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Archive for the Books Category


Aug 14

Help for Praying the Bible

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books

You may be familiar with Don Whitney’s books, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and Spiritual Disciplines within the Church. Whitney has given his life and ministry to strengthening Christians and the church in Christ through—you guessed it—spiritual disciplines.

One of these spiritual disciplines is prayer, and Whitney recently published a helpful new book focused on this important dimension of our communion with God. It’s titled, simply, Praying the Bible.

Here’s Kevin DeYoung’s description:

Short, simple, straight forward, edifying. I don’t know anyone in today’s evangelical world more effective at teaching about spiritual disciplines than Whitney. This readable, conversational book will help you pray the Bible in a way that is edifying, easier, and more enjoyable than you might think. Like the best books on prayer, this one makes you want to go somewhere quiet and pray.

Here’s a conversation with Don Whitney posted by Justin Taylor with timestamps below:

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

  • 00:00 – What is your ministry background?
  • 00:54 – As you travel around the country, what are some of the common complaints you hear from Christians related to their prayer lives?
  • 02:19 – What would you say to someone who feels like a failure in prayer?
  • 04:40 – What areas of Scripture are particularly conducive for prayer?
  • 05:47 – What are the Psalms of the Day?
  • 07:55 – Can you illustrate praying through Psalm 23?
  • 11:51 – How will praying the Bible help us remain focused in prayer?
  • 13:37 – What are the sorts of testimonies you hear from people who have started praying the Bible?

Click here to order a copy.

Jun 20

Some Links for the Men

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books

This past Sunday was Father’s Day. In the providence of God, we also happened to land on one of the New Testament’s most direct and dense verses concerning the role of husbands, 1 Peter 3:7: “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

There’s no throw away line in the Bible, and each part of that verse is worth chewing on, and not just for husbands but for all of us. For help in doing so, here’s the video from Sunday’s message, “Help for Husbands“:

[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]

In the spirit of the week after Father’s Day, here are a few links for the men:

Jun 7

A Former Tank Commander to the Men

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books

Update: At least for now, The Masculine Mandate is available for free as an Amazon Kindle download.

••••

Here’s a book to keep in mind for Father’s Day: The Masculine Mandate: God’s Calling to Men, by Rick Phillips. Phillips, a former tank commander and a careful student of God’s Word, has written a very fine book for men.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

There is a crying need in the church today for men to be men. But competing visions for what a man is to be some growing out of popular culture and others arising from flawed teaching in the church are exacerbating the problem. Richard Phillips believes it is possible to cut through all of this confusion by consulting the Bible. Only in the pages of Scripture, he asserts, can men find a clear explanation of their God-given roles as leaders, husbands, fathers, and churchmen.

Beginning in Genesis, Phillips shows that God commissioned Adam to work and tend the Garden of Eden. In these twin tasks, he perceives a template for manhood, one that, when carried out with diligence, provides dignity to men, service to mankind, and glory to God. He then goes on to show that men are called to lead, to love their wives, to discipline their children, and to serve the church of Jesus Christ. Here is biblical exposition of the most practical sort teaching that reveals not only what men are to think but what they are to be.

Jonathan Leeman offers this comment and brief description in his review of Phillips’ book:

At the risk of undermining the reader’s confidence in my objectivity, I have to admit that I have nothing negative to say about the book. I believe that it provides a compelling, balanced, and pastorally-wise picture of biblical manhood.

  • He captures why a biblical theology of work—a hot topic these days—should make distinctions between men and women.
  • He explains how a father should conceive of his parental role differently than a mother, and what it means to give your heart to your children before asking them to give theirs to you.
  • He discusses how a husband should labor to understand his wife before he can lead her well.
  • He tells men to befriend one another, not just over beer and football, but like Jonathan did when giving his royal robe to David.

Here are some pastoral plans I have for Phillips’ book:

  • Read it with a couple of men I’m discipling.
  • Request that it be placed on our church’s bookstall.
  • Recommend that it be added to the four or five books we ask couples to read in our newly-married small groups, which couples join for the first two years of marriage.
  • Apply some of his lessons in my own life, particularly his advice to be more deliberate about what kind of time I’m spending with my children (he advises four things: read, pray, work, and play).

This book, along with other books for men, is available at the Book Nook and on Amazon.

Feb 15

Peripheral Questions, Music Styles, Strategic Planning, and the Cross

2012 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books,Clarus 12

In the weeks ahead of Clarus we will share a bit from each of four books that conference attendees will receive for free. One of our books, The Cross and Christian Ministry: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians,  is authored by one of our speakers, D.A. Carson. It should be said, though, that this book is not a book written even primarily for vocational ministers but for all of God’s people.

In his review of Carson’s book, Bob Kauflin pulled together a number of memorable quotes under several helpful headings:

Replacing The Primary with the Secondary

“It is at least possible that we are the generation of believers who will destroy much of historic Christianity from within – not, in the first instance, by rancid unbelief, but by raising relatively peripheral questions to the place where, functionally, they displace what is central.”

Are we Drawing Crowds or Converts?

