Books to Read

Books to Read

David Steele writes reviews on his blog, Veritas et Lux at davidsteele.blog.  He serves as the senior pastor at Christ Fellowship in Everson, Washington and is the author of Bold Reformer.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 07:46

The Forgotten Fear by Albert Martin

So here’s the challenge: “At every point in my Christian life, from the moment I breathe my first breath as a new creature in Christ to the moment when I take my last breath, the entire time of my sojourning—all of this is to be marked by the fear of God.” So says Albert Martin in his new book The Forgotten Fear. By that standard, how are you doing? Do you fear God?

Thursday, 31 December 2015 17:32

The Plausibility Problem by Ed Shaw

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). This is what we all want, isn’t it? We all want a fulfilled and fulfilling life. But what does this life look like? How and where can I find it? What will it cost me? That’s the rub, isn’t it?

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 12:47

The Great Christ Comet by Colin Nicholl

What do we do about that pesky star? Inseparable from the narrative of Jesus’ birth is the “star of wonder, star of night / Star with royal beauty bright” that we sing about in our Christmas carols (and, of course, read about in the book of Matthew). What was that star? Where did it come from? If it was so unusual and magnificent that it could lead wise men from the East all the way to Bethlehem, why don’t we read about it in other sources? That star is the subject of Colin Nicholl’s new book The Great Christ Comet. And, as you may surmise from the title, he does not believe it was a star at all.

Sunday, 08 November 2015 16:34

Stop Your Complaining

Never have I had a quicker opportunity to apply the book I’ve been reading. I read most of Ronnie Martin’s Stop Your Complaining on the morning of a holiday Monday, then went to a polling station to cast my vote for next week’s election. (Yes, the advance polls are open on the holiday; I would be away on Election Day and decided to make sure I cast my ballot.) I walked into the community center and saw a lineup—a very big lineup that was going nowhere fast. I had the choice: Would I be grateful for a free country and peaceful, democratic elections? Or would I join the crowd in grumbling about the incompetence of Elections Canada (before heading home to finish the book, of course)? Would I turn this into an opportunity for grumbling or gratitude?

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

Eve

 Eve

by William Paul Young

 

On the positive side, I think [William] Paul Young has become a markedly better writer since The Shack. On the negative side, he continues to use his writing to undermine and redefine Christian theology. By my reckoning, that’s a net loss. Where The Shack was meant to revolutionize our understanding of God, his new novel Eve is meant to revolutionize and rescue our understanding of the relationship between men and women. And it is no less troubling.

Tuesday, 06 October 2015 14:03

7 Good Reasons to Stop Looking at Porn

Pornography has existed as long as the camera has existed (and before that in more rudimentary forms, I’m sure) but has always been difficult to find and has always carried some kind of stigma. Today the tables have turned and porn has gone mainstream. Instead of being a shameful addiction it is now the punch line in jokes, the subject of sitcom episodes. Porn stars are admired. It’s probably significant that we don’t speak of “porn actors” but “porn stars” as if there is something inherently glamorous in their line of work. Books and magazines encourage us all to enjoy porn, to allow it to add a little spice to our relationships. It’s a lot harder to avoid porn than it is to find it.

We Christians put on a good face, don’t we? Each of us shows up on Sunday morning looking like we are doing just fine, like our lives are on cruise control, like we have had the best week ever. But ask a couple of leading questions, and probe just beneath the surface, and it soon falls apart. Each of us comes to church feeling the weight and the difficulty of this life. God has something he wants us to do in these situations. There is something he calls us to—something beautifully surprising and uncomfortable. Track with me for a couple of minutes here, and I’ll show you what it is.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 07:25

The Compelling Community

 If the number of highlights in a book can serve as an indication of its worth, then The Compelling Community has already proven an especially valuable one to me. It is littered with notes and highlights (or the Kindle equivalent, at least) and many of its ideas and applications are still percolating somewhere in the back of my mind. There is a lot it taught me, and a lot within its pages that I intend to ponder and apply.

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 20:04

Spiritual Friendship by Wesley Hill

 Have you ever had a friendship that entered into irrevocable decline because your friend just up and moved away? Have you ever had a friendship that ended over matters of convenience or preference? My guess is that most of us have experienced something like this at one time or another. And I wonder if this is an inevitable part of friendship, or whether it may just be a sign that we take friendship too lightly. Wesley Hill has been wondering the same and has written a thought-provoking book on the subject. In Spiritual Friendship he means to answer questions like these:

Tuesday, 07 July 2015 14:54

Side by Side by Edward T. Welch

Side by Side

by Edward T. Welch

 

Sometimes I read a book and think, “If we all just got this, the church would be so much stronger. If we all just did these things, the church would be so much better.” And Ed Welch’s new book Side by Side is exactly that kind of book. If we could all just agree to do these things, the church would be immeasurably blessed.

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