Christian Focus Publications produce a rich selection of titles featuring the significant characters of the reformation – from Martin Luther and John Calvin, to lesser known figures such as Theodore Beza and John Huss. 2017 brings the 5ooth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, stirred in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the Wittenberg door. We’ve picked out a few titles below which are required reading for those interested in the story of the reformation and its relevance to us today.
“With knowledge, wit, and clarity, Carl Trueman brings key insights from the Reformation on Christ, Scripture, and our appropriation of both to bear on the life of the modern evangelical church.”
Michael Lawrence, Senior Pastor, Hinson Baptist Church, Portland, Oregon
Carl R. Trueman examines the origins of contemporary Reformed theology in the Reformation world of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. After tracing how this heritage shaped and transformed the intervening period, he then describes some of the major challenges being faced by the evangelical church at the present time and suggests ways of responding which remain faithful to the Scriptures and the theology of the Reformers drawn from it and points towards a future that embraces and disseminates these wonderful doctrines of grace.
“…tells the story of Calvin’s life and thought in a compact and compelling way that will serve to acquaint readers with the warm human character of Calvin.”
William Barker, Professor of Church History, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Robert Reymond brings us John Calvin the man. A reality quite different from the caricature often painted today. Here is a man of deep spirituality with a real love for his fellow man and God. A man also with tremendous intellectual abilities. Whether the moniker ‘stern Calvinist’ is applicable or not – his life has much to teach us.
“Well researched and well written, this is an important book about Beza based on a close reading of Beza … A stellar contribution to Reformation studies and pastoral theology alike.”
Timothy George, Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama
Theodore Beza was a man who in his day was one of the luminaries of the Protestant world, who took the reins of the beleaguered Calvinistic movement after its namesake’s death, and who influenced English-speaking Protestantism more than you might imagine. Shawn D. Wright casts light on a figure often neglected and helps illustrate the significant impact of his faith and influence.
Related titles from Christian Focus Publications:
John Owen is amongst the best known of the Puritans (1616-1683). He was a profound and thought provoking pastor-theologian. Death of Death in the Death of Christ is the latest in the John Owen Collection from our Christian Heritage Imprint and has a number of features to assist the reader in getting to grips with John Owen’s writings:
- The text has been divided into chapters.
- Subheadings inserted. The contents pages include primary and secondary subheadings to aid navigation.
- The style and placement of biblical references has been made consistent with modern practice.
Death of Death in the Death of Christ was John Owen’s first masterpiece. Written from seven years of studying and reflection by one of the greatest minds in theological history, its exploration into the Scriptural perspective on the doctrine of universal redemption is yet to be answered or paralleled.
From the foreword by Sinclair B. Ferguson:
The Death of Death in the Death of Christ ranks among the best known, and indeed may actually be the best known, of the dozens of books that flowed from the pen of John Owen during his four decade long career as an author. Whenever there is a renewed interest in what lies at the heart of the gospel, these pages have a tendency to be rediscovered and re-read. It seems that each generation needs to discover them anew. Weigh carefully what you read; compare it with Scripture. Allow Owen to challenge your thinking. For this is a book to make you think.
Where to Buy:
Death of Death in the Death of Christ is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Other titles in the John Owen Collection:
Here are all of our May 2016 US new releases at a glance. Click any of the cover images below to learn more.
Christian Focus 4 Kids:
1. He works effectively
1 Corinthians 12: 11, ‘All these are the work of one and the same Spirit’. And what He does, He does as God. His work must therefore be effective.
2. He distributes spiritual gifts to everyone just as He determines
He does so in complete freedom and with perfect wisdom. Thus Christians are kept in complete dependence on Him. He distributes as He determines (1 Cor. 12: 7-11) – then who should not be content with his or her share? What claim can anyone lay to those works which He distributes by His own decision?
3. He gives
They ‘began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’, (Acts 2: 4). He gave the tongues to them, freely, as a gift. He can act freely because in the work of our salvation, the action of one person in the Trinity in no way interferes with the freedom of any other – so the love of the Father in sending the Son is free, and in no way does this sending prejudice the freedom and love of the Son, but He lays down His life freely. In the same way, the redemption of the Son in no way affects the freedom of the Father’s grace in forgiving and accepting us through Christ; and again, the Father and Son’s sending of the Spirit does not detract from the freedom of the Spirit in His operations, but what He gives believers He gives freely. This is because the purpose of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is essentially one and the same, so that in the work of one there is the free participation of all three.
