I was in the midst of working through some of Tom Nettles’s comments on a chapter of my dissertation when a small box arrived from Founders Press. It was with great anticipation that I paused to open the package. Inside was the newly released Festschrift for Tom Nettles, Ministry by His Grace and for His Glory. Only recently announced, this book seeks to honor Nettles for his contributions to the field of Baptist history in general and to the Southern Baptist Convention in particular. But this volume is also a helpful work in its own right.
This book, like many others in its genre, begins with a biographical sketch of the author that focuses on the recipient’s teaching career and academic contributions. As Al Mohler states in the foreword, during the past three decades Nettles “has produced a library of scholarship and has shaped a generation of Baptist ministers and leaders” (p. x). Then follows some twenty chapters written by Nettles’s friends, colleagues, and former students. These essays discuss historical, theological, and practical themes that have figured prominently in Nettles’s works, and, as such, they include a broad spectrum of topics ranging from English Baptists of the seventeenth century to the doctrine of perseverance. About half of the essays directly address issues related to Baptist history. The book then concludes with an eleven-page bibliography of Nettles’s published writings.
Among the outstanding essays in this volume are Michael Haykin’s discussion of John Gill, an account of the Crawford Toy controversy written by Greg Wills, and Tom Hicks’s paper on effectual calling. So far I’ve only been able to give this book a quick read, but you can be sure it’s being added to my stack of books to be read over the Christmas break. You may want to consider adding it to your reading list as well.