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R.C. Sproul: A Life, by Stephen J. Nichols. Wheaton: Crossway, 2021. 371 pages. Hardcover. $34.99. Reviewed by Jason Elzinga. I became acquainted with R.C. Sproul through the ministry that he founded, Ligonier Ministries. While not agreeing with him in every single area, I have come to appreciate his ability to explain many of the truths of the Reformed faith in a clear and compelling way. Sproul went to glory in 2017 at the age of 78, and this biography by Stephen J. Nichols gives the reader a clear look into R.C.’s life, ministry, and theology. Nichols was well-equipped to write...

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Christ and His Church Through the Ages, vol. 1, The Ancient Church (AD 30–590), 2nd edition. Herman Hanko; edited and revised by Dan VanUffelen. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association. 272 pages, hardcover. $36.95. Reviewed by Douglas Kuiper.   The RFPA website currently lists ten titles written by Herman Hanko, emeritus professor of Church History and New Testament Studies at the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary. Publishing this survey of church history will add four more titles to those ten. These four may well be Hanko’s magnum opus. The four volumes correspond to the four main eras of church history—ancient, medieval,...

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Refresh: Embracing a Grace- Paced Life in a World of Endless Demands, by Shona and David Murray. Wheaton: Crossway, 2017. 198 pages. Paperback. $14.99. Reviewed by Cherith S. Guichelaar. I sometimes think we do not get to know each other as we ought. Perhaps this is not on purpose, but simply because it feels too uncomfortable. It is out of most people’s comfort zone to say, “I’m broken. I’m struggling to lay it at the cross. I don’t understand why, but I feel emptied. I feel like a bad Christian. Does God even understand?” Maybe it is hard to say...

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Watchman on the Walls of Zion: The Life and Influence of Simon vanVelzen, by Rev. Joshua Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2021. 224 pages. $26.50, hardcover. [Reviewed by Rev. Stephen Regnerus] Simon vanVelzen. Who is the man? Many readers likely are unfamiliar with him, for the name Simon vanVelzen is not a household name. And if we should know the man, then how are we to view him? Many historians consider him to be an imbalanced, even radical man, while few hold him up as a wise and balanced warrior. What ought our assessment to be? Was vanVelzen...

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A Week in the Life of Rome, by James L. Papandrea. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2019. 223 pages. Paperback. $16.00. Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper. Christians living in Rome in AD 50 endured many earthly struggles. Flimsy apartment buildings could quickly burn or suddenly collapse. People stood in bread lines by order of social status; often the bread ran out before the destitute received any. Another struggle was to live antithetically in a city filled with unregistered marriages, prostitutes, sodomy, slave markets, bribery, games pitting man against man or beast, theatrical plays, gambling, and murder plots. Persecution—the loss of jobs,...

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Preparing for Dating and Marriage: A 31-Day Family Devotional, by Cory Griess. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2020. 112 pages. Softcover. $9.95. [Reviewed by Rev. Joshua Engelsma, pastor of Doon Protestant Reformed Church.] As the title indicates, this little book is designed to be a tool to instruct children concerning dating and marriage. That in itself is an indication of the value of the book. Anything that will help future generations develop a proper biblical and Reformed understanding of dating and marriage is a valuable asset. But there are a number of unique features about Rev. Griess’ book that...

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The American Puritans, by Dustin Benge and Nate Pickowicz. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2020. Pp xvi + 208. Paperback. $18.00. Reviewed by Douglas J. Kuiper. This book is not about Puritan theology but about seventeenth-century American church history. Each chapter sketches the life story of one prominent figure in early American Protestantism. Featured are two colonial governors (William Bradford and John Winthrop), six pastors (John Cotton, Thomas Hooker, Thomas Shepard, John Eliot, Samuel Willard, and Cotton Mather), and the poetess Anne Bradstreet. Anyone of high school age and older who is interested in church history during the American Colonial...

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Letters from Katie Luther: A Novel, by Shirley Casemier. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2020. $14.95. 208 pp. (paper). [Reviewed by Prof. Ronald Cammenga.] Letters from Katie Luther is a delightful book. It is a book written for young people by an author, who although in her eighties, is young at heart—very young at heart. Not only will young people profit from this book about the life of Katie Luther, but readers will learn much about her famous husband, the great Reformer Martin Luther. Through Katie’s eyes, we are given insights that only a wife and mother could have....

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Unfolding Covenant History: From Samuel to Solomon (vol. 6), by David J. Engelsma. Jenison, MI: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 2020. $28.95. 224 pages, hardcover. [Reviewed by Rev. David Noorman, pastor of Southwest Protestant Reformed Church in Wyoming, Michigan.] As any reader of the first five volumes of the Unfolding Covenant History series would expect, volume six lives up to its name as a treatment of Old Testament history from a covenantal perspective. The latest volume, From Samuel to Solomon, covers an important and exciting development in the history of God’s covenant: the manifestation of God’s covenant in the structure and...

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The Whole Armor of God: How Christ’s Victory Strengthens Us for Spiritual Warfare, Iain Duguid, Crossway, 2019. 127 pp. Paper, $14.99. Reviewed by Charles Terpstra. The Christian life is a battle. We are in a daily struggle against the world, sin, and Satan. But God didn’t leave us to fend for ourselves. He gave us His own armor—armor that Jesus has already worn on our behalf all the way to the cross. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is now at work inside of us. This book unpacks each of the pieces of spiritual armor Paul describes...

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