And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)

Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Lists, Books, and Reccomended Reading

I love lists.  Calendars, electronic checkbooks, scraps of paper, and legal pads all bring me great organizational joy.  My accounting background still fondly remembers the moment I first laid eyes on Lotus 123.  My heart raced to exclaim that computers had been created for just such a purpose.  It all started early in life for me.  Going to the Danville public library to visit my grandmother found my childhood fascinated with the card catalog system for tracking those beautiful columns and rows of books.  It essentially combined my love for reading with my bent towards organization.  Today, I relish in the use of Evernote and Dropbox on my iPod.

 Just the other night in a deacons meeting my heart quickened.  One of the brothers shared how after years of only reading his Bible and books for work he was taking it upon himself to begin reading, in which he might grow further in Christ.  Restraining myself from actually fist pumping in the air, I silently praised God for this breakthrough.  You see, I am a firm, ardent, and staunch believer that we should never stop learning.  We need to be discerning Bereans, who test and take to heart everything as to the glory of God.  Since we are to be worshippers in spirit and in truth the discipline of study is as imperative as rungs and sides of a ladder to reach greater heights in learning and application.  We learn, we apply, then we learn some more. 

Learning is a means of sanctification.  It is critical to discipleship.

 Therefore, today I would hope to encourage you all to learn.  Again, learning is a means of sanctification.  Below you will find my current recommended reading list, under several categories.  Some books might as well be included in several groupings.  However, my purpose here is to give each category of life its own set of tomes for indulgence.  None are listed in order of preference or practicality, some have a few comments.  All are enthusiastically suggested.  I would love to get your feedback and hear of books you love.  Please write to me at  Further lists to soon follow.

Ten Books I Want My Church Members to Read

·         The Bible- I don’t want to make the Bible a side suggestion.  I want it to be the imperative.  There is no substitute here, and it should be devoured more than bread or water.

·         Prayer- Ole Hallesby  Simply one of the only books on prayer you will ever need.

·         The Screwtape Letters- C S Lewis  This one challenges us to think, like everything CS ever wrote.

·         The Atonement- Leon Morris  This book will open your eyes to the wonder of the cross.

·         The Cost of Discipleship- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This book should be read annually as it wards against mediocrity.

·         Maximum Impact- Wayne Mack  If we are to be the church, then we must know how to represent Christ and His message through love.

·         Spiritual Depression- Martyn Lloyd Jones.  This book speaks to the depths of the soul in its desires and hope.

·         Desiring God- John Piper  This modern classic reforms our thinking to "glorify God and enjoy HIm forever."

·         Instruments in the Redeemers Hands- Paul Trip  If you are a disciple, you will be dealing with people.  This tome has helped me to enjoy the trials of ministry.

·         Christless Christianity- Michael Horton  In a kaleidoscope world of “Christian” viewpoints, this book brings clarity to what we ought to see.

Ten Books for Apologetics

·         Who Made God? Ravi Zacharias & Norman Geisler

·         The Testimony of the Evangelists Simon Greenleaf

·         Between Heaven and Hell Peter Kreeft

·         The Defense Never Rests Craig Parton

·         I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist Norman Geisler & Frank Turek

·         Why I am a Christian  John Stott

·         Tactics Gregory Koukl

·         Why Good Arguments Often Fail James Sire

·         Christianity and Liberalism J Greshem Machen

·         Mere Christianity C S Lewis

Ten Books for Youth to Read

·         Don’t Waste Your Life- John Piper

·         Do Hard Things- Alex and Brett Harris

·         Radical- David Platt

·         Pilgrim’s Progress- John Bunyan

·         God’s Passion for His Glory- John Piper

·         Respectable Sins- Jerry Bridges

·         Basic Christianity- John Stott

·         Worldliness- C J Mahaney

·         Preparing for Marriage- Wayne Mack.  Many books on dating deal mainly with sex.  I ask, should not a book on dating delve into the natural result of such a relationship.  Let us help youth to understand what God requires of a marriage relationship before they initiate the giving away their affections.

10 Books for the Weary

·         When I don’t Desire God- John Piper

·         The Christian Life- Ole Hallesby

·         Life Together- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

·         Beside Still Waters- Charles Spurgeon

·         Future Grace- John Piper

·         Revival- Martyn Lloyd Jones

·         How Long Oh Lord- D A Carson

·         Surprised by Suffering R C Sproul

·         Revival Richard Owen Roberts

·         Out of the Depths Martyn Lloyd Jones

Twelve Books for Leadership

·         The Reformed Pastor- Richard Baxter

·         Brother’s We are Not Professionals- John Piper

·         Lectures to My Students- Charles Spurgeon

·         Preaching and Preachers Martyn Lloyd Jones

·         Competent to Council- Jay Adams

·         Counseling- John Macarthur

·         How to Say it- Rosalie Maggio

·         The Art of the Personal Letter-Margaret Shepherd

·         Manners- Emily Post

·         Speaking the Truth in Love- David Powlison

·         The Deliberate Church- Mark Dever

·         Warnings to the Churches- J C Ryle

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