Presbyterians of the Past

Christian Historical-Theological Books for Gifts

It is the time of the year when people are considering gifts for friends and family. Listed below are links to book reviews posted on Presbyterians of the Past over the years. Some of the titles were published several years ago, but many are still available from vendors and in some cases the books were issued on-demand. Some of the reviews are antiquarian titles reviewed by Presbyterians of the past, but the old titles can often be found in digital form online. A venue for purchasing a suitable condition copy is a used book web site. So, if you want some good reading for yourself, family, friends, pastors, or seminary students, a glance at the list below and clicking on the links to the reviews may help you locate just the right title. There are some abbreviations used: CTS is for Covenant Theological Seminary, Missouri; GPTS is for Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, South Carolina; KTS is for Knox Theological Seminary, Florida; RTS is for Reformed Theological Seminary; WSCA stands for Westminster Seminary, California; and WTS is for Westminster Theological Seminary, Pennsylvania.

The reviews are listed with the most recent first. An asterisk at the beginning of an entry means either a book or PDF was given to me by the author, publisher, or a seminary. The header shows the Old Library of Harewood House, Leeds, UK, and it is from Wikimedia Commons. The painting of the precariously situated man with his nose in a book is titled Der Bücherwurm (The Bookworm) and it was painted circa 1850 by Carl Spitzweg (1808-1885).

Barry Waugh

Guy Prentiss Waters, The Sabbath as Rest and Hope for the People of God, Crossway, 2022. The author is Academic Dean and Professor of New Testament at RTS, Jackson, Mississippi. Posted October 31, 2022.

Palmer Robertson and Richard B. Gaffin. Jr., books—Robertson’s The Testimony of the Four Gospels which is the first of a projected three-volume set titled Christ of the Consummation P&R, 2022, and Gaffin’s In the Fullness of Time: An Introduction to the Biblical Theology of Acts and Paul (Crossway), 2022. Dr. Robertson serves in Consummation Ministries and has taught at CTS, KTS, RTS, and WTS as well as with African Bible Colleges; Dr. Gaffin is Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Systematic Theology at WTS. Posted August 4, 2022.

*Linda Finlayson, William Carey: Expecting Great Things, Christian Focus, 2022. The author has composed several church history books for children. Posted June 9, 2022.

Thomas Witherow, The Form of the Christian Temple: Being a Treatise on the Constitution of the New Testament Church, 1889, was reviewed by B. B. Warfield and is provided in the post, “B. B. Warfield, Thomas Witherow, and Presbyterian Polity.” The author, Thomas Witherow, was an important Irish Presbyterian theologian, historian, and minister. Posted April 1, 2022.

Danny E. Olinger, Geerhardus Vos: Reformed Biblical Theologian, Confessional Presbyterian, Reformed Forum, 2018. The author is General Secretary of the Committee on Christian Education of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. Posted March 22, 2022.

Theodor Fliedner, Collektenreise nach Holland und England, two volume set, 1831, was reviewed by J.W. Alexander and is provided in the post, “Christianity in Holland, 200 Years Ago.” The books are about Fleidner’s trip to Holland to gather information about its prisons, poor houses, schools, and churches for comparison with these institutions in Germany. Posted February 23, 2022.

David K. Myers, editor, Preaching on the Plains, Self-Published. The subject of the book is the editor’s father, David T. Myers. The editor is an honorably retired PCA minister, but his father served in the Bible Presbyterian Church. Posted June 25, 2021.

*Sandy Finlayson, Chief Scottish Man: Life & Ministry of Thomas Chalmers, Evangelical Press, 2021. The author is Director of Library Services and Professor of Theological Bibliography at WTS. Posted February 5, 2021.

*Michael Morales, Exodus Old and New: A Biblical Theology of Redemption, IVP Academic, 2020. Dr. Morales is Professor of Biblical Studies at GPTS. Posted January 21, 2021.

Georg Rietschel, Weihnachten in Kirche, Kunst und Volksleben, Von Prof. Georg Rietschel. Mit 4 Kunst beilagen und 152 Abbildungen. (Christmas in Church, Art and Popular Life. With 4 art Inserts and 152 Illustrations), 1902, is reviewed by B.B. Warfield in the post, “Celebrating Christmas, B.B. Warfield.” Posted December 14, 2020.

*Linda Finlayson, God’s Bible Timeline: The Big Book of Biblical History, Christian Focus, 2018. The author has composed several church historical books for children. Posted December 4, 2020.

B.B. Warfield, Two Studies in the History of Doctrine. Augustine and the Pelagian Controversy: The Development of the Doctrine of Infant Salvation, Christian Literature Co., 1897. is reviewed by Warfield in “B. B. Warfield and Infant Salvation.” This review provides Warfield’s perspective on his own book. Posted September 12, 2020.

Alec Motyer, A Christian’s Pocket Guide to Loving the Old Testament: One Book, One God, One Story, Christian Focus, 2015. The author was principal of Trinity College, Bristol, England. Posted July 7, 2020.

Neil Postman and David F. Wells books—Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death, Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business, 1985, and Wells’s No Place for Truth, or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?, Eerdmans, 1993, are briefly reviewed in, “Neil Postman & David Wells.” Dr. Postman taught in the School of Education at New York University until his death in 2003, and David F. Wells is Distinguished Senior Research Professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Posted July 31, 2019.

Bradley J. Gundlach, Process and Providence: The Evolution Question at Princeton, 1845-1929, Eerdmans, 2013. The author is Distinguished Professor of History Chair, Department of History, Trinity International University. Posted July 23, 2019.

Barry Hankins, Woodrow Wilson: Ruling Elder, Spiritual President, Oxford, 2016. The review considers this title in Oxford University Press’s Spiritual Lives Series. The author is Resident Scholar, Religion & American Culture and Professor of History at Baylor University. Posted April 27, 2019.

*Peter A. Lillback, St. Peter’s Principles: Leadership for Those Who Already Know Their Incompetence, P&R, 2019. The author is President and Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at WTS. Posted April 26, 2019.

Michael A. G. Haykin, Giving Glory to the Consubstantial Trinity: An Essay on the Quintessence of the Christian Faith, Free Grace Press, 2018. The author is Director of the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. April 19, 2019.

“Recreation Among the Dictionaries,” is more of a history of English language dictionaries than a review. Included in the post are the dictionaries of Robert Cawdrey (1604), Samuel Johnson (1755), Noah Webster (1828), and the Oxford English Dictionary. Posted April 9, 2019.

The review titled “Books, Synod of Dort 400th,” considers W. Robert Godfrey’s Saving the Reformation: The Pastoral Theology of the Canons of Dort, Reformation Trust, 2019. Samuel Miller (1769-1850), A Place Like Heaven: An Introduction to the Synod of Dort, Log College Press. Dr. Godfrey is President Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Church History, WSCA. Posted April 3, 2019.

Derek Kidner, Kidner Classic Commentaries, first volume, Psalms 1-72, second volume, Psalms 73-150, IVP Academic. Kidner was the warden (an administrator) of Tyndale House, Cambridge, 1964-1978, and wrote several books about the Old Testament. Posted April 2, 2019.

Francis J. Grimke, Meditations on Preaching, Log College Press. The selections were compiled by Caleb Cangelosi, pastor of Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in America, Ridgeland, Mississippi. Posted August 16, 2018.

*Linda Finlayson, God’s Timeline: The Big Book of Church History, Christian Focus, 2018. The author has composed several church historical books for children. Posted April 11, 2018.

*C.W. Grafton, A Forty-Three Year Pastorate in a Country Church, Log College Press, 2018. Grafton (1846-1934) served in Union Presbyterian Church, Jefferson County, Mississippi. Posted February 28, 2018.

Chad Van Dixhoorn, God’s Ambassadors: The Westminster Assembly and the Restoration of the English Pulpit, 1643-1653, Reformation Heritage Books, 2017. The author compiled and edited The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643-1653, 5 Volumes, Oxford, 2012, and is Professor of Church History at WTS. Posted November 8, 2017.

The post, “Reformation Day 2015, Suggested Books,” includes two titles by James E. McGoldrick, professor at GPTS, the first is, Luther’s English Connection, 1979, and the second is, Luther’s Scottish Connection, 1989. Reformation Sketches: Insight into Luther, Calvin, and the Confessions, P&R, 2003, and John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor, Crossway, 2009, both by Robert W. Godfrey. By John Wilkinson, The Medical History of the Reformers, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and John Knox, The Handsel Press, 2001. A reprint of Theodore Beza’s The Life of John Calvin. Carl R. Trueman’s, Reformation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Bryntirion Press, 2000. Terry L. Johnson’s, The Case for Traditional Protestantism: The Solas of the Reformation, Banner of Truth, 2004. There is also mention of the works of J. H. Merle D’Aubigné (1794-1872). Posted September 20, 2017.

Martin Greschat, translated by Stephen E. Buckwalter, Martin Bucer: A Reformer and His Times, Westminster-John Knox Press, 2004. Posted August 30, 2017.

David B. Calhoun, Knowing God and Ourselves: Reading Calvin’s Institutes Devotionally, Banner of Truth, 2016. Dr. Calhoun was Professor Emeritus of Church History at CTS until his passing in 2021. Posted August 8, 2017.

In the post, “Presbyterian History News & Notes,” two books were noted—Diane Olinger and Patricia Clawson compiled, Choosing the Good Portion: Women of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Committee for the Historian, 2016, along with A Copious Fountain: A History of Union Presbyterian Seminary, 1812-2012, 2016, by William B. Sweetser, Jr. Posted June 28, 2017.

Scott M. Manetsch, Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609, Oxford, 2013, paper 2015. The author is Chair of Church History and the History of Christian Thought Department of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Posted March 10, 2017.

Susan Brigden, London and the Reformation, reprint by Faber & Faber, 2014; Oxford first edition, 1989. According to the publisher, the author is Fellow and Tutor of Lincoln College and Reader in the University of Oxford. Posted February 21, 2017.

*Terry L. Johnson, Worshipping with Calvin: Recovering the Historic Ministry and Worship of Reformed Protestantism, 2014, and, Serving with Calvin: Leading and Planning Services of Worship in the Reformed Church, 2015, are published by E. P. Books, Darlington, United Kingdom. The author is pastor of Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia. Posted February 29, 2016.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pamela Smith Hill, Editor, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, Laura Ingalls Wilder, South Dakota Historical Society Press, 2014. Posted July 8, 2016.

*C.N. Willborn and Caleb Cangelosi, editors, Selected Writings of Benjamin Morgan Palmer: Articles Written for the Southwestern Presbyterian in the Years 1869–1870, Banner of Truth, 2014. Pastor Willborn is Adjunct Professor of Church History at GPTS and Pastor Cangelosi serves the Pear Orchard Presbyterian Church in America, Ridgeland, Mississippi. Posted February 19, 2015.

Andrew Hoffecker, Charles Hodge: The Pride of Princeton, American Reformed Biographies, P&R, 2011. Dr. Hoffecker is Professor of Church History Emeritus, at RTS. Posted January 7, 2013.

*David B. Calhoun, Our Southern Zion: Old Columbia Seminary, 1828-1927, Banner of Truth, 2012. Dr. Calhoun was Professor Emeritus of Church History until his passing in 2021. Posted November 1, 2012.

*Carl Trueman, John Owen: Reformed Catholic, Renaissance Man, Ashgate Publishing, 2007. The author is Professor of Biblical & Religious Studies at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. Posted August 13, 2008.

*James E. McGoldrick, Luther’s Scottish Connection, 1989, reprint, Solid Ground Christian Books, 2007. The review also mentions the author’s Luther’s English Connection, 1979. The author was Professor Emeritus, GPTS until his passing in 2021. Posted April 9, 2008.

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