Pre-flood world, Hittite, Assyria, Neo-Babylon, Persia, and Seleucid prove the point very well. Each shall be given its paragraph on how its sins caused its fall.

After Adam and Eve fell, Cain went the wrong direction. All his descendants fell away and dragged the other righteous families in as well, so that soon only Noah was left. The clear sins in scripture are fornication between the “Sons of God and the daughters of men,” humanism as seen by Gen. 6:3: “‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh,’” the invention of evil, Gen 6:5: “Every intent of the thoughts of his [man’s] heart was only evil continually,” and the lack of obedience to authority and government and constant murder, Gen. 9:6: “‘Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.’” The result was the worldwide flood, the second worst catastrophe in world history after the fall in Eden.

The Hittites rose in the 1700’s soon after Hammurabi, the most famous of the kings of Babylon’s old empire, died. They really gained prominence under Hatulatis I in the 1500’s. By the end of that century, they abandoned an organized form of government, the kingship instead being earned by whoever had the most power and forcefulness at the time. They “began to devour properties, conspired constantly against their masters, and began to shed their blood.”[1] They were without a clear government or order, just like the men before the Flood. They were murderous and did whatever they liked. A perfect illustration of this is Mursilis, Hatulatis’s nephew, who at 13 or 14 inherited the throne. At a grown age, he marched out to attack Babylon his neighbor. His cupbearer, who reigned the next 30 years after him, killed him. Once he died, a court official killed his son and all his grandsons. However, he didn’t reign long for his son killed him, immediately to be slaughtered by usurper who was slain by yet another usurper.[2] Things went on in this way for another 200 years before the Hittite empire was cut off. Though their empire might have been greater than Assyrians, because of this chaos, the Assyrians demolished them in 1274 BC.

The Assyrians first began with Nimrod who built the city of Nineveh in 2418\ 2248 BC. They ruled a large territory until they descended into a dark age in the 1200’s. They reemerged into the 9th century BC with a growing empire on the rise. They were known all throughout history for cruelty and invention of evil. They were an arrogant empire. God promised in Isaiah 10 to destroy them for their arrogance. When Babylon invaded them, sexual perversion was rampant. Diodorus says the Assyrian kings were given to homosexuality without restraint and immorality.[3] Destruction, cruelty, murder, adultery, treachery, envy, maliciousness, genocide, torture, and misery all marked this cruel empire. Internal strife weakened the Assyrian empire so much that the Babylonians found it easy to topple them. These sins, especially maliciousness, treachery, and murder, characterized the Hittite empire, the Assyrian empire, and the pre-flood world.

Babylon, like Assyria, began very early as an empire. Under Hammurabi the First Babylonian Empire reached it zenith. Since not much is known about the First Babylonian Empire, I shall discuss the Neo-Babylonian Empire of 612-539 BC. Morally, the Babylonians were looser than the Assyrians or the Hittites had been. According to Swanson, the Babylonian religion forced sexual immorality upon all its followers.[4] The men became effeminate. Like the Hittites, soon after Nebuchadnezzar died, war among his sons and other relations broke out over the kingship. Their religion soon grew into a form of humanism like Isaiah 47:10 says. Nebuchadnezzar (until he repented) and all his successors were extremely prideful. Astrology replaced any real knowledge of the stars, making them a very superstitious people. Like the Hittite king Anitas I who gave himself the title “king of every land where the sun rises,”[5] Nebuchadnezzar said, as is recorded in Daniel 4:30, “Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?” However, within 30 years, the Persians crushed their empire so that it would never rise again.

The Persians themselves had their roots in a people called Elam, an ancient nation arising sometime between the Tower of Babel and Moses. The Medes, on the other hand, were more recent, becoming a unified nation around 725 under the rule of Deioces. (Some say he was a dictatorial tyrant, others a wise and just judge and ruler). In 551 Cyrus inherited the throne of Persia; and before 2 years passed, he had taken the Medes as well. Then he invaded Babylon in 539. Though Cyrus was generally considered a just king, his followers were not. They battled for the throne in a series of assassinations. Cambyses II, Cyrus’s son murdered many of his own family, until he was murdered himself in 522. Darius I beat Cambyses’ brother to the throne and reigned for the next 36 years. Upon Darius death, cruel Xerxes I (aka Ahasuerus or Artaxerxes), known for his violent temper and for killing men at his will, grabbed the throne. He divorced Vashti over something idiotic and remarried Esther over something trivial. The Persians fell fast into drunkenness, dissipation, gluttony (their one meal per day often extend from noon till bedtime), homosexuality (which they learnt from the Greeks), polygamy was rampant among kings.

After Artaxerxes I killed Xerxes I’s murderer, Artabanus captain of the bodyguard, every single king either murdered someone for the throne or was murdered by someone for the same cause, or both. After Axtaxerxes II died, Xerxes II’s brother murdered Xerxes, but he only reigned a few months because Darius II assassinated him in 423 BC. Darius’s sons Artaxerxes II and Cyrus fought until Cyrus was defeated and killed. Artaxerxes out of spite deceitfully murdered all of the generals of the mercenary Greeks in 404 BC. Xenephon only save them through his quick head. Artaxerxes III murdered his whole family, reigned until 338. Baogas the Younger, an open homosexual, kill all Artaxerxes III descendants and threw Darius III on the throne that fled like a coward from Alexander and was murdered by a relative. Their empire fell apart the way the Hittites and the pre-flood world did, by murder for “every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

The Seleucid Empire was really one of five empires that came about as the division of Alexander’s after his death (the Ptolemies, Antigonus, Lysimachus, Cassader, and Seleucus). However, since Seleucus Nicator ruled the largest empire, and was the greatest of Alexander’s generals, I have chosen to include him. By 185 BC, only the Seleucid and Ptolemy Empire remained (the two biggest to begin with).

The Seleucid Empire was extremely proud. Antiochus Soter, Seleucus’s son, reigned after him and gave himself the title, Antiochus II Theos, (Antiochus the God). He was always drunk, though, and after he divorced his wife and remarried, she came back and murdered his new wife and her son. Antiochus III invaded Judah from Ptolemy V in 198BC, and his son Antiochus IV Epiphanes desecrated the temple and offered a pig on the altar. He invaded Egypt from Ptolemy VI, and was anti-Semitic. He intentionally searched for laws of God to break. It was only because God was angrier with Judah that He allowed these things to happen. “The Hellenistic world was a violent world and so by the mid-second century BC the enemies of Seleucids were many and on all sides…The Seleucid throne went into a freefall [sic] after Demetrius became king.”[6] To recount how often so-and-so was assassinated and the line of the Seleucid throne would be more than I have time for now, but their final kings before their fall were very much like the Persian Empire. By 64 BC the Seleucid throne was extinguished.

