The Shepherd’s Scrapbook Christmas shopping discounts

The Shepherd’s Scrapbook Christmas shopping discounts

Remember there are two important discounts available …

Works of John Owen (35-percent off) lasts until Dec. 15th. Details here.
Meet the Puritans (discounted rate) lasts until Nov. 30th. Details here.

Discounts: Why do we get discounts for our readers? It’s simple really. We can profit from affiliate networks (by making a percentage commission off each book sold through links from our site). But we think it’s best to remain a no-profit blog, and pass all the discounts on to our readers … No, thank you.

Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen

Christmas gift idea:

Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen

“As I look across the Christian landscape, I think it is fair to say con­cerning sin, ‘They have healed the wound of my people lightly’ (Jer. 6:14; 8:11, ESV). I take this to refer to leaders who should be helping the church know and feel the seriousness of indwelling sin (Rom. 7:20), and how to fight it and kill it (Rom. 8:13). Instead the depth and complexity and ugli­ness and danger of sin in professing Christians is either minimized—since we are already justified—or psychologized as a symptom of woundedness rather than corruption. This is a tragically light healing. I call it a tragedy because by making life easier for ourselves in minimizing the nature and seriousness of our sin, we become greater victims of it.”

– John Piper, foreword (p. 11)


Title: Overcoming Sin and Temptation
Author: John Owen [1616-1683]
Editors: Kelly M. Kapic and Justin Taylor
Contributors: John Piper
Rating (1-10): 10 (excellent)
Reading Level (1-10): 9 (tough)
Boards: paper
Pages: 462
Dust jacket: no
Binding: glue
Paper: normal
Topical index: yes
Scriptural index: yes
Text: perfect type
Extras: Excellent outlines, glossary, overviews, introductions and biography.
Publisher: Crossway
Price USD: $19.99
ISBNs: 9781581346497, 1581346492

Valley of Vision Christmas

Valley of Vision Christmas

For the next few weeks The Shepherd’s Scrapbook is going to look more like a bookshop than a blog. I know many of you are considering buying excellent books for your spouse, children, ministry associates, friends etc. So we will be recommending more books than usual.

One of the most versatile and best Christmas resources available is the book The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan prayers and devotion. The book is great because it focuses the readers attention towards deep experiential themes found throughout scripture and presents an excellent balance between doctrine and practice. It works great as a devotional, but also as a great resource to read as personal prayer.

There are few Christmas gifts like it. For my family and I, it’s going to be a Valley of Vision Christmas.

We have just completed the “Blank VoV” and soon I will show you how to make this yourself. It would make a great gift to encourage meditation, reflection and journaling.

Our Valley of Vision Christmas will include the following gifts…

1. The classic book itself. The Valley of Vision is available in paperback and leather bindings from the Banner of Truth. I have taken the paperbacks apart and inserted blank pages to make a special Christmas gift even more precious. Details on that to come later next week.

2. The Valley of Vision audio CD collection read by Max McLean (also available from the Banner of Truth).

3. The Valley of Vision music CD, a collection of songs inspired by the book (available from Sovereign Grace Ministries). This is one of my all-time favorite Cds.

Together, these combine to give a number of great gift options for a wide variety of Christian readers and listeners.

Update: The Blank Valley of Visions are complete and the Blank Interlinear project is coming to an end as well. We will be publishing complete DIY guides and giving away one of each so stay tuned.

See you Monday and have a great Thanksgiving weekend!


Hello everyone. We had every intention to complete the following book reviews before the end of the year but it looks like some of them will be pushed back into early 2007. Below you can see the list of reviews in the order we hope to get to them. (We will begin releasing Christmas book lists next week.)

Also, by this time in the year, the major publishers have released all their top books. And so we are ready to announce our first ever “The Shepherd’s Scrapbook, Book of the Year” award. We will do that tomorrow.

Upcoming reviews…

1. Savior, Sovereign Grace Christmas CD.
2. John Gill’s complete commentary on the bible (9 vols from Vision Forum).
3. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together (Augsburg Press).
4. Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology (3 vols from P&R).
5. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Life in Christ: Studies in 1 John (Crossway).
6. Richard A. Muller, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 (4 vols from Baker).
7. C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces (Harcourt).
8. Works of Edward Reynolds (4 of 6 vols from Soli Deo Gloria).
9. Works of John Owen (first 9 volumes from Banner of Truth).
10. Jonathan Edwards, A Just and Righteous God (Soli Deo Gloria).

