Few things get me as excited as receiving books in the mail by the Reformers and their Reformed successors. So this week is an exciting week to be sure because I have four books to recommend.
John Calvin. Sermons on Titus. Translated by Robert White. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 2015.
Banner of Truth has recently released their first edition of Calvin’s sermons on Titus. Preached to the church of St. Peter’s, Geneva, these sermons on Titus were some of Calvin’s most popular. Banner of Truth explains that this edition is no mere reprint of Laurence Thomson’s 1579 English translation. Instead, this translation by Robert White is taken from the original French. Pastors, get your hands on this new translation and sit at Calvin’s feet as he exposits God’s Word for you.
Theodore Beza. A Clear & Simple Treatise on the Lord’s Supper. Translated by David C. Noe. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2016.
Calvin’s successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, carried on much of Calvin’s legacy, including Calvin’s theology of the Lord’s Supper. In this treatise, Beza defends Calvin against Joachim Westphal, Calvin’s Lutheran nemesis on this topic. Beza not only looks at what Scripture says but he also draws on Augustine to support his argument. This treatise is an illuminating window into 16th century debates over the Supper. Don’t miss the additional treatises at the end of the book: A System of Doctrine on the Sacramental Substance and The Law of God in Various Classes.
Shawn D. Wright. Theodore Beza: The Man and the Myth. Fearn, Ross-shire: Christian Focus, 2015.
A great book to read side by side with the one mentioned above is Shawn Wright’s new introduction to the life, writings, and theology of Beza. I was privileged to be at SBTS with Shawn Wright and found his careful scholarship and passion for Beza contagious. Shawn Wright does an excellent job in this book resurrecting Beza, bringing him to life so that we can benefit from his theology and pastoral insights today. He simultaneously dispels many of the myths surrounding Beza that have, unfortunately, clouded our appreciation for his contribution to Reformed theology.
Listen to the high praise of these seasoned theologians:
Wright’s own instincts of pastoral sympathy help clear away much of the historiographical garbage that has accumulated around the legacy of Beza and made him a feared step-child of the Reformation. (Tom J. Nettles ~ Senior Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky)
Well researched and well written, this is an important book about Beza based on a close reading of Beza … A stellar contribution to Reformation studies and pastoral theology alike. (Timothy George ~ Founding Dean of Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama)
For a man who was John Calvin’s assistant and successor, Theodore Beza is surprisingly little known. This book does us the great service of introducing the man in and through his major works. (Gerald Bray ~ Research Professor, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama)
The Works of William Perkins. Volume 2. Edited by Paul M. Smalley. Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2016.
I am just thrilled to see the works of Perkins hitting the store shelves. This is long, long overdue. This 10 volume set, headed up by Joel Beeke and Derek Thomas is impressive to say the least. The second volume, which is Perkins’s commentary on Galatians, is now available. That’s right, you heard me: 600 pages of commentary on Galatians! Need I say more? No. But Horton does:
“The father of Elizabethan Puritanism, Perkins presided over a dynasty of faith. The scope of his work is wide, yet on every topic he treats one discovers erudition and deep reflection. He was the first in an amazing line of ministers at Cambridge University’s main church. A pastor to pastors, he wrote a bestseller on counseling, was a formative figure in the development of Reformed orthodoxy, and a judicious reformer within the Church of England. I am delighted to see Perkins’s works made available again for a wide audience.”
— Michael S. Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California
Matthew Barrett is Tutor of Systematic Theology and Church History at Oak Hill Theological College in London, as well as the founder and executive editor of Credo Magazine. He is the author of several books, including Salvation by Grace, Owen on the Christian Life, God’s Word Alone: The Authority of Scripture, and Reformation Theology. Currently he is the series editor of The 5 Solas Series with Zondervan. You can read more about Barrett at matthewmbarrett.com.