Book Review: Better Than the Beginning by Richard Barcellos

The first thing that jumped out at me from this book by our beloved brother, Richard Barcellos, was the great reverence and love he has been given for the Triune God of Scripture, as he writes with a pastor’s heart.

The next thing that jumped out at me was the immediacy of his sharing the gospel – continually – throughout the book; truly, the celebrant song of the saints can be heard in this volume as we travel redemptive history from the first page of the Bible in a quick tour (but not so quick that we fail to take notice of each stage of the process) of God’s plan for redeeming not only His people, but all of His creation, to a final state that is, indeed, “better than the beginning.” Reading this book is like hearing a series of sermons that takes one’s breath away, as they behold the awesome majesty of God shown in what Richard called “the son-tilted focus of creation” (which is the title of chapter 3 in the book, but which theme runs throughout the entirety of the book). His desire for sinners to know Christ in salvific manner is truly perspicuous, with praise and thanksgiving, all the way through this book.

Over my varied years as a Christian, I would say that, out of all the commentaries, Bible Dictionaries, Church Histories, Systematic Theologies, and all else I have read, the splendiferous (please excuse my Spurgeonism; it was called for) view of the majesty and love of God which exudes from this book has turned my heart in a manner greater than I can describe.

Simply put, this is a rapid journey through redemptive history that shows not only that all things are created for the glory of God, but also, that this glory of God is for the greatest good of the believer (which often gives rise to our brother’s evangelistic words for those who may be reading, yet not believe). Although only those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of our Lord may understand that which Richard puts forth, I share in his fervent desire that any who are yet unredeemed, yet read this book, will be claimed by the Father for the Son, regenerated by His Spirit, and given that eternal life that is a blessing in this age, and the age to come.

While often in awe of the manner in which various men, used by our great God throughout the history of His church, are gifted of His grace to communicate His truth in palpable ways, as well as the breath and depth of their command of both the original languages of God’s Word and the native tongue, I marvel that Richard communicates these truths in a fashion at once deep, relevant, yet simple enough that any reader of the book can partake of the joy of the Lord which he shares with us in these chapters, in unfolding yet harmonious manner.

I hope that my praise of Richard’s work is not so shallowly seen as worship of a particular pastor and theologian, for it is for the God he so accurately and articulately presents to us, and that is what I commend the book regarding.

I had thought to do a synthesis breakdown of each chapter, running rapidly through the book; however, with all the great reviews which have done that (along with some interviews), such would be redundant.

The subtitle of the book is “Creation in Biblical Perspective,” which is apropos; if you wish to understand God’s purpose in creation, His plan for mankind and where man stands in relation to that plan, this is the book you need to read.

Thank you, our Father and Lord, that by Your Spirit, you lead Your servants to write such books for expounding of Your Word and glory in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

If any reading this review do not have the book, I highly recommend that they buy it and read it as soon as possible.

To God alone be the glory, forever. Amen.

Unworthily in His service – Bill

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13 Responses to Book Review: Better Than the Beginning by Richard Barcellos

  1. Pingback: Weekly Roundup: Everything Else That We Didn’t Get Around To Posting | The Confessing Baptist

  2. I'mAllBooked says:

    Thanks for whetting my appetite – I’m salivating and eager to get my hands on a copy of Pastor Barcellos’s book. I understand this has just recently been published; is it available from most reformed book sources? And after reading it I will probably just re-blog this great review on my site, if you don’t mind!

  3. billhi says:

    I think Solid Ground Books and Amazon have it – there might be more, since it has been out for – I think – a couple of months, now.

    Feel free to share the review. Blessings – Bill

  4. I'mAllBooked says:

    Just read this again and I believe you have a typo in the second paragraph: I believe you meant to say “a son-tilted focus” not titled. Still haven’t had a chance to read this, but I’m going to share your review on my site anyway. Thanks again.

  5. I'mAllBooked says:

    Reblogged this on I'm All Booked and commented:
    Dr. Richard Barcellos is the head Pastor at Grace Reformed Baptist Church in Palmdale, California. http://grbcav.org/ GRBC Palmdale is one of the churches that belongs to the local association of Reformed Baptist churches in So. Cal. of which my own church is also a member. Although I haven’t yet had the opportunity to read this book, I know Pastor Barcellos well enough to feel confident that this book is well-written, biblical, and God-honoring and I am willing to recommend it before reading it.

    Besides this review written by Bill at Reformed For His Glory, there is another longer lengthy review which includes some wonderful excerpts.

    • billhi says:

      That is great! Although no one could be there from our tiny (even by Reformed Baptist standards, we’re tiny) Reformed Baptist Fellowship this past Sunday (we were notified at the SCRBPC just prior to the meeting), we hope to send a representative, at least, to the next one in Riverside, God willing. 🙂 – S.D.G. – Bill

      • I'mAllBooked says:

        Aah, so you attended the Pastor’s Conference? You probably met my pastors then, S. Marquedant & J. Massey? I was looking around on this site to try to figure out where you’re located. Hey, maybe I’ll actually meet one of you guys in January in Riverside, DV!

  6. billhi says:

    Yes, and I am certain I met them, but I am unclear on names and faces unless I have multiple introductions, much to my embarrassment.
    I was at the book table the whole time except for one Q & A with Richard Barcellos and Dr. Beale. I think almost everyone at least drifted by one time. I hope our pastor – Henry Monge – or whoever we may send, will be able to be there this January.

  7. billhi says:

    I met S. Marquedant – I’ll remember that now, since I have Rich Barcellos to remind me. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Weekly Roundup: Everything Else That We Didn’t Get Around To Posting | The Confessing Baptist

  9. Pingback: God’s Plan of Redemption, From Start to Finish: Better than the Beginning | I'm All Booked

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