Category Archives: Book Review

The Apologetics of Leroy Forlines Published

by Theological Commission

A new book, The Apologetics of Leroy Forlines, by F. Leroy Forlines and J. Matthew Pinson, was recently published by Welch College Press, according to Matthew Bracey, managing editor of Welch College Press.

“The book has met with much enthusiasm and praise,” Bracey said. “We’re proud of this book and believe it honors the legacy that Mr. Forlines has left to us on the topics of apologetics and worldview thinking.”

Forlines, Professor Emeritus of Theology at Welch College, served on the Commission for Theological Integrity for fifty years, most of those years as chairman. Pinson, chairman of the Commission for Theological Integrity, serves as president of Welch College.

As detailed on the book’s dust jacket, “In The Apologetics of Leroy Forlines, J. Matthew Pinson brings together select writings of F. Leroy Forlines on apologetics and the knowledge of God. He begins the volume with a lengthy essay on the apologetics of the foremost systematic theologian of the modern Free Will Baptist Church and the contemporary Reformed Arminian movement.”

“I welcome this new book from my distinguished friend and scholar J. Matthew Pinson, which explores my previous writings on apologetics,” Forlines said. “In this book Pinson has brought together some of my writings on apologetics and epistemology from my book The Quest for Truth, introducing them with a lengthy opening chapter of his own on my approach to these matters. I highly commend Pinson’s essay, which excellently sums up my approach to apologetics.”

Forlines added, “The ideas in this book are timely. In the last thirty years, postmodernism has displaced modernism in the intellectual world, which has profoundly affected the discipline of apologetics. This book emphasizes how important it is to understand the changes that postmodernism has brought relating to evangelizing people and reaching them for Christ. The same kind of apologetics used under modernism does not work with the postmodern worldview. . . . My prayer is that God will add His blessing to this book, using it to extend His kingdom and give Him the glory that is due His name alone.”

“Most of my approach to apologetics has derived from conversations with Leroy Forlines,” Pinson said. “The word apologetics appears only a handful of times in his published writings. He tends more to use terms like epistemology, testing worldviews, metanarratives, and paradigms. As I began to encounter students who were interested in apologetics, I would talk to them about Forlines’s approach. Yet they were at a loss because he had never spelled out in detail, in one place, an approach to apologetics. So for some time I have wanted to write something on the apologetics of Leroy Forlines, to reprint and examine his writings on epistemology, worldview thinking, postmodernity, and secularism, distilling his basic approach to apologetics. This book and my essay herein represent a modest fulfillment of that goal.”

“I think friends who follow the work of the Commission and readers of FWBTheology.com will be interested in this new book,” Pinson stated. “Those who have attended theological symposia over the years have heard Mr. Forlines talk about the issues in this book again and again. It’s a privilege to celebrate the thought of our former chairman who was a member of the Commission for fifty years who has had such a profound impact on so many of us.”

Apologetics is the fourth publication from Welch College Press. To purchase a copy of the book, visit https://welch.edu/welchpress.

Teología Evangélica: A Review

Thomas Marberry

One of the books that I enjoyed during 2018 was Pablo Hoff, Teología Evangélica, Tomo 1/Tomo 2 (Miami: Editorial Vida, 2005). Hoff has ministered in Bolivia, Argentina, and Chile. He is a graduate of Taylor University, the Winona Lake School of Theology, and the Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books and articles which are widely used in the Spanish-speaking world. His goal in writing this book is not “to promote the distinctive doctrines of any denomination, but to present objectively the different points of view found in evangelical and conservative theology.” It contains the kind of basic information that pastors and other Christian leaders need to know.

Of particular interest is his discussion of the Trinity, which chapter 12 discusses. Hoff correctly notes that the term “trinity” does not occur in the Bible, but the idea of a triune God can be deduced from many passages. He explains that the Trinity is a distinctively Christian doctrine; it is not found in any of the major religions of the world. He asserts that this is such an important doctrine that it is “indispensable for the understanding of great biblical truths.”

