Sunday, October 29, 2006

Triune Faith

Considering the classical definition of faith (notitia, assensus, and fiducia) in the light of both Gordon Clark's formulation (n, a, f as a subset of a), and John Ball's answer to Why does the Covenant of Works not require faith but obedience?, several points come to mind:

a) Adam had both knowledge and agreement concerning the facts of His creation.
b) Adam was expected (via a pointed lesson) to show his trust by obeying.
c) Prior to his fall, Adam was trusting (dependent on) God.
d) The cause of his (our) Fall was his turning away (rebelling) from God, and trusting in himself.

So, despite Clark's seeming semantics, I believe that (along with orthodoxy) notitia and assensus must be conjoined with fiducia in order for saving faith to exist. Adam didn't lose (a); he apostatized by redirecting his trust. Thus, we too must have all three components of faith. God tried his creation, whether they would freely trust Him (live and move, and have their being - mental, physical, and spiritual). Man, though created righteous, was not infallible, was not perfect; in short, was not God! Thank God for the Covenant of Redemption, wherein a people where chosen. Unless the Holy Spirit regenerate the elect, we would not be able to enjoy the triune faith (in our triune God). Let the Bride of Christ thankfully rejoice in the quikening and sustaining power of the Holy Spirit working in them to do His pleasure. Let us cry out Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief!

See: John Ball - A Treatise of the Covenant of Grace [1645], p. 12.
Gordon H. Clark - Today's Evangelism: Counterfeit or Genuine?, Chapter 6: Faith

Monday, October 23, 2006

Experential Faith

In discussing Calvin's concept of assurance of faith, Joel Beeke highlights an issue which I both gleaned from Jonathan Edwards and understand the FRC seeks to promote: Experential faith, based on the Word, is both a necessary and valid aspect of the Christian life.

Thus, bare experience (nuda experentia) is not Calvin's goal, but experience grounded in the Word, flowing out of the fulfillment of the Word. Experimental knowledge of the Word is essential. For Calvin, two kinds of knowledge are needed: knowledge by faith (scientia fidei) that is received from the Word, "though it is not yet fully revealed," and the knowledge of experience (scientia experentiae) "springing from the fulfilling of the Word." The Word of God is primary to both, for experience teaches us to know God as He declares Himself to be in His Word. Experience not consonant with Scripture is never experience of true faith. In short, though the believer's experience of true faith is far weaker than he desires [for assurance purposes], there is an essential unity in the Word between faith's perception (the ought-to dimension of faith) and experience (the is dimension of faith).
- Puritan Reformed Spirituality, p.40.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Holiness Persuasion of the Federal Vision?

"Significantly and symptomatically Finney's doctrine of justification has interesting correspondences. Finney rejected forensic justification and accepted real sanctification as the final basis of man's standing before God. Moreover, Finney saw justification as dependent upon a prior sanctification, thus embracing, no doubt unknowingly, the traditional Roman Catholic ordo salutis. - p.41.
"Then boardman summarized the essential holiness persuasion:'Nevertheless the two things [being reckoned righteous and being made righteous] are distinct and different in their nature and are expressive of two great and equal wants of the sinner. He must be just in the eye of the law, justified before God. But he must also be holy in heart and life, or he cannot be saved.'" - p.44.
- Frederick Dale Bruner, A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Eerdman's, 1970; Trinity, 2001).

Well, specifically, this sounds just like John Kinnaird's position
(which has been uncondemned by the higher OPC courts).
However, it is representative of various FV positions as well.
See both John Otis' Danger in the Camp
and Guy Prentiss Water's The Federal Vision and Covenant Theology.