“If the church is being built with large portions of charm, personality, easy oratory, positive thinking, managerial skills, powerful and emotional experiences, and people smarts, but without the repeated, passionate, Spirit-anointed proclamation of “Jesus Christ and him crucified,” we may be winning more adherents than converts.”

Broadening our Musical Palate

“Must we have fights over church music? We should have the best, the most God-centered, the most truthful, the most edifying. But must it all be in one style? Is there nothing to be gained from wide exposure to the company of saints in many parts of the world who have expressed their adoration of the Savior with richness of hymnody we can never exhaust, but which we ignore to our detriment?”

Leaving the Gospel Behind

“Do not think that you can adopt the philosophies and values of the world as if such choices do not have a profoundly detrimental impact on the church. Do not think you can get away with it. Do not kid yourself that you are with it, and avant-garde Christian, when in fact you are leaving the gospel behind and doing damage to God’s church.”

The Inconsistency of Admiring the World

“It is idiotic – that is not too strong a word – to extol the world’s perspective and secretly lust after its limited vision. That is what the Corinthians were apparently doing; that is what we are in danger of doing every time we adopt our world’s shibboleths, dote on its heroes, admire its transient stars, seek its admiration, and play to its applause.”

Strategic Planning or the Cross?

“All of us need to understand the people to whom we minister, and all of us can benefit from small doses of such literature. But massive doses sooner or later dilute the gospel. Ever so subtly, we start to think that success more critically depends on thoughtful sociological analysis than on the gospel; Barna becomes more important than the Bible. We depend on plans, programs, vision statements – but somewhere along the way we have succumbed to the temptation to displace the foolishness of the cross with the wisdom of strategic planning.”

Clarus is a Regional Conference of The Gospel Coalition taking place March 9-11 with speakers D.A. Carson and Fred G. Zaspel. Visit the Clarus page for more information or to register for this year’s conference.

Jun 22

Resource Center, June-July: Parenting Resources

2011 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Books

In light of this weekend’s seminar on parenting, “The Word on Parenting,” with Fred Zaspel, we’re highlighting a number of resources at the Resource Center in the months of June and July. Here’s a list of the books we’re making available with links for you to purchase them online if you would prefer.

Books for Parents

Books for Children

In addition, we’re also carrying two of Fred’s books:

Of course, don’t forget about this weekend’s seminar with Fred. The seminar will include two sessions on Friday night, June 24, from 6:00-8:30 PM, and one session and a Q&A on Saturday morning, June 25, from 9:00-11:15 AM. To learn a little more about Fred, visit our original post introducing the seminar.

Jul 3

Romans 9 Resources

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Books,Recommended Link,Sermon Follow-Up

For those of you who missed it, last Sunday night Fred Zaspel gave a very helpful exposition of Romans 9, which was followed by a Q&A.  As promised, we’re providing several suggested follow-up resources here for those wanting further study of Romans 9 and the related doctrines of election and predestination.

Entry-level Books on God’s Sovereignty in Salvation:

John Piper’s Sermons on Predestination and Romans 9:

Mark Driscoll’s Sermon Romans 9:

Jun 4

The Glorious Implications of the Gospel

2010 | by Ryan Kelly | Category: Books,Quote,Recommended Link

The Gospel Coalition website has a great article by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Here’s a sample:

Because of the incarnation, Jesus Christ knows exactly what it is to live in a sin-cursed world with people who break the rules…like me. I am a rule-breaker but He’s loved me and he’s experienced every trial I face. He’s with me. He sympathizes with my weakness (Hebrews 4:15). This understanding of His love in the face of my sin drains my anger at my rule-breaking neighbor. I can love her because I’ve been loved and I am just like her.

Because of His sinless life, I now have a perfect record of loving my neighbor. He perfectly loved rule-breakers. This record of perfect love for my rule-breaking neighbor is mine now; knowing this relieves my guilt. Even though I continue to fail to love, His record is mine.

Because of His substitutionary death, I am completely forgiven for my sin…even the sins that I seem to fall into at the slightest provocation. God has no wrath left for me because He poured it all out on His Son. He’s not disappointed or irritated. He welcomes me as a beloved daughter.

Because of His resurrection (and the justification it brings), I know that the power of sin in my life has been broken. Yes, I’ve failed again, but I can have the courage to continue to fight sin because I’m no longer a slave to it. This replaces despair with faith to wage war against my selfishness and pride.

Because of His ascension and reign, I know that this situation isn’t a mere chance happening. He’s orchestrated it so that I will remember Him and be blessed by the gospel again. He’s ruling over my life and interceding for me right now. I’m not a slave to chaos or chance. He’s my Sovereign King and I can rest in His loving plan today and rejoice in Him.

And, because of His promised return, I know that all the doubt, injustice and struggle will one day come to an end. This line in this grocery store and my plans for dinner isn’t all there is. There’s the great good news of the gospel. I can go home now and share with my family and guests how Jesus met me at the grocery store and we can rejoice together in His work on our behalf.

If you’re unfamiliar with Elyse’s writing, you should remedy that post-haste. Some very gospel-centered, Christ-exalting, hope-giving meditations: