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2011 Issue 3

This handbook written by Douglas Bannerman, M.A., D.D., was published originally by The Free Church of Scotland in 1898. D. Douglas Bannerman is primarily known to us by his excellent two volume work, The Scripture Doctrine of the Church. Bannerman, a Scottish Presbyterian (January 29, 1842-1903) was the son of James Bannerman and, like his father, a minister in the Free Church of Scotland. The mode and subjects of Baptism are living issues. It is obvious, therefore, that Christian people should be aware of what the Scriptures can teach us about this Sacrament, and of the nature and history of the controversies which have arisen concerning it.

What do these words mean? How do they interact? And just what is humankind’s responsibility to care for God’s creation? In the closing years of the last millennium, these questions gained unprecedented prominence in religious circles as clergy, theologians, and laymen alike grappled to establish a firm environmental ethic. In the face of growing concerns about how our rapidly advancing technologies, coupled with our increasing demand for resources, were impacting creation, yet at the same time trying to balance the need for increased progress and productivity–especially for the world’s poorest citizens–many divergent views emerged.

David Wells is Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell. This book, whose title is taken from the last stanza of Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” is subtitled “Christ in a Postmodern World.” [Eerdmans, 2005] It is a 339 page paperback with bibliography and subject index.

This is the fourth volume in his series analyzing the contemporary Evangelical church, with “…its temptation to negotiate the gospel in the interest of ephemeral relevance.” [Timothy George] His first volume in this series was: No Place for Truth, or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?

The Rev. Dr. Mel White was raised in an evangelical household and his father was an evangelical pastor. White ended up getting theologically trained and also became an evangelical pastor. He was extremely gifted in communications and helped to produce evangelical video documentaries and “ghost-wrote” books for famous Christian leaders such as Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.

From the outside he appeared to be an exemplary Christian leader, advancing the cause of conservative Christianity. However, he was secretly struggling with homosexual tendencies. Ultimately, those homosexual tendencies won out. He divorced his wife and began living in a homosexual relationship with a man.

Those who have formed their impression of the great Puritan, John Owen (1616-1683), from the massive Works of John Owen in their various editions may scarcely recognize the same man in this biography! The youthful John Owen was fond of such physical exercises as throwing the javelin and doing the long-jump (p. 5)! He was an enemy to the clerical title ‘Reverend’ (‘I have very little valued it’ p. 73), and he went to such extremes in avoiding clerical and academic dress that, according to the Laudian Oxford historian Anthony Wood, he went about in ‘powdered hair, snakebone bandstrings, lawn bands, a large set of ribbons pointed, Spanish leather boots with lawn tops, and his hat mostly cocked’ (p. 73).