Greetings, Readers!

Looking for something good to read? Well, you’ve come to the right place! I love reading, book lists, and recommending great books to others. Please accept my humble reviews and recommendations of Christian, Classic, and Children’s books. Check out my lists of “Books Every Christian Should Read,” and feel free to comment on my articles and to offer some of your own recommendations!

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Happy Reformation Day!

Whether or not you choose to celebrate the last day of October as Halloween and how you do so falls into the category of liberty of conscience, in my opinion. However, it is unfortunate that so many Protestant Christians get caught up in and distracted by Halloween festivities, yet they ignore (or are ignorant of) the fact that October 31st is an important day historically in the church.

With that in mind, I thought I would share this brief overview which was published on the Ligonier Ministries blog.

What Is Reformation Day All About? by Robert Rothwell (October 29, 2014)

MLutherOn Friday, much of the culture will be focused on candy and things that go bump in the night. Protestants, however, have something far more significant to celebrate on October 31. Friday is Reformation day, which commemorates what was perhaps the greatest move of God’s Spirit since the days of the Apostles. But what is the significance of Reformation Day, and how should we consider the events it commemorates?

At the time, few would have suspected that the sound of a hammer striking the castle church door in Wittenberg, Germany, would soon be heard around the world and lead ultimately to the greatest transformation of Western society since the apostles first preached the Gospel throughout the Roman empire. Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the church door on October 31, 1517, provoked a debate that culminated finally in what we now call the Protestant Reformation.

An heir of Bishop Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther is one of the most significant figures God has raised up since that time. This law student turned Augustinian monk became the center of a great controversy after his theses were copied and distributed throughout Europe. Initially protesting the pope’s attempt to sell salvation, Luther’s study of Scripture soon led him to oppose the church of Rome on issues including the primacy of the Bible over church tradition and the means by which we are found righteous in the sight of God.

This last issue is probably Luther’s most significant contribution to Christian theology. Though preached clearly in the New Testament and found in the writings of many of the church fathers, the medieval bishops and priests had largely forgotten the truth that our own good works can by no means merit God’s favor. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone, and good works result from our faith, they are not added to it as the grounds for our right standing in the Lord’s eyes (Eph. 2:8-10). Justification, God’s declaration that we are not guilty, forgiven of sin, and righteous in His sight comes because through our faith alone the Father imputes, or reckons to our account, the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

Martin Luther’s rediscovery of this truth led to a whole host of other church and societal reforms and much of what we take for granted in the West would have likely been impossible had he never graced the scene. Luther’s translation of the Bible into German put the Word of God in the hands of the people, and today Scripture is available in the vernacular language of many countries, enabling lay people to study it with profit. He reformed the Latin mass by putting the liturgy in the common tongue so that non-scholars could hear and understand the preached word of God and worship the Lord with clarity. Luther lifted the unbiblical ban on marriage for the clergy and by his own teaching and example radically transformed the institution itself. He recaptured the biblical view of the priesthood of all believers, showing all people that their work had purpose and dignity because in it they can serve their Creator.

Today, Luther’s legacy lives on in the creeds and confessions of Protestant bodies worldwide. As we consider his importance this Reformation Day, let us equip ourselves to be knowledgeable proclaimers and defenders of biblical truth. May we be eager to preach the Gospel of God to the world and thereby spark a new reformation of church and culture.

Luther

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“Christian” Books Every Christian would be better off NOT Reading, Part Three

wolf-in-sheeps-clothing“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matthew 7:15).
 
“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment” (James 3:1).
 

The Word of God warns that those who decide to become teachers are to be held accountable for what they say. I believe this applies as well to those who write books that are meant to help or instruct the reader, especially if they choose to write about the things of God for the profit of the people of God. With so many works being published by Christians for Christians, God’s people more than ever need to be discerning, like the Bereans of Acts 17, who compared what they heard preached with what the Scriptures taught.

In Parts One and Two of this series, I brought to your attention several books that I feel are not very profitable for Christians to read: Continue reading

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In Everything by Prayer, without Grumbling, but with Thanksgiving

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).


Over the past four months I have been diligently and eagerly searching for a new job and have literally applied to over 100 positions. I and others have been praying about this situation, asking God to provide the right job for me in His timing. But I have a confession to make: in the meantime, I have been unfaithful to Him. I have had a complaining spirit and a negative attitude about my job. Recently having worked eight days straight (60+ hours), in my weariness and discouragement I found myself complaining. How ungrateful! I know of individuals who cannot obtain work, are unable to work, or have to work several jobs just to make ends meet. And I have the nerve to complain about having too many hours! Shame on me.

Apparently I’ve forgotten that, almost a year ago, when we learned our rent was being raised significantly, God promptly provided my current job to meet our financial needs. Continue reading

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“Christian” Books Every Christian would be better off NOT Reading, Part Two

“There will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves…and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words” (II Peter 2:1-3).


In Part One of this series, after some introductory remarks about the purpose of this series, I shared concerns and reviews of three books:
booksintrash
#1 – Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins
#2 – The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson
#3 – Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

This week we take a look at three more books which have been popular in Christian circles in recent years. Unfortunately some of the books being discussed here I’m afraid have done more harm than good for the cause of Christ and His church. As before, for each book I provide links to complete reviews found on other sites, as well as a few alternative reading suggestions. Continue reading

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“Christian” Books Every Christian would be better off NOT Reading, Part One

I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel;  which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!  As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed!” (Galatians 1:6-9).
 

And now for something completely different…

One of my original purposes for creating this site was to introduce and recommend books that I believe every Christian should read. My lists of non-fiction, fiction, history and biographies are works in progress to which I add as I discover new books that I feel are worthy to be included. On the other hand, there are some books that are not worth anyone’s time and energy to read, regardless of personal taste and preference, and that includes, unfortunately, books that are written by and for Christians. In this three-part series I would likebooks- in-dumpster to focus on ten such books, and believe me, I know there are many more where these came from! (One writer states, “A dump truck would not be large enough to haul all of the heresy out of a typical Christian Booksellers Convention.” I’m afraid I might agree.)

For the most part, I strive to make my site and articles positive, so this article may be taken as being negative and critical. But sometimes critiques can be useful. My intent is not to judge the character, motives or the spiritual status of any of these writers, but merely to bring attention to the problems, concerns, and in some cases dangers found within these works. Continue reading

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Is the Lord Your Shepherd?

A-Shepherd-looks-at-the-Psalm-23A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23: An Inspiring and Insightful Guide to One of the Best-Loved Bible Passages by W. Phillip Keller

“It is no mere whim on God’s part to call us sheep. Our behavior patterns and life habits are so much like that of sheep it is well nigh embarrassing.”


In this little treasure of a book, Phillip Keller examines the best-known and most-beloved Psalm and relates it to the reader in ways he may never have thought of before. As one who grew up in East Africa among animal herders and who made his living for a period of time as a sheep owner, Keller truly understands the terminology and experiences of a shepherd as David did. He believes that many of us living in the modern, urban West misinterpret or at least do not fully understand and appreciate the metaphors and meaning David offers in the 23rd Psalm. Keller’s book adds depth to the psalm; after reading A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, you will never read it in the same way again. (If you are unfamiliar with the 23rd Psalm, please take a moment to read it now.) Continue reading

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