Humble Calvinism: And if I Know the Five Points, But Have Not Love… by J.A. Medders
Calvinism has an image problem. For far too long it has been synonymous with being argumentative, arrogant, and unloving. Somehow the doctrines of grace often haven't made those who believe them actually gracious. Self-confessed recovering, cranky Calvinist, Jeff Medders argues that we've replaced the love of God for the love of Calvinism. (Description from The Good Book Company’s website)
BOOK REVIEWS 2019
An enjoyable book to help you understand why self-control is often so hard to come by and how to get more of it.
A helpful book for new believers to understand the gospel and discipleship.
A few reflections on Martin Luther King’s famous letter.
BOOK REVIEWS 2018
A list of every book I read last year, and some notes on my favorites.
A great book about rest and Sabbath from a guy who didn’t used to be any good at it.
A video about 8 helpful “How-To” books from Sojourn Network for local church ministry.
A book review of Lewis Allen’s new book The Preacher’s Catechism.
Author and pastor Dave Harvey offers thoughtful questions to evaluate the health of an elder team.
A new edition of The Joy Project by Tony Reinke is now available.
Two friends of mine have recently published books. Love to tell you about them . . .
An honest book about the collision of affliction and faith.
An appreciative review of the humorous and serious book Blessed are the Misfits by Brant Hansen.
A great book to explain what is wrong with the world and what God is doing about it.
BOOK REVIEWS 2017
A list of every book I read last year, and some notes on my favorites.
How is your phone changing you? I know it’s changing me.
Some reflections on each book by one of my favorite authors.
I recently did an interview with Jeremy Linneman about how churches can grow effective small groups.
Sojourn Network has recently published several helpful ebooks for Christians and church leaders.
In the book Strong and Weak by Andy Crouch, we learn that God made us to flourish, to live “the life that is really life.” (A book review)
Dating can be a beautiful, mysterious thing, like a ship sailing across the sea (Prov. 30:18–19). Here’s my review of Not Yet Married, a great book to help you sail this sea.
The Imperfect Pastor by Zack Eswine is a great book to help you throw off the yoke of perfectionism and find joy in your dependence upon Jesus, the only perfect pastor and the only one with shoulders of steel and a gospel of grace.
The Whole Message of the Bible in 16 Words by Chris Bruno is a great book to familiarize you with the most important themes and the overarching story of the Bible.
A short (but stout) book on the divine romance between The Groom and The Bride, and how the ultimate marriage should shape all marriages.
BOOK REVIEWS 2016
I’m not sure if readers love them, but I read enough blogs to know that bloggers love to create them: End-of-the-Year Lists. This is my contribution: The list of books I read in 2016.
Professors Robert Joustra and Alissa Wilkinson wrote this book to prepare us for the apocalypse. Their approach, however, is less Swiss Army Knife and more Encyclopedia Britannica.
My book review of Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians by J.A. Medders and Brandon D. Smith. A great, accessible book to help Christians both know God and live for him.
A book review of Brant Hansen’s book Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better.
If you’ve been to a Christian bookstore recently, then you might have been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff there. That’s why two weeks ago our church launched our own bookstore. We filled it with 25-30 Christian books that were handpicked by our elders and staff. Here’s our list.
On the whole, Your Best Life Now has so many troubling aspects that, to be honest, I don’t think we should even call it a “Christian book.”
Speaking gossip comes easy; it’s resisting gossip that’s hard. But, by the grace of God and for the glory of God, we have to do it. Matthew C. Mitchell’s book Resisting Gossip is a good book to help us recognize and resist this common sin.
At times, my family has struggled to have consistent family devotions. I’m sure there are several reasons for this, but lately we have had great success using Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones, illustrated by Jago. Here is one of my favorite entries from the book. In it, Lloyd-Jones explains what it means to glorify God.
In 1940, Mortimer J. Adler published How to Read a Book. Since the original publication, it’s become a classic. Here are a few of the questions Adler gives to help readers understand what they read.
Nabeel Qureshi (former Muslim, now Christian) answers eighteen questions about Islam and jihad. Qureshi is also the New York Times bestselling author of Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. I think many readers, especially Christians, will find Answering Jihad accessible, thoughtful, and a help as we seek to “love God and love people” in a complex and sometimes violent world.
