Book Review: The Downgrade Controversy – By Charles Spurgeon

Today, dear ones, is Friday and that means I’ll be going live for the MEGA list. As you know if you are a subscriber on Youtube or follow me on social media, this is the time when I answer any of the questions that have been sent in over the week, as well as giving recommendations, suggestions, shout outs, and prayer requests. When I was considering one of the questions sent in, my mind kept going back to The Downgrade Controversy, a painful time in the Prince of Preachers life back in 1887. I wanted to do more research, and was delighted to see that there was an entire book written by Spurgeon detailing the entire situation. The book has the articles that were written in The Sword and the Trowel, responses from opposition and those in agreement, the Baptist Union’s censor, and notes discussing all of the above.

Throughout the book Spurgeon has quoted multiple Scriptures, in which he not only refutes the twisting of God’s Word that was happening, but also shows the command believers are given to stand for truth. I’m incredibly shocked to see how close that controversy can be compared to the current push of Social Justice into the church. I can see the same struggle Spurgeon had happening to all those who stand boldly in the suggestion that “Social Justice is a Gospel issue”. I’m so thankful for men like Spurgeon who stood, who offer a great example for us today, as I also thank God for those who are standing right now against the current flood of falsehood. I recommend this book for everyone, especially for those who love church history and for all leaders/elders and most importantly, pastors. You can find this book in paperback, kindle, or in PDF. I’m going to delve pretty deeply into this topic this afternoon during the live event, which should happen (Lord willing) around 3:00 pm PST. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Throwback Thursday: Book Review – The Church History by Eusebius

This, like with the writings of Josephus, is not light reading. It’s also not dull, or difficult to read, but in many ways is a page turner. The Church History was written in the fourth century, and details the the first few centuries of the church after Christ was ressurected.

Way back in July of 2019 I wrote this book review, I hope it will be a blessing today for any who missed it!

Hello again, beloved, I hope this post finds you all doing well! I have another historical book to review today, The Church History by Eusebius, as I mentioned last week. This, like with the writings of Josephus, is not light reading. It’s also not dull, or difficult to read, but in many ways is a page turner. The Church History was written in the fourth century, and details the the first few centuries of the church after Christ was ressurected. There are portions of the book that will fill the believer with great rejoicing, however the majority of the book is much like reading Foxe’s Book of Martyres. The fruitfal, yet dangerous, decades for the generations of Christians after the disciples were gone home, passed with persecution unlike that of today. The book does not center around persectuion, although Eusebius takes time to carefully name those who faced it manfully, he also addresses many other needful topics. He talks about heretics, church order, and leaders in different areas throughout the centuries up until his time. It is also true that Eusebius is the best source of information on the Counsel of Nicea, as he was there himself.

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The author, Eusebius of Caesarea, or Pamphili as he was also known by, lived from 263 AD to 339 AD, and was born in southern Israel. Recall, dear ones, that the Counsel of Nicea happened in 325, in response to Arius the Alexandian priest we discussed here. Eusebius’ life was spent in the heated discussion of Arius’ herecy, the Nicean rulings, and the time of Athanasius against the world. While he is certainly not an unbias examiner of the Counsel of Nicea, his extant works are the most detailed. He sided with those who  believed the wording chosen by Athanasius’ side was too ambiguous, while all except two members of the councel sided against Athanasius and for Arius. I actually find that this middle ground makes Eusebius not only the most detailed, but the most likely to accurately depect both sides of the debate. However, in the end, the declerations of the counsel would falter, Arianism would grow in popularity, and the church would swing back and forth between heresy and truth for several decades. Those decades would ibclude the remainder of Eusebius’ life. This explains why he felt it so important to write down the history of what the church had done, believed, taught, and accomplshed up until his time.

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Eusebius is careful to quote from many other writers throughout his ten book collection on church history. Unfortunately, many of the texts he quotes from are no longer extant, leaving The Church History with a glimpse at what a wealth of doctrine and truth the early church actually had. In these books, which is collected together to make one large book, you will read of men and women who were saved from paganism, who stood fast against persecution and heresy. You’ll also read of the leaders who fell, of those who bowed their knee to Ceaser, and of those who rose up in hatred against the Church. You’ll read varies bits of what life was like in the early church, what truths they stood on, how they conducted themselves, and even the inner debate Eusebius had over the book of Revelation. I recommend this book for all believers, especially those learned, or teaching, church history. You can find it in it’s kindle version here, pdf here, free audio version here, and paperback here. The Church History by Eusebius is in the public domain, so it can be downloaded and printed, which I recommend if you’ve got the ink. As always beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Book Review: God Doesn’t Whisper by Jim Osman

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! As promised, I have another book review for you. This one was a joy to read, as the writer has a knack for Biblical truth and turning a phrase. It’s no wonder John MacArthur wrote the forward for God Doesn’t Whisper, published by Kootenai Community Church Publishing in August of this year. Rarely do we see this type of theologically sound rebuke to the popular belief in HVG or hearing the voice of God. In this 281 page book, pastor and author Jim Osman expounds upon his own journey from believing in HVG through the Scriptural reasons he no longer does so. While he explains this disastrous teaching, he boldly calls out those preachers and teachers that promote it.

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Coming from the Word of Faith movement I frequently heard it repeated, “God spoke to me, in that still, small voice…” Have you heard it? It’s a phrase that’s repeated so often one might begin to question if the canon ought not be re-opened. But does Gods Word ever tell us that we’ll hear Him speak audibly today? In dreams? Does God whisper? Osman doesn’t pull any punches, this book, from its title to the very last footnote, is a clear refutation of HVG. I love that he doesn’t stray from Scripture, but calls us to view this movement through a Biblical lens. I recommend this book to any age, and if you happen to be a homeschooling parent like I am then this book will be a fantastic primer to teach your preteens, teens, or young adults how to respond when someone says they’ve heard a word from God.

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Pastor Osman was also gracious enough to send me several copies of God Doesn’t Whisper which I’ll be giving away on social media. If you’ve liked or commented on this article then you’ve already been entered to win! But if you’d like a few extra chances you can zip over to any of my social media pages and find the posts about this giveaway. If you are too impatient to wait for any giveaway, and when it comes to this book I completely understand, then you can find your own paper copy here and the kindle version here. Of course, if you’ve somehow found yourself with a subscription to Kindle Unlimited like I have, then you’ll already have access to this book. I know it will be edifying and educational. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Book Review – Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim by Tim Chaffey

Mr. Chaffey not only discusses the three most prevalent theories of what the Nephillim might be in a scholarly fashion, he also details when these views arose and held prominence throughout church history. Obviously, for a topic like this, it would be difficult to write a dry book. My concern was that it would be…to use a technical term, goofy.

Hello dear ones, I hope this post finds you all doing well! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been able to do a book review, so let’s change that with one that was incredibly fascinating. Yesterday I finished my first ever book on the strange topic of Nephilim. Fallen: The Sons of God and the Nephilim by Tim Chaffey popped up on my recommended reads in Kindle Unlimited. I’ve mentioned a few times how neat Kindle Unlimited is, and also how I don’t know when I ever signed up for it. A lot like Audible, I randomly realized one day that I have access to all these books…because I’ve been paying for that access unwittingly. Most likely, there was a free trial, or a button I clicked and instantly forgot about it. Either way, there are a massive amount of books available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited, so I’ve got a lot of book reviews to write!

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Fallen is a book which expounds upon all the theories and connections derived from Genesis 6:4 “The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—whenever the sons of God went in to the daughters of men, who bore to them children. They were the mighty men of antiquity, men of renown.” Mr. Chaffey not only discusses the three most prevalent theories of what the Nephillim might be in a scholarly fashion, he also details when these views arose and held prominence throughout church history. Obviously, for a topic like this, it would be difficult to write a dry book. My concern was that it would be…to use a technical term, goofy. Or, perhaps the word ‘fantastical’ would be more apt, and I’m sure you understand what I mean if you’ve ever watched a single episode of Ancient Aliens. Tim does a wonderful job of maintaining the scholarly focus, while explaining the Hebrew/Greek terminology in a way even I could understand. In fact, the entire 476 pages of this book (including the appendix) stems from Chaffey’s dissertation, thus creating an intelligently written and extremely well researched book on a topic that is most often treated to goofiness.

