Blood Work

Blood work – this is a common phrase used in the medical industry. Every critical medical procedure must be based on BLO01BH_200x1000accurate blood work – the chemistry demanded by the body relies on the right delicate balance and the blood work reveals what that chemistry mix is, so the doctors can proceed safely. The body depends on blood work.

In a recently released book, Anthony Carter documents in thirteen short but deep chapters how blood work is crucial to the health of the body of Christ. The book, Blood Work – How the Blood of Christ Accomplishes our Salvation, takes a refreshing and humbling look at the death of Christ and how His blood avails for us. The body of Christ depends on the blood work of the cross.

The Bible has more to say about the blood of Christ than the cross and the death of Christ. Though all three of these are intrinsically linked, it is the blood of Christ that is most often mentioned as being critical to our spiritual health, such as in Rev 12:11 – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

The blood work of Jesus Christ reconciles sinners to Holy God. Our eternal safety and security depend on His blood work.

Carter tells us that our religion is a bloody one – not because of the renegades who wrongly shed the blood of men in the Crusades, the Great Inquisition, and other sinful actions by professing Christians. Christianity is a bloody religion because the perfect Lamb of God was predestined to be slain to take away the sins of people throughout the world – as many were called and believed on Christ.

In his book, Carter reminds us that we are purchased by the blood of Christ; cleansed by the blood of Christ; ransomed, justified, redeemed, sanctified – and more! – all by the blood of the Lord Jesus, who is the Christ. Rather than shrinking back from talking about the bloody cross of the Lord, we are encouraged to embrace and proclaim it! His blood avails for each of His chosen ones and without it none of us can be reconciled or brought near to God. It is foolishness to the world and all who are perishing – but the cross of Christ is the power of salvation to those who are being saved.

This book reminds us of what is essential for the body of Christ – we need good blood work. And there is none better than that of Jesus Christ. It is a bloody cross to which we cling, it is that blood spilt on Calvary that cleanses us from sin – all other blood stains us. Proclaim the blood of Christ – without His blood work none will be justified or reconciled to Holy God.

O precious is the flow

That makes us white as snow.

No other fount I know,

Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This book available here in several formats.

Book recommendation: “Radical” by David Platt.

When I picked up this book to read it I told myself that no matter how good any part of it was, I would not post any portion of it as a quote on DefCon (because time is so little of what I have lately). Well, that ambition didn’t last very long (like here and here, for example, with more quotes to come).

I was just putting the finishing touches on my controversial Christmas post when I began reading this book. Although Platt never mentions Christmas in the book, it did confirm my personal conviction about refraining from celebrating the holiday. But that’s another whole issue.

In brief, David Platt presents a scathing critique of self-indulgent American Christianity (specifically in relation to world missions) and its negligence of the poor and those without the gospel, then offers his advice on how to change this glaring deficiency in our own lives.

I would liken this book to a cross between K.P. Yohannan’s Revolution in World Missions and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love (the good parts, of course). And–as with both of those other books–the reader will find some points of disagreement within Radical, but when all things are considered, this book will not leave you unmoved (in a good way, of course).

This is a must-read for every Christian living in the West (America, Britain, Australia, Canada, etc.). I have personally ordered several copies to give away for free (as the Desert Pastor was gracious enough to provide me with my copy for free) and I’ve already given away my first copy this past week!

You will not be disappointed in reading this book . . . unless, of course, you don’t want to be challenged, you don’t want to be convicted, and if you’re not ready–as the subtitle says–to take back your faith from the American dream.

Book recommendation: “Terror at Beslan” by John Giduck.

“For a single religion to spawn so much hatred, so much inhuman capacity to commit violence against the innocent–even if those innocent are the citizens of a perceived enemy nation or culture–there must must be a cause. That cause cannot be the preaching of tolerance and peace so often ascribed to it.”

Terror at Beslan (page 376)

John Giduck of the Archangel Group wrote a shocking and terrifying book on the terror attacks that took place on September 1, 2004 on a school in Beslan, Russia. Not only shocking and terrifying because of his detailed portrayal of what took place, but also because this same type of attack has been promised to come to America, and that Beslan was only a dress rehearsal for what we are to experience.