*Excerpted from Living with the Living God by George Smeaton & John Owen (Christian Heritage, 2016).
Where to Buy:
Living with the Living God is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Doubtless there is true religion in heaven. Heaven’s religion, indeed, is absolutely pure and perfect. According to the pictures of heaven Scripture gives us, its religion consists mainly in love and joy, expressed in the most fervent and exalted praises. Now, the religion of the saints in heaven is the religion of earthly saints made perfect. Grace here is the dawn of glory hereafter. Texts such as 1 Corinthians 13 prove this. So if the religion of heaven is a religion of emotion, all true religion must be a religion of emotion.
The way to learn the true nature of anything is to go where that thing is found in its purity. We must therefore raise our minds to heaven, if we would know what true religion is. This is because all who are truly spiritual are not of this world. They are strangers here, and belong to heaven. They are born from above, and heaven is their native country. The nature which they receive from their heavenly birth is a heavenly nature. The life of true religion in the believer’s heart is a seed of the religion of heaven, and God prepares us for heaven by conforming us to it. So if heaven’s religion is one of emotion, ours on earth must be too.
*Excerpted from The Experience That Counts by Jonathan Edwards (Christian Heritage, 2016).
Where to Buy:
The Experience That Counts by Jonathan Edwards is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Christian Freedom provides an accessible entry into Samuel Bolton’s original work, The True Bounds of Christian Freedom, first published in 1645. This book is not simply an academic discussion of the issues; Samuel Bolton constantly reminds his readers of the gospel, and the great transformation that has happened to a person who has trusted in Jesus Christ. Bolton shows us clearly that real Christian obedience comes from a changed heart, and is motivated by love for God. He deals with the practical question of what happens when Christians fall into sin, and encourages us to rely on what Christ has done for us, rather than on our performance.
What does it mean to be a Christian? Is Christianity a matter of the intellect alone? What about desires, feelings, and experiences? What is conversion? These questions are not new. Jonathan Edwards, the great American theologian tackled these, and many others, against the background of the First Great Awakening.
These questions, and the answers Edwards gives to them, are profoundly relevant to us today. Find ‘a guide for the perplexed’ – a voice of clear Biblical and spiritual sanity to lead us safely through the maze of contemporary confusion in this crucial area.
Living with the Living God brings together two classic works on the person and work of the Holy Spirit from two of the most renowned theologians – George Smeaton and John Owen.
Part one looks at the Biblical teaching concerning the Holy Spirit, as Smeaton leads us on a journey of exploration through Scripture teaching on the Holy Spirit. Part two sees John Owen deal with the relationship between the believer and the Holy Spirit in our daily experience.
Living with the Living God provides a helpful aid for the contemporary reader in understanding the work of the Holy Spirit.
Where to Buy:
Books in the Grace Essentials series are available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
Here are all of our January 2016 US new releases at a glance. Click any of the cover images below to learn more.
Christian Focus 4 Kids:
“I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” Psalm 146:2
If it is our delight to praise the Lord while we live, we shall certainly praise him to all eternity. With this glorious prospect be- fore us, how low do worldly pursuits seem! There is a Son of man in whom there is help, even him who is also the Son of God, who will not fail those that trust in him. But all other sons of men are like the man from whom they sprung, who, being in honor, did not abide. God has given the earth to the children of men, but there is great striving about it. Yet, after a while, no part of the earth will be their own, except that in which their dead bodies are laid. And when man returns to his earth, in that very day all his plans and designs vanish and are gone: what then comes of expectations from him? Let us take a view of the character here given of those whom God will uphold. Those shall have God for their help who take him for their God, and serve and worship him accordingly, who have their hope in him, and live a life of dependence upon him, who have good thoughts of him, and encourage themselves in him, when all other supports fail. Every believer may look upon him as the God of Jacob, of the church in general, and therefore may expect relief from him, in reference to public distresses, and as his God in particular and therefore may depend upon him in all personal wants and straits.