While I certainly can’t recommend this book to children, or even preteens, due to the obvious nature of the discussion, I do recommend it to young adults and above. It’s a theological treat, with the mixing in of a historical look into legends of the Tower of Babel, Noah’s Flood, giants, and even elves. He manages to span a vast array of topics all related to the premise of the book, without falling into a deep rabbit hole. It’s very impressive how he brings this back to the authority of Scripture, making God’s Word the most important consideration. Hermeneutics is featured in practice when Scripture is used, which is so very refreshing when you consider the way culture most often treats this topic. If you have Kindle Unlimited you can, of course, read this book there. Or on regular Kindle here, or paperback here. I hope this book will be as edifying for you as it was for me, and let me know in the comments below if you’ve found some resources about this topic that is helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Throwback Thursday: Book Review of On The Incarnation

This book review was originally published back in 2017, you can find that article here. I’m so blessed by the early church fathers, and the writings they’ve left behind! I hope you’ll enjoy this throwback Thursday book review.

I love this book, Athanasius (A fourth-century church father) is explaining Christ was fully man, yet fully God, and he begins where every good apologist begins, the creation. I have been so blessed by the Historical Theology lectures I wrote about here, not just by the lectures but also by the reading material suggested. Books, and believers, I’ve never even heard of, like Athanasius of Alexandria.

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In this book, he is essentially addressing the atheist, agnostic, and heretic of his day. The shocking thing is to realize not much has changed in those areas. As Solomon wisely noted, there is nothing new under the sun. The attack of the enemy on the truth of Gods Word is the same, it merely gets renamed from generation to generation.

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It’s fascinating as well to see how the early church viewed Christ’s deity. I recommend this book for anyone studying church history, church fathers, or Christ’s deity. This book is in the public domain, which means you can find a copy of it online or you can purchase a relatively low-cost Kindle version, and it’s also available in audio book for free. Be blessed beloved, and as always, be good Bereans studying to show yourselves approved!

https://www.ccel.org/ccel/athanasius/incarnation.i.html

Throwback Thursday: A Book Review of The Soul Winner

Back in May of 2017 I reviewed this excellent book, you can read the original post here.

The Soul Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Savior by C. H. Spurgeon was published in 1895 shortly after the author’s death. This book, this book…how can I possibly describe it? It’s not taken out, it’s a five-star restaurant. It’s the type that you sit and eat slowly, enjoying every precious bite. Read this book with pen and paper, you’ll want to take notes. Rarely is there a book I enjoy to read so thoroughly that I immediately plan to read it again once I’m done. This is one of those books. It should be in the study of every church leader, parent, teacher, or human being. If you know anyone who is unsaved you should read this book. If you have children, you need this book.

It’s written for students, so it reads much like a lecture. Spurgeon has a way of explaining things that I haven’t heard or seen in our times. He doesn’t over complicate matters or reaches outside of Biblical boundaries. Like many of the old books I’ve reviewed, this book is available on the Kindle app and is very inexpensive on Amazon. I hope you’ll all enjoy this book as much as I did, and if you can, make sure your pastor finds himself with a copy.

Yesterday I showed Spurgeon’s testimony in his own words, it might be beneficial to read that here before you read his book. I’ve also reviewed several other Christian books if you would like to read more you can herehere, or here. I’m also always looking for great Christian books to read, so feel free to leave suggestions in the comments below.

Book Review: The Gospel Dog by Gracie, Jaylee, and Traci Danker

Redeemed Ranch: The Gospel Dog is a wonderful book for children, with beautiful art work, cute characters, and a relatable plot. As we all struggle with selfishness and need to be sanctified more and more, it might even be helpful for the parents reading it to their little ones. I was excited to see a book for kiddo’s covering this topic in a Biblical way, especially with the modern ME movement teaching generations of school age children to opposite values.

