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Te Book Reviews of

Dr. Don Crowe


As the Crowe Flies!
T
he battle itself was April 19, 1775.
Te Sermon was preached one year
later. Pastor Clark originally entitled
the work as Te Fate of Blood-Tirsty
Oppressors and Gods Tender Care of
His Distressed People.
Tis incident at Lexington, the
British ring on a group of colonists,
is the ignition point for the American
War for Independence. It is the famous
Shot heard round the world. Here is
a valuable piece of history that secular
textbooks have left behind not want-
ing to acknowledge the Christian heri-
tage that we have and ought to value.
A friend of Paul Revere and John
Hancock, Jonas Clark preached the
whole Bible for all of life.
Clark preached the doctrines of the
Reformation such as the Providence and
Government of the LORD God. He also
believed and proclaimed the Calvinistic
doctrine of liberty from tyrants. He was
of course concerned with the eternal
salvation of his people, but his messages
also touched the ground by giving bib-
lical answers to the crucial issues of his
day. Pastors like him are the reason the
British could think of the War for Inde-
pendence as a Presbyterian Rebellion.
[I know, at that time and in New Eng-
land, he was probably a Congregational-
ist, but of the Calvinist conviction.]
Te main part of the book consists
of Clarks sermon and his eyewitness
account of the battle of Lexington and
Concord Bridge. Also included are
some poetic tributes to April 19, 1775.
Best known among them is William W.
Longfellows Paul Reveres Ride re-
printed in full. Other commemorative
poems are from Oliver Wendell Holm-
es, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Ralph
Waldo Emerson. (No endorsement of
the theology of these poets is implied).
Robert V. McCabe entitled: A Cri-
tique of the Framework Interpretation
of the Creation Account, Parts I and II.
Te Battle of Lexington is a sermon and eyewitness narrative of
Pastor Jonas Clark of Lexington.
Nordskog Publishing, 2007.
88 page paperback.
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 3 2010
32
As the Crowe Flies! (book reviews by Don Crowe)
Tese two scholarly articles were pub-
lished in the Detroit Baptist Seminary
Journal, vol. 10 (2005) pages 19-67 and
Vol. 11 (2006) pages 63-133.
If anyone asks in Nathaniel like fash-
ion whether anything good could come
from a Baptist seminarywe must sadly
report that these articles on creation are
far better than what we get from some
conservative Presbyterian seminaries
like WTS. Drs. Douglas Kelly and Joseph
Pipa are on the right side of the issue, but
many Presbyterians are not.
One outstanding feature of Dr. Mc-
Cabes articles is his ability to fairly state
the opponents (Framework) views. For
the rst 6 pages he explains the Frame-
work hypothesis accurately, in a form
derived directly from Kline, Futato,
Irons, and a few others. Tis reminds
me of Greg Bahnsens scholarship, stat-
ing the opponents view in the strongest
form before refuting it. No straw man
tactics here. To accurately present this
theory for 6 pages without criticizing
or misrepresenting it is almost a work
of supererogation. Te Framework Hy-
pothesis is more troubling than other
compromised views because it attracts
Reformed intellectuals with its promise
of exegetical support. If its novel inter-
pretation were applied to other biblical
narratives, it would destroy even the
resurrection of Christ.
Te Framework Hypothesis is built
on four pillars:
1. Te gurative nature of the
Creation Week.
2. Te creation account con-
trolled by ordinary providence
3. Te unending 7
th
day.
4. A two-register cosmology.
Professor McCabe demolishes the four
pillars and dusts o the spot where
they once stood. He does this by care-
ful and technical study of the actual
text of Genesis. Tis is a refreshing
change from the Frameworkers who are
always leading us away from the text.
For example: lets interpret Genesis 11
by Matthew 1. Or lets recognize the
Unargued presupposition of ordinary
providence, or their allowing the spec-
ulations of modern science to control
their eisegesis of Scripture. Tey con-
stantly cite a verse, seemingly unrelated
to the issue and condently assert that
anyone can see how it supports their
particular speculation.
