Book Review: “Rooted” by J. A. Medders and Brandon D. Smith

The title “Rooted” gives me the impression that this is just a “one cool word” books that are already out in the market. What got me excited is the subtitle “Theology for Growing Christians”.  So this short book is about theology. Actually they call this a “primer” that deals with the basics doctrine of Christianity. So this book doesn’t cover all the doctrines that we believers affirm.

As I read “Rooted” I can assure you that Smith and Medders really delivers and does connect the message to the readers. They know what they are saying and they can convey it in the manner that show the book is enough to be a primer and meaty enough to have great content. Medders provided an easy to digest and accessible explanations similar to his previous book “Gospel Formed” (which you should check it out too). They dropped the ivory tower jargons with millennial-friendly words which can reach believers (and unbelievers as well) whether new or seasoned.

Chapter 1 discusses the Trinity and how Godhead relates to each other. Chapter 2 zooms in the reliability of Scriptures. But I really enjoyed chapters 3 and 4 which tackle about the gospel and eschatology.

“Rooted” is the go to book to learn, unlearn and relearn about some of the basic doctrines that Christians believe. If you’re just starting or already ahead in your Christian journey and you want some map, pick this book up.

My verdict: 4.5 out of 5.

The authors of “Rooted” provided me a review copy of the book.

More book reviews here: https://delightinggrace.wordpress.com

Precious Gems Found in the Book of Job

The Book of Job is not just about patience, faith and suffering of Job. The book is about the God of Job that despite what he allows to happen to Job, God is still in control. He is wise in all the decisions. He is still sovereign and no one can forfeit His plan to Job. In the end, Job has a happt ending and God gets the glory. I have been in my third time reading this book as part of my quite time. Nuggets of gold can be unearthed everytime I read and reread this book. So let me share some verses I find beneficial and soon will be part of my sermon:

“I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”– Job 23:12

“And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,”– Job 19:26

“Will it be well with you when he searches you out? Or can you deceive him, as one deceives a man?”– Job 13:9

“You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit.”– Job 10:12

“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.”– Job 40:4

“For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off, when God takes away his life?” — Job 27:8

“Will any teach God knowledge, seeing that he judges those who are on high?”– Job 21:22

“Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind?”– Job 38:36

“what then shall I do when God rises up? When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?”– Job 31:14

And he said to man, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.'” — Job 28: 28

“Does not he see my ways and number all my steps?” — Job 31:4

Get to read these verses by downloading these awesome Bible app: You Version and Olive Tree. God bless you as you read His Word.

The Quotable Round-Up #31

Hello guys! Here’s your weekly dose of quotes featuring the book “God’s Word, Our Story” published by Crossway. Enjoy and God bless!

“Here is the great starting point for all of us  when we are dealing with the living God—a reverential, humble,  glad recognition that we are dependent, God is independent; we  are contingent, God is absolute; we are defined, God is the definer;  we are held in being by his will, he is absolute being.” — John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“Jesus sealed the new  covenant by his blood. The day of failure will soon be over. Till  then, we are sealed by the Spirit and are fighting sin by his power.” –John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“God does not exist for the sake of our enjoying biblical stories; biblical stories exist for the sake of our enjoying God.”- John Piper, God’s Word, Our Story

“Unfortunately, many of us are barely literate when it comes to  the flow of redemptive history. We go to our Bibles for something  to help us deal with our circumstances rather than to see how  God is dealing with the world. But the Bible is not about us; it’s  about God and his plan to redeem his fallen, miserable world, and  restore it to the glory he first sang into being at creation.” — Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“Our prayer life  should be shaped and grounded in Scripture as often as possible,  as we respond to scriptural promises and statements about God.” — Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“Immersion in God’s Word teaches us to pray the same way  immersion in language teaches a baby how to speak the language  of her parents.”- Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“God’s people do not need to be powerful culturally or in power  politically to be obedient to him and accomplish his purposes in  the world. All they need to do to glorify him and join the great  sweep of redemptive history is to be faithful to the One who has  called them by his own name.”–Kathy Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

“When you become a Christian, your conviction of sin and your  experience of grace go all the way to the bottom—all the way  to that uttermost foundation. Christ goes there, and no matter  what happens, that foundation doesn’t change.”–Tim Keller, God’s Word, Our Story

The Quotable Round-Up #30

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The call referred to in effectual calling is not the outward call of the gospel that can be heard by anyone within range of the preaching. The call referred to here is the inward call, the call that penetrates to and pierces the heart, quickening it to spiritual life. Hearing the gospel enlightens the mind, yet it does not awaken the soul until the Holy Spirit illumines and regenerates it. The move from ear to soul is made by the Holy Spirit. This move is what accomplishes God’s purpose of applying the benefits of Christ’s work to the elect.”