I don’t read many secular books but this is one that I highly recommend. Giduck details the history of conflict in Russia that led up to the horrific attack on the innocent men, women, and children at the Beslan school on that fateful day. He also details the initial attack as well as the counter-attack by Russian forces. Giduck even chronicles the history of Islam, including the laundry list of terrorist acts perpetrated by the “Religion of Peace” on innocents around the world. Giduck also gives warning to those in America’s schools, law enforcement, and private sector of what to look out for, because it’s not a  matter of if, but when a similar attack occurs on our soil; the terrorists have made this clear, including Bin Laden.

Here’s what others are saying about the book:

“Don’t just read this book, study it and apply it.” – Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

“This should be required reading for law enforcement and school officials alike.” – Connie Bond, Editor of The Police Marksman Magazine

“An explosive expose of Russian failure and what America must do to protect its children.” – John A. Anderson, Retired Sgt. Major U.S. Army Special Forces

“Without doubt, in my 37 years of law enforcement the Beslan tragedy . . . makes for one of the most chilling analyses and accountings of any event I have ever experienced. Only 9/11 was more appalling to me.” – Ed Ray, Director of Security, Denver Public Schools

You can purchase this book on Amazon where currently it is rated at 5 out of 5 stars.

Warning, the books contains graphic descriptions and images. The book also contains profanity on page 238.

I’ve included the following video to acquaint you with what this book is about.

Finally, here’s another great video and a great detailed review of the book.

“With our destruction as the common goal that has brought them [terrorists] together, how is it that our survival has not yet served as the common goal necessary to bring us together?”

Terror at Beslan (page 327)

DefCon is now on FaceBook.

Defending Contending has finally joined the world of social networking. We are now on Facebook and you can ‘friend’ us here.

Book review: “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian.

The Marketing of EvilI just completed a page-turner that I highly recommend to the readers of DefCon. David Kupelian’s provocative missive The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, And Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom, takes you behind the scenes of how the media, entertainment, and politicians drive the culture and how they not only shape how the masses think, but also what to think.

If you ever wanted to know how sodomy went from a commonly shunned taboo (i.e. a sin) to now not only being accepted as normal, but those who dare to speak against it considered the new outcasts of society, you have to read this book.

If you ever wanted to know how our society can decry the atrocities of the Nazi Holocaust while simultaneously accepting and condoning the barbaric dismemberment of their own children under the guise of “freedom of choice,” you have to read this book.

Recommended to me by a friend, I found this book to be shocking, riveting, compelling, and impossible to put down.

Although I can’t recommend this book enough, I do caution some readers that the material dealt with can be disturbing at times and even profanity is present in the section dealing with the hip-hop culture’s grasp on our youth.

Well over 200 reader reviews have been done on this book on with an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Click here to read the reviews on Amazon.

Book review: “Why Johnny Can’t Preach” by T. David Gordon.

Why Johnny Can't PreachI just completed the book Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon. It is a well thought-out thesis addressing the source of the problem with the ineffective preaching in most Christian churches in the West.

Gordon highlights some of the reasons why preaching in the West is a failure (and consequently some of these are the very reasons why people like Osteen, Warren, Driscoll, Schuller, Noble, and the likes are so popular).

Gordon advances the (lost) notion that preaching from the pulpit should be Christ-centered (it’s sad he has to even mention that which should be a foregone conclusion). His call is reminiscent of a similar call I was sounding back in 2007 with a short post entitled A Sobering Call To Pastors, Preachers, And Teachers.

Christ-centered preaching is the New Testament way of advancing the Gospel that has sadly been hijacked by the hirelings and replaced with preaching such as Moralism messages, How-To lectures, Introspective talks, and the ever popular Culture War sermons.

These things, Gordon says, are valid as “occasional secondary results of Christ-centered preaching” (save the How-To lectures), but they should never be the purpose of preaching.

Gordon also directs us to Robert Lewis Dabney’s seven Cardinal Requisites of preaching; the seven things every sermon should contain to be effective that unfortunately most American sermons are missing on a regular basis.

Why Johnny Can’t Preach is a book that every preacher, pastor, and teacher who’s serious about their call to feed the flock should read. It will undoubtedly help to make the bad preacher (bad not by his doctrine but by his delivery) good, and the good preacher better in his proclamation of the only thing that matters: Christ and Him crucified!

Here’s a quote from the book:

Several of the more incompetent preachers I’ve heard have jumped on the emergent bandwagon, and their ministerial careers are undergoing a resurgence now, as people flock to hear their enthusiastic worship leaders and to ogle their PowePoint presentations. Their churches are no longer moribund, but then the annual carnival isn’t either–it, too, is full of enthusiasm, activity, and lively entertainment. But I’m not sure these emergent activities have any more spiritual effect than the pig races at the carnival.

