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May 2014 Book Roundup

This month’s new and noteworthy books include a several important works in Biblical Theology along the continuation of Poythress’ Kuyperian project, and an enormous work on the Lord’s Supper by Hughes Oliphant Old. Check them out below and leave your own feedback as you have the opportunity to work through the following. Don’t forget as well, that you can now support Reformed Forum through your Amazon purchases by using Amazon Smile.

Divine Covenants and Moral Order

Divine Covenants and Moral Order: A Biblical Theology of Natural Law

David VanDrunen
Wm. B. Eerdmans (May 2014)

Publisher’s Description:

This book addresses the old question of natural law in its contemporary context. David VanDrunen draws on both his Reformed theological heritage and the broader Christian natural law tradition to develop a constructive theology of natural law through a thorough study of Scripture.
The biblical covenants organize VanDrunen’s study. Part 1 addresses the covenant of creation and the covenant with Noah, exploring how these covenants provide a foundation for understanding God’s governance of the whole world under the natural law. Part 2 treats the redemptive covenants that God established with Abraham, Israel, and the New Testament church and explores the obligations of God’s people to natural law within these covenant relationships.

In the concluding chapter of Divine Covenants and Moral Order VanDrunen reflects on the need for a solid theology of natural law and the importance of natural law for the Christian’s life in the public square.


Biblical Theology John Owen

Biblical Theology: The History of Theology from Adam to Christ

John Owen
Soli Deo Gloria Publications (May 2014)

Publisher’s Description:

The major portion of this volume is a history of theology from Adam to Christ. It includes an appendix with Owen’s Defense of Scripture against Fanaticism, affirming that the Bible is the perfect, authoritative, and complete Word of God. Owen considered this work his magnum opus.

Table of Contents:

  • Book 1: Natural Theology
  • Book 2: Theology from Adam to Noah
  • Book 3: Theology from Noah to Abraham
  • Book 4: Theology from Abraham to Moses
  • Book 5: Theology from Moses to Christ
  • Book 6: Evangelical Theology

Songs of a Suffering King

Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1–8

John V. Fesko
Reformation Heritage Books (April 2014)

Publisher’s Description:

Our Lord has wisely given the Psalms, the songbook of the Bible, for the benefit of the church. But for many people, the Psalms’ contents are mysterious because they no longer have a place of prominence in the church’s worship. Author J. V. Fesko hopes to awaken the church to the majesty, beauty, and splendor of the Psalms through a devotional exploration of Psalms 1–8, a “grand Christ hymn,” in which David, as the suffering king, prefigures the king of kings, Jesus Christ. To encourage readers to come to a greater appreciation for the Psalms, the author includes with each chapter questions for further reflection and study and a metrical version of each psalm. He also recommends Internet resources that provide digital files of the tunes.


Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church

Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church

Hughes Oliphant Old
Tolle Lege Press (April 2014)

Publisher’s Description:

All across the United States, Protestant churches have forgotten their sacramental roots. The Lord’s Supper has often been reduced to an empty memorial if it is even celebrated at all, and the contemporary Protestant church suffers greatly from this lapse.

In Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church, Hughes Oliphant Old uncovers the central importance of Holy Communion in the Reformed tradition. Beginning with Calvin and moving into modern times, Old pinpoints and explains the most pivotal developments in Reformed eucharistic theology–from the true nature of the communion elements to preparatory services and seasons. Along the way, he shows that our doctrine of the Lord’s Supper is not merely an intellectual exercise; it has the profound influence on the church’s life and operations–on her piety.

This volume is both a scholarly exploration of Reformed tradition and a pastoral call to the contemporary church to rediscover the most potent truths and edifying practices of our Christian forefathers. In our day of debilitating liturgical innovations, Holy Communion proves yet again that God’s truth on any subject is timeless and evergreen. Before we can display Christ fully in our day, we must recover a full commitment to biblical worship–in the Word preached as well as the Word made visible in the Lord’s Supper.


Chance and Sovereignty

Chance and the Sovereignty of God: A God-Centered Approach to Probability and Random Events

Vern Poythress
Crossway (April 2014)

Publisher’s Description:

What if all events—big and small, good and bad—are governed by more than just blind chance? What if they are governed by God?

In this theologically informed and philosophically nuanced introduction to the study of probability and chance, Vern Poythress argues that all events—including the seemingly random or accidental—fall under God’s watchful gaze as part of his eternal plan. Comprehensive in its scope, this book lays the theistic foundation for our scientific assumptions about the world while addressing personal questions about the meaning and significance of everyday events.


Union with Christ in the New Testament

Union with Christ in the New Testament

Grant Macaskill
Oxford University Press (January 2014)

This book, now several months old, is highlighted in order to direct you to the recent review in the latest issue of Themelios.


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