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Books that changed me, pt 3

The Marrow of Theology, by William Ames. I studied this in a class on Puritan theology at DTS in the mid-1980s. "Faith is the resting of the heart upon God," wrote Ames. Thus began my interest and study of the Puritans, the physicians of the soul.

Knowing the Times
by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones has become an "historical mentor" to me, and it started with this book that I picked up around 1990. MLJ was a prominent physician who became an evangelist to the poor in Wales, and later, pastor of Westminster Chapel in London. His observations and diagnosis of the problems of western culture were (are) remarkable.

The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God by John Piper. This book got me started not on John Piper, but on Jonathan Edwards. I was enriched by the God-centeredness of this work, and it became evident that Piper (by his own admission) was a popularizer of Jonathan Edwards. And so, ad fontes, I began a serious study on Edwards in the mid-1990s.

Martyn Lloyd Jones Biography in 2 volumes, by Iain Murray. See above on Knowing the Times. I cannot think of any other biography, or any two-volume work, that I have read and reread with such pleasure and profit.

A Faithful Narrative; the End For Which All Things Were Created; A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards. These works by Jonathan Edwards were the first I read, and I was hooked. Most people have only read Edwards' sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God", which is not a representative work by him. JE was America's greatest theologian and a man with a rare conjunction of mind and heart, of thought and passion.

The Bible, English Standard Version. This translation, along with the newly published study notes, is a wonderful accomplishment. It retains the structure of the RSV, being textually faithful, conservative, and is more readable than the NAS. This has become my English translation of choice.


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