Books & Publishing

In Defense of the Gospel: Martuneac Responds to Wood's Review

The Original Review by Todd Wood
CounterPointBecause we are talking about the gospel, a major doctrine of our faith, and men’s differing interpretation of it, this can be a source for inflamed and emotional debate. I took the time to carefully write, reflect on, and edit this reply so as not to appear emotional or enflame passions. Much more could have been written, but In Defense of the Gospel is my definitive, comprehensive answer to the Lordship Salvation debate.

The debate primarily revolves around the way a man is born again, how he is justified, how he receives eternal life. It is the reception of the gospel, not the results of the gospel, that is the primary area of the debate.

Pastor Scott Markle posted the following in the thread that followed Pastor Wood’s review of my book, “As I continue to follow this discussion, there appears to be two main realms of controversy. The first seems to concern the definition of the ‘saving faith’ that is necessary for justification/eternal salvation. The second seems to concern the results of this ‘saving faith’ in the progressive sanctification of the believer (that is — in the daily walk of the believer).”

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Book Review: Alone With God

Alone With GodI dislike “legalese” in any context, but for this review a disclaimer is in order. I have served with Jason Jason for over five years on the staff of South Sheridan Baptist, now Red Rocks Baptist. When I first volunteered to review his book, Alone With God, I realized there could be some discomfort if I had to make negative comments. But I also knew that was a remote possibility since Jason and I had co-authored a discipleship manual, God And My Life. I recognized then his quality of thought, breadth of reading, and an ability to express himself well. I found this book no different, but now to the review.

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Book Review: Israel and the Church

Israel and the ChurchEvery December, the square of the Nuremberg market place becomes home to the most famous Christmas market in the world. It is also the site where the Jewish quarter of the city once stood. Before the city walls were built, about the year 1100, the Jews were given a swampy piece of ground in what became the middle of town. They developed it into a habitable spot and grew as a community. In 1349, the city council leveled the Jewish quarter and burned 562 Jews alive. Where the synagogue once stood there is now a large church. The destruction of the Jewish quarter in Nuremberg is just one of hundreds of tragedies experienced by the Jewish people through the centuries. Christian churches share the blame.

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Church Polity: Is the Form Vital or Just Important?

Recently, my wife and I vacationed in the Colorado Mountains. Colorado is our home state. While having breakfast on an outdoor patio, watching a deer scamper up a flower-covered slope nearby, we also noticed a man take a seat at a large table near us. He placed a basket of Bibles in front of him as more adults and children joined him. The group finally was composed of three couples plus some children. We could easily overhear their conversation which centered on Ephesians 2. It became apparent this was a regular meeting at the same time in the same place on Sunday morning, and they were studying Scripture. Was this, then, a church? Did they have a pastor? Did they have a constituted membership? Were they able to exercise church discipline in any sense of the idea? Or any of the other ministries a church should have?

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Book Review: In Defense of the Gospel

In Defense of The GospelOften authors will provide humble but shameless support for their own books. But I don’t know if I have ever read a personal endorsement that compares to the magnitude of Lou Martuneac’s verdict on his own book, In Defense of the Gospel, when he writes, “In my opinion there is not a single work on the market that brings as comprehensive and balanced an answer to the Lordship position as my book does” (p. 25). Yet my expectations were not as high as Lou’s because earlier the author commented, “Much of what I have written is along the order of ‘milk’ for the relatively new or untrained believer” … “most at risk” … and a “primary target of the pro-Lordship advocates” (p. 22). I would think someone at risk of being swayed by false teaching ought to sit a little higher as a student in order to grapple with more detailed, precise theological instruction on the Gospel and quit the milk-only diet.

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First Impressions of Thomas Merton

Before reading Thomas Merton’s little book Contemplative Prayer, [1] I had anticipated the difficulties in coming to terms with an entirely different system of theology and spirituality–in this case, one kind of Roman Catholic monastic life. I write “one kind” because I discovered that Merton himself would join Protestants in criticizing the stereotyped vices of the monastery. [2] Perhaps it’s best to say that Merton was a very influential Roman Catholic monk, writing compellingly for what he saw as the ideals of Roman Catholic monasticism. At any rate, it takes time to receive an author on his own terms, especially with respect to unfamiliar theological systems, because much of the furniture is the same, only arranged quite differently. [3]

At this point, I need to fill in a gap. Why am I bothering to read Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Prayer? Last winter, I met a Roman Catholic. He and I have met more or less biweekly to read books that have been influential to us, using these books as platforms for discussion. Yes, Merton was his pick. I am now trying to crystallize a few responses to Merton’s biggest ideas therein. I think an acquaintance with these general differences would profit us, and so I share them with you.

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Book Review---An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States

NOTE:This article is reprinted with permission from As I See It, a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at

by Doug Kutilek

An American Bible: A History of the Good Book in the United States, 1777-1880 by Paul C. Gutjahr. Stanford. California: Stanford University Press, 1999. 256 pp., paperback. $19.95

The dates 1777 and 1880 may seem strange parameters for the study of the place and impact of the Bible in American history, but there is good reason for the choices. Before 1777, no English language NT or Bible was printed in America, due to English copyright laws. The first English NT printed in America appeared in Philadelphia in 1777. At the other end of the study, 1880 was the year preceding the publication of the English Revised Version NT, the first ecclesiastically-sanctioned, committee-made revision of the KJV, which set the tone and pattern for the subsequent century.

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A Day at the CBA

Colorado Convention CenterLast week, I was given the opportunity to do a book signing at the Christian Bookseller’s Association (CBA) International Christian Retail Show, held July 9-13 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. I recently authored a book, Alone With God, and had it and an accompanying journal published through JourneyForth, a division of Bob Jones University Press.

The CBA is the trade association for the Christian retail channel, serving the interests and meeting the needs of nearly 2,300 member Christian stores. These stores provide Bibles, Christian books, curriculum, apparel, music, videos, gifts, greeting cards, children’s resources, and other materials. Guesstimated attendance at the convention was 10,000.

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