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Book Blurbs (May – August 2018)

[special]Book Blurbs is a segment on the blog where I list books I’m reading along with a brief blurb about each book. The aim is to help you identify new authors and potential books of interests. Maybe I didn’t read every word of every page, but I read enough to mention them. You can find what I read in May-August of 2018 below. You can find all the Book Blurbs posts here. [/special]

1. Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community by Dietrich Bonhoeffer – Loved it. This is the second time I’ve read it, and I don’t normally re-read books. An excellent book on Christian community. (Related: A Reflection of Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

2. Christ, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper: Recovering the Sacraments for Evangelical Worship by Leonard Vander Zee -While Vander Zee and I don’t see eye-to-eye on baptism, I thoroughly enjoyed his work on the sacraments.

3. Our Reasonable Faith by Herman Bavinck – Only read two chapters. This is a condensed version of his classic work, Reformed Dogmatics. Some of his arguments are tough to follow, but I can tell this book is meaty and helpful. I’ll have to dig into it some more.

4. The Holy Spirit by Sinclair Ferguson – I’ve read and enjoyed some of Ferguson’s non-academic work. This book, however, is one for the academics. As a continuationist, I disagreed with some of Fergusons’s conclusions. It also seemed like he gave the reader tons of material without providing clarity on what the reader should believe and why. That said, he’s a great writer and theologian and there were some parts of this book that served me well.

5. Living in God’s Two Kingdoms: A Biblical Vision for Christianity and Culture by David VanDrunen -The writing of this book is remarkably clear. And yet, I can’t remember a time I disagreed more with an author and his conclusions on an issue than I did with David VanDrunen in this book.

6. A Light to the Nations: The Missional Church and the Biblical Story by Michael Goheen – Now this is a book I can get down with. It’s good to compare and contrast with VanDrunen’s work (as mentioned above). Both books talk about how the church should live in today’s culture, but I align more with Goheen than VanDrunen.

7. A New Heaven and a New Earth: Reclaiming Biblical Eschatology by Richard Middleton – I thought Middelton’s conclusions on the intermediate state were problematic. The rest of this book? Awesome. It was an eye-opener for me. Heaven is not the eternal dwelling place for God’s elect. The New Heavens and New Earth are — a point that many Christians overlook.

8. Seven Leaders: Pastors and Teachers  by Ian Murray – Wasn’t able to read the whole thing. But what I read was gold. I hope to come back to this one in the future. (Related: Evangelism Starts with God)

9. Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family by Paul Tripp – My wife and I are expecting a baby boy in January. We took a road trip a while back, and we listened to this one in the car. Of course, I wasn’t able to track all of his arguments since I was distracted from driving. And I have nothing to compare it to since this is the first thing I’ve ever consumed on parenting. So I’m not the best source. But what I was able to catch was great. Tripp is a master of taking Reformed theology and applying it to every area of one’s life. I particularly like the point of ownership — that is, that parents do not own their kids; God does. We are the stewards who help our children walk with their Owner.

10. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership  by Henri Nouwen – Read by thousands. I know some who love it. It was just a little too mystical for my taste.

11.Letters of Francis A. Schaeffer: Spiritual Reality in the Personal Christian Life   – This book is so good. I feel like I’m learning a lot about pastoring through reading these letters. One of the most edifying books I’ve read this year.

12. The Imperfect Pastor: Discovering Joy in Our Limitations through a Daily Apprenticeship with Jesus by Zack Eswine – I studied homiletics under Dr. Eswine. I loved every second of his class, Communicating the Scripture. Now I was able to learn something about pastoring from the man — tidbits and tips that I am sure will stick with me for a long time. I needed to read this book. I know this book has been read by many pastors but I felt like Eswine was speaking directly to me.

13. Gilead: A Novel by Marylinee Robinson — A Pulitzer Prize winner. Read by tons of people. Can’t tell if this book is brilliant or boring. I don’t usually read novels or non-fiction. I know this is blasphemy for some, but I’m just not a fan. It may be my fault, but I have a feeling the rest of this book is going to be hard for me to finish.

Note: You can find all articles categorized under “books” here.


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