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All reviews by Matthew Cox

Matthew Cox has served as pastor at Bethersden Baptist Church, Kent, since 2017, having previously worked in the social housing sector in Manchester. He is the Book Reviews editor for Evangelical Times.

What a Comeback! Life starts again at Easter
Phil Heaps

This evangelistic publication comes in an optimal size to give to a non-Christian. Having 32 spine-bound pages, it’s more substantial than a leaflet – and thus less likely to be thrown away thoughtlessly – yet not so large as to…

The Madness of Crowds
Douglas Murray

In God’s common grace, some non-Christians can better discern and explain the trends of our current age than many believers can. The British journalist Douglas Murray is one such person. ‘All our grand narratives have collapsed’, he observes (p.1); and…

The Last Valley: A story of God’s grace in terminal illness
Graham Heaps

In touching detail, Graham Heaps reflects on the terminal illness and subsequent death of his late wife Sue in 2015. It is by no means an enjoyable read, but it bears splendid testimony to the goodness and grace of God…

A Tender Lion: The Life, Ministry, And Message Of J. C. Ryle
Bennett Rogers

This substantial hardback purports to be the first intellectual biography of J. C. Ryle. While it traces a rough chronology of his life, it is primarily a study of the thought, writings, and ministerial activities of ‘the most popular and…

FILM REVIEW: Matthew Henry — The life and times of the Bible commentator
Dan Pugh

Although the name of Matthew Henry has become synonymous with the whole-Bible commentary which he authored in the early 18th century, there is also much to learn from his remarkable life and the tumultuous times through which he lived. This…

Get Preaching: All-Age Services
Nigel Styles

Produced by Proclamation Trust Resources, this book encourages church leaders to gather their entire congregation — young and old — to hear the preaching of God’s word together on a regular basis. They base their case on the nature of…

The Subversive Puritan: Roger Williams and freedom of conscience
Mostyn Roberts

Despite his statue featuring on Geneva’s famous Reformation Wall, Roger Williams (1603-83) is better remembered today by secular historians than by evangelical believers. The Subversive Puritan should help to redress this. The title is apposite. Williams’ theology was thoroughly Reformed,…

The Ten Commandments: What They Mean, Why They Matter, and Why We Should Obey Them (Foundational Tools for Our Faith)
Kevin DeYoung

Many Christians see the law of God as unnecessary or unimportant. Kevin DeYoung takes issue with that view, arguing that the full revelation of Christ gives believers a greater incentive to make God’s precepts their delight. His well-known gifts as…

Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music? Larry Norman and the perils of Christian rock
Gregory Thornbury

What are we to make of Larry Norman, the controversial pioneer of Christian pop music in the late 1960s and ‘70s? Gregory Alan Thornbury (son of occasional ET contributor John) tells the fascinating story with riveting style and careful accuracy.…

Christ and the Law: Antinomianism and the Westminster Assembly
Whitney Gamble

Drawing on newly available primary sources, this title contends that the initial concern of the Westminster Assembly (1643-53) was the growing influence of antinomianism: the belief that, in Christ, the people of God are not subject to the law of…

The Preacher’s Catechism
Lewis Allen

Lewis Allen has evidently thought long and hard about the nature of the Christian ministry. The result is The Preacher’s Catechism, a collection of 43 questions and answers which bring essential truths to the preacher’s heart. Loosely following the structure…

A Child’s First Book About Marriage: God’s Way is Always Best
Jani Ortlund

How well are Christian parents teaching their children what God’s word says about marriage? Are they equipped to counter the homosexual rights propaganda which their children will be exposed to at school or through television? This short, colourful book describes…

Pure Church: Recovering God’s Plan for Local Churches
Jim Sayers

In Pure Church, eleven pastors or workers in ‘Grace Baptist’ churches or organisations set out their position on church order. Its chapters display a strong unity and put forward a cohesive vision for the life and polity of the local…

Heaven on Earth: What the Bible Teaches about Life to Come
Derek Thomas

Shouldn’t every Christian feel homesick for heaven? Derek Thomas’s inquiry into the Bible’s teaching on this subject stirs up in the believer a deep longing to be with the Lord. The early chapters cover death and the intermediate state. They…

Everyday Evangelism
Paul McCauley

Experience proves that it’s perfectly possible to hold deep spiritual conversations with complete strangers, if we’re open about our agenda. Everyday Evangelism will equip and encourage the average believer to seek out and make use of those opportunities for ‘cold contact’ outreach.…

Sharing the Gospel with a Jehovah’s Witness

You know how it happens. Your doorbell rings at the least convenient time imaginable, and there are the Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs), wanting to talk about the future of the world. Do you pretend not to be in? Do you say,…

Let’s Study – James

The letter of James is frequently commended as a ‘practical’ book. But in this devotional commentary, Sinclair Ferguson is out to prove that its wise guidance is drawn from a weighty theology. The link between beliefs and behaviour is demonstrated…

A Face Like A Flint
Jeremy Walker

The title is inspired by Mark 10:32, where Jesus’ disciples were awestruck by the single-minded manner in which he made his way toward Jerusalem. Jeremy Walker describes movingly how the Lord Jesus recognised and embraced his identity as the Son…

The Grace of Shame: 7 Ways the Church Has Failed to Love Homosexuals
Tim Bayly

By God’s grace, the authors’ church ministry has led a large number of homosexuals to repentance and godly living. This change has involved more than simply abstaining from prohibited sexual activities, but a turning from the sin of ‘effeminacy’ (1…