We see that the empires of man are hopeless. They all fall of their own accord because of their wickedness and sinfulness. Though they are warned 100 times by the preceding empires and by the godly believers of the time, yet they will not repent or listen to wisdom. Therefore, He “will laugh at their calamity, He will mock when their fear cometh,” for “He who sits in the heavens laughs.” All peoples of the earth are deluded and follow in the sins of their fathers, though it destroyed them. How about us?

[1] Kevin Swanson, Preparing the World for Jesus (Generations: Louisville, KY, 2020) p.296

[2] Susan Wise Bauer, The History of the Ancient World (W.W. Norton Publishing Company Inc., 2007) p.199-200

[3] Swanson, p.320

[4] Ibid. p.342

[5] Bauer, p.197

[6] Anonymous “How did the Seleucid Empire Fall?” Daily

Posted in Pastoral | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The State of South African Religion Pictured in Three Brief Encounters

Within 24 hours, from Sunday afternoon June 20th until Monday morning June 21st, I met three different men—two black and one white—who summarized neatly what I have observed from reading history, conversing widely, and studying Scripture for the last 17 years. The names are changed, and the dialogue translated and summarized after the fact, but it is as near as a careful yet fallible memory can afford.

2:00 PM Sunday afternoon

A well-dressed Tsonga man walking home from church accepted my offer for a ride.

Seth: It looks like you are coming from church. What did you learn today?

Man: What?

Seth: What did you learn at church? Did you learn anything?

Man: Oh, yes, we learned to take ourselves seriously.

Seth: Here is my Bible. Can you show me what verse the pastor used to teach such a doctrine?

After time and further conversation the man was unable to recover the source of the honey he had tasted.

Seth: Where will you go when you die?

Man: To Heaven with God.

Seth: How do you know?

Man: I have lived a good life.

Seth: Anything else?

Man: No, that is it. If a man lives a good life, he will go to Heaven.

Seth: What did you forget?

Man: ?

Seth: You are not a Christian. Do not be angry with me, but you forgot something, and when I tell you, you will immediately know It. But the fact that you cannot think of It now tells me that It is not in your heart. It cannot come out of your mouth because your mind and love do not return to this one Great Thing. Would you like to try again? How do you know when you die you will go to Heaven? What have you forgotten? Will God let you into Heaven by your good life?

After time, and some fruitless attempts with nothing more than, “Ku hanya swinene,” (to live well), I replied.

Seth: You forgot Christ. You said nothing of His death for sinners, His prayers for you right now, or His Second Coming. He is not in your heart. I love you and want to help you, but your religion has blinded you.

Man: Oh, pastor! You are a true pastor! When can we talk again?

Seth: I am here on Fridays and Sundays.

At this point, we had arrived at the pick up point for the handful of adults and the tons of children. During the end of our conversation, they had loaded the vehicle. So I asked them, “Do you know that man in the suit who is walking away from us?”

Different voices: Yes, he lives near us. He claims to be an apostle. At their church, they are always shouting and prophesying.

Seth: Which church?

One of the women: The very large church that everyone knows right on the road. 

10:00 AM Monday morning

As an Afrikaans man replaces my battery in an empty watch shop, we spoke together for 10 minutes or so.

Seth: So, do you have any kids?

Man: No, but we have been together for 18 years now.

Seth: You said ‘been together’ not married. Does that mean you have a girlfriend?

Man: Yes.

Seth: Why do you not marry her?

Man: There are a lot of problems that come with marriage.

Seth: Do you read your Bible? [Looking back, I wish I had said, ‘There are greater problems that come with living with your girlfriend,’ but since this is an account of what happened, I will record what I remember, not as I wish I would have spoken.]

Man: I’ll tell you about my dream. My girlfriend and I were walking through these streets when suddenly it was bombed. Black clouds started filling the sky, and I just held her and prayed, ‘Guide us through this.’ I prayed in the dream the way we do at our church with the exact same words. I take that dream to mean that God will guide me.

Seth: Could the dream have come from Satan?

Man: No, Satan could never have sent a dream like that.

Seth: How do you know?

Man: Because I felt in my heart that this was from God. Satan could never produce feelings like that.

Seth: Just yesterday, I preached about the temptations that Satan will bring from John 14:30. In that sermon, I quoted from an old preacher named Richard Baxter who listed 94 ways that Satan tempts men. I only listed 20 of Baxter’s ways. But one of them was to give men a false confidence. Do you think that Satan could give a man confidence in order to deceive him?

Man: No, my dream was true. And it guided me. That’s the way God speaks to me.

The church he mentioned has a large building near the center of town.

11:30 AM Monday Morning

As the exhaust is repaired on my 4×4, Cameron and I greeted a Venda man waiting with us.

Man: How do you know Venda?

Seth: Oh, I don’t know Venda. I am a Tsonga.

Man: [Speaking Tsonga] Where did you learn Tsonga?

Seth: I lived for nine years in a Tsonga village, and even now I am trying to plant churches among the Tsongas.

Cameron: Mi njhani?

Man: [Very pleased] Hi pfukile, n’wana nga! Mi njhani?

Cameron: Hi pfukile.

Seth: Where are you from? How many children do you have?

Man: I have 4 children in marriage and 8 children outside of marriage.

Seth: Have you taught them all the way to be saved?

Man: They go to their own churches.

Seth: Do you read your Bible?

Man: I have not read my Bible for 20 years. You see, I believe that God is there, but who am I to speak to Him? I will talk to my ancestors, and they will speak to Him for me.

Seth: This subject interests me greatly. Can you tell me what you know so that I can learn?

We spoke for a few minutes.

Seth: I have seen that many Tsongas go to church, and the majority would claim to be Christian. But from your experience, how many of the Tsongas are true Christians? When I say ‘true Christian’ I mean someone who does not fear witchcraft or voodoo and does not follow traditional religious practices.

Man: Very few. Almost no Tsongas are Christian in that way. Even my children who go to church, they still do what I do. They think the way I think.


These brief dialogues represent the main lessons and the precise wording (as best I can reassemble) from each of the conversations, but more was said. Further and more importantly, these are only single leaves in the forest. They illustrate a great number of car rides, purchase interactions, and first time meetings. I doubt there are many sociologists who in their course of any particular study have personally interviewed more people than I have over the years on this one issue of conversion. And my findings from that one 24-hour period fit the previous data.