Here’s another quote:

While it is not my purpose here to present an in-depth discussion of the so-called contemporary worship that has crept across the Christian landscape like a plague, I must observe here how profoundly trite it ordinarily is. Pop music, as an idion, simply cannot address that which is weighty . . . its idiom itelf is faddish, glib, superficial. Therefore, serious lyrics don’t fit in this idiom (nor does there appear to be any effort to accomplish this). Though lamentale, it is not at all surprising to me that the church in a trivial culture becomes a trivial church with trivial liturgy. I am fairly seriously considering following this book with another: Why Johnny Can’t Sing Hymns.

You can purchase this book here at the Westminster Seminary Bookstore.

Book Review: “The Robber’s Cave” by Charlotte Maria Tucker.

the-robbers-cave Yet another fine book from the Lamplighter Series of Rare Books. Written in 1887 by Charlotte Maria Tucker under the alias of A.L.O.E. (A Lady of England), The Robber’s Cave is a good read for all ages. It is suspenseful, reflective, and entertaining. Furthermore, Tucker is not afraid to show Roman Catholicism (the religion practiced by the book’s antagonists) as the idol-dependent false religion that it is.

The hills of Calabria, Italy are home to bands of nefarious thieves, but a single light can shine so brilliant in the darkest places. Why would a talented, skilled, and very innocent believer dwell purposefully with the cruelest villains? Perhaps you will learn the answer as you get to know Rafael, the Improvisatore. Ungrateful Horace Cleveland gains the answer to this question under the harshest of circumstances. The unfortunate opportunity is given to young Horace to learn the true value of things lost that he had taken so much for granted.

You can purchase this book at Family Faith Books.

Book review: “Titus: Comrade of the Cross” by Florence Morse Kingsley.

titusThe 1997 Lamplighter book of the year, Titus: Comrade of the Cross, was originally written in 1894 by Florence M. Kingsley.

A fictional work weaving the lives of several people living in and around Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ ministry and crucifixion, this novel brings life to those nameless individuals found in the Gospels. Learn (through the imagination of Kingsley) about the poor blind beggar given sight by the Messiah; read the story about the twelve year-old girl who was raised back to life by the great Physician; and discover who the two thieves on the cross were and how they got there on that fateful Friday.

Although the narration is in modern English, the dialogue between characters is in the style reminiscent of King James English. It causes folks like me who aren’t King James savvy to get bogged down ever so slightly during the dialogue, but not enough to ruin the story. It was a good read, very doctrinally sound, and a very refreshing fictional tale that stands out among the plethora of modern Christian fiction absent of that which glorifies the Lord.

You can purchase this book at Family Faith Books.

In 1894 the publisher of this book rewarded Florence Kingsley with $1,000 for writing a story that would set a child’s heart on fire for Jesus Christ. In six weeks the demand was so great, they printed 200,000 additional copies! The award-winning entry, Titus: A Comrade of the Cross, is provocative, full of suspense and drama. The story of Titus and his crippled brother climaxes at the foot of the cross, where the real hero is proclaimed. The most compelling moment is saved until the very end. It will take your breath away.

Book Review: “Warnings to the Churches” by John Charles Ryle.

warnings-to-the-churches I read this book a couple years ago and found it to be an incredible warning to the churches. It also was part of several things God used to draw me out of the lukewarm, mile-wide, inch-deep “churches” that I was attending.

The back of the book sums it up succinctly:

Some of Ryle’s most pungent writings have hitherto tended to be lost in his larger volumes. This book brings together eight addresses with a common theme. Together they sound a prophetic and much needed warning to the churches.

I stumbled across this book by accident (divine providence) on Ebay. I believe this book is currently out of print but you can purchase it here on Amazon, and you can get its modern edition entitled Churches Beware here on Amazon.

If you can find yourself a copy, I strongly recommend you get it. This 171 page volume is a must-have for all Ryle fans and those who are dissatisfied with the current shameful state of the Church.

Here’s one review from Amazon:

5.0 out of 5 stars Churches Beware, Indeed!, August 4, 2007

Outstanding teaching from an old source, demonstrating the need for discernment in the Church today. Ryle tells us how we can avoid false teachings, by not even accepting a little error any more than we would accept a little poison. Well worth the reading for discerning Christians.

