Archive for the ‘Solid Ground Books’ Category

The Divine Purpose

July 4, 2010

Here is the first in a series of promo videos for some of our favorite books around Solid Ground that we think you should know more about. Enjoy!

A Year With Baptist Classics

December 21, 2009

compiled by Dr. James Renihan and Michael Gaydosh

Can you name the Baptist pastor who served one church for over 50 years, and left us a marvelous testimony of his faith? Did you know that a famous Baptist wrote a book similar to The Pilgrim’s Progress, and that it was also a best seller? Who was the young Baptist pastor who dedicated himself to missions only to be prevented from going?  What foreign missionary became a Baptist, while on his way to the mission field, through careful study of Scripture?

 
You will find the answers to these questions by spending 2010 in the company of 11 classic Baptist books (July and August are combined). We are pleased to announce A Year with Baptist Classics a reading program designed to encourage worship of our great God, to help Christians grow in their faith, and to introduce outstanding books and authors from Baptist history. By reading one book each month, you will be deeply blessed, have a greater understanding of the Christian life, and learn of the Lord’s kind dealings with others.

Solid Ground Christian Books is working together with Dr. James Renihan, Professor at The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, in Escondido, California to encourage the brethren to take a year to read eleven books from those committed to the Doctrines of Grace and the Baptist Faith. We are offering at least a 40% Discount off each of the eleven titles, and a 55% discount off the entire Baptist Classics Pack when ordered together.

Here are the books we have chosen:

January –  Benjamin Keach The Travels of True Godliness This is a work, written in the style of The Pilgrim’s Progress, tracing the growth, struggles and temptations faced by ‘True Godliness.’ It is an enjoyable journey depicting the path of growth in holiness.
FebruaryAndrew Fuller: A Heart for Missions (Pearce Bio) One of the best Christian biographies ever written! Samuel Pearce was the Baptist version of Robert Murray McCheyne–a young pastor known for godliness and zeal whose life was brief but impact was profound.
March – Hercules Collins Devoted to the Service of the Temple A mighty man of God, Hercules Collins was a pastor of a very large London Congregation during the 17th century. This little book very helpfully collects some of his wonderful doctrinal and devotional writings.
April – Adoniram Judson On Christan Baptism The Congregational Missionary Society was shocked when its first missionary, Adoniram Judson, adopted credobaptist views while on his way to serve in India. In this book, Judson demonstrates the nature of Christian baptism.
May – Southern Baptist Sermons on Sovereignty and Responsibility American Baptist history is full of great preachers. Here is a collection of sermons by Southern worthies, expounding vital topics.
JuneJohn Broadus: Jesus of Nazareth  Our Lord Jesus is wonderfully presented by another great Southern preacher, John Broadus.
July/AugustBenjamin Beddome’s Exposition of the Baptist Catechism Here is a gem, long out of print, but recently reprinted. Theology is made practical by this pastor from the village of Bourton-on-the-Water in the English Cotswolds.
SeptemberAndrew Fuller: The Backslider  Christians struggle with sin–this is a fact. We need to consider this truth, learn about its dangers, and find the right method of recovery. This book will help.
October John Bunyan: Come and Welcome to Jesus Christ  We can’t neglect Bunyan! In this book, he calls us to find our full satisfaction in Jesus Christ.
NovemberBenjamin Keach: The Marrow of True Justification We live in a day when the doctrine of justification by faith alone is under attack. One of our fathers, Benjamin Keach, ably explains this doctrine here. This is the heart of the gospel.
DecemberCharles Spurgeon: Sermons on Men or Women of the Bible  What a great way to conclude the year! As always, Spurgeon shows us how the men and women of the Bible point us to Jesus Christ.

Join us in 2010 as we learn from these servants of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The Shakespeare of the Christian Heart”

August 26, 2009

These words were used to describe that great man Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) of Princeton. His fellow professor Samuel Miller said, “I solemnly believe that Dr. Archibald Alexander is the greatest man who walks the earth.” And Charles Hodge added, “There was something sublime and beautiful in the humility of old Dr. Alexander, when he found himself at the feet of Jesus.” It was Theodore Woolsey who said, “Dr. Archibald Alexander was truly the Shakespeare of the Christian heart.”

 

David Calhoun, author of the recent two volume History of Princeton Semnary, said the following: “Dr. Archibald Alexander created and shaped Princeton Seminary. He impressed his viewpoint and personality upon it as few men have ever stamped an institution. He modeled both ‘piety’ and ‘solid learning’ – and he would not let the seminary lose sight of either. From him came all the motifs of the Princeton theology, but Dr. Alexander was not content to teach Bible and doctrine. He aimed to send out warriors of the cross.”

