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The Kingdom of God Review

“The primary idea of the Kingdom of God in Scripture is that of the rule of God established and acknowledged in the hearts of sinners by the powerful regenerating influence of the Holy spirit, insuring them of the inestimable blessings of salvation, ─a rule that is realized in principle on earth, but will not reach its culmination until the visible and glorious return of Jesus Christ.” –THE KINGDOM OF GOD, pg. 107

For some two thousand years since Christ’s incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, the church of Christ has had its ups and downs because of the guilt of sin and the corruptions of flesh inherent in every human being since Adam’s disobedience toward a holy God. These days, there is so much out there that calls itself Christianity that is NOT Biblical Christianity, that Jeff Johnson’s book, The Kingdom of God: a Baptist Expression of Covenant & Biblical Theology, is an oasis in a wasteland; a well of refreshment as we weep and grieve and struggle in the valley of Baca.

What is  the basic premise behind the book, The Kingdom of God? It first asks the questions, “Is there a central plot to the Bible? And if so, why is the Bible divided into two different testaments? Moreover, how do these two testaments relate to each other?” Jeffrey D. Johnson tackles the answers to those questions head-on and “explains why the maze of the Old and New Testaments cannot be properly navigated or understood without a knowledge of the dual (law and gospel) nature of the Abrahamic Covenant.” He further explains that “the law of the Old Covenant and the grace of the New Covenant flow out of the Abrahamic Covenant and are wonderfully reunited in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In other words, out of the earlier dichotomy comes the later unity of the gospel message.”  For many professing Christians today, getting a comprehensive grip on the grace of God from the scriptures can be an overwhelming, and even  sometimes a daunting task. Dr. Johnson puts it all together, clearly, concisely and coherently.

Except for the works of Bunyan and Spurgeon and a select handful of others (who have all passed into glory many years ago), rarely will I read the works of an author more than once. Jeff Johnson has been added to my personal list of re-readables. His book, The Kingdom of God, and his earlier book, The Church: Why Bother? are two of his titles that stand proudly on my ready-reference bookshelf in my home office, next to my worn and cherished copy of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress and my favorite works of C. H. Spurgeon.

The Kingdom of God is not a long book, but it is deep and wide. Dr. Johnson brings forth serious theological thought without being overly academic. The points he ponders and presents are as deep as anything John Owen has written, in my humble opinion, yet they are accessible to every child of God. Like my favorite authors, Bunyan and Spurgeon, author Johnson has a pastor’s heart and desires Christ’s sheep to draw near to the Master in the Biblical truths that sanctify and uplift the humble reader. His passion for Christ’s person and work run passionately through the pages of this book and because of the gospel back of every chapter and every thought, Jeff Johnson makes theology palatable for the everyman. In that regard, he reminds me of Richard Hawker, who points to Christ in everything, whose brevity speaks volumes. Jeff speaks volumes more in 278 pages than others writing 1200 pages and beyond. Because of that, every Christian believer will benefit from this book; and I believe that it is a must-read for every Baptist believer, whether they are Reformed in theology or not. The perspectives gained from the insights contained therein are, as the back of the dust jacket states, “CLEAR, COHESIVE, [and] HISTORICAL.”

If you have read this far in my review, you will have obviously gathered that I most highly recommend this book. I read through it twice since I got my copy in September and I’m sure I will read it again as I can hear many of the truths expounded by Pastor Johnson spilling forth in my own sermons on Sunday mornings and evenings.

The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it is not yet in paperback or on Kindle eBooks. I would love to see this work reach as wide an audience as possible.

And that’s the Gospel Truth Review

“It is Christ and His work for us, done on our behalf, that saves us. Faith understands this…. Faith has taught us that all our hope is in Christ and His finished work, not in the work He is doing within us by His Spirit.” –AND THAT’S THE GOSPEL TRUTH!, Kindle Location 180

The book, And that’s the Gospel Truth!, by D. G. Miles McKee, was released in paperback and Kindle eBooks on August 1, 2014, exactly four months from his April 1 preaching engagement at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Anniston, Alabama (so I knew the book was coming out in April).

Author, pastor and evangelist Miles McKee writes like he preaches: with passion for the truth of the Biblical gospel. The person and work of Jesus Christ. Christ crucified, His finished work upon the cross, is the creed of author McKee… and we could use more writers like him, with a voice that resounds atop the mountains with exhilarating joy, as well as echoing in the valleys to comfort us in the struggles of our darkest despair.