“What the unregenerate person desperately needs in order to come to faith is regeneration. This is the necessary grace. It is the sine qua non of salvation. Unless God changes the disposition of my sinful heart, I will never choose to cooperate with grace or embrace Christ in faith. These are the very things to which the flesh is indisposed. If God merely offers to change my heart, what will that accomplish for me as long as my heart remains opposed to him? If he offers me grace while I am a slave to sin and still in the flesh, what good is the offer? Saving grace does not offer liberation, it liberates. Saving grace does not merely offer regeneration, it regenerates. This is what makes grace so gracious: God unilaterally and monergistically does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.”

“Once we grasp the doctrine of total depravity, we know that no person will incline himself to faith in the atoning work of Christ. If God does not supply the means of appropriating the atonement’s benefits, namely faith, then the potential redemption of all would result in the actual redemption of none.”

“The ultimate aim of God’s plan of redemption was to redeem his elect. To accomplish this end he ordained the means. One was the atonement made by his Son. Another was the Holy Spirit’s application of this atonement to the elect. God provides for his elect all that is necessary for their salvation, including the gift of faith.”

“Faith is not something we conjure up by our own effort, or the result of the willing of the flesh. Faith is a result of the Spirit’s sovereign work of regeneration.”

“God certainly has the power and authority to grant his saving grace to all mankind. Clearly he has not elected to do this. All men are not saved despite the fact that God has the power and right to save them all if that is his good pleasure. It is also clear that all are not lost. God could have chosen not to save anyone. He has the power and authority to execute his righteous justice by saving nobody. In reality he elects to save some, but not all. Those who are saved are beneficiaries of his sovereign grace and mercy. Those who are not saved are not victims of his cruelty or injustice; they are recipients of justice. No one receives punishment at the hands of God that they do not deserve. Some receive grace at his hands that they do not deserve. Because he is pleased to grant mercy to one does not mean that the rest “deserve” the same. If mercy is deserved, it is not really mercy, but justice.”

“By definition grace is not something God is required to have. It is his sovereign prerogative to grant or withhold it. God does not owe grace to anyone. Grace that is owed is not grace. Justice imposes obligation, but grace, in its essence, is voluntary and free.”

The Quotable Round-Up #29

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The agent of predestination is God. In his sovereignty he predestinates. Human beings are the object of his predestination. In short, predestination refers to God’s sovereign plan for human beings, decreed by him in eternity. We must add, however, that the concept of predestination includes more than the future destiny of humans. It also includes whatever comes to pass in time and space.”

“For a person to be able to come to Christ, it must first be granted or “given” to that person to come to Christ. God must do something for us to overcome our moral inability to come to Christ. We cannot embrace Christ in the flesh. Without the aid of the Holy Spirit, we cannot come to Christ.”

“The humanistic and pagan view of free will is that the will acts from a posture of indifference. By indifference we mean that the will is inclined to neither good nor evil but exists in a state of moral neutrality. The mind of fallen man has no bias, no predisposition to evil. This view of free will is on a collision course with the biblical view of sin.”

”If we still have a will, why are we unable to convert ourselves or even prepare ourselves for conversion? The simple answer is this: because we do not want to. We have no desire for the righteousness of God, and free choice, by definition, involves choosing what we desire.”

To say that mankind is radically corrupt is to say that sin penetrates to the root or core of our being. Sin is not tangential or peripheral, but arises from the center of our being. It flows from what the Bible calls the “heart,” which does not refer to the muscle that pumps blood throughout our bodies but to the “core” of our being. Even the word core derives from the Latin word for “heart.”

“The covenant of redemption demonstrates the harmony within the Trinity. Over against theories that pit one member of the Godhead against the other two, the covenant of redemption stresses the total agreement between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the plan of salvation. This covenant defines the roles of the persons of the Trinity in redemption. The Father sends the Son and the Holy Spirit. The Son enters the arena of this world by incarnation voluntarily. He is no reluctant Redeemer. The Holy Spirit applies the work of Christ to us for our salvation. The Spirit does not chafe at doing the Father’s bidding. The Father is pleased to send the Son and the Spirit into the world, and they are pleased to carry out their respective missions.”