 

I had read a book by Dr. Alexander entitled “Thoughts on Religious Experience” which has been published for years by Banner of Truth. I knew from this book that Dr. Alexander was a man of God and a man of wisdom. I did not know that he was also a gifted preacher. Theodore Cuyler, in a book recently quoted, said the following about the preaching of this man: “His sermons were like the waters of Lake George, so pellucid that you could see every bright pebble far down in the depths; a child could comprehend him, yet a sage be instructed by him.”

 EvangelicalTruthpic

I was shocked to learn that Dr. Alexander published a book of sermons for Christian families at the end of his long, productive life. For years he had been asked to produce a book of short sermons that could be used in the Christian home when a family was not able to sit under a faithful ministry. He hesitated for years but finally sent forth a volume containing 37 sermons setting forth the basics of the Christian faith and life. We have entitled the volume EVANGELICAL TRUTH: Practical Sermons for the Christian Home. It contains over 560 pages of material “a child could comprehend…yet a sage be instructed.”

 

 

“That woman will be the death of me.”

August 24, 2009

Joseph Addison Alexander (1809-1860) was the third son of Archibald Alexander, who was the first president and professor of Princeton Seminary in 1812. J.A. (as he was known) distinguished himself as a student and later a professor at Princeton, where he served alongside his father for several years.

J.A. is known today primarily for his outstanding commentaries on The Psalms, Isaiah, Matthew, Mark and Acts. But in his day he was also known as a powerful preacher. Charles Hodge said of him, “Taking him all in all, he was the most gifted man with whom I have ever been personally acquainted.”

A few years ago I purchased a copy of the first volume of his published sermons, which have been out of print more than a century. I looked over the volume and decided to begin by reading a sermon on one of the shortest texts in the Bible: “Remember Lot’s wife.” I began to read the sermon and soon found myself completely captivated. I can recall thinking to myself as I was reading, “This is a great sermon.” As I continued to read those words kept coming into my mind. As I was drawing near the end I was preparing myself for a letdown, as I have seldom read a sermon that was “good to the last drop.” But this time I was surprised to find that this sermon ended in a way that seemed perfect. I was deeply impressed with the words of the text, and they still come to mind regularly in my life.

It was shortly after this experience that I “happened” to pick up a book by Theodore Cuyler entitled “Recollections of a Long Life.” The first chapter that caught my eye was titled “Some Famous American Preachers” because the first names listed at the head of the chapter were The Alexanders. I read his personal experience of hearing Archibald Alexander, of whom he said, “he has not had his equal since the days of Jonathan Edwards.”

Theology on fire

I next read his personal experience of hearing numerous times J.A. Alexander in the pulpit. Of J.A. he said: “Oh, how his grandest sermons linger still in my memory after three-score years—like the far off music of an Alpine horn floating from the mountain tops.” Cuyler’s words sent me back to read more and now I have published both volumes of Alexander’s sermons, and entitled them THEOLOGY ON FIRE. Cuyler went on to write something that both startled me and made me laugh, “One of his most powerful and popular sermons was on the text, ‘Remember Lot’s Wife;’ and he received so many requests to repeat that sermon that he said to his brother James in a wearied tone, ‘I am afraid that woman will be the death of me.’”

“This book is going to change my Life.”

August 18, 2009

It was nearly twenty years ago that my wife came into my office and said those words. The book she was talking about was Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss which had been given to her as a gift from a woman in a sister church in New Jersey. She went on to describe for me how the leading character in the book, named Katie, was just like her.  

 SteppingHeavenwardpic

Less than two years later we had produced a brand new edition of Stepping Heavenward which brought this buried gem back into the hearts and homes of women all over the world. Elizabeth Prentiss (1818-1878) was the youngest daughter of Edward Payson, best known as ‘Praying Payson of Portland.’ Although she was just eight years old when her father died, Elizabeth said that she learned more about prayer from her father than from any book or any person the rest of her life.

 

Stepping Heavenward was first published in 1869 and it was an instant best seller in America, and was soon being translated into dozens of languages all over the world. Wherever the book went the response was exactly the same: “This woman knows my heart.” The charm of the book is found in the honesty and reality of the leading characters. The essence of the book might be summed up in the words of a hymn that was written by Mrs. Prentiss:

 

“More love O Christ, to Thee,

More love to Thee.

Hear now the prayer I make,

On bended knee.

This is my earnest plea,

More love O Christ to Thee,

More love to Thee, more love to Thee.”

