Books

Books on my Radar 8.15.14

The Good Book Company continues to show their seriousness about Scripture and Bible study with their God's Word For You series by adding 1 Samuel For You and Titus for You by Tim Chester. If you order soon, you get Chester's 1 Samuel and Titus bible study guides for each book free with purchase.

6 lesson Bible study guide free

Other books in the For You series...

Other books, new or new to me, that I've just picked up or started reading...

For the Glory of God (KindleWTS) by Daniel Block | I was able to sit in the original seminary class that my friend, Dr. Daniel Block, taught on Theology of Worship. This book is the fruit of years of teaching this class. I've been asking him for years about when he would write this book and wondering at the good this resource will do, and I'm glad it's finally in my hands. 

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway | Certainly not new, but I'm reading through it and it's a delightful read.

Live (DVD/Handbook) by Rebecca Manley Pippert | The Good Book Company has sent me a copy of this DVD and handbook. It's for new believers and not-yet-believers. I haven't been able to check it out yet, but Tim Keller says, "These studies by Becky Pippert are clear and accessible, yet substantial and thoughtful explorations of how to be grounded and grow in Christian faith. They evidence years of experience working with people at all stages of belief and skepticism. I highly recommend them."

Can You Believe It's True?: Christian Apologetics in a Modern & Postmodern Era (WTS/Kindle) by John Feinberg | Just gifted this by Crossway and I'm excited about it. 

Evangelism (WTS/Kindle) by Mack Stiles | Always excited for new evangelism books and resources, and this one by Stiles under the 9 Marks name is one I've been wanting. After just a brief skim, I was excited to see Stiles POV on a few specific issues brought up in this book.

Cheap Kindle Books 8.11.14

A ton of good stuff for cheap right now! Go buy a Kindle Paperwhite for a great reading experience and a constant stream of very cheap books that are well worth reading.

Francis Schaeffer

Productivity & Faith

Cheap Kindle Books 6.27.14

Some massive discounts on important theological books...

Also...

The Consequences of Eternity Amnesia

My current sermon series is about being an eternity junkie and seeking hard after forever, with eternity set in our hearts. We can't be satisfied in anything else. I'm preaching it because we need it, and because I need it. I need to grasp for and long after eternity. 

From Forever (or Amazon | Kindle) by Paul David Tripp (pg 24-26). For explanations of each point, check out the book. Here are Tripp's "consequences of eternity amnesia"...

  1. Living with unrealistic expectations
  2. Focusing too much on self
  3. Asking too much of people
  4. Being controlling or fearful
  5. Questioning the goodness of God
  6. Living more disappointed than thankful
  7. Lacking motivation and hope
  8. Living as if life doesn't have consequences

New Books In The Mail

Here's a smattering of new and notable books that are on my radar and on my shelf. 

Anything else good come out that you want to recommend? 

Cheap Kindle Books 5.23.14

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Cheap Kindle Books 5.6.14

Jesus Storybook Bible Sale

Cheap Kindle Books 3.20.14

Several on sale in the "Perspectives" series ($3.49 each)

Using Logos

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I haven't used Logos until the newest version, Logos 5, came out. Completely new to me except for the time I saw Logos explained at a conference years ago.

I've experienced two main feelings as I've learned how to use Logos 5: overwhelmed & excited. First, I'm overwhelmed. The power of Logos sounds amazing and yet I didn't find it simple. But I'm learning more each time I use it and I'm finally getting to that place where I know what to do. I've not only learned how to use it in a basic way, but I'm also learning how to use a few more advanced features and realizing the potential of having a large library within Logos. That's why after a little work I'm really excited to own Logos. This may be the best tool not only for studying the Bible but for studying any number of topics in theology and even culture. I'm excited because with further investment it can be a significant replacement of much of the research section of my library, making those resources far more useful than when owned in paper.

Here's how I got started with Logos and a few things I've learned about this great tool.

Early Mistakes -- I've made two big mistakes starting out. First, in the last few years I've created two different Logos accounts. I didn't realize it since I only created them try out the free app. I was logged on to one account on my MacBook and the other on my mobile devices, which made my library available on mobile but not on my MacBook. But one call to Logos for help and they had it fixed quickly by merging my accounts. Helpful, personal service.

My second mistake was trying to "wing it" with Logos. I'm sure there are some who have learned to use it by just sitting down and figuring it out, but it wasn't working for me. I needed help.

Starting With Videos -- Logos offers a number of videos on YouTube, of which I've viewed several. Most are very short and to the point. There's also help on Logos community forums, which I've used a few times. But the best starting place for me and I assume for everyone is the 13 minute "Getting Started" video on the Logos website. I've watched it more than once. It's an overview of the program with what to do as well as what to do when you don't know what to do. Playing it and pausing to try out Logos worked well. Next for me will be watching Advanced Training videos.

Things I Love About Logos...