“Every written document has a structure or format by which it is organized. Paragraphs have subjects and chapters have focal points. Reformed theology sees the primary structure of biblical revelation as that of covenant. This is the structure by which the entire history of redemption is worked out.”

“Jesus is enthroned at God’s right hand, and all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. It is a profound political reality that Christ now occupies the supreme seat of cosmic authority. The kings of this world and all secular governments may ignore this reality, but they cannot undo it. The universe is no democracy. It is a monarchy. God himself has appointed his beloved Son as the preeminent King. Jesus does not rule by referendum, but by divine right. In the future every knee will bow before him, either willingly or unwillingly. Those who refuse to do so will have their knees broken with a rod of iron.”

The Quotable Round-Up #28

Here are the quotes for the week featuring the book by R. C. Sproul “What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics”. Enjoy and God bless!

“The remission of sins is tied to the atoning work of Christ. In the atonement both propitiation and expiation are involved. Propitiation refers to Christ’s satisfaction of God’s justice, making it “propitious” for God to forgive us. Propitiation may be seen as a vertical act of Christ directed to the Father. At the same time, Christ is an expiation for our sins, removing or carrying away from us our sins.”

“True faith is never alone. It always manifests itself in works. Works that flow out of faith, however, are in no way the ground of our justification. They contribute nothing of merit before God. The only ground or basis of our justification is the merit of Christ. Nor is faith itself a meritorious work or the ground of our justification.”

“The dispute between justification by the infusion of Christ’s righteousness and the imputation of his righteousness is no tempest in a teapot. It makes all the difference in the world whether the ground of my justification rests within me or is accomplished for me. Christ fulfilled the law for me and gained the merit necessary for my justification. This is the ground not only of my justification, but also of my assurance of salvation. If I must wait until I cooperate with the righteousness of Christ infused within me, to the degree that I become inherently righteous, I despair of ever attaining salvation. This is not gospel or “good news”; it is bad news.”

“In our justification, faith is the means by which we are linked to Christ and receive the benefits of his saving work. By faith we receive the transfer or imputation of the righteousness of Christ. Faith is not only a necessary condition, it is a sufficient condition for Christ’s righteousness to be imputed to us. Faith, true faith, is all that is required to be justified by the righteousness of Christ. Faith trusts in and lays hold of a righteousness that is not our own.”

“Forensic justification means we are declared righteous by God in a legal sense. The ground of this legal declaration is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to our account.”

The doctrine of justification deals with what may be the deepest existential problem a human being can ever face: How can a sinner, an unjust person, ever withstand the judgment of a holy and just God?

The Quotable Round-Up #26

Hello folks!!! Here are some awesome quotes I want to share this week. May this bring you encouragement to read books and to focus on Christ.

“To possess genuine assurance is to experience a bit of divine bliss this side of heaven. The greater our sense of assurance, the more we can savor that glory in this earthly life.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

“Christians are called to preach, teach, and believe the whole counsel of God. Any distortion of the character of God poisons the rest of our theology. The ultimate form of idolatry is humanism, which regards man as the measure of all things. Man is the primary concern, the central focus, the dominant motif of all forms of humanism. Its influence is so strong and pervasive that it seeks to infiltrate Christian theology at every point. Only by a rigorous attention and devotion to the biblical doctrine of God will we be able to keep from tasting and even swallowing this noxious brew.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“Because God is infinite in his being and eternal, and we are finite and bound by both space and time, our knowledge of him is never comprehensive. We enjoy an apprehensive knowledge of God, but not a comprehensive knowledge.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“Reformed theology is systematic. The science of systematic theology is so called because it attempts to understand doctrine in a coherent and unified manner. It is not the goal of systematic theology to impose on the Bible a system derived from a particular philosophy. Rather its goal is to discern the interrelatedness of the teachings of Scripture itself.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“A church without theology or a theology without God are simply not options for the Christian faith. One can have religion without God or theology, but one cannot have Christianity without them.”  –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“The believer who acquiesces in special revelation is now in a posture to respond properly to general revelation. In this regard the Christian should be the most diligent student of both special and natural revelation. Our theology should be informed by both the Bible and nature. The two come from the same revelatory source, God himself. The two revelations do not conflict; they reflect the harmony of God’s self-disclosures.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