Book Review: “Buried in the Snow” by Franz Hoffman.

buried-in-the-snowI recently completed the book Buried in the Snow by Franz Hoffman; part of the Lamplighter series of Christian literature. This is the first one of these books that I’ve read and found it to be really good. Written in 1879, it is a gripping tale that teaches great truths of the Bible and reliance upon God no matter the circumstance and to do it all without murmuring about your present trials.

The first three chapters are hard to get through. Hoffman’s use of sentences as long as a mid-summer’s day as he sets up the story made it hard to read (especially when doing it out loud for family reading time) but chapter four begins the tension and the story really unfolds from that point and becomes much easier to read. I’ve reprinted two separate book descriptions below along with a reader review comparing this book to the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away:

A boy and his grandfather come face to face with their own mortality within a tomb of snow. Reliance upon God is their only option as escape is impossible. But the story does not hinge upon the question of their rescue; what captivates is the response that each has to the circumstances that God has placed them in. When death is a constant companion, how does one view life? The ebb and flow of emotions are captivating as the boy and his grandfather fight off predators and the terror produced by the uncertainties of their snowy grave. I know of no other book that so delicately prepares children to face the death of a loved one than ‘Buried in the Snow.’

Full of twists, turns and unsuspected dangers, this book will cause you to see life from a different perspective. You will be blessed by the gentle wisdom of an old grandfather and the unconditional love of his grandson as they come face to face with one of the most difficult decisions of their lives. From the depths of despair to the pinnacle of blessing, this dramatic encounter will surely elicit a full spectrum of emotional responses.

Reader Review:

Buried in the Snow vs. Cast Away

After I read Buried In the Snow, which I greatly enjoyed, I watched the movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks. It is a very powerful contrast. Both stories are about individual survival under desperate circumstances but the world view between them is diametrically opposed. In Buried In the Snow, Jacques becomes completely dependent on Jesus. He learns from his trials and is made stronger by the experience. Through his grandfather’s instruction and through his faith, he has the ability to deal with his grandfather’s death and burial, receiving solace in the fact that his grandfather goes knowingly and willingly to a better place. Contrast this to the “god-less” movie Cast Away in which Tom Hanks repeatedly demonstrates the humanist’s view that self is all there is – we only have our personal faculties on which to survive. Hanks never even alludes to a “highter [sic] power.” When the body of a dead pilot washes up on shore, he buries the body, then steps back and you assume he is about to give some type of blessing, but no, he simply brushes the sand from his hands and says “Well, that’s that.” Wow! Life is tough and then you die – that’s that – a worldview absent of God. I had never noticed how intentionally “absent of God” this movie was until I read Buried In the Snow. Insight is the power of well written Christian literature, always confirming that Jesus Christ is the difference between light and dark, hope and despair, truth and falsehood, life and death – just as he told us. Another note about this contrast is that Hanks has to talk to a volleyball to keep his sanity.
Jacque and his grandfather talk to a Saviour.

Book Review: “The Lamb” by John R. Cross.

the-lambI recently completed this wonderful book and was quite impressed with the strong yet simple explanation of the Gospel. Although it’s written for children, it is also good for those who have no clue what the Gospel is because it explains it in very easy terms accompanied with beautiful illustrations and questions at the end of each chapter to reinforce what you’ve learned. My wife absolutely loves this book and we recommend it to anyone who will listen. Instead of raving on and on about it, I’ve posted a few reviews from other readers below.

And if you want to get your own copy of this book you can purchase it here at Family Faith Books.  


54321 That really communicates to kids!
By: step October 31, 2008

I have been reading “The Lamb” with my children at night for the past week and they absolutely LOVE it! They love the lifelike pictures, especially the grandpa rescuing the kid out of the river. That really communicates to kids! I just want to commend you for working on those resources.

54321 Can I give it 10 out of 5 stars?
By: eiluj03 August 17, 2008

This is the clearest gospel teaching book I have seen for kids. Ever. Its tone (both in graphics and text) is serious but beautiful and simple to understand. I have been buying books for my church library and I have yet to find one that is as clear on the gospel without being really drawn out (The Lamb has ten short chapters). It has cleared up adults’ understanding of the gospel as they understand with clarity the old testament lamb sacrifice and how that was foreshadowing Christ: our lamb. Ultimately, our focus should be the greatness of the message of the gospel. But this book is an excellent for getting that message across—I am so happy to have been introduced to it.