The Danker’s reached out to me and offered to send me a copy so that I could read it and review it. Usually that makes me a little nervous, I don’t like to give bad reviews and if it wasn’t Biblical I would have had to point it out. Thankfully, this sweet book doesn’t stray from Scripture, and it tells a fantastic story! I loved the characters, and the art work brought the scenes to life for me. I know some children need to see the characters clearly to be able to get into the story, and each page provides that.

It’s also Kayliegh approved, she read it twice! She loved the pictures as well as the story, and recommends it for children too. I think it would be particularly helpful if you have multiple kiddo’s and want to teach values for dealing with siblings. I’m grateful for families that are writing books like this, so that we have something wholesome to read to our little ones. You can find the book on Amazon, and you can follow the authors on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. They’ve also got a blog and a website, if you’d like more information.

If you’re an American reader, Happy 4th of July! If you’re reading from pretty much anywhere and you missed yesterday’s MEGA List live, you can check it out down below. I talked about this book there, as well! As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Reformed Audio Books with Jordan Riggle

Hello dear ones! I hope this finds you all doing well. Today’s episode is an interview with Audio Book creator Jordan Riggle. His passion for seeing believers read more from Godly men throughout church history was so encouraging to me. As you know, I have a love for church fathers, reformers, and puritan literature so this was all right in my wheel house. I hope you’ll enjoy this episode and consider supporting this brother-in-Christ should you decide an audio book is what you are looking for. And please, please don’t miss the bloopers. I know, I say that every time, but this one is a particularly hilarious set, if you need a good laugh head over to my YouTube channel and skip to the end.

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Below is a timestamped outline in case you’d like to zip through this episode. You can, of course, listen across all major podcasting platforms such as PodbeaniTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayiHeart RadioStitcher, and in video form on Youtube. We also now have a Patreon page, which you can find here https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

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Jodan Riggle Audio Books:

TS 00:01:45 – Jordan shares his testimony of faith

TS 00:10:00 – What could someone have said to you at that time that would have helped?

TS 00:14:25 – What brought you to making audio books?

TS 00:26:30 – Tell us about the experience that you had to prepare you for audio books.

TS 00:29:30 – Your best commercial voice?

TS 00:30:30 – What books will we find on your website, and what’s your favorite?

TS 00:37:15 – What books are next?

TS 00:42:45 – What would you say to someone who thinks we don’t need to be reading audio books, but just read Scripture?

TS 00:48:25 – If you could meet any of these people we’ve talked about who would it be?

TS 00:52:45 – Would you ever eat roasted grasshoppers?

If you’d like more information about Tulips & Honey check out their website: 5Solas.Online 

Their store: https://shop.spreadshirt.com/tulips-h&#8230

or their Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/Tulipshoneyhub

Throwback Thursday: Book Review – Mortification of Sin

This was originally posted on September 28th, 2017.

‘There is no death of sin without the death of Christ.’ – John Owen in Mortification of Sin


John Owen was a beloved English theologian. So beloved that when King Charles II returned to power and Puritans were once more persecuted, John Owen’s was not jailed. He was even bold enough, being close friends with John Bunyan, tried to no avail to get him released from prison. To say Owens was intelligent is putting it lightly, having studied at Oxford. You can see just how adroit his mind was in Mortification of Sin, published in 1656.

Mortification of Sin is not just an exhaustive explanation of sin, reasons for sin, and ways to mortify sin, but also how to tell if your salvation is true based on sin. Owen’s also weaves rebuttals throughout the book for different false doctrines regarding sin. These include the beginnings of the social gospel, the papacy, and any type of works salvation. He does a dutiful job of using scripture, in context, to refute any misconceptions on sin and how to mortify it.