  1. Very few Tsongas learn anything about Biblical doctrine or the way of salvation at their religious gatherings which they call churches.
  2. The Afrikaaners commonly have a vague religious connection to the church, but they think in unbiblical ways and live in direct opposition to the most basic of Christ’s commands.
  3. Most Africans still fear witchcraft and voodoo, and they still practice the worthless traditions they received from their ancestors.
  4. It is far more common to find lost South Africans both black and white than to find true Christians.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Power From on High: The Amazing Success of Charles Spurgeon


  • Listen to the lecture.
  • The statements of the Book of Acts startle the imagination.
  • 3,000 saved in one day (2:41); a few days later, 5,000 more (4:4).
  • New spiritual births were taking place each day (2:41).
  • Solid, enduring churches were planted in a month (17:2).
  • It was the revelation of a spiritual power that the world had never seen.
  • And the rain fell for 30 years.
  • When Charles Haddon Spurgeon died 31 January 1892, his brother James led the church to write, “we have been linked to apostolic times in fullness of blessing…” Drummond, 763.
  • Is that too much? Can we compare any man now living with the apostles who walked with Christ and wrote the Scripture?


  • There is no greater example of the power of God extended over the whole of a man’s life than the life of Charles Spurgeon.

Early childhood

  1. 10 days after William Carey died on 19 June 1834, Charles Spurgeon is born as the first of 17.
  2. Spurgeon’s father and grandfather were both baby-baptizing, independent ministers.
  3. Though his mother bore him at 19, she devoutly prayed with him daily and read the Bible to him.
  4. Apparently around 5 years old, he began reading and chose Pilgrim’s Progress for one of his first books.
  5. Then Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and many other Puritan works.
  6. Spurgeon had a few years of elementary schooling for which his father sacrificed to bring to his many little ones.


  1. At 15 years old, Spurgeon writes 290 pages on Popery Unmasked.
  2. His mother read Baxter’s Call to the Unconverted and other Puritan works to the children at night.
  3. She prayed constantly for him including one of the most famous prayers in church history:
    “Now, Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ.”
  4. As a young teenager, Spurgeon became terrified by the law of God.
  5. “I was condemned, undone, destroyed,–lost, helpless, hopeless—I thought hell was before me.”
  6. “I seemed to be all rottenness, a dunghill of corruption, nothing better, but something a great deal worse.”
  7. There are 24 pages in his autobiography simply about the conviction of sin before he found rest in Christ.
  8. “If the Lord means to build high, He always digs deep; and if He means to give great grace, He gives deep consciousness of need of it.”
  9. Never has there been “one who received a new heart, and was reclaimed from sin without a wound from Jesus.”
  10. 6 January 1850, at 15 years old, he was supposed to walk to church where his father was preaching 15 k’s away.
  11. The weather was very snowy, so Spurgeon walked to a little Methodist church.
  12. Is. 45:22, an uneducated preacher, “Look, look to Christ!”
  13. Spurgeon did look and “Scarcely ever since then have I known joys which surpassed the rapture of that hour.”
  14. Every volume of his sermons includes at least one account of his conversion. (Drummond, 110)
  15. Four months later, he was baptized by immersion, though his parents sprinkled infants.
  16. 8 months after his conversion at 16 years old, Spurgeon preached his first sermon.
  17. During all this time, he was tirelessly reading the best Puritans, and with the prize money from a contest, purchased the Septuagint.

Service in Waterbeach

  1. When only 17, Spurgeon preached for two Sundays at Waterbeach Baptist Church and was asked to be their full time pastor.
  2. By 19 years old, he wrote his father in a letter that he had “preached more than 600 times.”
  3. Within less than two years, the building burst with more than 400 consistent listeners to the boy preacher.
  4. Throughout the village he constantly spoke to sinners in their homes and on the streets.
  5. “Unless I am baptized anew with the Spirit of God, and constantly stand at the foot of the cross, reading the curse of sin in the crimson hieroglyphics of my Savior’s dying agonies, I shall become as steeled and insensible as many professors already are.” Vol. 1, p. 60
  6. He never received formal ministry training saying he would rather have the degree SST (Sunday School Teacher) than BA or MA.
  7. When his father tried to arrange him to meet with the president o a college, the maid put Charles in one room and the president in another so that they never saw each other.

Call to London

  1. At 19, he received an invitation to preach at the New Park Street Chapel in London.
  2. Though the building could seat 1,200 only a handful—possibly 50-100—were present.
  3. In the evening, a much larger crowd was present after having heard of the remarkable Sunday morning sermon.
  4. Within 4 months, Spurgeon accepted the call to be the pastor of the largest Baptist church in London, 2 months before his 20th birthday.
  5. The deacons said, “[No college training] is to us a special recommendation, for you would not have much savour or unction if you came from college.” Vol. 1, p. 249
  6. Thus Spurgeon became the pastor of a church that began in 1652.
  7. Keach had served there for 36 years, Gill for 51, and Rippon for 63 years before Spurgeon would serve for 37.


  1. One of the young ladies who had heard him on his first Sunday in London was Susannah Thompson.
  2. Though she was two years older than him, he began to pursue her when he was 19—only 4 months after meeting her.
  3. After leading her to place her full confidence in Christ, he asked her to marry him.
  4. They had known each other for 2 years and 1 month before they were married: Charles 12, Susie 23.
  5. The Lord blessed their marriage with twin boys—their only children—10 months after their wedding day.
  6. Their love bloomed and inspired many years of devoted service, happiness, and letters when they were separated.
  7. Sadly, Susie had been given a particularly weak constitution so that she commonly was unable to attend her husband’s preaching.

Building the Metropolitan Tabernacle

  1. Within two years, Charles had so many listeners that they decided to build a larger building.
  2. “Many stand through the whole service, wedged in by their fellows, and prevented from escaping by the crowd outside, who seal up the doors and fill the yard in front, and stand in throngs as far as the sound can reach.”
  3. Some said they would not hear of building a larger facility for such a young man, but Charles replied, “You will hear no more about it when it is done, and therefore the sooner you set about doing it the better.”
  4. The building project took 5 years and nearly triple the estimated cost.
  5. “The Bible never tells us to get out of debt; it tells us we are not to have any.” Drummond, 335
  6. During the construction, the church began renting other facilities in which to hold services.
  7. He preached in massive halls with balconies and a sea of listeners without a microphone.
  8. Once at the Crystal Palace when he was only 23, he preached to over 23,000 people.
  9. Finally, the Metropolitan Tabernacle was opened on March 1861 with a week of meetings on the Doctrines of Grace.
  10. The building held 3,600 seats with 2,000 more temporary seats folding down or added after the rows were filled.
  11. As they entered this new building the membership had grown from 313 when Spurgeon arrived to over 2,000.
  12. Later, when renovations of this building were needed, they moved to the Agricultural Hall where 18,000 consistently gathered to hear Spurgeon.

The Pastor’s College and other ministries

  1. In 1855, a 21-year-old Spurgeon begins training T. W. Medhurst to be a pastor.
  2. In 1857, the second student joined them both and the college was founded.
  3. Ever since his youth, Spurgeon had been concerned about colleges that turned out lifeless, cold ministers.
  4. He offered no degrees—to this day, even saying that those who wanted degrees probably had worldly motives.
  5. If he offered no qualifications, he also charged no fees.
  6. The course of the college was 2 years long until they added a third year in 1879.
  7. The courses required included: Math, logic, natural philosophy, moral philosophy, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Biblical literature, Systematic Theology, and Homiletics.
  8. While Spurgeon was alive, the graduates began 88 new churches.
  9. As long as he lived, Spurgeon called this ministry his beloved son.
  10. But this was only one of 64 ministries Spurgeon began!
  11. The Stockwell orphanage for boys in 1867 was probably more famous and then came the orphanage for girls in 1879.
  12. The orphanages were both started because large donations were given—he did not force these ministries, but followed the providence of God.
  13. Many of the ministries began that way. A member or friend brought a great idea to him and offered to finance it.
  14. He also began a book-selling ministry, a book giving ministry for pastors, a clothes ministry for pastors, a job training ministry for men, and a poor mothers assistance ministry along with many others.
  15. His wife served in the pastors’ book fund for many years.
  16. One of the most influential ministries was the monthly magazine The Sword and the Trowel which Spurgeon began.


  1. Though he was busy with many ministries, Spurgeon was first of all a preacher.
  2. From the time he was only 20, his sermons were printed each week in the newspapers as well as for private sale.
  3. Before television or radio moved words around the world and into homes, “more than 300 million [copies] of Spurgeon’s individual sermons had gone out.” Murray, Heroes, 264.
  4. He aimed at the poorest people, but his sermons were so filled with wisdom, power, pictures, Bible, and humor, that the rich came as well.
  5. His attackers would say that his church was full of “rabble.”
  6. “In the great day, when the muster-roll shall be read, of all those who are converted through fine music, and church decoration, and religious exhibitions and entertainments, they will amount to the tenth part of nothing; but it will always please God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The Soulwinner
  7. 3,563 sermons have been preserved—at 2 sermons per Sunday and 104 per year, it would take nearly 34 years to complete that.
  8. The sermon index to all his sermons shows that he preached as often from the OT as from the NT.
  9. Spurgeon would explain a passage verse by verse each Sunday as an exposition before another song and the sermon itself.
  10. He recommended about 45 minutes per sermon.
  11. In Chicago, USA, a plea was made for a missionary to head to the Western USA in order to pastor 200 people who had been led to Christ by reading Spurgeon’s sermons.
  12. A woman in England was converted when she received a package from Australia wrapped in a newspaper from the USA. One of Spurgeon’s sermons was written in that newspaper and it led her to Christ. The sermon was wired to America, printed in a newspaper, sent to Australia, used as packing back to England, and then saved its target audience.
  13. The sales of his writings supplied an immense income for Spurgeon, but he gave nearly all of it away to the ministries of the Tabernacle.


  1. At 20 years old, the newspapers began attacking him.
  2. Before he turned 25, he was not only attacked in newspapers, but at least five whole books had been written against him.
  3. Spurgeon thanked God for this: “What a fool the devil is! If he had not vilified me, I should not have had so many precious souls as my hearers.”
  4. At 27 years old, he attacked the Anglican Church’s doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration with a sermon that sold 350,000 copies!
  5. They had a careful, four-step process for accepting members.
    A candidate would meet with an elder on Wednesday night between 6 and 9 pm. He had to answer four questions:
    • What evidence is there that you have an interest in Christ?
    • How can you tell that you have felt your sin?
    • How has your life changed sin conversion?
    • Can you explain the doctrines of grace?

      Then he would meet with the assistant pastor.
      Then a church member would visit him.
      Then the pastor would question him in public at a church service.
  6. Even with this process, their church membership constantly increased so that 14,000 people went through that process in Spurgeon’s 37 years’ of ministry at the Tabernacle.
  7. He was the brightest star, but not the only gifted, dedicated, and successful servant of God.
  8. Mrs. Lavinia Bartlett taught a Sunday School class that started with 3 girls and grew to 700 in 7 years; hundreds of these young ladies became church members.
  9. Deacon Thomas Olney started a church while also serving at the Tabernacle.
  10. Charles’ brother James also started a separate church while serving as the assistant pastor of the Tabernacle!
  11. T. W. Medhurst, the first student at the Pastor’s College, revived Biblical Christianity in Ireland.
  12. Joseph Passmore labored sacrificially to print Spurgeon’s sermons and books.
  13. Prayer meetings at this time were commonly held on Mondays and Thursdays with well over 1,000 people attending.
  14. Considering that people had to work to church after working in hard conditions, these numbers are even more amazing.


  1. I counted 144 books that he wrote over the course of 38 years (Drummond says over 150)—an average of one book every 13 weeks.
  2. Several of his books have sold over 1 million copies each.
  3. He wrote All of Grace, Faith’s Checkbook, and Around the Wicket Gate to lead sinners to Christ.
  4. He wrote commentaries on the Psalms as well as Matthew.
  5. He also wrote practical books such as John Ploughman’s Talks.

Sickness and Suffering

  1. While preaching to thousands, writing one book every 3 months, arranging the training of new pastors, caring for nearly 500 orphans, and leading the greatest church ever recorded, he suffered constantly.
  2. From 34 to the end of his life, he suffered constantly from gout, rheumatism, and depression.
  3. His wife estimated that from age 35, he was out of the pulpit 1/3 of the time due to sickness.
  4. He would commonly travel to France in hopes of resting and recovering.
  5. All of these great works were done in the midst of a storm of criticism from the press and returning bodily weakness.

The Downgrade Controversy

  1. In August 1887, Spurgeon wrote against the growing theological liberalism in Britain’s Baptist Union.
  2. Owing to cowardly ministers who had previously confessed to Spurgeon but were not willing to speak publicly, Spurgeon bore intense anger and unjust accusations in public for years.
  3. In a public vote, even his brother James—the assistant pastor of the Tabernacle—chose to stand against Charles.
  4. The stress of standing nearly alone against false doctrine in the face of otherwise good Christian men pressed him so heavily that his wife testified it led to an early grave for him.

Advance to Heaven

  1. Just before his 57th birthday, Spurgeon was taken sick.
  2. He traveled to France to recover, but his body could not recover.
  3. On 31 January 1892, he saw that One whom he had loved and incomparably preached.
  4. Five funeral services were held with one one beginning at 10:30 PM.
  5. Around 50,000 passed his casket.

Ongoing influence

  1. His brother eventually became the pastor, then his son, and then his friend A. T. Pierson.
  2. But each of these men shifted from Spurgeon’s theology of trusting in God’s power to do great works.
  3. Slowly the error of revivalism grew where Spurgeon had only preached the power of God.
  4. Perhaps, these men were trying to keep alive by their own strength what could only been done—and had only been done by God.
  5. The church slumped ever downward until it had lost members, zeal, evangelism, and the fear of God.
  6. In 1969, Peter Masters came to the church bearing the same responsibility and theology as Charles Spurgeon.
  7. Under his leadership the church has been returning to its former heritage of holiness, evangelism, and Biblical theology.


