For whom does Rob Bell’s view on hell toll?  I know this post is ringing late in light of all the news on the blogosphere and cable news networks concerning Rob Bell’s book Love Wins, but I figured I’d point you to 2 good worthy responses to his book.

Bottom line, Rob Bell’s view on hell is not biblical.  And for the sake of brevity…

-The reality for the non-Christian… Hell is real. Repent of your sin and turn to Jesus Christ.

-The reality for the Christian… Hell is real.  Spread the good news of Jesus Christ.

For the sake of those who need a larger discourse on these two…

-Read Kevin DeYoung’s review of Rob Bell’s book.

-Watch David Platt’s (pastor and author of the book Radical) comment.


Why is any pastor allowed to preach in the sight of a holy God and in view of our wretched sinful self?  Because of the atonement and imputed righteousness of Christ.

To understand this more and to help your kids understand why the righteousness of Christ is important for their salvation, read The Priest with the Dirty Clothes by R.C. Sproul.  Not only does it convey this reality so well to kids, but the illustrations are wonderful too (The illustrator is Justin Gerard, and he helped illustrate 2 other R.C. Sproul children books, such as, The Lightlings (on the light of Jesus) and The Prince’s Poison Cup (on Christ’s penal substitutionary sacrifice… in “kid” language, of course.)

“Grace is the pleasure of God to magnify the worth of God by giving sinners the right and power to delight in God without obscuring the glory of God.”  — John Piper, The Pleasures of God

I keep coming back to this quote by John Piper in his book The Pleasures of God.  I’ve read a lot by John Piper, but for some reason or another never got around to reading The Pleasures of God.  Man, what was I thinking??  It’s probably one of the best books he has written!  And this quote is biblically God-centered.  It points to the fact that grace aims to magnify God by giving me joy in God.  He is the prize!  Grace is not grace if it doesn’t give me the pleasure of God Himself.

If you haven’t read anything by John Piper, I encourage you to pick up this book.  It takes you into the blazing center and heart of what God is most passionate about:  the pleasure He has in His glory.  Read the book to see why this is good news for you and I!

A.W. Tozer has said, “Nothing is new that matters and nothing that matters can be modernized.  The old way is the true way and there is no new way.”

And C.H. Spurgeon has said, “Clean the grand old pictures of the divine masters; hang them up in new frames; fix them on the walls of your people’s memories, and their well-instructed hearts shall bless you.”

I am thankful this year for the men and women of the Christian faith that have went before me.  And a book I just finished that reminded me of this great blessing is by Ian Murray called The Old Evangelicalism: Old Truths for a New AwakeningIt is probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  It’s an instant classic in my view and I’m sure not that many know of Ian Murray.  This man has labored well in keeping those “old” pilgrims of the faith before us.  Below are the Table of Contents from the book.

Table of Contents:

1. Preaching and Awakening: Facing the Main Problem in Evangelism

2. Spurgeon and True Conversion

3. Christ our Righteousness: God’s Way of Salvation

4. The Cross: The Pulpit of God’s Love

5. What Can We Learn from John Wesley?

6. Assurance of Salvation

7. Christian Unity and Church Unity

I’m excited about reading the new book (haven’t ordered yet!), For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper.  It was given to him as a surprise (3 years in the making!) at the recent Desiring God conference.  Like others, his writings have influenced my life greatly in living for the glory of God’s name.  Check out the chapters below and you can order it here.


A Note to John Piper
Sam Storms and Justin Taylor

Part 1: John Piper

1. A Personal Tribute to the Praise of God’s Infinite Glory and Abounding Grace
David Michael

2. Three Doors Down from a Power Plant
David Livingston

3. Who Is John Piper?
David Mathis

Part 2: Christian Hedonism

4. Christian Hedonism: Piper and Edwards on the Pursuit of Joy in God
Sam Storms

5. When All Hope Has Died: Meditations on Profound Christian Suffering
Mark R. Talbot

Part 3: The Sovereignty of God

6. The Sovereignty of God in the Theology of Jonathan Edwards
Donald J. Westblade

7. Prayer and the Sovereignty of God
Bruce A. Ware

Part 4: The Gospel, the Cross, and the Resurrection of Christ

8. What Is the Gospel?—Revisited
D. A. Carson

9. Christus Victor et Propitiator: The Death of Christ, Substitute and Conqueror
Sinclair B. Ferguson

10. The Role of Resurrection in the Already and Not-Yet Phases of Justification
G. K. Beale

Part 5: The Supremacy of God in All Things

11. A Biblical Theology of the Glory of God
Thomas R. Schreiner

12. The Kingdom of God as the Mission of God
Scott J. Hafemann

13. The Mystery of Marriage
James M. Hamilton Jr.

14. Pleasing God by Our Obedience: A Neglected New Testament Teaching
Wayne Grudem

15. The Glory and Supremacy of Jesus Christ in Ethnic Distinctions and over Ethnic Identities
Thabiti Anyabwile

16. Dethroning Money to Treasure Christ Above All
Randy Alcorn

17. “Abortion Is About God”: Piper’s Passionate, Prophetic Pro-Life Preaching
Justin Taylor

18. A God-Centered Worldview: Recovering the Christian Mind by Rediscovering the Master Narrative of the Bible
R. Albert Mohler Jr.

Part 6: Preaching and Pastoral Ministry

19. Proclaiming the Gospel and the Glory of God: The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards for Preaching
Stephen J. Nichols

20. The Pastor and the Trinity
C.J. Mahaney

21. The Pastor as Worshipper
Ray Ortlund

22. The Pastor as Shepherd
Mark Dever

23. The Pastor as Counselor
David Powlison

24. The Pastor as Leader
John MacArthur

25. The Pastor and His Study
William D. Mounce

Part 7: Ministries

26. The Vision and Ministry of Desiring God
Jon Bloom

27. The Vision and History of The Bethlehem Institute
Tom Steller

D.A. Carson has written a book called The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story.  It looks like an excellent book for small groups or to give to someone you are developing a relationship with to share the gospel (there is a corresponding leader’s guide as well).  The book comes from a 14-part seminar so aptly entitled “The God Who Is There” which took place at Bethlehem Baptist Church’s North Campus in Minneapolis.  The series will serve the church well because it simultaneously evangelizes non-Christians and edifies Christians by explaining the Bible’s storyline in a non-reductionistic way.  It’s one thing to know the Bible’s storyline, but it’s another to know one’s role in God’s ongoing story of redemption.  The God Who Is There engages people at the worldview-level.

What is really exciting is the fact that you can listen now to MP3s (full) of each seminar, as well as sample a video (10-minute previews) of the seminar.  There is supposed to be a DVD small group / class series coming out soon.

  1. The God Who Made Everything | MP3 | Video Preview
  2. The God Who Does Not Wipe Out Rebels | MP3 | Video Preview
  3. The God Who Writes His Own Agreements | MP3 | Video Preview
  4. The God Who Legislates | MP3 | Video Preview
  5. The God Who Reigns | MP3 | Video Preview
  6. The God Who Is Unfathomably Wise | MP3 | Video Preview
  7. The God Who Becomes a Human Being | MP3 | Video Preview
  8. The God Who Grants New Birth | MP3 | Video Preview
  9. The God Who Loves | MP3 | Video Preview
  10. The God Who Dies—and Lives Again | MP3 | Video Preview
  11. The God Who Declares the Guilty Just | MP3 | Video Preview
  12. The God Who Gathers and Transforms His People | MP3 | Video Preview
  13. The God Who Is Very Angry | MP3 | Video Preview
  14. The God Who Triumphs | MP3 | Video Preview

In a previous post, I listed some books that are on my list to read.  I want to highlight a couple of more books on my list and some that I’m reading now for some great summer reading!!


Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church: A Guide  for Ministry by Michael Lawrence.  I had lunch with him in DC when I attended the 9Marks Weekender.  Great book so far (currently reading) on examining the biblical storyline as a whole and how the pieces fit together in God’s redemptive plan through Christ.  And then, of course, how does our theology shape our ministry in the church.

The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love: Reintroducing the Doctrines of Church Membership by Jonathan Leeman.  Also had lunch with him while at the 9Marks Weekender!  Thick and meaty book on the subject.  Very engaging.  His examination on why church membership is offensive to people today is excellent. 

The Courage to be Protestant: Truth Lovers, Marketers, Emergents, and the Postmoder World by David Wells.  Doesn’t the title say it all?  David Wells is an excellent writer and culimates his decade long observation and analysis of what is happening to western evangelicalism.  I couldn’t put it down once I read the intoduction.

Old Evangelicalism: Old Truths for a New Awakening by Ian Murray.  Ian Murray is a great writer and along a similar vein as David Wells in examining western evangelicalism.  However, he is well-read concerning  17th-19th century evangelicalism and compares “then” and “now”.  I find his analysis very even-handed and never scathing, but he will give a well-researched and credible critique when needed.

The Forgotten Spurgeon by Ian Murray.  Another one by Ian Murray.  A biography on Spurgeon, a historical hero of mine!

Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God’s Spoken World by N.D. Wilson.  Nate Wilson is a very gifted and imaginative writer.  He has written the 100 Cupboard series for kids (My daughter has read them all.  I’m starting to read those too!)

Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose.  I’ve seen the HBO series and I have the book sitting on my shelf, but haven’t got to reading it yet.  Hopefully, this summer I will!

More books to come at another time!!

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