Hoff summarizes the historical development of the doctrine of the Trinity. He outlines the contributions of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian to the development of this doctrine. He also describes several of the early heresies the early church had to struggle with, such as Modalistic Monarchianism.

This is a most useful book for leaders in Spanish-speaking churches. As Free Will Baptists become more involved in ministering to Spanish-speaking people, this is the kind of resource that can be of benefit to us.

 

Our Favorite Books in 2017

by Theological Commission

Members of the Commission for Theological Integrity enjoy a good book as much as anyone. This year has afforded each of us the opportunity to read a number of titles, some published more recently and others published in prior years. This post features a couple of favorite books by each Commission member. Note that while our mention of these books doesn’t represent a blanket endorsement of their entire content, we felt they were significant, interesting, and/or enjoyable. We commend them accordingly unto our readers.

Kevin Hester

Since this year was the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, I read several books on this topic. I reread two classics: Timothy George’s Theology of the Reformers and Roland Bainton’s, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. Of particular interest on this topic was Zondervan’s Five Solas Series: Christ Alone (Stephen Wellum), Faith Alone (Thomas Schreiner), God’s Glory Alone (David VanDrunen), God’s Word Alone (Mathew Barrett), and Grace Alone (Carl Trueman), all of which are to be commended for theological clarity and attention to the continued practical relevance of these Protestant principles.

One of the more interesting books I read related to the Protestant Reformation was Matthew Levering’s Was the Reformation a Mistake: Why Catholic Doctrine is not Unbiblical (Zondervan, 2017). Unlike most Roman Catholic apologetics, this one was aimed squarely at Evangelical Protestants. Levering, in a rather irenic spirit, strives (unconvincingly) to demonstrate the biblical background of nine Roman Catholic doctrines including: justification, Mary, monasticism, purgatory, the Saints, and the papacy among others. Continue reading Our Favorite Books in 2017

Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: A Reflection

by W. Jackson Watts

Recently I read Tom Wolfe’s latest work, The Kingdom of Speech. Wolfe is well-known and controversial journalist who has authored fiction and non-fiction works on a range of subjects. In the aforementioned title, a sort of exploration into philosophy, science, linguistics, and history, Wolfe devotes significant attention to the story of Daniel L. Everett.

Everett was a missionary sent by the Summer Institute of Linguistics to the Pirahās (pronounced pee-da-HAN) Indians in the Amazonian jungle. I had heard of Everett before and discussed his story with a Brazilian friend, though I did not know the whole story. What I did know was so fascinating to me that I picked up a copy of his memoir, Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle (Pantheon Books, 2008).

Continue reading Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: A Reflection

Arminian and Baptist: A Review

by Theological Commission

Occasionally members of the Commission for Theological Integrity publish articles, essays, book reviews, and full-length books. As this occurs we hope to keep readers abreast of these developments, especially if they will be useful and informative. We see this as an extension of our work of being an effective Commission.

Recently we learned of a new review of one of Dr. Matt Pinson’s most recent books, Arminian and Baptist: Explorations in a Theological Tradition (Randall House, 2015), written by Kevin Jackson. This review appeared at the website for the Society of Evangelical Arminians (SEA).

Readers can find out more about this interesting and eclectic fellowship of self-identified Arminians here and here. The Commission (nor the National Association of Free Will Baptists) have a formal relationship with SEA. However, there are some who have been associated with both the NAFWB and SEA. They occasionally reference Free Will Baptists and Free Will Baptist authors.

Even for those who have not yet read Arminian and Baptist, this review will provide a brief overview of the chapter content. Also, the reader’s self-idenfiying as a Wesleyan Arminian (and reviewing the book from that perspective) gives something of a window into some of the distinctions between Reformed or Classical Arminianism and Wesleyan Arminianism that aren’t merely perceived, but actual.

We leave it to readers to make their own judgments about the accuracy of the Mr. Jackson’s assertions and perspective. Readers can also find other material on Pinson’s book here, here, and here.