My goal in doing this type of blog every two months is to give you, the readers, an opportunity to look at certain books that you may like to read. So, here are the books that I have read throughout March and April.
The Shepherd Leader by Timothy Witmer
This is a book that I had to read for one of my classes this semester. I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it immensely helpful. Needless to say, the work of a shepherd, when done properly, is tasking but overwhelmingly worth it. This book makes this evident. If you are a pastor, or are aspiring to be a pastor, then I would encourage you to read this. Below is the description that is on Amazon:
Leaders in the church are called to be shepherds, not a board of directors. This requires involvement in a personal shepherding ministry among the people. The Shepherd Leader unpacks the four primary ministries of shepherds — knowing, feeding, leading, and protecting — on macro (churchwide) and micro (personal) levels, providing seven elements to be incorporated into an effective shepherding plan.
The Power of Christian Contentment by Andrew Davis
I serve under Andy Davis (the author of this book) so I have been looking forward to reading this! I would encourage any and every Christian to read this book. Here is the review that I wrote for this book on Amazon:
Andy Davis uses Jeremiah Burrough’s definition of contentment: “Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition” (40-41). And Andy Davis sees biblical warrant for us to pursue this contentment every day of our lives.
He says, “It is the duty of all Christians to strive after contentment every single day for the rest of their lives on earth. We owe this to Christ. A convicting question stands over all our moments of complaining discontent: Has Christ, crucified and resurrected on your behalf, done enough to make you content today. . .or must he do a little more” (40).
However, if we are going to pursue Christian contentment, then we are going to have to learn it the same way the Apostle Paul learned it (Phil. 4:11-13). Paul learned to live on God alone in the midst of suffering and prosperity. Andy Davis then teaches us a great deal about God so that we might learn how to live in Him alone.
The most breathtaking chapters are the ones on God’s providence, the evils and excuses of a complaining heart, contentment in suffering, and contentment in prosperity. With that said, here is a quote from the chapter on the evils and excuses of a complaining heart: “All of us underestimate how much evil complaining reveals in our hearts. We have spent much of our lives complaining about our surroundings-too hot, too cold, too loud, too soft, too spicy, too bland. We don’t think it matters if we voice our frustrations on a regular basis. But actually Scripture teaches the truth: complaining reveals much corruption in the soul” (111).
This book will help you fight for contentment in Christ in any and every circumstance!
Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Bible by Jay E. Adams
This past semester, I taught the college students what the Bible says in regards to divorce and remarriage. I used numerous resources as I prepared for this teaching, but the one resource that I read in its entirety was this short book. Jay Adams is concise and dogmatic (some people may not like the dogmatic aspect). Nevertheless, he was helpful for thinking through the topic. This will serve as a nice introductory read to the topic of marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
Spirit-Led Preaching by Greg Heisler
This is another book that I had to read for school. I enjoyed the read. Heisler speaks about how essential the Holy Spirit is to the preaching ministry. Heisler’s own words are below:
Spirit-Led Preaching is a call issued to preachers, pastors, and teachers of homiletics to recover the Holy Spirit for expository preaching in the same way we have recovered the biblical text. . . . My plan for doing this is to recover the doctrine of pneumatology (the study of spiritual beings/phenomena) for our theology of preaching, resulting in a renewed emphasis on the powerful combination of Word and Spirit working together as the catalyst for powerful expository preaching.
The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter
Every book that I have ever read on pastoral ministry quotes extensively from The Reformed Pastor. After having read it, it is obvious as to why this would be the case! Baxter lays out a charge to ministers to be faithful in the charge to shepherd the flock that the Holy Spirit has made them overseers of. Philip Doddridge said, “The Reformed Pastor is an extraordinary book. . .many good men are but shadows of what (by the blessing of God) they might be, if the maxims and measures laid out in that incomparable treatise were strenuously pursued.” I concur!
The 10 Commandments by Kevin DeYoung
I read this book because I am going to be doing a series with the college students on the 10 Commandments over the summer. I found this book informative. It definitely serves as an introductory work to studying the 10 Commandments.
Basics of Biblical Greek by William Mounce
I am finishing up Greek 2 this semester. I would say the most beneficial aspect of taking Greek 2 is that this lower Alabamian has finally learned some English grammar!
Spurgeon’s Practical Wisdom by Charles Spurgeon
I always like reading something written by Spurgeon or something written about Spurgeon. This was something written by Spurgeon. In this book, Spurgeon writes under the pseudonym John Ploughman. He seeks to give extremely practical advice on certain topics such as marriage, drunkenness, debt, laziness, hypocrisy, unhealthy spending, etc. He gives this advice in a witty way that is filled with humor. Here is a sample:
Ever since that early sickening I have hated debt as Luther hated the Pope, and if I say some fierce things about it, you must not wonder. To keep debt, dirt, and the devil out of my cottage has been my greatest wish ever since I set up housekeeping; although the last of the three has sometimes got in by the door or the window, for the old serpent will wriggle through the smallest crack, yet, thanks to a good wife, hard work, honesty, and scrubbing brushes, the two others have not crossed the threshold.