I recommend this book to anyone struggling to understand sin or salvation. Anyone who is learning about Puritans will enjoy this book, as it gives an excellent look into the viewpoint of the time, however, it does not include any historical landmarks that might help you better understand the times. Considering that when this was published his brethren were all being persecuted, jailed, or run out of town, it’s impressive that he managed to focus solely on the topic he was addressing. That is, on its own, a testament to how important it was for Owen’s to clarify the mortification of sins.

I hope this book will be a blessing to you all beloved. It’s in the public domain, like many others I’ve reviewed, which means you can access a PDFfreely online. You can also access an audio version through youtube or purchase a Kindle version for a dollar or two. As always, beloved, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Read With Me – Through David Brainerd’s Life and Diary

Hello, all, I hope this finds you doing well! Currently, on social media, I’m reading through David Brainards Life and Diary by Jonathan Edwards. It’s been such a blessing to hear from others how much this book is encouraging them. In particular, I was overjoyed to share his testimony yet again. We’ve moved to the first point of illness for him, now. I’m going to include links below to all the posts so far, and here is today’s portion.

In Jan. 1740, the measles spread much in college; and I having taken the distemper, went home to Haddam. But some days before I was taken sick, I seemed to be greatly deserted, and my soul mourned the absence of the Comforter exceedingly. It seemed to me all comfort was for ever gone; I prayed and cried to God for help, yet found no present comfort or relief. But through divine goodness, a night or two before I was taken ill, while I was walking alone in a very retired place, and engaged in meditation and prayer, I enjoyed a sweet refreshing visit, as I trust, from above; so that my soul was raised far above the fears of death. Indeed I rather longed for death, than feared it. O how much more refreshing this one season was, than all the pleasures and delights that earth can afford! After a day or two I was taken with the measles, and was very ill indeed, so that I almost despaired of life; but had no distressing fears of death at all. However, through divine goodness I soon recovered; yet, by reason of hard and close studies, and being much exposed on account of my freshmanship, I had but little time for spiritual duties: my soul often mourned for want of more time and opportunity to be alone with God. In the spring and summer following, I had better advantages for retirement, and enjoyed more comfort in religion. Though indeed my ambition in my studies greatly wronged the activity and vigour of my spiritual life; yet this was usually the case with me, that “in the multitude of my thoughts within me, God’s comforts principally delighted my soul;” these were my greatest consolations day by day.

“One day I remember, in particular, (I think it was in June, 1740,) I walked to a considerable distance from the college, in the fields alone at noon, and in prayer found such unspeakable sweetness and delight in God, that I thought, if I must continue still in this evil world, I wanted always to be there, to behold God’s glory. My soul dearly loved all mankind, and longed exceedingly that they should enjoy what I enjoyed. It seemed to be a little resemblance of heaven. On Lord’s day, July 6, being sacrament-day, I found some divine life and spiritual refreshment in that holy ordinance. When I came from the Lord’s table, I wondered how my fellow-students could live as I was sensible most did. — Next Lord’s day, July 13, I had some special sweetness in religion. — Again, Lord’s day, July 20, my soul was in a sweet and precious frame.

“Some time in August following, I became so weakly and disordered, by too close application to my studies, that I was advised by my tutor to go home, and disengage my mind from study, as much as I could; for I was grown so weak, that I began to spit blood. I took his advice, and endeavoured to lay aside my studies. But being brought very low, I looked death in the face more stedfastly; and the Lord was pleased to give me renewedly a sweet sense and relish of divine things; and particularly, October 13, I found divine help and consolation in the precious duties of secret prayer and self-examination, and my soul took delight in the blessed God: — so likewise on the 17th of October.

If you’d like to follow along through social media, I’m posting these portions on Facebook and Instagram. The links below are all from Facebook, I believe it’s easier to see than Instagram posts. What are you reading currently? I’d love to hear any suggestions for future Read With Me posts. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Part 1 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/146639186769719

Part 2 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/147345860032385

Part 4 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148014696632168

Part 5 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148459803254324

Part 6 – https://www.facebook.com/lauren.hereford.904/posts/148815963218708