“If we say that the Bible is a product of only human opinion and insight, we can still speak about biblical theology in the sense that the Bible contains human teaching about God, but we can no longer speak about biblical revelation. If God is the ultimate Author of the Bible, we can speak of both biblical revelation and biblical theology. If man is the ultimate author, then we are restricted to speaking about biblical theology or theologies. If that is the case, we could justly regard biblical theology as a subdivision of religion, as one aspect of human studies about God.” –R. C. Sproul, What Is Reformed Theology?: Understanding the Basics

Book Review: Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis

This book is a sort of sequel to “Total Church” with the same authors. This is a sort of “the rubber meets the road” kind of book. Picking up this book you’ll dive immediately to the subject. Not that you need to get “Total Church” to understand this (which I haven’t read also) but as you can see this book can be categorized with those “church engaging the culture” books that are already out in the market. Yet this book even if you read similar stuff does have some great insights and some gems in it. This book uses 2 Peter as main text drawing some principles.

The book opens with a discussion of Christians are in the marginalized in society and culture. Along with that are other things to consider as a church reaches out in this culture were tackled in the first chapter. The rest of the chapters carry Chapter 1 to further emphasize the role of the church, the challenge and the response to a culture we once knew. This is a short book but straight to the point, engaging and practical. The book concludes with the challenge for Christians to reach out despite of how the world treats us, live and breathe the gospel every day, reinforce us through Scriptures who we are in the eyes of God and how to live beyond mediocre Christianity.

My verdict 3 out of 5.

Crossway has provided a complimentary copy of this book through the Blog Review Program.

The Quotable Round-Up #24

Here are the freshest quotes for the week featuring John MacArthur’s book “The Truth About the Lordship of Christ. Enjoy!

“God’s love and the love of His children is forgiving, unconditional, and self-sacrificing, but you can be sure Satan will pervert that. Worldly love is shallow, selfish, sensual, and sexual, and Satan has sold that definition of love to the world.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“When we are thankful for everything, we step outside ourselves, because thanksgiving is directed toward God.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Instead of taking from people, love them in a way that communicates thankfulness. Remember, God’s love is unselfish and thankful, but the world’s love is selfish and thankless.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“We also are commissioned by God to verbally expose the evil of the world. We must diagnose it, confront it, and then offer the solution. Sin is a cancer that must be removed. You aren’t helping anyone by ignoring it. People need to be convicted about their sin before they will ever see their need for a Savior.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Repentance is no more a meritorious work than its counterpart, faith. It is an inward response. Genuine repentance pleads with the Lord to forgive and deliver from the burden of sin and the fear of judgment and hell.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Repentance is not merely behavior reform. But because true repentance involves a change of heart and purpose, it inevitably results in a change of behavior.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“True assurance is a taste of heaven on earth.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ

The Quotable Round-Up #23

Here are the freshest quotes for the week featuring John MacArthur’s book “The Truth About the Lordship of Christ. Enjoy!

“The source of our love is its very object, the One who is the essence of love, whether expressed in consolation or in wrath and judgment.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The Christian life could be summed up in this one statement: be mimics, or imitators, of God.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Imitating God may be easy to discuss, but it is difficult to do. You cannot do it in your own strength. But Jesus gave us the starting point for imitating God in the Sermon on the Mount. We need to mourn over our sin with a broken and contrite spirit. When we are overwhelmed by our sinfulness, we will hunger and thirst for righteousness.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The Bible doesn’t refer to Christian love as an emotion but as an act of self-sacrifice. A person who truly loves someone else doesn’t try to get anything out of that person. That’s because godly love is never conditioned on a response—it is unconditional.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The world often defines love in terms of what it can get. But God loves even if He never gets anything in return. If that kind of love characterized our marriages, the divorce rate wouldn’t be what it is today.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“Our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t love us for what He can get out of us; He loves us in spite of the hurt we cause Him. Make unconditional love your goal, and be humble, obedient, and self-sacrificing.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ
“The world’s love is unforgiving, conditional, and self-centered. It focuses on desire, self-pleasure, and lust—the very opposite of God’s perfect love. People search for love, but it’s not true love; it is Satan’s perversion.” – John MacArthur, The Truth About the Lordship of Christ