Controversies Book Review

By | 2018-07-10T22:01:48+00:00 July 14th, 2018|
Controversies Book Review


by Dr. William F. Luck
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Book Overview

I met Bill sometime about 1998 or 99 at a Bible study of the Gospel of John held at a downtown Chicago law firm. I was a recent graduate of Moody Bible Institute ('96) and had heard he was a former teacher. I never had him as a teacher at Moody but did take numerous classes with friends of his (Paul Haik, Paul Nevin, John Walton, Tom Cornman).

Controversies Book Review 1


Recently I have been discovering his books, and this one in particular was of great interest – as all biographies are to me. Having read Controversies – let me say at the outset, THIS is the book to read to get a handle on this rather interesting and complex man! He has written more than 20 other books, and this book puts them all in context with history and helps you to see how it is that Bill, for example, took on the very challenging topic of Divorce and Remarriage in the late 70’s.

If you like to get a historical feel on the theological debates and discussions of the 70’s through the 90’s you will get that here! Many of his contemporaries are given a new light as we read how they interacted with Bill, and others. Oftentimes we only see men in light of the conclusive books they have written, but we do not get an inside look as to how they came to writing and why they ended up believing as they do.

Controversies will put such men as G. Coleman Luck (Bill’s father), Coleman Luck, Jr (Writer of numerous TV series in the 90’s and Bill’s older brother), Paul Feinberg, Greg Bahnsen, Lou Goldberg of MBI, Robert Van Kampen, Irwin Lutzer, Norm Geisler, Paul Little, Clark Pinnock, Walter Kaiser, Thomas Parker, Bruce Rigdon, Mark Cosgrove, Jim Williams, John Buell, J. P. Moreland, Lou Barbiari, Gary Freisen, Bill Bright, Bill Gothard, Robert Gundry, Stan Gundry, Alan Johnson, in a new light (not necessarily a bad light!).

Remember “Hampden DuBose” ( boarding school? Read Bill’s account of his time there! Ever wonder what it might be like to be a conservative in a liberal seminary? Wonder no more as Bill takes you in depth through his years at McCormick Seminary (‘73-4).

Want to wade into some deep ethical debates, but not so deep that you’ll drown? Bill takes you there and makes the trip worthwhile. You may not agree with him, but you will certainly appreciate his authenticity in the discussion.
Perhaps I should give you Bill’s take on his autobiography.

I Dislike Controversy. This book is both autobiographical and theological. It covers a life spent defending the truth of the Scriptures as best I knew how. I did not intentionally set out to become involved in the controversies discussed herein, and it surprises me to realize just how many controversies there were.

I’m growing old now, and am not in the center of intellectual debate. I miss my old friends and opponents. Searching on the Internet to find their pictures (with which I have peppered my pages) produced a sad experience.

Some are pictured as they were when I was young and active. Others were pictures of my teachers and old friends as they are now. How we have aged. And some…well…some have passed on to be with the Lord, friends like Paul Feinberg, Greg Bahnsen, Lou Goldberg, and Robert VanKampen. They are missed.

I hope that those who read this book will be entertained and enlightened. I hope that some of the positions set forth, will help readers consider these controversies in new ways and come to satisfying conclusion—even if they don’t agree with me. I used to grade down students who simply agreed with me for the sake of a grade.

I would rather have someone disagree with me and think for themselves. If I manage to help people think through the issues and grow in their thinking, this book will have been worth the writing.
And, finally, as I always do, if you wish to communicate with me regarding what you read herein, I may be reached at


I do wholeheartedly commend to you Bill’s autobiography, Controversies. And after that, you will know which of his many books to consider next!


About the Author:

David Cox II
Dave's Blog
Dave Cox is a member of Covenant Reformed Baptist Church of Woodstock. He is a graduate of MBI with a B.A. in International Ministries '96. Currently enrolled at Reformed Baptist Seminary working on an M.T.S. He enjoys writing, running and teaching God's Word. He and his wife Julie have 3 adult children.

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