Tere are over 100 pages of article
and expanded endnotes of close study
of the very words of Scripture. Te
Frameworkers claim to see fern seeds
between the lines, but McCabe pays
meticulous attention to the lines.
Here what you can get from these
essays.
1. To actually understand the
Framework Hypothesisthis is not
easy to do if you are relying on its pro-
ponents to speak clearly.
2. To know in detail why it fails
and should be rejected. To be able
to refute the Framework Hypothesis
from the very words of Scripture with
sound exegesis.
[Tese articles are available at no cost
from the Detroit Baptist Seminary web-
site at:
http://www.dbts.edu/journals/index_
auth.as
33 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 2 2010
Calvin in the Public Square
B
ob Norman has a background of
military service, political involve-
ment, and operating a vitamin and nu-
trition business. As a reformed believer
he has written several papers on cults.
He is also involved in Hispanic minis-
tries locally (MS) and in Peru.
Whereas the Reformed faith ex-
tends the Lordship of Jesus Christ over
every area of life and thought, the mod-
ern [evangelical] church has truncated
the application of Christianity to the
moral and political climate of our na-
tion. As D. James Kennedy said, by the
middle of the 20
th
century, Americas
pulpits fell silent. Te major theme of
Bob Normans book is to explain why
the conservative evangelical pulpits
of America refuse to speak out on the
serious issues of the day and encourage
their congregations to take an active
stand for righteousness. (2)
It is obvious from the quotes found
throughout the book that the author is
partial to R.J. Rushdoony, Ken Gentry,
Francis Schaeer, and D. James Ken-
nedy. One of my favorite quotes is from
Matthew Henrys commentary on Mat-
thew 28:16-20 [Te Great Commission]
Christianity should be twisted in
with the national constitutions, that the
kingdoms of the world should become
Christs kingdomsthe nations Chris-
tian nations. (vol. 5) [Matthew Henry
is already widely loved by Christians of
various persuasions, now if only more
would read him and act upon the truths
he proclaims!]
We know that the Pilgrims and
Puritans accepted the Bible as Gods
infallible Word and the standard for
all of life, including the basis for gov-
ernment and its laws. (9) Pastors felt a
responsibility to apply the scriptures to
the relevant issues of the day. Prior to
the American War for Independence
the pastors proclaimed liberty and de-
nounced tyranny.
Churches bought into the idea that
their business was to deal only with the
spiritual issues such as salvation and
eternity, but remain silent about earthly
thing like the kind of laws magistrates
are making. Speaking out against god-
less evils in society [and presenting the
Where is the Voice of the Church?
How churches became neutralized, America lost its
Christian heritage, and how to reclaim It
by Bob Norman, 2009, pb. 66 pages.
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 3 2010
34
As the Crowe Flies! (book reviews by Don Crowe)
biblical alternativesvery specically set
down in God-breathed words] goes hand
in hand with evangelism and missions.
Te neutralized church imbibed
the Greek philosophical dualism, mak-
ing a sharp distinction between the
physical and the spiritual, [material
vs. immaterial]. Tus the body is bad
the soul is good; the earth is bad but
heaven is good. Tis leads to a neglect
of history, culture, and creation. Areas
of health, education, civil government,
and welfare are left to operate apart
from the Lordship of Christ. A well
known saying among the other-worldly
there is no use polishing brass on a
sinking ship.
Is there nothing to look forward
to until after death? Norman speaks
against a death-wish mentality. Are
the problems of this world are to be
dealt with according to the Word of
God, or merely to be escaped fromby
death? [or a rapture?] But where could
the Church possibly get the idea that
any area of life is neutral ground?
Why does a Christian man expect
to exercise dominion in his business?
He wants victory for his favorite sports
team. He wants success for his family.
Must he have a pacist personality at
church? Does the church oer no hope
of victory? As Francis Schaeer said,
Spirituality, to the evangelical leader-
ship, often has not included the Lord-
ship of Christ over the whole spectrum
of life. ( A Christian Manifesto, p 63)
Preaching the whole Bible means
that societal issues would be dealt
with since the Bible deals with all of
life. Ministers of the founding era did
not shy away from issues like tyranny
of civil government, taxation, blatant
immorality, etc. We cannot allow the
world to do our thinking for us. To
willfully surrender our nation to the
humanist state without a ght veries
the loss of masculinity and spirit of vic-
tory in todays church. (27)
Another section of this book is Re-
covering Lost Masculinity Sermons
which focus on winning will ignite the
hearts of men to go out and do what the
Lord expects of him, to reclaim and re-
build our communities to reect Jesus
Christ. Mr. Norman imagines what
would happen if the typical no vic-
tory theology were applied to a football
team. Men would soon lose interest in
a game in which your purpose is to
go out there and suer for a little while
because the main thing is getting to go
home afterward.
Tere is a reason why a correct end-
time view is so important. If a person is
taught he cannot win, and, in fact, that
he is supposed to actually lose, then he
is not likely to stand against evil in an
attempt to defeat it. How dierent the
case when he is taught that victory is
inevitable if he will but stand and ght.
Te concluding chapter provides
some directives on reclaiming America.
Politics and politicians cannot save us,
but we should be involved to elect the
best representatives. Pastors should
speak on the issues of the day, and con-
gregations should be active in promot-
ing righteousness and opposing evil.
Form networks. After all, people should
be looking to the church for answers
from scripture, instead of looking to
government politicians to solve their
problems. When people cannot look
to the church for answers to poverty,
crime, education, etc the church loses
its inuence as salt and light. When
people can again look to the church for
answers, they will be more ready to lis-
ten to the vital message of salvation.
35 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 3 2010
As the Crowe Flies! (book reviews by Don Crowe)
I
t was very refreshing to see this series
of Calvin studies that draws so much
from Calvin himself.
Tis work takes a unique look at
commerce from a Calvinistic biblical
perspective. Truths of the marketplace
are arrived at through the biblical doc-
trines of Creation, Fall, Redemption,
and Eschatology. Other chapters cover
Philanthropy, Sanctication and Ser-
vice. Te very idea that we could learn
something about commerce from Cal-
vin or from the Bible is itself a Calvin
legacy. [ Te Reformed faith most clear-
ly sees that the Holy Scripture is our
infallible foundation for our thinking
and living in any and every area of life. ]
Tese are some of the questions to
be answered:
What did Calvin teach or not teach
that led to such massive change in
business?
What were his views of wealth,
money, greed, and nance?
Where can we nd specic com-
ments by Calvin on the subjects of
wealth and commerce?
What cultures either have benet-
ted or might potentially benet from
Calvins economic teachings?
Te Calvinistic work ethic is well
known. Wherever the character of
Calvinism takes root, a ourishing cul-
ture of industriousness and hard work
ensues. (p. 29) Many things in our
culture hinder property rights and eco-
nomic progress. Tese include abuse of
Calvin and Commerce: Te Transforming Power
of Calvinism in Market Economics
by David W. Hall (Senior Pastor of Midway Presbyterian PCA
in Powder Springs, GA).
Matthew D. Burton, founder and president of Narwhal Capital Management.
Part of Te Calvin 500 Series (P&R Publishing, 2009) Paperback 225 pages
with subject and name indexes.
Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 3 2010
36
As the Crowe Flies! (book reviews by Don Crowe)
eminent domain, zoning laws, home
owners associations, university tenure,
and labor unions. [ Modern churches
are much less likely to apply the Chris-
tian faith to all these secular issues on
which it is apparently better to let secu-
larists do the thinking.]
Calvins commentaries are the
most frequent source of Calvin quota-
tions, but there are also references to
his sermons, and his Institutes.
Calvinism brought an economic
freedom that had not been produced by
hundreds of years of Roman Catholicism.
Tere is a good chapter on philan-
thropy contrasting charity with mod-
ern welfare. Calvins Geneva helped
poor individuals on these criteria:
1. For the truly disadvantaged
2. Moral prerequisites accompanied
assistance.
3. Private or religious charity, not
state largesse, was the vehicle for aid.
4. Ordained ocers managed welfare
programs and brought accountability.
5. Productive work ethic was expected
6. Assistance was temporary.
Te second kind of assistance to the
poor was the establishing of schools
and hospitals. Tese teachings of Cal-
vin derived from scripture are in sharp
contrasts to modern practice of welfare,
which makes redistribution a right
makes dependency a way of life, and
thinks the State is the best suited ad-
ministrator of such relief.
Te nal chapter on Eschatology is
quite instructive. Eternal security cou-
pled with the condence that a sovereign
and good God controls the future and all
its contingencies, gives humans freedom
and boldness to invest, take risks, store,
invent and produce. (p. 196)
Calvins eschatological condence
about the future leads to multigenera-
tional thinking. One outcome of mod-
ern exclusively present orientation is
the failure to invest and gather assets in
preparation for the future. [Too many
now expect that some government
agency will take care of them (some-
body else will pay for them. How many
have as their :retirement plan that
they will one day win the lottery. Hop-
ing in luck or government welfare
is a poor substitute for trusting in the
Providence of God.]
Many of the economic values that
Calvin drew from Scripture were secu-
larized in classical economics. For ex-
ample: thrift, hard work, benevolence,
free market (not government controlled),
silver and gold monetary standard, and
guarding of private property rights.
As Jesus said the poor will be with
us always, but God made us to be cre-
ators, developers, and entrepreneurs.
Because of sin accountability and in-
centives will always be needed. Per-
sonal freedom is necessary for business
to thrive, and prot is commended in
order to provide more for others. Tese
are called the Five points of Economic
Calvinism. (p. 214)
Tis is another valuable contribu-
tion in the area of Calvin studies. Tere
is much else that I have not mentioned.
Tere is a kind of Calvinism in our
day that is almost exclusively focused
on soteriology, and whose eschatol-
ogy focuses on that which is after our
death. In between we deal with per-
sonal struggles and suering. But this
is not Calvins Calvinism. Calvin did
arm the crucial importance of soteri-
37 Counsel of Chalcedon Issue 3 2010
As the Crowe Flies! (book reviews by Don Crowe)
ology, but put no limits on the Lordship
of Christ.. Like the later Puritans, he
sought to bring the social order and the
civil magistrates under the Law of the
Sovereign God. As Abraham Kuyper
would say more recently, Tere is not
a square inch in the whole domain
of our human existence over which
Christ, who is sovereign over all, does
not cry: Mine! It is therefore no sur-
prise that the realm of Economics must
also be brought under the Lordship of
Christ, according to His very specic
Law-Word. Tat earthly Old Testa-
ment must be dusted o and studied
by our dispensationalized American
church, so that we may obey the Lords
commands and advance Christs king-
dom in history. In eschatologies other
than the eschatology of victory, there
is a relative despising of history. Tis is
seen in theologizing away the histori-
cal record of creation in Genesis, tak-
ing oence at the specicity (this world
application) of the case laws of Exodus,
and rejecting the promised success of
the gospel before the second coming of
Christ. Calvin is not the cause of such a
brand of Calvinism but he directs us
toward the CURE!
Creation
Without
Compromise
A
n eye-opening, easy-to-understand
walk through the history and nature
of the battle that has long gone unrec-
ognizedthe battle of worldviews that
underpins and transcends the modern
creation-evolution debateand what it
has to teach todays church.
The lessons are not just about the en-
emys tactics, but how we can avoid fall-
ing into the same traps repeatedly in this
struggle for hearts and mindsone that
has raged for long, long before Darwin.
This war has seen even giants of the
faith, such as Princetons Hodge and
Warfeld, fail to recognize the devastating
consequences of not anchoring our think-
ing upon Scripture in all areas.
Creation Without Compromise is both a
wake-up call and a practical big picture
remedy for much of what ails church and
society. In engaging, straightforward lan-
guage, it strikes the right note for this time
in history.
Only $15! 296 pages
Tis book is available at:
www.creation.com
or directly from the author
Donald D. Crowe
139 Walnut St.
Canton, Ga 30115
Donald D. Crowe, Ph.D