Monday, September 04, 2006

William Goode vs. Baptismal Regeneration

   Drug out Charismatic Confusion [1834] for some research for our children's Bible class at school, and ran across the following:
   Goode's sun rose to its public splendour in the Gorham Case of 1847. Briefly, this concerned George Cornelius Gorham (1787-1857), vicar of Penwith in Cornwall, whom his bishop, Henry Phillpotts of Exeter (1778-1869), refused to appoint to the vicarage of Brampford Speke in 1847, on the basis of Gorham's alleged unsoundness on the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. Phillpotts was an old-fashioned High Anglican with slight sympathies for the Oxford Movement, and he believed in the intrinsic regenerative efficacy of baptism. Gorham, a Calvinistic Evangelical and student of the Reformers, denied this understanding of baptism; he contended that the regenerating work of the Spiritcould not be tied down to the exact moment of baptism, although the Spirit was free to work at that point in baptised infants if He so chose. The controversy aroused immense nationwide interest. Victory finally went to Gorham when the judicial committee of the Privy Council decided in his favour in 1850.
   Some 50 works of literary warfare were published on the Gorham Case. The most devastating defence of Gorham and his baptismal doctrine issued from Gode's pen - his The Doctrine of the Church of England as to the Effects of Baptism in the case of Infants, published in 1849. Goode's mastery of the writings and theology of the fathers of the Reformed English Church proved largely unanswerable by Phillpotts and his allies, even if it must be granted that most Anglican Evangelicals in those days had somewhat higher views of baptism than their modern Zwinglian descendents.
   Itmay prove interesting - if not profitable - to review the arguments in the Gorham Case. That is, in the light of the present Federal Vision (AAPC, Monroe 4, Neonomist, Monocovenantalism, etc.) controversy.

(Also, another Goode book worthy of republication.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Survey Says....Amillennialist!

You scored as Amillenialist. Amillenialism believes that the 1000 year reign is not literal but figurative, and that Christ began to reign at his ascension. People take some prophetic scripture far too literally in your view.





Moltmannian Eschatology






Left Behind




What's your eschatology?
created with

(HT - Scarecrow)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Chalcedon Compliant

So... At the least, I am not a heretic!

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Ten Gallon Hat

I'll put a ten gallon hat
over my devil horns
I'll lasso the sunset, in fact
I'll wear it like a uniform
They'll say "There goes one good man!"
I might fool 'em for another day
then at the crack of one glorious dawn
I'll ride away

I'll be ridin' away
to where they say
that they love you (and they MEAN IT!)
or for instance,
there's no fences
'round your dream when you dream it
and the heart
in the dark
finds a light to redeem it
In the meantime let me say...

God knows I got a ten gallon hat
over my devil horns
I'll lasso the sunset, in fact
I'm gonna wear it like a uniform
they'll say "There goes one righteous man!"
I might fool 'em for another day
then at the crack of one glorious dawn
I'll ride away

Terry Scott Taylor

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Updated DVC

Just a note to say that the previous post on The Da Vinci Code
has had a number of updates.

Comments and suggestions/links are welcome.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

A Select(ively) Annotated Da Vinci Code Bibliography

Sacred* Titles

Abanes, Richard The Truth Behind The Da Vinci Code (Eugene: Harvest House, 2004) 96pp. 0-736914-39-0 $6.99 USD
Basic, Evangelistic tool; however, goes into more depth on Leonardo than most.

Beverley, James A. Counterfeit Code: Responding to the Da Vinci Heresies (Willard & Assoc. Consulting, 2005) 100pp. 1897213018 $9.50 USD
Print-on-demand title.

Boa, Kenneth & John Alan Turner The Gospel According to The Da Vinci Code: The Truth Behind the Writings of Dan Brown ( Broadman & Holman, 2006) 176pp. 0805441905 $14.99 USD
Focuses on the worldview that enables Brown (and others) to succeed.

+Bock, Darrell L. Breaking the Da Vinci Code (Thomas Nelson, 2004) 208pp. 0-7852-6046-3 $19.99 USD
Bock: "My work concentrates on the first 325 years of Early Christian history, which are key to Brown's claims in his plot. I also give a full sample of texts, orthodox and gnostic, from this period so the reader can see for themselves what these ancients texts say and get a sense of what the difference is between [the] biblical and the 'secret' texts."