Basic Features -- I'm not going into this too much because there's so much I could talk about. Watch a Logos 5 introduction to get a better explanation than I can give. What I will say is that there is so much Logos can do. I'm still only scratching the surface. Because of the kind of preaching I do I've used the passage searches more than topical. But the topic guide is a nice feature. 

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I really like the Bible Timeline tool where you can see on a timeline what happened in history alongside biblical history, when biblical books were written, and so forth. What I'm usually scouring for in commentary introductions on one timeline. 

Look at the most interesting and helpful features in Logos 5 here.

Resources -- There are many great resources available for Logos. The first four I searched for are Grudem's Systematic, IVP Essential Reference Library, Tyndale commentaries set, and the New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis. All there. But Logos isn't just books converted to digital. You can also get resources like Tim Keller's library of sermons to search through. That's pretty amazing.

Bible Reading -- I've just started a Bible reading plan through Logos - 21 Days on Faith. Logos is one of the most complex and complete ways to study the Bible, as well as a way to read the Bible devotionally. There are adjustments than can be made to plans, they can be made into group plans, etc.

Important Questions & Concerns About Logos...

What's the Cost? -- I encourage you to look over the Logos 5 Base Packages. Logos as a whole isn't cheap and buying digital resources isn't like buying Kindle books, where you almost always can spend a few dollars less (sometimes far less) for a digital book. Not the same for individual books on Logos. The paper and Kindle copies of Grudem's Systematic are both under $30 and Logos lists for $40. Yet I've seen some sets that are significantly cheaper to get as a whole on Logos (49 Tyndale commentaries for $225). The question is really how you will use these resources and what makes the best use of them. 

I thought about Logos like I thought about most Bible study software, that I'm paying for the ability to study the texts, original languages, etc. It's much more than that and the costs I believe are worth it. I'll say more about that in a little bit.

Let me add that Logos gives away a book every month and regularly has other giveaways. I just entered one today. There's also community pricing, pre-pub specials, and more. 

Logos is Slow? -- I've seen people say (and at times felt myself) that Logos is slow. And to be sure...upgrades, downloads, and indexing take some time. But every moment of "slow" is speeding up something else. You get to search those books and have more resources to use in less time than it takes to look up each paper book. Those things that take time are necessary to create one place to conduct one search and have every resource listed. You can always pause indexing and such for a time when it works better for you. The tradeoff is one of the best tools you could have for Bible study. I'll take that tradeoff. 

Paper vs Screen? -- I'm a huge fan of paper books. I'm also a big (and growing) fan of iPad and Kindle for books. While I don't ever see me replacing paper books completely, the helpfulness of being able to search a library is too good to pass up. Sure if I want to read a book from start to finish I'll often get paper or Kindle. But I can already see doing the majority of any prep work for teaching on Logos and the need to begin adding collections to my base package of resources.

I have a big personal library with many physical resources for sermon prep and Bible study and I just can't search through every book I'd like to for every sermon. I can see replacing large sections of my library with Logos. It makes each resources much more useful. 

Logos vs Other Digital Books? -- The crucial difference between Logos and other searchable, digital formats is that Logos indexes your books for one big search of your whole library. This is why a Logos book is worth more. You will use books more and at times you may not consider its usefulness because searches will find things you will never think of looking up in a number of your resources. It's hard to explain the full value of this.

Let me put it this way: Every book you own (paper, Kindle) is searchable by you. Paper using an index, table of contents, looking up highlights, or oven using a filing system by which you record helpful passages by topic. With Kindle you can search for words. But with Logos its one search through every resource at once, do more complex searches, etc. It's not even comparable as far as ease of use, time consumption, or getting best use of a resource. With my 2,400 volume library I essentially have 2,400 books I can search individually. Now imagine one search through 500 or 1,000 of the most key resources with one results list. I can imagine it, and I want it. I've only gotten started.

Conclusion -- I'm a big fan of what Logos is doing and what it can do as I continue to add resources. I encourage you to look deeper at Logos. Compare cost to things like time, fuller usefulness of resources, and similar judgments and I think it's well worth the money. I love paper books too, and how they feel in my hands and how they smell. But what I like best about books is the content and Logos makes the most of it. See more at Logos.com.

Cheap Kindle Books 3.10.14

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Crossway offers a nice list of really cheap Kindle books on salvation, atonement, resurrection...

Gladwell and others...

Also check out other Kindle sale books here.

Cheap Kindle Books 3.7.14

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Journaling -- Book & Discipline

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Beards make me want to journal!

Adam Feldman's new book, Journaling: Catalyzing Spiritual Growth Through Reflection, may be just what you need to spark a new discipline of journaling. Or maybe your love for journaling has grown cold and this book can be a refresher for you. Either way, Journaling is only $0.99 for Kindle right now and I want to encourage you to check it out. Simple with lots of tips and ideas and questions to prompt you on. 

I've found journaling difficult, but I'm eager to press on. I bought the book before it got this cheap! From the book...

