Nice Postcard

A friend in Germany sent me the above postcard at the end of last year. He had been in Switzerland and had found my commentayr on Proverbs among some other purchases. The book has a new cover these days and is in its second edition. I believe EP are committed to keeping the Welwyn seriees in print. it's good to be found in the company of Ryle, Spring, etc. Thanks Stefan.

Review of Heavenly Love by David Whitla

Book Review:
Gary Brady, Heavenly Love – The Song of Songs Simply Explained (Darlington, England: Evangelical Press, 2006), Paperback, 256 pages. $15.99

Heavenly Love is one of five commentaries on the Song of Songs that Evangelical Press has published in recent years, and it is certainly one of the best. While three of the five have taken an exclusively – and sometimes rather extreme – allegorical view of this much overlooked Book of the Bible, Brady’s commentary (in the popular Welwyn series) provides a beautifully-balanced commentary that faithfully expounds both the natural and spiritual meaning of the Song.
In dealing with the natural interpretation of the Song, Brady is appropriately frank, but at the same time suitably modest (perhaps occasionally more modest than the text he is expounding!). At times he declines to elaborate on the Song’s imagery, and instead invites the reader to “be wise enough to take a hint” (p.137) where it is especially graphic. It is refreshing to read a contemporary Christian book that celebrates human sexuality and manages to avoid the common extremes of “Victorian” prudery on the one hand and the crass sensationalism of many “emergent church” offerings on the other. “It is no easy task”, Brady comments, “but as Christians we ought to be active in reclaiming this area for Christ. He is sovereign over every part of life, including this one” (p.155). Overall, the author’s contribution to this endeavor is superb, and provides much helpful material for the married and single alike.
When it comes to the spiritual interpretation of the Song as an allegory of Christ’s love for the Church, Brady is equally balanced. While some of his interpretations seem a bit of a stretch at times, he nevertheless lets Scripture interpret itself and wisely rejects some of the most extreme allegories that have been suggested. Brady weaves together the two methods of interpretation by making clear that problems in the marriage relationship are usually preceded by problems in our relationship with Christ. His chapter on spiritual desertion (ch.6) is particularly excellent.
Brady’s writing style is clear, and is illustrated with dozens of song excerpts, from Scottish metrical psalms to Bob Dylan, though he mainly cites Christian hymns. There are also lots of quotations (particularly from the Puritans) though unfortunately there are no references. An interesting appendix outlines the history of interpretations of the Song and a select bibliography of commentaries denotes which interpretation is held by each. The now almost-complete Welwyn Commentary series is one of the best tools on the market for personal devotions, and is also useful for message-preparation for Bible study leaders and pastors. This addition is highly recommended.
David Whitla

Goodbookreviews Review of What Jesus is doing now

In What Jesus is Doing Now Gary Brady has put together all in one place all of the biblical material regarding Jesus’ ascension and the work He is doing now he has ascended.
After opening with a couple of chapters focused on orienting the reader as to who Jesus is and what He accomplished by his death and resurrection, Brady utilizes the book of Hebrews alongside Reformed and Puritan theologians and hymn-writers in able retelling and explaining what Jesus is doing now he is seated at the right hand of the Father.
This is a thoroughly biblical account, put together ably by Brady, with a helpful closing chapter on why this is important and how it should impact how Christian disciples now live. Brady also includes five helpful appendices that enable the reader to tackle some of the deeper issues but in a brief and helpful manner. The only drawback is that, aside from a brief bibliography, Brady does not provide any indication as to where he has taken his material from – notably, his quotations are not referenced, which can be frustrating. But other than that, this is a readable and enjoyable introduction to the subject of Christ’s ascension: why it matters and What Jesus is Doing Now.
Tim Goodall September 2012

Speaking for the EMW to pastors' wives in Bala

I am due to speak along with my wife to pastors wives in Bala, North Wales, on April 21. Do check it out here. I speak only at the end on the famous woman of Proverbs 31. I hope numbers will pick up soon.

New books

I currently have two or three irons in the fire - that is books that I am hoping to see published this year. I am waiting on three different publishers. I am not sure how things will turn out. One is an original book for pastors, one is a unique biographical contribution to an academic church history book. The third is a devotional work drawing on the work of a past master. I will keep you posted.
Over a year and no discernible progress I'm afraid. I've sent off another book since posting this!

Why no footnotes?

Sometimes reviewers complain that my books contain no footnotes. Footnotes are a convention adopted by the academic community for purposes of research. I am not writing for academics but for ordinary folk looking for help from God's Word.
There really should be no difficulty tracking down a quotation anyway.
Take two random examples
What the Bible says about being born again p 40
"... The puritan Stephen Charnock called regeneration 'a universal change of the whole man ...' ...  it is according to Swinnock, a plaster big enough to cover the sore ... Luther described it as 'being changed and sweetly breathed on by the Spirit of God' ..."
The bibliography reveals that George Swinnock Volume 5 has been used. If you put "Swinnock, a plaster big enough to cover the sore" into Google, choose the first item offered then search using the word plaster you will easily find where he says "The plaster must be as broad as the sore".
Similarly, although Charnock on regeneration is not listed in the bibliography, put in "Charnock called regeneration "a universal change of the whole man"" choose the link to his works, then search using the phrase whole man and you will find the  exact location.
With Luther simply put in the quotation and you will find it is from Bondage of the will.
Candle in the wind p155
There are two quotations there, one at the head of the page and attributed to Ted Tripp, one in the opening paragraph, referred to as "An American writer".
"This God-given conscience is your ally ..." will be found in Google books to be on Page 119 of Shepherding a child's heart and putting in "Jimmy, if you are a good boy" into Google will give you several options including where a search using the word Jimmy will reveal that the story is told by Timothy Lin.
This is a little cumbersome perhaps but please remember why the books were written in the first place.