Clark, Stephen The Da Vinci Code on Trial: Filtering Fact from Fiction (Evangelical Press, 2005) 94pp. 1850492093 $9.99 USD

Ehrman, Bart D. Truth and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code:A Historian Reveals What We Really Know about Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Constantine (OUP, 2004) 207pp. 01951-8140-9 $20.00 USD
Besides general debunkery, [t]hroughout, Ehrman offers a wealth of fascinating background information--all historically accurate--on early Christianity. He describes, for instance, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (which are not Christian in content, contrary to The Da Vinci Code); outlines in simple terms how scholars of early Christianity determine which sources are most reliable; and explores the many other Gospels that have been found in the last half century.

Flory, Suzy & Gini Monroe - Fear Not Da Vinci: Using The Da Vinci Code to Share Your Faith (AMG, 2006) 224pp. 0899570526 $14.99 USD
Evangelistic tool.

+Garlow, James L. The Da Vinci Codebreaker: An Easy-to-Use Fact Checker(Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2006) 203pp. 0-7642-0185-9 $9.99 USD
Garlow follows up the success of his co-authored Cracking Da Vinci's Code(see below), with this handy alphabetical, cross-referenced glossary-cum-encyclopaedia of Da Vinci Code facts. A sacred version (ie: with a more-or-less dogmatic evangelical Christian viewpoint) of Newman's The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code (see below).

+Garlow, Jame L. & Peter Jones Cracking Da Vincis Code (Colorado Springs: Victor, 2004) 252pp. 0-78144-165-X $14.99 CDN
Garlow, author of How God Saved Civilization (now, God and His People), and Jones, author of The Gnostic Empire Strikes Back and Spirit Wars, combine efforts to produce a work that tackles the significant points and attach a short Readers Guide with questions relevant to the text. The odd, evolving, Divine Arc/Circle symbology used at the start of chapters has (and will, probably) distracted a few; however, the book has sold around half a million copies, so people appear to be finding it useful overall.

Green, Michael The Books the Church Suppressed: Fiction and Truth in The Da Vinci Code (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2006) 192pp. 08254-6096-4 $13.99 USD
Focuses on the reliability and canonicity of the NT and Gnosticism which Green sees as the main attacks of Brown's work.

Gumbel, Nicky The Da Vinci Code: A Response (Alpha Int'l, 2005) 1-904-07481-2 L1.00 UK
Warning: Written and published by Alpha/Charismania oriented personnel. Recommened by David McKay as, "good because it is so short and people might actually read it!"

+Hanegraaff, Hank & Paul L. Maier The Da Vinci Code: Fact or Fiction? (Carol Stream: Tyndale, 2004, rev. 2006) 96pp. 1-41430279-7 $5.99 USD
A pocket guide designed with quick answers to all the significant issues. Another evangelistic tool. The revised version adds a Gospel presentation. Basic.

Kellmeyer, Steve Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code">Fact and Fiction in The Da Vinci Code (Peoria: Bridegroom Press, 2004) 96pp. 0-971812861 $9.95 USD
A Papist perspective on 72 items of offending material. According to Marcia Ford, an editors nightmare that, "... will make you realize why we need such a thing[as The Chicago Manual of Style], in case you ever doubted it."

+Lutzer, Erwin W. The Da Vinci Deception (Carol Stream: Living Books, 2006 [2004]) 167pp. ISBN 1-4143-0633-4 $6.99 USD
A very helpful introduction to the critical issues with a nice examination of gnosticism by a recognized, proven, conservative (Baptist) writer and Senior Pastor of Moody Church in Chicago.
A short positive review by Gary Gilley is online.

+McDowell, Josh The Da Vinci Code: A Quest for Answers (Holiday: Green Key Books, 2006) 112pp. 1-932587-80-2 $4.99 CDN
A short text using the conversational technique(apparently, popular?) about as successfully as James White did in Scripture Alone (ie: I dont care for the technique, but realize that it might be helpful for others). A useful 3-session study guide for this item is available on-line. Tim Challies has a review of Quest here.