You can expect journaling to be difficult for many reasons. For instance, journaling takes a chunk of time, so you may initially resist letting go of something in order to start journaling. Journaling is also highly reflective, and this may bring up some difficult or disturbing thoughts that you have previously been afraid to acknowledge. Journaling is also a means to catalyze spiritual growth, so you can expect the enemy, Satan and his emissaries, to throw every kind of distraction at you and to whisper every sort of “reasonable” excuse for why you “cannot” journal today.

Just sit down and start writing. 

Get Journaling

Cheap Kindle Books 2.17.14

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Preaching the Word Series ($2.99 each)

Book Review: In Search of Deep Faith

The Gospel Coalition published my review of In Search of Deep Faith (Amazon|Kindle) by Jim Belcher. It's one of the best books I've read in some time, mostly because it wasn't just trying to tell me something. It took me somewhere. My family and I have started to read it aloud together and it's changing the way we think about God and what He is doing with us. Here's a couple of paragraphs from the opening of my review. Please go read the whole review. I encourage you to pick up this book. 

After reviewing Jim Belcher’s first book in 2009, Deep Church, I was eager to get my hands on In Search of Deep Faith. I’m thankful for the opportunity to offer a review, as this book deserves a wide audience.

I’ve been a pastor for the past 10 years and have a wife and four children. Belcher founded and pastored Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, California, until he stepped out of ministry in 2010. He pastored there for 10 years. Jim is also married with four kids. There are obvious reasons for me to resonate with his story. Like this:

What I really needed was spiritual rest. I needed to take stock of my life, rediscover where I came from and where I may be going. I wanted to take a year to walk in the steps of my heroes, read their books again and marinate in their lives—go deeper into their stories and learn from them all over again. It was going to be like a pilgrimage, a time to spiritually and experientially connect with the places and people that had most influenced me. And, most importantly, to reconnect to God. (13)

This is the backdrop for a book about the Belcher family’s pilgrimage to some important places where faithful disciples who have gone before us have lived and served. Some of them suffered, and all of them died with deep faith in God. You don’t need to be a pastor or have young kids to resonate with this pilgrimage. You just have to be a disciple in search of the same deep faith.

Please go and finish reading my review. I'm very thankful for this book.

Lots-o-Links 2.12.14

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New Phantogram, Voices, is really compelling. Stream the whole thing FREE right now.

It's poppy, dark, electric, fun, grindy, and more. If you had any love for Chvrches, you just might love this one too. Make sure you make it at least through the third song, "Fall In Love." Trust me.


Race, Religion, Puritans: An Interview With Richard BaileyRichard is a good friend and author of Race and Redemption in Puritan New England (Kindle). A sample...

Moore: It is not well known that Jonathan Edwards owned slaves.  How should we think of Edwards in light of this reality?

Bailey: I am not 100% certain how to answer this question, David. I am glad that this fact about Edwards is becoming more commonly known and I am glad that my book can have something to do with that fact.

But how to think of Edwards? Well, Jonathan Edwards is certainly more than simply a slave owner. He is an important figure in the development of American evangelicalism and the modern missions movement. He is one of America’s most prominent philosophers and theologians. He certainly ought to be remembered for those sorts of legacies. But he also was a purchaser of human flesh. He actively defended and participated in the slave trade. And I’d argue he must be remembered for that, as well. I think that is what it means to take on the virtual amnesias of our pasts.

The one way I would encourage people NOT to think of Jonathan Edwards is as “a man of his time.” That sort of phrase doesn’t really mean anything; rather, it is a way of not thinking about Edwards. And I hope people will continue to think about him, relying of the historical work of George Marsden in Jonathan Edwards: A Life (Yale University Press, 2003) or the recent novel by Susan Stinson, Spider in a Tree (Small Beer Press, 2013) to get a more complete picture not only of the man, but also of the society and culture of which he was a part.


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The Seven Benefits of Keeping a Daily Journal by Michael Hyatt | I don't do this but this makes me want to do something like this. Here are his points, but he elaborates on each and offers a lot more context on his website. Be sure to read the whole thing.

  1. Process previous events. 
  2. Clarify my thinking. 
  3. Understand the context. 
  4. Notice my feelings. 
  5. Connect with my heart.
  6. Record significant lessons.
  7. Ask important questions. 

Alt-J had my #2 album of 2012 with An Awesome Wave. Their coolest song among an album of quirky coolness is "Fitzpleasure." This is an amazing acapella version...by what appears to be a group of UK schoolboys? 

Mohler: The Conviction to Lead

I was around Dr. Albert Mohler as a student not too long after he lead a massive turnaround at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. What he accomplished and the stories I heard from his lips and the stories I've heard for many others ring in my ears on the days I need to remember that things can change, that God can change things, and that He calls us to lead change. Because of that, I want to recommend to you his book The Conviction to Lead. It's $4.99 for Kindle right now. 

Cheap Kindle Books 2.5.14

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