Posted in books, theology

It’s payday, so that means…buying books!

By Elizabeth Prata

The last day of the month is payday, so the first day of the month I scour the interwebs for good deals on books. They are not only for my consumption, but to have on hand to give away. I love a good book ministry, and I want to be active in offering credible and edifying resources to women, both online and in real life. Part of discernment is choosing good materials from which to study, and I enjoy helping women in this way. It’s a satisfying feeling when I put a good book into the hands of a sister.

I was listening to a clip from John MacArthur about “Dumbing Down the Message“, and in that short clip, he mentioned he was writing a book called “Why One Way?” (2002). I was not familiar with that one from him. Defending the exclusivity of Jesus as the one way to heaven was important in 2002 and even more so now. I became interested in the book, and wandered over to Amazon to browse it. It was $5, so I bit the bait and placed the order.

Ligonier has a Friday $5 sale. Several of their shorter, one-topic paperbacks are always inexpensive, but these were on sale today for $1.88. I bought:

Can I Have Joy in My Life? by RC Sproul
Are People Basically Good? by RC Sproul
Can I Lose My Salvation? by RC Sproul

We know that the Bible itself is the best material in the universe to study. But God raised up men to write commentaries and books and to develop teaching series. These things are perfectly OK to use in aiding your understanding of God. If you are reading your Bible and attending a good church, don’t listen to anyone who disparages good and edifying materials by saying “don’t study ‘man’s words'”. God raised up these men to write words that contribute to the body of information available to the saints.

So what do you do to help younger sisters in the faith access good ministries and materials? What materials have proven useful for you in your growth and education?

Posted in bible study, Uncategorized

Biblical Doctrine Study week 1 thoughts

Are you desiring to try a thorough study in Systematic Theology but don’t know where to start? Have you excitedly bought or were given the John MacArthur/Richard Mayhue tome Biblical Doctrine but are too intimidated to start?

Jessica Pickowicz of Beautiful Thing has written a Study Guide to go along with the book. She has also created a Facebook group of women to gather and discuss it. The Study will take about two years. It just began this week and it is certainly not too late to join!!! I blogged about it earlier.

This is the first essay with thoughts from what I’ve studied.

I love theology. I love knowledge, and I love wisdom. The word “theology” comes from two Greek words that combined mean “the study of God.” Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information. Wisdom is the synthesis of knowledge with appropriate applications to life. If you study God through His Bible and speak about Him in ways where people can find application of His precepts to their life, you are a theologian speaking knowledgeably with wisdom.

The first lesson was to read the preface. I found this passage to be worthwhile:

The ultimate goal of writing such a systematic theology and to study such a systematic theology is

“to elevate one’s holy worship. The posture of theology is on one’s knees. The model of theology is repentance.”

The quote is from Sinclair Ferguson who was quoted in James Boice and Philip Ryken’s book “The Doctrines of Grace.”

I think that quote cuts to the chase. If I have any inclinations of accumulating knowledge for knowledge’s sake, this cuts me off at the knees. More importantly, it brings me to my knees. The only purpose of such study is to better know God and to offer him increasingly elevated holy worship. This is His due. This is the chief end of man and the reason for our existence: relationship though worship and giving Him glory.

beach sandcastle
EPrata photo