54321 The gospel in simple language without leaving out key truths
By: gracefaithway June 27, 2008

This book draws out the truths of the scriptures in a simple story format while avoiding difficult language or clich�s that can confuse a child’s understanding of salvation. I bought this book to read in Sunday school as well as to my 4 year old and 8 year old daughters at home. The full color illustrations are vibrant and hold their attention. The story is a slow progression with excellent questions at the end of each chapter to ensure comprehension. The story clearly shows who God is in His Holy character and perfect nature. The fall of mankind is made evident resulting in man’s just deserved punishment of Hell. This book doesn’t shelter children from the truths of scripture like the shedding of the innocent lamb’s blood in sinful man’s place, but makes these truths evident in a respectful and Christ-honoring manner. It is essential that even children understand that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” Sin requires death and that innocent lamb died in the place of the guilty sinner. I have found that this book is a springboard for conversations with my girls about God’s character and nature during normal daily activities (i.e., dinner, a car ride, shopping, etc.). Our world is so filled with entertainment that Christ is almost squeezed out of our mindset. We also have the lamb DVD that we watch as a family and it entertains us all while teaching us timeless truths. I highly recommend this book for your children or as a gift. I can envision the very real possibility of an unsaved adult being saved while reading this book to their children or grand-children (that is my prayer for my own mother).

Check out more reader reviews here.

Book review: “Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham.

family-driven-faithI just completed the book Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham. Don’t let the name fool you; it has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose driven garbage being peddled by the seeker-friendly mega-churches. In fact, I doubt that this book would be well received at such social club churches.

In the book, subtitled Doing What It Takes To Raise Sons And Daughters Who Walk With God, Voddie sounds the call for parents to take back their biblical responsibilities as the primary spiritual mentors and shepherds of their children. He also calls for the church to not only stop interfering and usurping parents’ authority, but to quit dividing and segregating the family: Baby goes in nursery, toddler in Sunday school class, teen in youth group, parents in main sanctuary. If we are to have a multi-generational family, it starts with the family, not the youth pastor.

I highly recommend this book to parents, expecting parents, pastors, youth pastors, Sunday school teachers, church nursery staff, and even teens and children.

You can purchase this book here.

Book Review: “Pilgrim’s Progress” a retelling by Gary D. Schmidt.

I recently read this retelling of Bunyan’s classic and loved it. It is written well and the story keeps you turning the pages even if you already know what happens to Christian and his companions.

I would highly recommend this book for those who do not have the time to read the original novel by Bunyan or as a prelude before reading the original.

You can purchase it here (large size) and here (small size) at Westminster Books.

Book review: “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp.

There’s an old saying that many parents can be heard uttering: “I wish my children came with an instruction manual.” Well, children may not come equipped with an instruction manual, but I found the next best thing: Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.

I just completed this book and found it to be the most helpful work on training and disciplining your children in the Lord that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It has helped me in understanding my faults, what my goals should be, and how to facilitate Biblical principles and standards in the shepherding of the hearts of my children. This book has helped me greatly in how I approach the issues of discipline with my own children.

I highly recommend this book to parents and expecting parents. I read an older version of this book but you can purchase the revised/updated version here or here.

Book review: “Justification and Regeneration” by Charles Leiter.

I recently completed the book Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter (with a forward by Paul Washer). This was a great book that explained in the simplest of terms the difference between justification and regeneration in the life of a believer.

It’s a quick and easy read and I highly recommend this book, especially to those who struggle to understand the difference between justification and regeneration.

You can purchase the book from Monergism. Thanks to Tom Rayborn from Christ Church Alton for sending me this book.

Book review: “The Family Worship Book” by Terry L. Johnson

I recently completed The Family Worship Book by Terry L. Johnson. I found it to be a fantastic help in providing the reasons and resources to commit to a daily family devotion time (this, of course, is not at the exclusion of living every aspect of our lives as Believers not just during Sunday mornings and family devotion time).

This book (from a Reformed slant) has many resources contained within so these numerous reference sources are at your fingertips. Some of the things it contains are the Psalter, hymns, creeds, the children’s catechism, the shorter catechism, and a yearly Bible reading plan.

The chapters of this (almost 200 page) book include:

– Introduction to Family Worship

– Making the Commitment to Family Worship

– Outline for Family Worship

– Order for Family Worship

– A Sample of Family Worship

– Family Resources

– Historical Resources

– Family Psalter/Hymnal

I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a wealth of solid resources for family worship time. I highly recommend it for those who are seeking to begin (or improve) their family devotion time.

You can purchase the book here.