The Ark of Safety: Is There Salvation Outside of the Church?
Ryan McGraw

Tucked away in Chapter 25 of the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) is a reference to ‘the visible Church… out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation’. To lovers of Protestant theology, this statement may sound a little,…

The Devil’s Music: How Christians Inspired, Condemned, and Embraced Rock ’n’ Roll
Randall J. Stephens

In pacey style, The Devil’s Music traces the turbulent relationship between pop music and American evangelicalism from the 1950s to the present day. The story begins in the revivalist meetings of Pentecostal churches in the southern states, characterised by shouting,…

The Doctor Who Became a Preacher: Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Banner Board Books)
Rebecca VanDoodewaard

This is a cracking little board book for reading to very young children. It shows how doctors help people who are sick, before relating how Martyn Lloyd-Jones chose to preach the good news instead, with many people coming to hear…

McCheyne’s Dundee
Bruce McLennan

Many Christians have heard of Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-43). His reputation endures as a holy and prayerful man who was greatly used by God before his early death. McCheyne’s Dundee examines the final years of his life when he ministered…

Do you pray? A question for everybody (J C Ryle series)
J. C. Ryle

It is to be welcomed that EP Books has republished three of JC Ryle’s lesser-known short tracts. The subject of this one is a vital question: ‘Do you pray?’ As always, Ryle gets to the heart of the matter and…

30-day devotional – Romans 5-8
John R. W. Stott

My hopes were high: a much-loved author on much-loved chapters. But I was disappointed. First, because of the book’s brevity. Each of its 30 daily readings is compressed into two small pages, with room for only a fleeting half-thought which…

Daniel and his visions: The message of Daniel chapters 7-12
Steve Wilmshurst

Based on Steve Wilmshurst’s sermons at his church in Bristol, this book succeeds in making the ‘difficult’ latter half of Daniel an enjoyable read. It doesn’t comment on every verse, which can prove disappointing in places. However, the author generally…

The Reformation: What You Need To Know And Why
John Stott

This small paperback from the Lausanne Movement is a work of two halves. First comes Michael Reeves’ introduction to the world-changing events of 500 years ago. The reader is led through Martin Luther’s protest against indulgences, his new understanding of…

The deacon — biblical foundations for today’s ministry of mercy
Cornelis Van Dam

This valuable book seeks to restore the diaconate to its biblical purpose: not the maintenance of church buildings, but the care of the needy. Van Dam presents a solid scriptural basis for his case. He reviews Old Testament law, the…

Surprised by the commandments
Graham Beynon

Graham Beynon confesses that he once considered the Ten Commandments ‘predictable, negative and irrelevant’ (p.xi). After preaching through them, however, he was surprised to discover an unexpected ‘depth and richness’ (p.xii). He dedicates one short chapter to each commandment, writing in…

Shepherds after my own heart — essays in honour of Robert W. Oliver
Robert Strivens

This festschrift is a tribute to the long and fruitful ministry of Robert Oliver, retired pastor at Bradford-on-Avon. The editors explain how friends and fellow ministers have addressed topics which are dear to Dr Oliver. The result is a smorgasbord…

Christian’s pocket guide to suffering
Brian H. Cosby

Brian Cosby’s short volume does what it says on the cover, providing a brief summary of the Bible’s teaching on suffering and pain. Much information is packed into a small number of pages, all of it from a sound, God-centred theological position.…

Developments in Biblical Counseling
J. Cameron Fraser

J. Cameron Fraser has provided an interesting introduction to the biblical, or ‘nouthetic’, counselling movement since its inception in the early 1970s. He gives much attention to Jay E. Adams’s influential publication, Competent to counsel, which argued that personal problems…

Why we pray
William Philip

William Philip is convinced that ‘we learn most about prayer simply by learning about God’ (p.18). So, rather than providing a ‘how-to’ guide, he concentrates on the glories of God and the gospel, stirring up in believers a greater desire…

Signposts from the Past
Reg Burrows

In the early 1990s, Reg Burrows’ Anglican congregation in Newcastle was wrestling with deep questions about its relationship with the Church of England. This followed the denomination’s consecration of female vicars and its general marginalisation of evangelicals. Signposts from the…

Back Chat
Back Chat
Chris Sinkinson

Back Chat: Answering Christianity's Critics  Chris Sinkinson Christian Focus Publications 128, £6.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-406-9 Star Rating: 2 stars   Back chat is a collection of 27 stand-alone articles, which were originally published in Evangelicals Now. Each one is only two…

Evangelical Holiness
Iain H. Murray

Evangelical holiness, and other addresses Iain H. MurrayBanner of Truth178 pages, £6.00ISBN: 978-1-84871-319-2Star Rating : 5 An author as influential as Iain Murray always deserves a hearing. Few would argue with Geoff Thomas’s commendation on the back cover, ‘All that…

Slogging along in the paths of righteousness
Slogging along in the paths of righteousness
Dale Ralph Davis

Slogging along in the paths of righteousness: Psalms 13-24 Dale Ralph Davis Christian Focus Publications, 192 pages, £8.99 ISBN: 978-1-78191-304-8 Star rating : 3 As a convinced ‘DRD’ fan, I was always going to enjoy this book. Its twelve short…

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