And that’s the Gospel Truth! presents several vignettes that contain powerful and eternal insights into the greatest truth of the universe for all ages: the gospel of Jesus Christ. Every chapter is a mini-sermon, yet to call them “mini” can be a great disservice to the book to think that the message is small. The messages are huge though conveyed in very few words, which really increases the power of its delivery. Many preachers have proclaimed rather eloquently for hours the simple gospel truths that D. G. Miles McKee has been able to do in only a few pages.

Miles McKee not only makes the deep theological truths accessible and easy to understand and digest, he brings the truths forth by the Spirit so that, if prayerfully received, they will be powerfully applied in the lives of the reader. His quotes from men like Spurgeon or Bonar season each message with salt and light, giving every point and precept greater depth and dimension.

The contents are also useful for devotional readings in the congregation. Having prepared a devotional message for a Wednesday evening prayer meeting some time ago, it struck me that the chapter of Pastor McKee’s book I had read earlier that morning would be appropriate for the congregation because of the prayers we had prayed. I put my notes aside, pulled out my Galaxy S4, opened my Kindle reading app, and read the chapter from my cell phone. What a blessing it was for the people of God that gathered that evening!

With 42 chapters (plus an Introduction and Conclusion) in And that’s the Gospel Truth! this can certainly be used as a daily devotional, meditating upon a chapter each day. Yet, this book is not a “read it, now let’s move on” book. It is rich in the gospel, the eternal truth, and therefore may be read and re-read, allowing your soul to continue mining the gold, silver and precious gems that adorn the Christians life hid with God in Christ.

This may be my favorite book by Miles McKee. Of the several books he’s written, you may enjoy Jesus is God: He always was and always will be! I read it a few years ago and actually reviewed the book right here at Preaching Christ Crucified when it had a different title (I’ll have to write a review for the new one as well).

I purchased the Kindle version of this book and it is formatted well so that I can read it easily on my Android phone, as well as on the Kindle Reader of my PC; and though I own it on Kindle, I still want to get the paperback because it will be easier to read a devotion to the congregation from the pages than from the phone screen.

It’s in paperback and Kindle eBooks. Get it. Read it. Reread it. I highly recommend it. Here is a link to the eBook:

Book Review and Giveaway at Heavenly Springs

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Christina Langella, who blogs at Heavenly Springs, received an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of my upcoming book, The Simple Gospel. She wrote her review of the book on her blog HERE. I must say, to put my own spin on a saying my dear friend Granville Gauldin says from time to time, “I’m so humbled that if I sat on a cigarette paper, I could hang my feet over the edge without touching the ground.”

The following is an excerpt from her review:

In typical Cardwell fashion, each chapter of The Simple Gospel exalts the person and work of Jesus Christ. The common thread in each essay is that the root of all debase thinking is the total depravity of man and the downward tendency toward sin in redeemed men.  In an age when so many have grown weary of the plain gospel, where entertainment is preferred over preaching, where programs and pragmatism, fables and pleasures take the place of truth, Cardwell’s The Simple Gospel is a clarion call to return to the “old paths.”

You can check out the full description of the The Simple Gospel at Amazon.com, from the book’s Pre-Order Page, by CLICKING HERE.

Get Christ and Him Crucified FREE

Christ and Him Crucified FREE eBook Promo

CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED will be FREE for 2 days beginning midnight, Pacific Standard Time (PST) on September 30, 2014. Here are the links where it can be found free:

In the USA, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In the UK, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Canada, https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Australia, https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Germany, https://www.amazon.de/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In France, https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Spain, https://www.amazon.es/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Italy, https://www.amazon.it/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Japan, https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In India, https://www.amazon.in/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Brazil, https://www.amazon.com.br/dp/B006Q6P3PY
In Mexico, https://www.amazon.com.mx/dp/B006Q6P3PY

Death of a Dear Friend

My dear friend, Mike Ratliff, or Possessing the Treasure, posts the news of the passing of a dear friend of both his and mine, Ken Silva. Ken invited me to contribute to contribute to Christian Research Network some seven years ago. I am saddened by the news but rejoice in his now rejoicing to see his Lord and mine.

CLICK HERE to read the announcement of Ken Silva’s passing into the presence of the Lord at Possessing the Treasure.

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