A book review of The Owlings by D.A. DeWitt. It’s an engaging children’s story about talking owls, the struggles of a young boy without a father, and whether or not “nature is all that there is.”
I want to do more—better. Don’t you? Tim Challies has written a short, practical book to help us steward our gifts for the good of others and the glory of God.
A book review of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones . . . well, it’s not really a book review; it’s probably better, but you’ll see that as you read.
BOOK REVIEWS 2015
I’m not sure if readers love them, but I read enough blogs to know that bloggers love to create them: End-of-the-Year Lists. This is my contribution: The list of books I read in 2015.
Last week, my review of What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung was published in the theological journal Themelios. DeYoung’s book is not only my favorite book on the topic, it’s also my favorite book of 2015.
John Newton’s life is a spiritual, gourmet grocery store, and author Tony Reinke spent several years selecting and preparing for us a splendid meal. It’s called Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ.
An excerpt from the Introduction to the church membership book I wrote called, EACH PART WORKING PROPERLY.
The Joy Project by Tony Reinke was released earlier this week. You can download the book free of charge at Desiring God. Here are nine of my favorite passages in the book.
A book review of TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD by Kevin DeYoung. As the subtitle suggests, it’s a great book to remind us that God’s Word is knowable, necessary, and enough—and practically why all of this matters.
Today, there are so many books being published about the Bible and sexuality, and especially about the Bible and homosexuality. In many ways, this is a good thing. But there is also a downside: it’s hard to know which books are the most helpful.
A book review of WHO IS JESUS? by Greg Gilbert, a helpful book for consideration of the most important question you’ll ever consider.
There has been a steady stream of books about homosexuality published in the last few years, but two in particular from evangelical authors have received a lot of attention. The two books I am speaking of are IS GOD ANTI-GAY? by Sam Allberry and WASHED AND WAITING by Wesley Hill. And they should receive attention; they are great books.
Becoming a mother is to enlist in a war. And what makes this war so difficult, is that the enemies are not always obvious. MOM ENOUGH is written by women that know much about the difficulties of this war, but who also know about how to win.
A FAN AND FLAME book review of FUTURE MEN by Douglas Wilson, an excellent roadmap to train boys (of all ages) to be the men God designed us to be.
There was a time when I hated to read and write. Today, all of that has changed. But with this change came questions. For example, how do I pick which books to read, and once I do read them, how shall I make the most of them? Tony Reinke wrote a helpful book called LIT! to answer these questions.
A review of Burning Hearts: Preaching to the Affections by Moody and Weeks.
A FAN AND FLAME book review of THE GRAVE ROBBER by Mark Batterson. It’s a book about miracles, hope and hardship, and the unchanging God.
A FAN AND FLAME book review of John Piper’s latest book, SEEING BEAUTY AND SAYING BEAUTIFULLY.
BOOK REVIEWS 2014
I’m not sure if readers love them, but I read enough blogs to know that bloggers love to create them: End-of-the-Year Lists. This is my contribution—the list of books I read in 2014 and a few comments about them.
For sermon preparation and other teaching responsibilities, I typically spend a few hours a week reading Bible commentaries. But rarely do I read them cover to cover. However, I’m glad I did this for LEVITICUS by Dr. Jay Sklar. He is a reliable tour guide through, what is for many, a foreign land.
A book review of UNBROKEN -- the unbelievable story of Louis Zamperini.
UNBROKEN is the story of Louis Zamperini. When his WWII plane went down over the Pacific, he drifted on the open ocean in a tiny yellow raft for forty-seven days while sharks tried to eat him. Finally, he reached land. And then it got worse.
Right now, stop what you are doing and read this blog post. Seriously. I am urgent. I am a helpful review that can't wait. You can do whatever you are doing now, later.
Barnabas writes of some pastors that need “a bucket of ice water in their sleeping face." Perhaps I have been more asleep than I knew.
THE PASTOR'S KID by Barnabas Piper touched a nerve. Here's a preview to my full review.
A review of the classic short story about planting trees and the cumulative effect of long obedience in the same direction.
Lots of helpful things in WHAT IS THE MEANING OF SEX? Here are seven of them.
Confusion about manhood abounds. This book offers 10 places to start.
When I read this book, I felt like a good friend introduced me to another good friend. You'd probably like to meet him too.