 

My wife and I had the privilege of visiting the town in Vermont where Mrs. Prentiss spent her last years, and where she was buried. My wife stood in front of her grave and tears came to her eyes, because she knew that she owed a great deal to Mrs. Prentiss. You see, those words she spoke to me that night so many years ago have come true. That book has changed her life, and her children and grandchildren are reaping the fruit from that God-wrought transformation.


Discovering Another Warfield

August 14, 2009

For over 33 years I have been reading the writings of Benjamin B. Warfield (1851-1921) of Princeton Seminary. The first Warfield book I was given by a friend in Seminary was Faith and Life, a book of sermons preached on Sunday afternoons at the chapel of the Seminary. I have read several of those sermons more than a dozen times, and they always speak to my heart with a freshness that is unexpected after all these years.

I recently learned that there was “Another Warfield” who came from the same womb. This baby boy was named Ethelbert Dudley, born ten years after his older brother Ben. Ethelbert was trained at Princeton College, Oxford University, and Columbia Law School. After serving as a lawyer for a few years he was called to serve as President of Miami University in Ohio (1888-1891), of Lafayette College in Pennsylvania (1891-1914) and of Wilson College in Chambersburg, PA (1915-1930). In 1899 he was also ordained into the Ministry of the Presbyterian Church.

I was able to find and purchase (for $95.00) the only available copy of his book At The Evening Hour: Simple Talks on Spiritual Subjects. It arrived today and I have been reading it ever since it came into my hands. There are ten “Simple Talks” (as he humbly called them) that are all works of a master word-smith. I was not disappointed, but encouraged, instructed, rebuked and comforted by his words originally addressed to the Lafayette students on Sunday afternoons in Chapel.

It is evident from the opening address, entitled “Let Him Who Loves Me Follow Me”, that he was a brilliant historian and a humble Christian. I have already finished the book and even read two of the chapters twice within twelve hours. This is a Warfield Book that deserves to be available again, especially to place into the hands of every college and seminary student in the land.

When Professor John Murray of Westminster Theological Seminary was asked by students whose books they should read, he always gave a brief answer: “READ WARFIELD.” The highest praise I can give for this upcoming title by Solid Ground called At the Evening Hour is that it was written by a Warfield, “Another Warfield.”

 

LOOK FOR THIS BOOK IN SEPTEMBER 2009.

A Pastor’s Sketches

August 11, 2009

Several years ago I was sent a photocopy of a book entitled A PASTOR’S SKETCHES by Ichabod Spencer. The friend who sent it was Pastor Steve Martin on Georgia, and he said that he learned about the book from David Vaughn, long-time missionary serving in France. He said that it was a book that had to be brought back into print. Due to my busy schedule, the photocopied pages sat untouched for almost a year when I decided to carry them with me on a trip. Once I began reading “The Sketches” I was hooked. From that moment I determined that this was a book that had to be reprinted. 

Upon beginning Solid Ground Christian Books in March of 2001 it was decided that Spencer’s Sketches would be our first project, so I sent it around to get the opinion of men I greatly respect. None of them had ever heard of Spencer or his “Sketches”, but they were willing to look at them and give their honest opinion. The response was instant and overwhelming. Geoff Thomas, a pastor in Wales for over 40 years, and a man with an incredible library simply said, “You MUST reprint this book now! I have never read anything like it.” Numerous other men responded with equal enthusiasm and shock. How did this book ever go out of print? 

What makes Sketches so special? These are authentic accounts of dialogues of a pastor in Brooklyn, NY and Northampton, MA from 1830-1854 who was considered by many in his day as a genius in dealing with troubled souls. He spent hours every day amongst the people seeking to help them wrestle through the common, and not so common problems, of life in a fallen world. Every night he would sit up until midnight, with his faithful wife at his side, writing out in detail the conversations of that day. As he drew near the end of his life numerous friends begged him to share some of his experiences with others. He was extremely reluctant but finally gave in and went through the volumes of his experiences over 20 years of ministry and pulled out over 35 examples for volume one. The book became an instant best seller in America and beyond. God used it so mightily that thousands begged for more. The year before he died he went back and found some more incidents he felt might do good. Together these volumes circled the globe and gave hope and strength wherever they went. Sadly, after going through numerous editions for nearly 50 years, the last edition was printed in 1900. 

In the late Spring of 2001 we printed “A Pastor’s Sketches: Volume One” and the response was very encouraging. Within the first year three Seminaries made it required reading for their pastoral students, and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary of Louisville, KY held a Seminar on Spencer and his Sketches. We soon issued Volume Two of the Sketches, followed by a second edition of volume one. Finally, in 2008 we put the two volumes together in one volume so people can have all 77 Sketches in a single book. In addition we have also reprinted The Life and Sermons of Ichabod Spencer which means that all five of his volumes are now available again for the first time in more than 100 years.