  • Charles Spurgeon saw the largest church in the world.
  • Over thousands of chances to preach, Spurgeon consistently held the attention of maximum capacity crowds.
  • Every worldly motive was deemphasized so that the only gold left over was the pure preaching of the spiritual blessings brought by Jesus Christ to poor sinners.
  • Further, he was surrounded by some of the greatest Christians and his ministries were remarkably blessed.
  • Does this not sound like the book of Acts written again?
  • What can explain his life except a continual outpouring of God’s Spirit?


Nettles, Tom. Living by Revealed Truth, Mentor, 2013, 683 pages.
Dallimore, Arnold. Spurgeon: A New Biography, Banner of Truth, 1985, 252 pages.
Drummond, Lewis. Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers, 1992, 895 pages.
Murray, Iain. Heroes, 2009, pages 259-295.
Murray, Iain. The Forgotten Spurgeon. 1973, 268 pages.

Posted in Book reviews | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Sins of Unbelievers in the New Testament

Having compared and listed the virtues that the NT presents as being dominant in the Christian life, here are the largest lists of sins in the NT compared to demonstrate the kind of life that marks those who are outside of Christ.

Since I am not skilled with design, I will just post the chart in three different ways, screenshot, cut and paste, and PDF. A few brief observations and conclusion are below.

Mark 7
13 Sins
Rom. 1
22 Sins
1 Cor. 6
10 Sins
Gal. 5
15 Sins
Col. 3
11 Sins
1 Tim. 1
11 Sins
2 Tim. 3
19 Sins
Tit. 3
8 Sins
Rev. 21
8 Sins
Evil thoughts   Evil desire  Various lusts 
Fornication FornicationImmorality ImpurityImmorality ImpurityImmoral  Immorality
Theft Theft Swindle      
MurderMurder   Murder  Murder
Adultery Adultery      
CovetingGreedGreed Greed Loving money  
Sensuality  SensualityPassion    
EnvyEnvy Jealousy Envy   Envy 
SlanderSlanderSlander Slander Slander  
PrideArrogant Boastful    Boastful Arrogant Conceit  
Foolishness      Foolish Deceived 
 Homosex.Homosex.  Homosex.   
 Strife Strife     
 Malice  Malice MaliceMalice 
 Gossip    Gossip  
 Hate God    Hate good  
 Inventing evil       
 Disobed.    Disobed.Disobed. 
 Without understand       
  IdolatryIdolatry    Idolatry
   Sorcery    Sorcery
   HatredWrath  Hateful 
   AngerAnger  Hating each other 
   Disputes Divisions Factions     
    Filthy talk    
    LyingLying Perjury  Lying
     Lawless. Rebellious.   
      Loving self  
      No Self control Reckless  
      Brutality Treachery  
      Love pleasure  
      False religion  


  • Other lists could have been included such as Rom. 3:10-18; Eph. 4:17-19; Eph. 4:31; Eph. 5:3-5; and 1 Pet. 4:3-4.
  • Fornication is the singular sin that is mentioned the most as the mark of an unbeliever.
  • But relationship sins including anger, lying, and slander is the category that is the most dominant across the whole NT.


Sexual sins, anger, and sinful words are the great dangers for a Christian. These sins specially mark the world, and they should not even be named among us for it is disgraceful even to speak of such things.

Posted in Pastoral | Tagged | 1 Comment

Virtue Lists of the New Testament Believer

In two days, I hope to preach about the glorious effects of the resurrection of Christ in the lives of His people from Colossians 3:1-17. As I prepared and meditated on that passage, the list of virtues in 3:12-16 stood out to me. So I took an hour or so this morning to combine and compare the virtue lists of the New Testament.

It seems that the true spirituality and self-denying grace presented in these lists is commonly missing from professing Christians. May they not be lacking from our lives.

Matt. 5
8 Virtues
2 Cor. 6
8 Virtues
Gal. 5
9 Virtues
Eph. 4
6 Virtues
Col. 3
11 Virtues
2 Pet. 1
8 Virtues
Humility BrokennessHumilityHumility
Gentleness GentlenessGentlenessGentleness 
Hungering for righteousness   
MercifulKindnessKindnessCompassion KindnessBrotherly love
Peaceable PeacePeacePeace 
Enduring sufferingPatiencePatiencePatiencePatiencePerseverance
Knowledge Word of truthKnowledge of the WordKnowledge
 Holy Spirit    
Power of God    
 Goodness  Virtue
  Faith  Faith
 Self-control  Self-control


  • 27 different terms are included in these lists.
  • But because of similarity of ideas, it appears there are roughly 19 different virtues.
  • The idea of patience or longsuffering is the only virtue in all 6 lists.
  • Kindness is the next most mentioned virtue in 5 of the 6 lists.
  • Gentleness, Peace, and Love are in 4 of the 6 lists.
  • Christian graces conspicuously missing include boldness, courage, diligence, generosity, and initiative.


  • The Christian life is uniquely marked by grace, self-denial, restraint, and considering others.
Posted in Pastoral | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Four Ways Christianity Honors Women

In perhaps the greatest example of Christianity’s opposition to the world, the religion of Jesus Christ honors women.

Women are presented commonly throughout Scripture and often in positive ways.

  1. Num. 27— In the case of the daughters of Zelophehad, God specially revealed that women must have property rights.
  2. At the Resurrection, the angels first told women, and Jesus first revealed Himself to a woman.
  3. When Paul arrives in Philippi, he attends a woman’s Bible study. The first convert in the church is a woman.
  4. Of the 6 times Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned in Scripture, the wife is listed first 4 of those times.
  5. An entire NT epistle is written to “the elect lady.” 2 John
  6. In Proverbs 8, the Lord Jesus is represented by Wisdom, but in chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, and 9 wisdom is personified as a woman.
  7. There is a chapter on the perfect woman, Pro. 31, but none on the perfect man.
  8. Had Abigail not helped David he would have murdered Nabal. 1 Sam. 25
  9. Beside Abraham as an example of true faith is Rahab. James 2:25
  10. The Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11 includes two women.

Obviously, this is only a sample list of many other positive references to women in the Bible. But compare these positive references to the weaker vessels with the other major religions. The Hindu Scriptures (Bhagavad Gita 10:32) teach that women come from a sinful origin unlike men. The Quran has no positive references to women in any of its 114 Surahs and even includes the ridiculous account (Surah 12:30-31) where all the upper class women in the city cut themselves with knives because they are stunned at Joseph’s beauty.

Christianity speaks better about women than any false religion.

Women are given equal opportunity to be saved through faith in Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:28

This verse famously teaches that anyone may enter the Narrow Gate to Heaven by simply believing in Jesus Christ regardless of his age, sex, nationality, language, or bank balance.