*Excerpted from Matthew Henry Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2009).
About Matthew Henry:
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) is highly-valued by contemporary preachers and Bible users. He was the son of a Puritan pastor who had been silenced by the government of the time. Although it was difficult to find suitable ministerial training, Matthew Henry eventually studied for the ministry. With government opposition relaxing, he became a Presbyterian pastor in Chester in 1687 and later in London from 1712. It is astonishing to note the amount of preaching and writing that he accomplished despite suffering from ill-health and knowing intense sorrow in his family life.
Where to Buy:
Matthew Henry Daily Readings by Randall J. Pederson (editor) is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
“Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Isaiah 55:1
Notions of justification without faith (as with the Antinomians) cast loose the covenant, “I will be your God.” But here there is a condition—God is not bound and we free; therefore, this is the other part, “and ye shall be my people.” Now, it is taught by libertines, that there can be no closing with Christ, in a promise that has a qualification or condition expressed; and that conditional promises are legal. It is true, if the word “condition” be taken in a wrong sense, the promises are not conditional. For, Arminians take a condition for a free act, which we absolutely may perform or not perform by free will, not acted by the pre-determinating grace of Christ; so jurists take the word: but this makes men lords of heaven and hell, and puts the keys of life and death over to absolute contingency. Conditions have a Popish sense, for doing that which, by some merit, moves God to give to men wages for work, and so, promises are not conditional: but libertines deny all conditions. But taking condition, for any qualification wrought in us by the power of the saving grace of God; Christ promises soul-ease, but upon a condition, which His grace works, that the soul be sin-sick for Christ; and He offers “wine and milk” (Isa. 55:1); “And the water of life freely,” (Rev. 22:17) upon condition that you buy without money: no purse is Christ’s grace-market, no hire and sense of wretchedness is a hire for Christ.
About Samuel Rutherford:
Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661) was a Church of Scotland minister, theologian, controversialist, devotional writer, and political theorist. He was one of the Scottish commissioners to the Westminster Assembly, and was a prominent defender of mainstream orthodoxy. He was active in the Presbyterian and Covenanter cause. Rutherford’s posthumous reputation rests chiefly on his Letters, which were first published in Holland in 1664, and quickly became a classic of evangelical Protestant piety. Both Richard Baxter and Charles Spurgeon praised the Letters, and they were republished no fewer than eighty times in English. This month’s readings are from Rutherford’s Trial and Triumph of Faith (1645), a collection of sermons on the healing of the Canaan woman’s daughter (Matt. 15:21-28).
*Excerpted from Daily Readings – The Puritans (Christian Heritage, 2012).
Where to Buy:
Daily Readings – The Puritans by Randall Pederson (editor) is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:
“How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” Psalm 13:2
Our sorrow and grief for sin must not spring merely from a fear of wrath. For if we have no other ground but that it proceeds from self-love, and not from any love for God. And if love for God is not the chief motive in your repentance, your repentance is in vain and not to be esteemed true. Many, in our days, think their crying to God is repentance, and that God will forgive them as such; but indeed, they are mistaken; it is not the drawing near to God with our lips, while our hearts are far from him, which he regards. Repentance does not come by fits and starts; no, it is one continued act of our lives; for as we daily commit sin, so we need a daily repentance before God to obtain forgiveness for those sins we commit. It is not your confessing yourselves to be sinners, it is not knowing your condition to be sad and deplorable, so long as you continue in your sins; your care and endeavors should be, to get the heart thoroughly affected therewith, that you may feel yourselves to be lost and undone creatures. Christ came to save such as are lost; and if you are enabled to groan under the weight and burden of your sins, then Christ will ease you and give you rest. And until you are thus sensible of your misery and lost condition, you are a servant to sin and to your lusts, under the bondage and command of Satan, doing his drudgery: you are under the curse of God and liable to judgment. Consider how dreadful your state will be at death, and after the Day of Judgment, when you will be exposed to such miseries which the ear has not heard, neither can the heart conceive, and that to all eternity, if you die impenitent.
*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2010).
Where to Buy:
George Whitefield Daily Readings by Randall J. Pederson (editor) is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below: