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2011 Issue 5

THE TEACHING OF THIS BOOK is based on the presupposition that God’s Word is the true final authority. God has given His people specific directions with regard to the rearing of children. To the extent that we rightly and consistently apply His instructions, His blessings will be bestowed upon us.

God identifies Himself as the Lawgiver in the preface to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-2—Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Calvin’s two basic presuppositions about the moral Law of God in the Bible are that it is inexorable and all-sufficient.

In May, 1989, a conference jointly sponsored by the National Association of Evangelicals and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School was held at the Trinity campus in Illinois. Dubbed a consultation on Evangelical Affirmations, the meeting revealed more than it settled. In the published addresses (Zondervan, 1990), Carl F. H. Henry, the dean of American evangelicalism, sets the tone for book with his opening line: “The term ‘evangelical’ has taken on conflicting nuances in the twentieth century. Wittingly or unwittingly, evangelical constituencies no less than their critics have contributed to this confusion and misunderstanding.” He warned that “evangelical” was being understood, not according to Scriptural teaching and “the theological ‘ought,’” but according to the sociological and empirical “is.” In other words, Henry was disturbed that evangelicalism is increasingly being defined by its most recent trends rather than by its normative theological identity. Author after author (presumably, speaker after speaker) echoed the same fears that before long “evangelical” will be useless as any meaningful identification.

It has been said that one of the most dangerous places a person can be today is in a church on Sunday morning. If I have to explain that, it is because of the error that is preached from today’s pulpits. Another most dangerous place for Christians today is Christian bookstores. There certainly are some classic and helpful, as well as theologically correct books. The problem is that most Christians don’t know which those are.

When I go into our local Christian bookstore the first thing I see is a rack of all the current “hot,” best sellers. I thought to myself recently that it would be a good thing, not to just review books which might be of interest to us, but to review those “hot,” new best sellers, and tell people what not to buy, or at least what to watch out for in those books.