The same wonderful Christian teaching is implied throughout Scripture (John 3:36; Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13; et. al.).

A woman brought the Messiah.

In Revelation 12:2, 5, a woman clothed with the sun brings forth a man child.

Is it a dishonor to men to say that He created them in order to display the riches of His kindness and mercy? Is it a dishonor to angels to say that they were created to serve His majesty and His church? Then why would it be anything other than exalted honor to say that women were made as the sole earthly instrument to bring about the intersection of God and the earth?

According to John Owen, the incarnation “is the best, the most noble, useful, beneficial object that we can be conversant about in our thoughts or cleave unto in our affections.” (The Glory of Christ, works, vol. 1, p. 312) This best, most noble glory of Christ is only made possible because of women! No wonder the world hates femininity! It is through true womanly glory that this ineffable wonder of God came about.

Motherhood is no small glory. The demonic nature of feminism is seen most clearly in its snide treatment of mothers who labor for their children. Is the creation of a new life such a small thing that you need to find another wonder to make life worth living? Are pregnancy and child birth such minor, casual moments in a normal day that we need to add a day at the office to make women dignified? Are the raising and nurturing of our sons and daughters a thing of no value? Were our mothers wasting their time? Is it not blasphemous to think of Mary sending the Son of God to be nursed and cleaned by a paid day care worker?

Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,
Hebrews 2:14

The defeat of Satan resulted from Christ’s taking on flesh and blood. God created women for the unique glory of making salvation possible by giving His Son flesh and blood like the other “children.” Only Christianity brings salvation from a divine incarnation, and thus women are exalted forever.

As brides and wives, women picture of the Bride of Christ.

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
Revelation 19:7

But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5:24

The Father loves the Son with the highest and holiest overflow of commitment, energy, and affection. Yet, He loves the church in the same way!

…You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
John 17:23

What mind can conceive from all eternity the infinite strength of the Father and His absolute holiness flowing outward toward the ineffable perfections of His Son? Victoria Falls will sooner run dry than He could ever tire of enjoying and expressing His perfect happiness with His only Begotten.

But in this prayer of Jesus, he says, “…even as…” so that we might know the Father now directs this same kind of love toward the church!

If nothing is higher in His affections than the church, and if He compares the church to a godly woman, then the dignity of all godly women has been raised beyond what they usually take knowledge of.

Women, what more could you want than to be God’s unique earthly picture of that which God loves as He loves His Son? Have men been raised any higher because they stand in the analogy for the Son of God? No, because John 17:23 is clear that He somehow gives to the church the love that He has for His Son.

Men are prone to laziness, inaction, adultery, and worldliness. But women are prone to be discontent with representing that group of chosen ones whom the Father gave to the Son. What a sad, silly, and even Satanic discontent. Each star has its own glory (1 Cor. 15:41), so why must women covet the glory given to men? Is it not enough that He has loved you and chosen you and made you fellow heirs with His Son? Is it not enough that He will take away your sin and make you a partaker of His own divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4)?

Posted in Pastoral | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Three Ways the World Hates Women

The world dishonors women in many mays. Amazingly, even the governments and organizations that profess to honor women commonly dishonor them.

Women are commonly loaded with more work than is fit.

Among the Tsonga women, an eye witness who lived for many years in their village and spoke their language listed 10 different jobs that keep Tsonga women busy as long as the sun is up. “As for men, their life is far from being as active as that of the women. … We can fairly estimate at three months the time required for the work which they have to do for the village and for the community. The remaining months are devoted to pastimes and pleasure.” (The Life of a South African Tribe, Junod, vol. 1, pp. 337, 340)

Though times have changed in some measure, too often women are given jobs that the Bible gives to men. Male laziness buries many women in a suffocating pile of work. Even in a Western context many women bear the responsibility to work outside the home, prepare meals, take care of children, and even lead the family in religion.

When men leave the work to the women, the family does not develop. Women slowly emerge from their God-given roles and affections. Trapped within the guide rails of the world’s system of expectations, women are told that to have value they must neglect and de-emphasize the home and family. By promoting and defending cultures that perpetuate foolish patterns of work on women, the governments of the world are dishonoring women.

Motherhood is dishonored.

What percentage of 17-year old young ladies around the world have as their goal to raise children? Since feminism has triumphed in the public square around the world, women have increasingly searched for work outside the home. Feminism is the teaching that women can and should do what men do. Or, in other words, feminism is the doctrine that men are so bad, women should be just like them.

But what must men do? Gen. 3:17 “In toil you will eat of [the soil], all the days of your life. … By the sweat of your face you will eat bread…” Before this curse, God placed the man in the garden as the first farmer (Gen. 2:15). Provision for wife and children is the undisputed Biblical role that God has given to men. If women do that as well, then who will watch, wash, and feed the children? Who will cook, clean, and make the house? Feminism says that is all dishonorable.

For Christians—or anyone who has even a dash of historical perspective, feminism is the breaking of the 10th Commandment whereby women are catechized to covet their husbands’ jobs. But deeper still, it is a dishonoring of motherhood. If a girl wanted to stay at home and raise children, she would be discouraged or even mocked today. Our world wants girls to think about being sports stars, movie stars, businessmen, or employed in other ways. The governments of the world will offer incentives to attract women to leave their dreams for children and chase money. Later when they are depressed and lonely, they are trapped.

Women are encouraged to give away their bodies in vile and filthy ways.

The world urges girls to be as free with fornication as men are. The argument is: Men have these desires, and therefore women must desire the same thing in the same way (See The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex, and Feminism by Lukas). Since the sexual revolution of the 1960’s, women have been the losers. By throwing away virginity and purity, too many women have given foolish men what they wanted without getting the relationship that they had wanted.

Proverbs warns about this even in ancient Jewish culture when Solomon told his son to watch out for the women who matches his description. “She is boisterous and rebellious, Her feet do not remain at home; She is now in the streets, now in the squares, And lurks by every corner.” (Pro. 7:11-12)

She wears a uniform that clearly shows her line of work (Pro. 7:10), and she talks like a sewer (7:14-20). The world sees no problem with this “lifestyle choice” even though it is obviously dishonorable to any female. No mother wants her daughter to grow up to be the Proverbs 7 woman.

A life without restraint where women are consumed like fried chicken is a common aspect of the world’s depraved and savage cultures. Pornography, prostitution, and indecency in fashion and media in the Western world vies with the practices in rural Tsonga culture to degrade women into the status of a mere body.

After describing the custom of the “gangisa” still commonly practiced in rural areas of South Africa, Junod writes, “As the unmarried boys and girls live in special huts… at the entrance of the village, it is easy for them to meet at nights. … In fact nothing is prohibited in the relations between young people of the two sexes.” (Junod, vol. 1, p. 97) Will anyone who grew up in the rural areas try to say that a significant number of the young people were virgins when they were married?

When God describes the picture of the final form of the world’s system before the return of Christ, He could choose nothing more poignant and reprehensible than the picture of a Woman who had given herself to vile and filthy habits (Rev. 17-18).

That is what the world does with women. It dishonors them by overwhelming them with work and the desires for work that they cannot do. It mocks their amazing ability to bear children, and it culminates its vandalism of femininity by teaching them to sell their bodies for the lowest price.

Posted in Pastoral | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The South African Government’s Most Recent Ban on Church Attendance

Once again, the South African government has decided that Christians must not meet to study the Bible, pray, evangelize, or sing. Here is the summary of three different pages from the most recent addition to the law.

Our church is meeting this coming Sunday, and I thank God that several other godly churches and pastors are meeting as well.

Posted in Pastoral | Tagged | 2 Comments

How to View the Government During COVID 19

The lessons of history

When Charles II regained power after Oliver Cromwell in 1660, one of his contemporaries wrote:

We have a pretty witty king,
Whose word no man relies on;
He never said a foolish thing,
And never did a wise one.

Those lines were the response to his brutal treatment of Christians after promising religious liberty.

In Tanzania between 1973 and 1978, President Julius Nyerere ordered 11 million men, women, and children to move to waste land from their family farms. When the peasants returned to their homes quietly after a few days, government officials burnt their houses to the ground. But this was all done for the good of the poor.

Russia’s government officials sent cart after cart into Ukraine in 1932 to load all the grain farmed and harvested in the villages. State employees guarded the grain once it was collected and even punished the peasants for not meeting their quotas by taking their reserves of food. Death by government took the lives of nearly 4 million through the state-created famine.

The Xhosa king Sarhili listened to the voice of a teenaged girl who asserted that her forefathers had spoken to her. These spirits required that all the cattle and food supplies be completely destroyed so that the ancient spirits would revive and push out the British and the Afrikaaners. In 1856, the cattle was destroyed by government order. By 1857, starvation had destroyed this once numerous people.

More recently, government employees in the United States declared on 22 January 1973 that if someone has the right to privacy, then they also have the right to murder their children.

In ancient history, one government leader ordered the murder of all baby boys, and 2,000 years later a provincial ruler tried it again. In both cases, the motivation was religious though in both cases, the kings claimed to have other motivations.

One government leader had some wise counselors, but he chose to listen to the fools he had around him. As a result Jeroboam increased taxes until riots broke out.

Daniel had a similar view of government officials picturing them as dangerous beasts set to devour. In the Revelation, another beast restricts men’s freedoms so that they cannot buy or sell without his approval, and the Great Whore is a political power from whom believers are told to come out so that they will not receive her diseases.

The sword that placed John the Baptist’s head on the platter was paid for and authorized by more than one government official at a party with numerous politicians. As a response, Jesus insulted that local king in public.

Time would fail to tell of Saul whose employee murdered 85 priests, or Nebuchadnezzar who threw his most faithful into a furnace because of their religion, or the regional politician who decided to protest his military loss to Israel by sacrificing his son (2 Kings 3:27).

But these were all bad men. What would happen if your president were a truly good king, a man after God’s own heart? Even the best man when raised to power, fell to adultery and hid his guilt by conspiring with other government officials to murder one of his mighty men.

Without taking any pains in research, simply consulting my usual reading, more than a dozen examples of bad decisions from government officials stand before us. Since God would have us to use our minds wisely, then we must take history’s lessons into account when reaching our philosophical conclusions. Government officials commonly make wild, worthless, or even wicked decisions.

A theological lesson

All Christians believe that man is sinful. To deny this truth you must not only close your eyes and empty your mind of a lifetime’s experiences with other sinners, but you must also cut from the Bible the scores of verses that teach the sinfulness of man. Here is one that you may not have noticed before:

For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
Titus 3:3

Who are these people? “We… ourselves…” In the next verse it says, “all mankind.”

What are they like? They have mental problems—foolish. They have moral problems—disobedient. They have intellectual problems—easily deceived. They are particularly weak—enslaved. They are petty—spending their lives in malice and envy. And they have massive interpersonal problems.

Only those who have been born again are freed from these bonds. But most people are not born again. Most politicians are not. What then is true about them?

The great majority of politicians in the world are foolish, immoral, easily tricked, enslaved to lusts, wasting their lives, and secretly dominated by hatred.

A conspiracy theory

At the core of an angel is a mind—a center for memory, communication, desire, and evaluation. All this is true of Satan as well as the thousands and thousands of spirits that fell with him (Rev. 12:4). Abaddon, the antichrist, and the other rulers of the darkness of this world work together to accomplish their purposes.

Is there any reason to think that a man is protected from their influences when he becomes an employee of the state? Why would we not expect government officials to be especially targeted and controlled by Satan and his forces since “we know that… the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19)?

The wrong place for confidence

Fascism is a way to think about politics. It is a view of government, and specifically a wrong view. It is a raising up and an honoring of the state beyond proportion. Mussolini is known as a fascist because he demanded loyalty and received it. In this sense, Hitler was a fascist as well even though Germany and Italy had important political differences. As Jonah Goldberg shows in Liberal Fascism, the essence of fascism is placing confidence in the state rather than the country. The country is a collection of people bound together by a common culture. The state is the arm of power that enforces civil behavior.

These days for a number of reasons, our world is particularly vulnerable to fascism. If we read a report from the government, we tend to give it a special place in our minds. If we hear someone is a high-ranking government official, we tend to think they know more than us. If we see a government building, we tend to think it should be glorious. Why do we lean this way? Because humanity is desperate for something solid, lasting. An inner magnet is constantly pulling us toward that which is permanent, even while inherent sin pushes us away from the only true Permanence, the One who does not change (Mal. 3:6).

Further, as capitalism has produced so much wealth, politicians have discovered new ways to redistribute it with the result that the average citizen has come to rely more and more on the government: At first for the military and legal system, then roads and transportation, then schools and education, then hospitals and medicine, then grants and welfare. Where will it end? When Satan has catechized the world with “Trust in the State with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge the president and officials and they will direct your paths.”

The entire book of Isaiah is against this: Trust only in Jehovah for in Him alone is salvation. The history of Joshua, Judges, and the Kings is against this: God gave us the kings so that we would not hope in government, but in God. Revelation is against this: Only Christ can rule the world.


One of the basic presuppositions of a Christian heart is a lack of trust in government because of a lack of trust in men.

This is why we should be critical of the government’s response to COVID. Scripture and history are more solid places on which to put our feet than the shifting sands of a politician’s edict or a doctor’s opinion even if they agree with you.

Ultimately, COVID has been largely a political and economic issue more so than a medical one. It is Biblical to doubt government, and it is unbiblical to accept the government’s words without caution, criticism, or concern. Aren’t those words written by men who—in the most important matters—are foolish, disobedient, and deceived? How much more so when the government pretends to know how to arrange the medical health of all its citizens as well as the entire economy?