See you tomorrow.

Earnest preaching and worldliness

It is easy, I have found, to fall into a lull in preaching where I forget that souls are eternal and the body is quickly fading. Our country is in need especially of earnest preaching that reminds sinners every week that the temporal life will soon peel back like a stage background to reveal the eternal world (1 Cor. 7:31). Naturally the world and even Christians tend to think more about the temporal world than the eternal. This breads a host of problems and sinful thinking.

So back to John Angell James’ powerful book, An Earnest Ministry. This week we will look at the need of earnestness from the pulpit concerning specific topics of concern. I think it is especially important to note that James is not forgetting the Spirit’s work in all of this. He does not think earnest ministry alone saves and sanctifies. He understands earnest preaching as a type of serious preaching that the Spirit of God answers to and blesses (see pp. 190-191). Here then is the first reason that makes earnest preaching so needful: Worldliness.

“What can be sufficient but an intense devotedness on the part of ministers to make things unseen and eternal bear down the usurping power of things seen and temporal? Who but the man that knows how to deal with invisible realities, and to wield the powers of the world to come, can pluck the worldling from the whirlpool of earthly mindedness, which sucks down so many, or prevent the professing Christian from being drawn into it? If our own minds are not much impressed with the awful glories and terrors of eternity, we cannot speak of these things in such a manner as is likely to rescue our hearers from the ruinous fascinations of Mammon. How we seem to want a Baxter and a Doolittle; an Edwards and a Howe; a Whitefield and a Wesley, to break in with their thunder upon the money-loving, money-grasping spirit of this grossly utilitarian age!”

– John Angell James, An Earnest Ministry: The Want of the Times (Banner of Truth, 1847/1993) pp. 192-193.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Ps. 73:25, ESV).

The need of every age: Further biblical discovery

We cannot talk of Owen this week without hearing from him. A while back I found this excellent encouragement for preachers going into Sunday. Go deeper and deeper into Scripture. Go deeper than your sources. I’m certain he would say, ‘go deeper than John Owen’ …

“The joint consent of the fathers or ancient doctors of the church is also pretended as a rule of Scripture interpretation [in Roman Catholic interpretation]. But those who make this plea are apparently influenced by their supposed interest so to do. No man of ingenuity who hath ever read or considered them, or any of them, with attention and judgment, can abide by this pretense; for it is utterly impossible they should be an authentic rule unto others who so disagree among themselves, as they will be found to do, not, it may be, so much in articles of faith, as in their exposition of Scripture, which is the matter under consideration. About the former they express themselves diversely; in the latter they really differ, and that frequently. Those who seem most earnestly to press this dogma upon us are those of the church of Rome; and yet it is hard to find one learned man among them who hath undertaken to expound or write commentaries on the Scripture, but on all occasions he gives us the different senses, expositions, and interpretations of the fathers, of the same places and texts, and that where any difficulty occurs in a manner perpetually. But the pretense of the authoritative determination of the fathers in points of religion hath been so disproved, and the vanity of it so fully discovered, as that it is altogether needless farther to insist upon it. … Of those who designedly wrote comments and expositions on any part of the Scripture, Origen was the first, whose fooleries and mistakes, occasioned by the prepossession of his mind with platonical philosophy, confidence of his own great abilities (which, indeed, were singular and admirable), with the curiosity of a speculative mind, discouraged not others from endeavoring with more sobriety and better success to write entire expositions on some parts of the Scripture: such among the Greeks were Chrysostom, Theodoret, Aretine, Oecumenius, Theophylact; and among the Latins, Jerome, Ambrose, Austin, and others. These have been followed, used, improved, by others innumerable, in succeeding ages. Especially since the Reformation hath the work been carried on with general success, and to the great advantage of the church; yet hath it not proceeded so far but that the best, most useful, and profitable labor in the Lord’s vineyard, which any holy and learned man can engage himself in, is to endeavor the contribution of farther light in the opening and exposition of Scripture, or any part thereof.”

– John Owen (1678), Works 4:227-228