Archive for the ‘On Books, Old and New’ Category
One book that merits an annual reread is John Stott’s Between Two Worlds. In this classic, Stott depicts the preacher as a man positioned between two civilizations—tasked to bridge both the ancient world to the modern world and the ancient text to modern hearers. Read more
The word “no,” as I recently argued, may simultaneously be the most important word in the Christian’s lexicon, and the most difficult one to pronounce. Fear of man, a reluctance to disappoint, poor stewardship, or a thousand other reasons make it a word that too infrequently crosses many Christians’ lips.
To this end, I have found Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism most helpful. Though it is not written from a Christian worldview, or specifically for Christian leadership, it is eminently applicable.
Perhaps no spiritual discipline is more integral to Christian growth as prayer, yet no spiritual discipline may be as neglected. Prayer is oxygen for the Christian life. It is our spiritual lifeblood wherein we commune with God; but when asked, most Christians—including Christian leaders—acknowledge a shocking dearth of prayer.
In fact, many Christians admit to being adrift in their prayer lives—listing about from one dry, forced prayer time to the next, and living with the sense of guilt such prayerlessness breeds.
Don Whitney argues in Praying the Bible that a Christian’s main problem with prayer may be more methodological than spiritual. Whitney notes most Christians tend to pray about the same old things (health, ministry, job, future, crises, family, etc.) in the same old way. This is a rote formula, guaranteed to bore even the most fervent Christ follower. Read more
When, in late 2014, I received an endorsement request for Jared Wilson’s The Prodigal Church, my initial reaction was to wince. But after I got to know the manuscript—and the author—my visceral concern was displaced by appreciation for the author and his message.
At first, the title led me to think this book was just another screed against the 21st century church. I winced,not because the 21st century church doesn’t have much worth criticizing; I winced because the church has too many professional critics. Any cynic can criticize the church, and too many cynics do. Read more
Seventy years ago this month, on April 9th, 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced the gallows. As an anti-Nazi dissident, the Gestapo had arrested him the prior year for his outspoken criticism of Hitler, and penultimately for his complicity in a plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. Bonhoeffer died a martyr, one put to death for his Christian testimony.
Seventy years later, Bonhoeffer’s most lasting work is The Cost of Discipleship. But his lesser known, Life Together, remains a classic on Christian community. Whether it is a family, church, seminary, or other Christian entity, Life Together instructs us how to fashion and live together as Christians in community. Read more