Christians trust God not government; the Bible not the bulletin; and the sinless Offering not the sinful office-bearers.

Other articles on the government and COVID:

The Godly Use of a Bad Attitude

Obedience That Dishonored God

Disobedience That Honored God

Should Christians be Concerned About Freedom?




Posted in Pastoral | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

My Booklist From 2020


  • Book of the Year: John Bunyan, The Holy War
  • Surprise of the Year: Daryl Wingerd, Divorce and Remarriage
  • Worst of the Year: Ansari, Islam to the Modern Mind


0     The book was notable for lacking this category repeatedly.
1     The book dipped into this category at times.
2     The book consistently demonstrated this category.

Non-Fiction Categories:

  • Weight: Did the book ask and answer the most germane questions about an important topic?
  • Research: Did the writer demonstrate a thorough command of the subject?
  • Style: Did the theme, vocabulary, and composition represent an enduring standard?
  • Logic: Did the book model logic in definitions, formatting, and focus?
  • Affections: Was some truth presented powerfully to the affections?
28 in 2020 ________________
Lukas, Carrie. The PIG to Women, Sex, and Feminism. 2006, 221 pp. What women most want will not be found via feminism.221207
Paton, Maggie. Letters and Sketches from the New Hebrides. Original 1865-1889, reprint 2003. 382 pp. A godly woman writes letters on life and ministry from an untouched island. It is insightful, interesting, and humorous especially if you are a missionary.222219
Murray, Iain. A Scottish Christian Heritage. 2006. 402 pp. Scotland’s amazing history includes revivals that have much to teach us about piety and doctrinal fidelity today.2222210
Miravalle, John Mark. Beauty. 2019. 157 pp. Man yearns for the beauty which is hinted at in art and ultimately found in God. Not much Scripture.122117
Ansari, Fazlur. Islam to the Modern Mind. 1970, 72, printed in 1999. 326 pp. A series of lectures given in SA to Muslims on common Islamic doctrines and practices.110002
Jones, Mark. Knowing Christ. 2015, 250 pp. Second time through these meditations after choosing it as book of the year for 2019.2222210
Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. Ca 1945, 160 pp. Lack of knowledge about human nature leads many into sin.2222210
Behe, Michael. Darwin’s Black Box. 2006. 329 pp. The cell shows irreducible complexity that could not possibly have evolved.122117
Bunyan, John. The Holy War. Perhaps the greatest book ever written outside the Bible.2222210
Marshall, Tim. Prisoners of Geography. 2016, 320 pp. The geography of the world’s major countries influences and sometimes dictates their far-reaching decisions.221218
Wingerd, Daryl. Divorce and Remarriage. 2009. 158 pp. It is always a sin to initiate a divorce or remarriage if the spouse is still alive.222219
Wylie, James. The History of the Waldenses. 1880?, 205 pp. In the mountains of Italy and France, godly believers fought against tyranny and endured persecution for hundreds of years. Some breathtaking passages.2222210
Baxter, Richard. A Call to the Unconverted. 1657, 134 pp. There is every reason in Heaven and earth to turn to Christ and live, and therefore the most compelling, gripping, logical, Biblical arguments ought to be blended with all the passion that divine grace has given to a Christian for his use in converting sinners.2222210
Adams, Jay. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. 1980, 99 pp. Divorce and remarriage are possible under a great many circumstances loosely bound by the categories of sexual sin and the desire of an unbeliever.011103
Postman, Neil. Technopoly. 1992, 222 pp. Since all technology changes man often in subtle, unexpected, and powerful ways, it must be received cautiously and held in throttle lest unforeseen consequences devastate cultural virtue.2222210
Brown, Scott. It Can Be Done. 2009, 123 pp.
These hearty rhymes from yesteryear
Will make a man, if he will hear
As a boy ‘fore he’s grown old,
To follow his father’s God.
Sowell, Thomas. Race and Culture. 1994, 331 pp. The differences between racial groups is largely based on personal behavior patterns, willingness to change, work habits, attitudes toward finances, and moral characteristics.222219
Bradley, Maureen, ed. Worthy is the Lamb. 2004. 374 pp. A collection of the best Puritan poems. 2222210
Gregory, John. The Seven Laws of Teaching. 1884, 144 pp. The science of teaching must be mastered according to seven basic laws.222219
Schultz, Bob. Created for Work. 2006, 181 pp. To be men, boys need to learn a culture of work from Scripture.222219
Taylor, Richard. The Disciplined Life, 1962, 102 pp. Self-discipline is a Christian virtue.211127
Binning, Hugh. Christian Love. 1735, new edition 2004, 81 pp. A 26-year-old’s insightful comments on the practical applications of love.122229
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death. 1985, 184 pp. Americans have been programmed especially by the television to expect entertainment in every sphere of life.122229
Schweikart, Larry and Dave Dougherty. The PIG to The American Revolution. 2017, 324 pp. America is exceptional because it alone among all the countries in history was founded by a citizenry committed to private property, common law, free markets, and the Protestant religion.2222210
Chesterton, G. K. Orthodoxy. 1908, 155 pp. (audio, listened twice) Only the Christian faith in general and the Catholic church in particular makes sense of the world.112217
Baxter, Richard. Autobiography, republished and abridged by Christian Focus, 1998, 166 pp. The best 25% of the original autobiography with a few pages from other contemporary accounts. Excellent.222129
Owen, John. The Glory of Christ. 1684, reprint 1987, 190 pp. The soul that would know God and keep off “spiritual decays” must fix his mind on each glory of Christ.2222210
Wilson, Doug. Five Cities That Ruled the World. 2009, 257 pp. These five cities made unique and dramatic contributions to the world.211116

Fiction Categories:

  • Biblical: Did the author honor Scriptural truth or a Christian worldview even if unwittingly?
  • Creative: Did the author grip the imagination by inventing characters, situations, or other aspects of reality?
  • Style: Did the theme, vocabulary, and composition represent an enduring standard?
  • Credible: Were the characters, plot turns, and relationships believable?
  • Affections: Was some truth presented powerfully to the affections?
3 in 2020
Orczy, Emmuska. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Though he ought to have loved his wife by listening and asking better questions, Sir Percy took risks in a noble cause and devoted his life to preserving the lives of others.122128
Harris, W. S. Mr. World and Miss Church Member. 1901, 315 pp. Miss Church Member tries to evangelize Mr. World, but he tempts her to walk on his road rather than being compelled to walk the narrow path.221229
Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. 1852, 477 pp. Many cruelties were preserved legally during slavery in America (even though the legacy of the Civil War has been an expanding federal government).222129
Posted in Book reviews, Lists | Tagged | Leave a comment