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What I’m Reading: April-May 2023




“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles W. Eliot


Theology and Christian Life


Praying the Bible - Don Whitney

I’m taking another small group through this book, and am once again reminded of its helpful insights and wisdom. Whitney is such a faithful guide in knowing the Bible and living out the spiritual disciplines. Praying can seem like such a challenge at times, and, as Whitney says, we “end up praying the same old things about the same old things.”


In this short book, Whitney takes us to the Psalms to see that God has already provided us with both a language of prayer and a practice of prayer in His Word.




David Powlison is one of my favorite and most trusted Bible teachers. He is now at home with the Lord, but, by God's grace, he’s left behind a rich library of resources. In this little book, David leads us to see how God actually changes His children. Many Christians will agree with the statement, “I want to grow in my faith,” but not many will understand how that happens or how to do it. This book is a practical and helpful guide to understanding how God works to change and grow His people.




In this book, Peter Adam makes a short, but compelling argument for the regular, authoritative preaching of God’s Word. He writes, “My aim in this book is to provide a robust practical theology of preaching as part of the ministry of the Word in the local congregation.”


He helpfully discusses the biblical foundations of the ministry of Preaching, the great Preachers of the Bible, and then looks at how all of this informs the preaching ministry of the local Church pastor. A must read for any man involved in or considering a preaching ministry. It would also be a very helpful look into the task for preaching for church members and lay people.





Preaching the New Testament - Jonathan Griffiths

This little book offers a helpful look at the nature of preaching and its presence in Scripture. Are Church Elders supposed to preach? Are churches supposed to gather each week on Sunday to listen to a sermon from a qualified Shepherd? Griffiths looks at what the New Testament actually says about preaching. This is not a book about "how to" preach but a book that answers the question, "Why preaching?"




From the book, “In [this book] Christopher Hall introduces us to the [Church] fathers, their world, and the sight and sounds they perceive in the bible. As Hall points out, the fathers hear music in the Scripture where we remain tone-deaf.”


In this work of Church history, Hall gives us a glimpse into how the early Church and her leaders (called the Church Fathers), read, interacted with, and taught the Bible. He covers the Eastern Doctors: Athanasius, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil the Great, and John Chrysostom; and also the Western Doctors: Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gergory the Great.


For those interested in the rich history of the Church, this is a great place to spend some time. Note, it’s more of an academic type read.







Biography


I’ve mentioned this before, but I love biographies; especially Presidential biographies. In April, my wife and I took our oldest son on a field-trip to Washington D.C. It was a great trip in many ways, but it also reinvigorated my love of American history. So, when we got home, I picked up this book!


I knew quite a bit about Washington already, but this book was full of new and surprising information; a look into the man that I had never seen. Washington, the man, is far different than the story we often hear. In many ways, George Washington has become a myth in the American Pantheon; he stands larger than life, and appears almost implacable. And yet, the man himself was deeply flawed, self-centered, and agnostic.


Ellis certainly introduced me to the man in a way that I had never seen him, and it has wetted my appetite to read more. I think I’ll pick up Ron Chernow’s monstrous work on Washington next!



Nature

They say to never judge a book by its cover…but this book has a great cover! I had the chance to visit Yosemite National Park last year, and I fell in love with it! It is majestic, breathtaking, and inspiring. It was truly an overwhelming experience that I will never forget. I’ve written about it here.


So, when I saw this book about John Muir and his fight to save Yosemite, I knew I would need it! This is the story of how the naturalist John Muir and a high society East coast city publisher worked together to save and preserve Yosemite, ultimately seeing it receive a National Park designation. Because of Muir, Yosemite has been preserved against the destruction that mankind often brings upon the earth and its natural beauty is available for all today.


This is one of those books that combines all the things I love: History, nature, and biography.



Articles and Podcasts

Time to Push Back - Mark Hemingway

As national Pride Month approaches, how should Christians be processing all that is, and will be, coming at us?


A reflection on the passing of Pastor Tim Keller.


With Bud Light’s marketing disaster, McGrew takes a closer look at the man on the can.


Let’s Put A.I. on Pause - Brad LittleJohn

What does the future of A.I., Chat GPT, and other developments look like? Are we ready to engage with them?


LGBTQ and higher education. Baylor University, a Christian college, recognizes a LGBTA student group. Does this open some dangerous doors? Trueman weighs in…


Trust, demographics, and culture change…Burge takes a look at an interesting trend.


Let’s Put A.I. on Pause - Brad Littlejohn

How should Christians, and the larger culture, be thinking about Artificial Intelligence? This is a fascinating article that raises the issue of slowing down the progress. “With AI, we have created entities capable of wielding nearly human powers of moral agency, but without any moral responsibility. When a dog or horse kills a man, we often insist that it should be put down. What do we do with a killer chatbot?”


In this article, Dr. Mohler overviews the Coronation of King Charles III, and how it represents decades of moral erosion. So much so that what ought to have shocked us passed by almost unnoticed.


Death on a Billboard - Dan Darling

The perverseness of California politics and the future of American culture. Abortion is front and center.


In this article, Pastor Secord outlines a new and controversial law in Minnesota that allows “the state [to] take children from parents who refuse puberty blockers and mutilation.”

  • You can read my piece on this new law here.

Mohler looks at the emerging landscape in the continuing battle for life in the womb.


“Now the United Nations is calling for decriminalizing all sexual activity, including between adults and children.” Carter considers…



Podcast

I've recently started listening to a great podcast on American/World history. Its really well done and very entertaining to listen. Its called History that Doesn't Suck.



Happy reading!


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