+Olson, Carl E. & Sandra Miesel The Da Vinci Hoax: The Truth About Jesus, Christianity, Mary Magdalene, and The Da Vinci Code (Ignatius Press, 2004) 329pp. 1-58617034-1 $15.95 USD
"Co-authored by a theologian and a medievalist, The Da Vinci Hoax hasbeen described by Francis Cardinal George of Chicago as 'the definitive debunking.' At 330 pages and with 555 footnotes, it is the most exhaustive and meticulous refutation of the biblical, theological, historical, philosophical, and artistic errors of The Da Vinci Code."
Papist, but looks interesting (even Marvin Olasky endorses it!). Furthermore, Marcia Ford, author and able DVC reviewer (see below), has these glowing words: "Olson, editor of Envoy magazine and a Catholic author with an evangelical background, and Miesel, a journalist with master's degrees in biochemistry and medieval history, provide a wealth of richly detailed historical and theological information in their extensive volume. Chapters are arranged topically and thoroughly cover the subject under discussion, whether it's Gnosticism or the Knights Templar or Leonardo's art. More than the other titles, this book looks at the cultural and religious factors that have combined to contribute to the success of DVC."

Price, Robert M. Da Vinci Fraud: Why the Truth is Stranger than Fiction (Prometheus Books, 2005) 296pp. 1591023483 $18.00 USD
NT Scholar and member of the Jesus Seminar puts in his 2¢.

+Strobel, Lee & Gary Poole Discussing The Da Vinci Code (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 96 pp. 0310272653 $7.99 USD
Discussion Guide & DVD for small group study. New.

Strobel, Lee & Gary Poole Exploring The Da Vinci Code: Investigating Issues Raised by the Book & Movie (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006) 112pp. 0310273722 $4.99 USD

Welborn, Amy - De-Coding Da Vinci (Our Sunday Visitor, 2004) 124pp. 1-5927-6101-1 $9.95 USD

Williams, Garry - The Da Vinci Code: From Dan Brown's Fiction to Mary Magdalene's Faith(Christian Focus, 2006) 1-84550-121-7 $3.99 USD
Recommended by Westminster Seminary. Publisher remark: "Garry Williams teaches Church History and Doctrine at Oak Hill Theological College in London, England. Here he answers seven of the key claims raised by Dan Brown's book and points you towards a story even more intriguing - and more firmly based on fact."

+Witherington III, Ben The Gospel Code (Downers Grove: IVP, 2004) 252pp. 0-8308-3267-X $15.00 USD
James Dunn's student, apparently, does an adequate job.

Sacred Resources On-Line
(Please send me additional links, and I will update.)

Challenging Da Vinci Website
Australian David McKay informs me that this is,"a site created by Sydney Anglican Media to address questions posed by the Da Vinci Code. The site will be advertised with the introductory short ad at cinemas. Greg Clarke, who wrote a lot of the material, says he thnaks God for the book and film because it has given opportunities to address hundreds of non Christians and share the gospel with them. He's going on a national church-hopping tour talking about the film, book and the Bible."

Christianity Today "The Da Vinci Rejects"
Humour: What other publishers could have done to respond to Dan Browns bestseller.

Christianity Today - "Decoding The Da Vinci Code"
Has links to other articles on the topic; but, overall, rather sparse.

Discusing the Da Vinci Code
A sub-site of with many helpful, academic resources.

Ford, Marcia 'DA VINCI DEBUNKERS: Spawns of Dan Brown's Bestseller'
Seminal reviews of 11 books about/or responding to DVC. Recommended
_________ 'The Book That Will Not Go Away'
Further reviews of 15 titles which either debunk or imitate DVC. Recommended

Jeff Down's Resource Index: The Da Vinci Code Page
A handy reference to a multiplicity of Books (most herein mentioned), audio, and online essay links. Recommended

JesusAndDaVinci website
A nexus of linked articles, a discussion group, and (Josh McDowell) resource store. Part of a network of Campus Crusade sites responding to Brown's novel and the movie, catalogued by Rob Williams of CCC here.

