- God's Glory in Salvation through Judgment by Jim Hamilton $5.99 ($29 in paper)
- God is Love by Gerald Bray $5.99 ($28 in paper)
- Salvation Accomplished by the Son by Robert Peterson $4.99 ($29 in paper)
- The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders $2.99 ($14 in paper)
- How God Became King by N.T. Wright $2.99 ($17 in paper)
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.
Other books in the For You series...
- Galatians by Tim Keller
- Judges by Tim Keller
- Titus by Tim Chester
- Romans 1-7 by Tim Keller (WTS has at a nice discount right now)
- A list of future titles, authors, and timeline for release
Other books, new or new to me, that I've just picked up or started reading...
For the Glory of God (Kindle, WTS) 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.
Some massive discounts on important theological books...
- Evangelical Theology by Michael Bird ($5.99)
- The Christian Faith & Pilgrim Theology by Michael Horton ($7.69 & $5.99)
- Historical Theology by Gregg Allison ($5.99)
- Plant by Darrin Patrick, Mark DeVine, Ed Stetzer ($4.39)
- Entrusted With The Gospel by Andreas Kostenberger ($2.99)
- The End of the Law by Jason Meyer ($2.99)
- Theologians of the Baptist Tradition by Timothy George & David Dockery ($2.99)
- God's Indwelling Presence by Jim Hamilton ($2.99)
- Believer's Baptism by Tom Schreiner & Shawn Wright ($2.99)
Unfortunately too many who view the world through social media lenses know John Piper more for his "Farewell, Rob Bell" comment more than most anything else. I've been blessed by Dr. Piper's ministry for years. First discovering him through Desiring God and then a mad scramble to read the rest of his key books (Let the Nations Be Glad, Future Grace). Then Bruce Ware let me borrow boxes of John Piper sermon tapes, which I devoured while at work during seminary years.
I heard Piper speak at Southern Seminary where he called the seminary dangerous because it's beautiful and safe. I asked him about whether tax exempt status for churches caused us to not speak out more and he just said we need to be bold. I heard Piper speak at The Founders Conference in Birmingham where he spoke on mission and caused me to aspire to become a missionary to a Muslim country. I heard Piper speak on mission again at the International Mission Board gathering at Ridgecrest, NC where I asked him to sign his books for me during a youth event and asked if he felt odd signing books since it means he's a "celebrity." He said he doesn't seek it out but won't say no. We got to chat with Noel several times as during the conference as we dropped off our kids to the same place for childcare during the week-long event. She was dropping off Talitha. I've been to the Desiring God conference and the Desiring God Pastor's conference and got to sit at lunch with other young pastors and Dr. Piper and grill him on ministry, hot theological topics, and more.
Nameless other Piper podcasts, books, pamphlets, lectures, and sermons have blessed me over the years. I often talk about my favorite-ever sermons as Piper sermons. I love "Running With The Witnesses" because I so easily fall in love with things that don't help me run the race. I have been influenced by Piper on theology, fasting, mission, ecclesiology, how to deal with theological disagreements, sin, suffering, and far too much to even try to list.
I say all this to say I get to go with a church friend to drive to hear John Piper speak on Jonathan Edwards today at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. So I've been thinking about how I got to this point, the point of spending several hours in one day to go hear one man speak. Am I so gripped by his celebrity? Am I just a fan-boy?
I've been around long enough to not see John Piper as a hero or a celebrity. I go to hear a wise and sinful man speak about another wise and sinful man who both know their sinfulness and need for grace. I go to hear a man who knows himself well enough to realize he must pursue pleasure in God because of his great propensity to pursue pleasure in anything else. I don't go to see someone who's popular, but someone who has poured his life into mine through various means and who is coming near. So I'm thankful I get to be poured into again.
I thank God for many saints, near and far, famous and completely unknown, who I owe so much. One will be speaking on Edwards. One will be sitting with me listening to Piper. One I have known mostly through books and sermons over years and the other I've known for a short time and we meet together every week to discuss theology, Calvin's Institutes, family, and faith. I'm blessed by and thankful for both, and both play an important role in my life. God is merciful to provide us such great gifts.
My goodness this is funny. This is a 13 second video of a woman talking on CNN. In the last second or two John MacArthur (another guest) looks at the camera. So great.
As we meet today with our local churches, may we remember the redemptive mission God has called us to, and may we refuse to settle for the "spiritual ghetto" when the everyday places of this world need the Christian faith lived out everywhere.
"Being the body of Christ calls up another image, namely, that believers are called to be a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9). They are called to redemptive mission in the world. They are called to be channels of God's blessing to a fallen and needy society. Findley Edge explains how this comes about.
There is...a basic difference in the priesthood of the Old Testament and the priesthood of the New Testament. In the Old Testament the priest offered the sacrifice. In the New Testament the priest is the sacrifice! He offers his life to God in behalf of the world which God is seeking to redeem.
This call to redemptive mission is to every believer and is a ministry which extends beyond the church building and into the marketplace. Churches must move their members out of the "spiritual ghetto" into stores, factories, offices, and homes. They must be trained and exhorted to practice their Christian faith wherever they happen to find themselves."
All God's People by David L. Smith, pg 413. Bold is mine. (Interested in the book, click the link and look at used prices. Get this one dirt cheap.)
I was looking at my shelf and thinking there are some helpful books for reading around the holidays (though not holidays based books) that have come out this year. Here are a few...
UPDATE --> I added one more on top from Matt Anderson. He talks about all the pondering we should do...
Matthew Lee Anderson: The End of Our Exploring (or Kindle) | A great time of year to look to have our questions answered and answers questioned is Christmastime, New Year's, the end of a year and the start of another. We need to question well.
Timothy Keller: Encounters With Jesus (or Kindle) | This is an eBook series (chapter by chapter) finally packaged into a hardcover book. Each chapter is on a personal encounter someone had with Jesus. It's helpful for those who want to know better how to share the faith better, and for those who may need an encounter with Jesus.
Jim Belcher: In Search of Deep Faith (or Kindle) | I'm working on a review for this book, but let me just say here that I've enjoyed pacing my way through it as a meditation not only on the faith, but thinking of the faith of my kids and my responsibility as a Father to make our faith come alive to them. A worthy topic during the holidays and any day.
Timothy Keller: Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering (or Amazon | Kindle) | While Christmas is a happy time for many, it's a time of significant grief and struggle for many too. I'm very thankful for Dr. Keller's take on this subject and for providing this substantial book. It's not brief, so probably not for those fresh into suffering.
Kevin DeYoung: Crazy Busy (or Amazon | Kindle) | Christmas and New Year's is a nice break from the regular work cycle, but also for many of us shows just how busy we can make the un-busy times. Why not take a break and read this short book and see if it doesn't help to reorder your life, especially as the new year approaches.
Elyse Fitzpatrick: Found In Him (or Amazon | Kindle) | A book on "the joy of the incarnation and our union with Christ." Perfect for this time of year, though for every time of year. Many chapters end with a hymn to help us learn to worship because of what we just read.
Tullian Tchividjian: One Way Love (or Amazon | Kindle) | "Inexhaustible grace for an exhausted world." If you are anything like me, you know you need to remind yourself every day of grace. Bathe in it over Christmastime by reading Tullian.
Wowzers. Quite a list of fantastic books. A couple of notable choices to start, and then the larger list. Pick up some and please pass the list on to others. Kindle is one of my favorite ways to add good & cheap books to my theological (and beyond) library. If you don't have one, I do recommend the Kindle Paperwhite, I use the Paperwhite 3G Version, or you can always read on free Kindle apps.
- David Murray: Jesus on Every Page ($2.99)
- Rodney Stark: The Triumph of Christianity ($5.49)
- N.T. Wright: The Case for the Psalms ($3.79)
- Gloria Furman: Glimpses of Grace ($2.99)
- Elyse Fitzpatrick: Give Them Grace ($2.99)
- Albert Mohler: The Conviction To Lead ($3.49)
- Nik Ripkin: The Insanity of God ($2.99)
- Mike Cosper: Rhythms of Grace ($2.99)
- Michael Horton: Putting Amazing Back Into Grace ($3.99)
- Wayne Grudem: Christian Beliefs ($2.99)
- James Hamilton: God's Indwelling Presence ($1.99)
- Randy Newman: Bringing the Gospel Home ($1.99)
- Robert Cheong: God Redeeming His Bride ($4.99)
- D.A. Carson: A Call To Spiritual Reformation ($3.99)
- Sally-Lloyd Jones: Thoughts To Make Your Heart Sing, Vol 1 ($1.99)
- Timothy Land & Paul David Tripp: How People Change ($2.99)
- Matt Chandler: The Explicit Gospel ($2.99)
- James White: The Forgotten Trinity ($3.99) | Mary -- Another Redeemer? ($2.99)
- Joel Beeke & William Boekestein: Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation ($4.99)
If I were to write a book on suffering, I would wonder what Joni Eareckson Tada thought of it. Well, she writes a glowing review of Tim Keller's new book on suffering, Walking With God Through Pain & Suffering. Here's a blurb...
