Free Indeed

Gary North waits until I’m no longer a Christian Reconstructionist and then he goes and starts giving away the ICE back catalog for free. As long as you don’t mind reading these books in HTML or PDF they are free to read online or download.

I’m not mentioning this because I’m trying to promote Reconstructionism, though I have a more favourable view than Huw. I think there is a lot of good biblical scholarship there. In fact, I’m Orthodox because I was Reconstructionist. It was a Reconstructionist pastor who gave me a copy of For the Life of the World with a typewritten insert by another Reconstructionist theologian (though he’s since split off to something call Federal Vision theology). The purpose of the insert was to explain some of the differences between Eastern and Western theology – in other words, how to read Schmemann and keep Western juridical theology. I did that for a while.

I also knew from reading David Chilton’s Days of Vengence that he drew heavily on the Fathers. So heavily, in fact, that he wanted to become Orthodox and blessed a group from his pastorate to split off and form an Orthodox mission because there was no way his wife would go East. Chilton was even excommunicated from the (ironically named) Orthodox Presbyterian Church for teaching theosis – if I remember right it had something to do with agreeing with something written by St Gregory of Nyssa.

I first met Chilton at a conference in 1983. Even then I wanted to be an author and when we sat down for a cup of coffee one of the things I asked him was how you write a book. Not the research bit – I understood that – but how to put words on paper so that people understand, enjoy, and want to read what you have to say. He really couldn’t answer that. It was just what he did.

I happened to be at the Institute for Christian Economics office in Tyler on the cold January day in 1985 when the first run of Paradise Restored arrived from the printers. David pulled one out of the box, autographed it for me, and gave it to me.

But back to the free books. . . It’s not like I have room in my reading list right now for anything new, but I have wanted to read Ken Gentry’s Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation. I read chunks of it at a friend’s house a number of years ago, but I never wanted to fork out the cash for it – or at least I always had other things I wanted more.

Whether you want to take Reconstructionism apart or see if there is anything of value there, go get a free book.

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3 Responses to Free Indeed

  1. Michael says:

    I’ve gotten good out of things I’ve read by Chilton, Ray Sutton, Kenneth Gentry, & Greg Bahnsen. I don’t know how Gary North ever got to be so prominent, because I think he’s by far the weakest writer & thinker of the whole group.

  2. Michael says:

    I find myself sorry that I wrote the previous comment in the form of a personal attack. God bless Gary North, and I think he’s a Christian brother, but I don’t think much of his writings.

  3. Dave says:

    Gary got prominent because of several factors. His sheer output meant that he simply wrote more books than any of the others. He was the first one to get a PhD, so the Dr bit carried weight. He also paid for all the other books to be published.

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