Rhodes, Ron "Crash Goes the Da Vinci Code"
An helpful essay dealing forthrightly with many significant quotes. By a recognized and competent apologist.

Rogers, Jay The Real Jesus, Part Two:Debunking The Da Vinci Code
Part of a planned DVD presentation on The Real Jesus by the director of The Forerunner. This part deals with Brown's gnostic delusions. In Jay's words: "Originally, I had planned to make it available upon the release of the movie. I probably will have part 1 of the video done by summer, and the Da Vinci Code section (part 2) will probably appear in 2007 as
part of the video series -- The Real Jesus: Exposing the Christological Heresies of Pop Culture."

The Da Vinci Dialogue website
Sponsored by HollywoodJesus (?), with the cooperation of Sony Pictures(?). From their Expert page: "Highly regarded Christian leaders and scholars volunteered to tackle the controversial topics within The Da Vinci Code. Between now and the release of the film, the Da Vinci Dialogue will regularly post new and insightful essays from these experts. Additional essay contributors will be announced in the coming days." The range of experts include: John L. Allen, George Barna, Darrell L. Bock, Tony Campolo, Chuck Colson, Gloria Gaither (yes, Bill's wife!), and the list goes on to represent papists, neo-evangelicals, liberals, and some half-decent representatives like Josh McDowell.

The Truth About Da
A reformed presence! Westminster Seminary has just (April 14th) launched a - growing - site with relevant apologetical articles, sermons, FAQs, video clips, Q&As, an e-store (really, Westminster Bookstore), and (forthcoming) White Papers, Discussion (forum?) and Banners(?). We'll keep tabs on it for updates. [HT to Steve Johnson from rtdisc.]

Turner, John Alan "Who is Really In the Gnosis?"
An article for Reflections Ministries about Dan Brown, Elaine Pagels, and Gnosticism. [HT to Mr. Turner.]

White, James - "Debunking Dan Brown's "Fact Based Fiction"
A lengthy combined version of several blog postings in which James deals in his usual, polemical style with issues of the book. Jame's three-part Sunday Schoo discussion of The Da Vinci Code is also online: Part I, Part II, Part III.

Wright, N.T. - "Decoding The Da Vinci Code"
The Bishop of Durham [CoE] weighs in on The Da Vinci Code.

Sacred DVDs

+The Da Vinci Code Deception (Grizzly Adams Productions) 120 min. 1-931602-86-7 $19.95 USD
A docu-drama with experts, setting-site tours, sermon outline, and group studies utilizing the material in the Lutzer, Bock, and Garlow/Jones titles (above). See also Grizzly Adams Productions.

Where Fact and Fiction Meet: The Biblical Christ in a Da Vinci Code Society $29.99 USD
Six pseudo-documentary studies - ideal for small groups - entitled, The Historical and Biblical Jesus, Ancient and Modern Gnosticism, The Real Words of Christ, Jesus, Mary, and the Role of Women in the Early Church, The Messiah, the Myths, and the Holy Grail and Reaching the Da Vinci Code Society. Comes with Outlines and personal and Bible Study questions.

Secular Titles

+Burstein, Dan, ed. Secrets of the Code (NY: CDS Books, 2004) 373pp. 1-59315-022-9 $21.95 USD/$29.95 CDN
Subtitle: The Unauthorized Guide to the Mysteries Behind The Da Vinci Code. A collection of essays, synopses, a glossary, cast, and web-resource guide by a variety of authors who represent a spectrum of interests in the material (ie: from the sympathies of a Michael Baigent or Margaret Starbird, through the ambivalence of Bart Ehrman or Elaine Pagels, to the helpful plot-hole exposé of David Shugat and the level-headed review by Laura Miller). Recommended.

Cox, Simon Cracking the Da Vinci Code (Sterling Publishing, 2004) 160pp. 1-4027-1837-3 $9.95 USD
A partisan work composed of short discussions of various Brown topics and esoterica. Cox writes, "This book isdesigned in such a way as to give the reader of The Da Vinci Code a primer on many of the factual elements in the book."

