KJV Creedal Bible

Tom J. Nettles

Review by S. Craig Sanders

In an age marked by staggering biblical illiteracy in the pews and even less awareness of historical theology, retired Southern Seminary professor Thomas J. Nettles delivers in the newly-published KJV Creedal Bible a brief commentary of the early church’s four seminal creeds and a defense of why confessions are important to maintain orthodoxy.

“Creedal formulas can serve as teaching tools, and when done correctly, they do not detract from or substitute for Scripture. … the reader is given a summary of the Bible’s leading ideas,” writes Nettles.

After surveying The Apostles’ Creed, the Nicene Creed (325), the Niceano-Constantinopolitan Creed (381), and the Symbol of Chalcedon (451), Nettles demonstrates how the Protestant Reformers used these historic confessions as a framework for articulating the doctrines of justification and sanctification to establish a “standard for the sake of unity in fellowship and consistency of witness.”

Baptists in America: A History

Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins

Review by S. Craig Sanders

What does it mean to be a Baptist? It depends on who you ask, and when, but understanding the core of Baptist identity has never been more important than today’s loosening denominational ties and mounting cultural hostility. In the illuminating Baptists in America, church history scholars and Baylor University professors Thomas S. Kidd and Barry Hankins focus on the diverse permutations of Baptist life in American history, from the colonial period to the 21st century. Colonial Baptists were often marked as outlaws before the disestablishment of church and state, something Kidd and Hankins point to in reference to today’s pluralistic society.

“Today almost every group in America can claim outsider, minority status on some issue,” the authors write. “Baptists were merely the first Americans to experience this. … Baptists still carry in their spiritual DNA a fierce outsider resistance.”

Reviving the Black Church: A Call to Reclaim A Sacred Institution

Thabiti Anyabwile

Review By Andrew J.W. Smith

In Reviving the Black Church, Thabiti Anyabwile, pastor of Anacostia River Church in Washington, D.C, says only God’s grace exemplified through preaching can restore broken churches. Instead of seeing the “black church” as a monolithic whole, Anyabwile argues there are many different sorts of black churches. It may have its problems, but there are some majority black churches that are thriving, and some that are wallowing in prosperity gospel and Word of Faith movements. There are strengths and weaknesses, good and bad — no different than any other ethnic group, or any other church.

But for churches that have wavered or deteriorated, Anyabwile prescribes the recovery and reformation of African-American preaching, seeing the pulpit as “the fulcrum of change in the church.” The black church must also continue to develop godly, faithful leadership in every area, including pastors, elders, and deacons.

A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundation of
Counseling Ministry

Heath Lambert

Review by Annie Corser

Counseling is an important part of everyday life and involves any situation where one person asks for advice from another person: a mother seeking advice about caring for her newborn; a friend asking for advice about a job conflict; or an elderly man wanting comfort after the passing of his wife. In A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundation of Counseling Ministry, Southern Seminary alumnus and Florida pastor Heath Lambert, who is the executive director of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC), seeks to reveal what is involved in biblical counseling. From a distinctly evangelical perspective, Lambert reveals how the practice of biblical counseling views Scripture, God, Christ, sin, and other key issues.

Lambert first distinguishes biblical counseling from Christian counseling, secular counseling, and psychology by emphasizing the importance of Scripture.

“The sufficiency of Scripture is important for a very practical reason. In counseling, when people share their most serious and secret problems, counselors need to have something to say,” Lambert writes. “The ‘wisdom’ that comes out of your mouth demonstrates where your trust is — whether it is the ‘wisdom’ of the world, the ‘wisdom’ of secular psychology, your own personal brand of ‘wisdom,’ or the wisdom of God in the Bible.”

In Lambert’s insightful book, he strongly articulates and defends what he views as the strength of biblical counseling, that people are both physical and spiritual beings and Scripture is sufficient in addressing the problems that people face. After building on his final theological foundation, Lambert explains the most important aspect of biblical counseling: Connecting people to a deeper relationship with God.

“The goal of this book is not merely that counselors care about theology, but that theologians care about counseling.”