Yes, suffering is a mystery, but it is not a mystery without at least some explanation. Besides, life may be hard, but God is good—much more so than we can possibly imagine. And he stands ready to give, well, perhaps not the answers the world would like, but to give the One who holds all the answers in his hand.
Tim Keller does a righteous job of showcasing to us, and to the world, that Jesus is worth trusting. Period. End of argument. After all, when they hang you on a cross like meat on a hook, you have the final word on suffering.
- The Forgotten Trinity by James White ($3.49)
- Putting Amazing Back Into Grace by Michael Horton ($3.49)
- Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard ($1.99)
- Why Cities Matter by Stephen Um & Justin Buzzard ($2.99)
- The Call by Os Guinness ($2.51)
- God on Sex by Danny Akin ($2.99)
- The End of Our Exploring: A Book About Questioning and the Confidence of Faith by Matthew Lee Anderson (Amazon & Kindle)
- The King In His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testament by Tom Schreiner (WTS | Amazon & Kindle)
- Not By Sight: A Fresh Look at Old Stories of Walking By Faith by Jon Bloom (WTS | Amazon & Kindle)
- Old Testament Evangelistic Sermons by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (WTS)
- Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative by Sam Storms (WTS | Amazon & Kindle)
- Covenantal Apologetics: Principles & Practice in Defense of Our Faith by K. Scott Oliphint (WTS | Amazon & Kindle)
Stephen King wrote one of my favorite books on writing called On Writing. His take on adverbs clearly has stuck with me. He has also written a popular book here or there. Terry Gross' interview of King on Fresh Air yesterday was really good, including a bunch of quotes worth checking out. Here's a great example. You should go listen to the whole thing.
I choose to believe it. ... I mean, there's no downside to that. If you say, 'Well, OK, I don't believe in God. There's no evidence of God,' then you're missing the stars in the sky and you're missing the sunrises and sunsets and you're missing the fact that bees pollinate all these crops and keep us alive and the way that everything seems to work together. Everything is sort of built in a way that to me suggests intelligent design. But, at the same time, there's a lot of things in life where you say to yourself, 'Well, if this is God's plan, it's very peculiar,' and you have to wonder about that guy's personality — the big guy's personality. And the thing is — I may have told you last time that I believe in God — what I'm saying now is I choose to believe in God, but I have serious doubts and I refuse to be pinned down to something that I said 10 or 12 years ago. I'm totally inconsistent.
The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, what about the atheists?’ Even the atheists. Everyone! And this Blood makes us first class children of God! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, with everyone doing his own part; if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of meeting: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good! We shall meet there.
Here's an attempt by Catholics to defend his remarks. Do you agree? I'd love to hear from my Catholic friends on this.
Joe Thorn & I got to hang out with Greg Thornbury, our friend and author of Recovering Classic Evangelicalism (also Kindle | WTS), just before this interview with John Wilson, the editor of Books & Culture. A good, short discussion on evangelicalism and Carl Henry and "swagger." I hope many read this book. (via Crossway)
- Center Church | Tim Keller ($5.99)
- Preaching & Preachers | Martyn Lloyd-Jones ($3.99)
- Jesus the Son of God | D.A. Carson ($3.99)
- Scandalous | D.A. Carson ($4.99)
- Loving the Way Jesus Loves | Phil Ryken ($4.99)
- Dangerous Calling | Paul David Tripp ($5.99)
- A Meal With Jesus | Tim Chester ($3.99)
- Historical Theology | Gregg Allison ($5.99)
- Entrusted with the Gospel - from 2009 Gospel Coalition ($4.99)
- The Gospel as Center - the 14 Gospel Coalition booklets in one book ($5.99)
- The Church Planting Wife | Christine Hoover ($4.99)
- The Good News We Almost Forgot | Why We Love The Church | Just Do Something | Kevin DeYoung ($4.99 each)
- Brothers, We Are Not Professionals | John Piper ($4.39)
- The Gospel & Personal Evangelism | Mark Dever ($3.99)
- Creature of the Word | Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, Josh Patterson ($3.49)
- Counterfeit Gospels | Trevin Wax ($4.99)
- Gospel ($3.49) & Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart ($4.39) | JD Greear
I don't usually post my favorite books of the year as a list, probably because I feel like compared to music it's less complete. I tend to spend the most time reading things that are of interest, that's for review, or that's scratching an itch as a pastor or disciple, etc. It's not a hobby as with music that I can do when also doing other things. Much of it is work or based on need. So it's just different for me.
But we all have books that have significantly affected us during the year. I figured a "The Reader Speaks" list would be a great place for getting a variety of books listed that we could all benefit from. So share your #1 book, a few faves, a Top 5 or 10, faves according to genre, or whatever works for what you consider to be the best books of 2012. ALSO (per Jared Wilson's comment), feel free to list books not published in 2012 but that you read in 2012. If you have an affiliate account somewhere and you know how to link your books in the comments with html, feel free. For other readers, if you see a book you like, use the affiliate links. It blesses those in ministry around you.
How To Create A Disciple-Making Culture In Your Church | Justin Buzzard
Six months ago, when our church plant was eight months old, I realized I had made a big mistake in church planting. I kept talking about discipleship and I was coaching others in how to make disciples, but I hadn’t done enough face-to-face modeling of what I meant when I told our church to make disciples. Thus, our church didn’t yet have the discipleship culture I wanted it to have.
So, I confessed my mistake and then prayerfully selected twelve men to disciple for six months in order to inject a strong disciple-making culture into our church. I created a discipleship process and then spent the last six months investing in these twelve men. It wasn’t perfect, but it was my best. I gave these men my heart, my best training, my time, my love, my prayers, my energy, etc.
I'd like to tweak a few of Steve Fogg's points, but a lot of good stuff to think about as we engage in social media.
When Biography Shapes Theology | Greg Thornbury
This is at the very heart of faith, to marvel at that great cloud of witnesses who "were stoned, sawn in two, and killed with the sword...who went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated...of whom the world was not worthy, wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. 11:37-38).
Grace Filled Parenting | 3 Videos with Jeff Vanderstelt
I'm picking up A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life right now. A massive (1,200 pages) work, just released, and 1/2 off the price of Amazon. More...
A Puritan Theology: Doctrine for Life offers a groundbreaking treatment of the Puritans teaching on most major Reformed doctrines, particularly those doctrines in which the Puritans made significant contributions. Since the late 1950s, nearly 150 Puritan authors and 700 Puritan titles have been reprinted and catalogued by Joel Beeke and Randall Pederson in their 2006 collection of mini-biographies and book reviews, titled, Meet the Puritans. However, no work until now has gathered together the threads of their teaching into a unified tapestry of systematic theology.
A Puritan Theology, by Joel Beeke and Mark Jones, attempts to do that. The book addresses Puritan teachings on all six loci of theology, covering fifty areas of doctrine. The book explores Puritan teachings on biblical interpretation, God, predestination, providence, angels, sin, the covenants, the gospel, Christ, preparation for conversion, regeneration, coming to Christ, justification, adoption, church government, the Sabbath, preaching, baptism, heaven, hell, and many other topics. It ends with eight chapters that explore Puritan theology in practice. Some chapters highlight the work of a specific theologian such as William Perkins, William Ames, John Owen, Stephen Charnock, or Thomas Goodwin on a specific topic. Other chapters survey various authors on a particular subject.
The Gospel Coalition's new podcast, "Going Deeper with TGC," has two goals:
- We want to follow up on the most widely read, controversial, helpful, insightful resources produced by our council members, writers, editors, and bloggers.
- We want to serve you by using a different medium, audio, to provide the same quality of gospel-centered content we publish in blogs, essays, and reviews.
We've assembled an experienced team to produce this podcast, which we aim to record at least every two weeks. I'm joined each time by my co-host, Mark Mellinger, the gifted news anchor of WANE-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
An excellent idea for a podcast, and I'm thankful for this new resource. I've subscribed. In this inaugural podcast there are discussions with Thabiti Anyabwile on same-sex marriage & the Puritans, among other things. We also hear from Jared Wilson & Trevin Wax on The Gospel Project. Listen here.
From George Whitefield's A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship...
A Hymn to the Holy Ghost
(Extracted from the Ordination-Office.)
COME HOLY GHOST, our Souls inspire,
And lighten with Celestial Fire.
Thou the anointing Spirit art,
Who dost the sev’nfold Gifts impart.
Thy blessed Unction from above
Is Comfort, Life, and Fire of Love,
Enable with perpetual Light
The Dullness of our blinded Sight.
Anoint and cheer our soiled Face,
With the Abundance of thy Grace.
Keep far our Foes, give Peace at Home!
Where thou art Guide no Ill can come.
Teach us to know the FATHER, SON,
And thee, of both to be, but One;
That through the Ages all along
This, this may be our endless Song;
Praise GOD, from whom all Blessings flow,
Praise Him all Creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host,
Praise FATHER, SON, and HOLY GHOST.