+Haag, Michael & Veronica - The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code, rev.ed.(London: Rough Guides, 2006 [2004]) 288pp. 1-84353-713-3 $10.99 USD/ $15.99 CDN
The best, pocket-sized, cheap - with relevant pics and diagrams - secular guide to the novel; now enhanced with movie-related trivia.

Lunn, Martin Da Vinci Decoded: The Truth Behind the New York Times #1 Bestseller (The Disinformation Company, 2004) 182pp. 0-9729-5297-7 $9.95 USD
A, purportedly, thorough examination by an unknown author who utilizes Brown's sources - sometimes, against him.

+Newman, Sharan The Real History Behind the Da Vinci Code (NY: Berkley, 2005) 337pp. 0-425-20012-4 $15.00 USD/$22.00 CDN
An alphabetically-arranged examination of people, places, and subjects raised in Browns novel, by an acclaimed medieval mystery writer, longtime member of the Medieval Academy, and Ph.D. candidate. She gives a generally sane, secular take on the material. For a sacred version in a similar format, see Garlow's The Da Vinci Codebreaker (above).

*Note: I have, on purpose, used the distinction between sacred and secular.This does not indicate, however, that I am under the impression that all the authors under the sacred designation are Christians, never mind conservative, evangelical, or reformed. Commensurate sentiments would be in play vice versa.
+Titles I own. Donotions of other resources, gladly accepted! (I am working on a presentation for locals.)

The Gospel of Judas?

The recent release of a spurious gnostic text known as The Gospel of Judas has caused a minor tempest.

Discussions over the Easter release-date - as The Da Vinci Code, and other Gospel-attacking material has also been released in the past - are being held on various group's e-lists.

But, The Gospel of Judas is so dominated by a gnostic worldview, and informed by platonism, Jewish mysticism, and pre-Manichean motifs, that it can have no serious impact on on the Canon, esp. as seen by Christians. Irenaeus dealt with centuries ago, as did other Fathers over similar heretical movements.

Here [ht to John Barach on ref-net] is a scathing review (primarily of National Geographic's disingenuousness) of the recent publication of The Gospel of Judas by Bruce Chilton, certainly no conservative evangelical scholar, but helpful (if I must descend to such a comparison) in the manner that N. T. Wright is - ie: Handle Me With Care (for all you Lynne-ites out there).

Monday, April 03, 2006

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Full Gospel, Fractured Minds - Review - 1

Full Gospel, Fractured Minds: A Call to use God’s Gift of the Intellect
By Rick M. Nańez
(Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005) ISBN: 0-310-26308-5, $18.00 HB, 267pp.
A Review, Part I

The claim to the uniqueness or seminality of this title, as attested by the likes of Stanley Horton, J. P. Moreland, and Amos Yong (see Endorsements and Preface), only confirms some of the negative impressions non-Pentecostals have supposedly and stereo-typically held concerning the Pentecostal/Charismatic phenomenon.

Having been a participant in such circles for over five years, having brethren who remain or still partake in the fringes of such, and being an observer of the evangelical Christian sub-culture in general, much of Nańez’s book resonates with what I have either experienced or know. Nańez, himself a Pentecostal, undertakes, in this aptly titled volume, to call his kind to a reformed opinion and use of the intellectual faculties with which we have been created. And, as you might imagine, this is no small task.

Exposing the anti-intellectual bias within his camp, Nańez appears convincing enough to me; but, will it be enough to convince his brethren who hold entrenched positions within that camp? I think so. At least, I hope that it proves adequate to shake the insularity of their world - characterized by “power encounters,” “liberating emotional expression,” and “where robust leadership is encouraged and cultivated” (ie: though Nańez sees these as positives, I would propose that they are the very obstacles to his pursuit of a balanced Christian life.)

Nańez divides his book up into two sections: the first half, Anatomy of the Fractured Mind, deals with the history and origins of the problem; while the second half, Ammunition for the Full-Gospel Mind, attempts a reasonable defence of the uses of the intellect. He also provides an eclectic 15 page Bibliography, as well as handy Scripture, Subject, and Name Indices.

Friday, January 20, 2006

2005 Top Fiction Titles

Here are the Top Five Fiction Titles for 2005

1. Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice [1913]
First time read, and 3rd Austen.

2. Leo Tolstoy - Resurrection [1899]
Second reading of this Doukhobor-financing novel of redemption.

3. Fyodor Dostoevsky - Crime and Punishment [1866]
Second reading of this novel which portrays a truer anthropology than most.

4. Agatha Christie - Crooked House [1949]
Another novel of surprising anthropology.

5. Alistair MacLean - When Eight Bells Toll [1966]
4th reading (this time - to my son) of one of MacLean's classics.

And here, in no particular order, and to compensate for the lack of a proper top ten, are ten works of fiction which will receive honourable mention (though they are not in the class of - at least the top three - above):
Agatha Christie - The Mysterious Affair at Styles [1920]
The first Poirot mystery, and still worthy.
Agatha Christie - The Moving Finger [1942]
A nice treatment of the poisoned pen letter theme.
Agatha Christie - The Secret of Chimneys [1925]
She should have written more with Anthony Cade.
Ngaio Marsh - Overture to Death [1939]
Not up to Died in the Wool, but a pleasant read.
Michael Crichton - Disclosure [1993]
Dated, but his usual fast-paced read.
Robert Ludlum - The Bourne Identity [1980]
Much better than than the movie; too bad the same couldn't be said for The Bourne Supremacy, which I just couldn't be bothered to finish.
Robert Ludlum - The Scarlatti Inheritance [1970]
Nice debut. Doesn't read like a novel, but interesting plot.
Robert Ludlum - The Matlock Paper [1973]
Conspiracy! Scary! Unfortunately, dated.
Clive Cussler - Sahara [1992]
Read it before the movie, and was impressed enough to buy the rest of his.
Clive Cussler - Pacific Vortex! [1983]
Promising actual debut, though published later. Mediterranean Caper passed, but Iceberg ran the Cussler engine dry for a while.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

2005 Top Ten Non-Fiction Titles

These are, in order of importance, the top ten non-fiction titles I have read this year.

1. Paul M. Elliott - Christianity and Neo Liberalism: The Spiritual Crisis in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and Beyond, 2005.
A must read for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the reformed camp today.
2. James Bannerman - The Church of Christ, 2 vols., 2002 reprint.
The definitive text on the nature of the Church of Christ first published in 1868.
3. Heinrich Bullinger - The Decades of Heinrich Bullinger, 2005.
A classic text on reformed theology (in the shape of 50 sermons) finally in print again.
4. John MacArthur - Fool's Gold: Discerning Truth in an Age of Error, 2005
Timely collection of essays by Master's Seminary staff dealing with issues of alarm.
5. James White - Scripture Alone: Exploring the Bible's Accuracy, Authority, and Authenticity, 2004
Another plank in White's continuing defense of reformation principles, this time expounding sola scriptura. A worthy compliment to The God Who Justifies, The Potter's Freedom, and The Forgotten Trinity.
6. Timothy Weber - On the Road to Armageddon: How Evangelicals Became Israel's Best Friend, 2004
An expose of the logical conclusions of dispensationalism.
7. David T. King - Holy Scripture, the Ground and Pillar of Our Faith, Volume One: A Biblical Defense of the Reformation Principle of Sola Scriptura, 2001
What the subtitle says! And how!
8. Don Kistler, ed. - Sola Scriptura!: The Protestant Position on the Bible, 1995
Collection of Essays. As can be seen, a significant (and profitable) subject of study for 2005!
9. John Piper - Counted Righteous in Christ, 2002
The imputation of Christ's righteousness for the justification of sinners! [contra Gundry]
10. Steve Wilkins & Duane Garner, eds. - The Federal Vision,2004
Primary source for the Arminian-leading heresy invading the presbyterian reformed camp.