Archive for the Recommended Resources Category

Jan 31

24 Free eBooks from Desiring God

2015 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

On the DSC Blog we regularly link you to helpful articles, books, and resources around the web. Never have we linked to 24 in one click. Today that is about to change.

Click here for 24 Free eBooks from Desiring God.

Jonathan Parnell explains a recent trickle of eBook resources made up largely from the sermons and writing of John Piper.

Over the past two years, the team at has published a series of ebooks made available to our readers free of charge. The ebooks range from material written by John Piper, individual biographies, and multi-author volumes, with each one downloadable in three electronic formats (PDF, MOBI for Kindle, and EPUB for iBooks and other readers). Some also include a paperback option as well. With our most recent release of Killjoys, the total number is now 24. Check out the full list below, and enjoy.

All 24 are described and available here, but here are a few examples along with their descriptions:

Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God, John Piper

Disabilities are a reality. They break into our lives in various forms: as the product of genetic misalignments in the womb, as the result of tragic accidents, as the byproducts of infectious disease, and from the degenerative effects of old age. And no church is immune. Every church leader must be prepared to answer very hard questions about the goodness and sovereignty of God.

Take Care How You Listen: Sermons by John Piper on Receiving the Word, John Piper

Take Care How You Listen is an ebook on listening well. It is comprised of five unedited sermon manuscripts from the preaching ministry of John Piper. We pray this resource will serve your personal reflection as you heed Jesus’s command to “take care how you listen” (Luke 8:18).

Exposing the Dark Work of Abortion, John Piper

We are children of the light. Abortion is a work of darkness. The apostle Paul said, “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them” (Ephesians 5:11). This short book is a collection of three sermons John Piper preached on abortion, aiming to help us speak out.

Preparing for Marriage: Help for Christian Couples, John Piper

Getting to know that special someone includes learning about family and friends and schooling and athletics, favorite pastimes, books, movies, life’s best moments and worst, the brightest places in our background and the darkest. But what about theology? Ever think to ask about that? This short book offers some help.

Andrew Fuller: I Will Go Down If You Will Hold the Rope!, John Piper

In October of 1792 the Baptist Missionary Society was formed in the home of Andrew Fuller. For the next twenty-one years Fuller served as the leader of this organization, raising funds, writing periodicals, recruiting missionaries, and sending personal letters to those on the frontlines. He longed for unreached peoples to hear the gospel and championed the important (but often overlooked) foundation of doctrinal clarity.

Good: The Joy of Christian Manhood and Womanhood, John Piper

For this multi-contributor volume, we teamed up with the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood to produce a fresh articulation of God’s good design in creating men and women. This resource — the collaboration of 14 contributors — seeks to cast a vision for manhood and womanhood that is rooted more in beauty than mere ideology, more in gladness than mere position.

Dec 31

Help for Reading the Bible in 2015

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Reading the Bible regularly is a really good idea. It’s even more important than eating regularly. As Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

If you’re looking for a Bible Reading plan, Justin Taylor posted today his annual survey of options, “How to Read the Whole Bible in 2015.” If you’re looking for more of a pattern for ongoing reading rather than a plan to read the Bible in a year, here’s a simple plan by Drew Hunter (my baby brother) summarized in his recent Tweet: “No check-box, no guilt, 2015 Bible-reading plan: two Old Testament, two New Testament chapters per day. Finish a book, pick another.” It just might be for you.

While a read through Justin’s post should surface a good plan for you, here are a few plans to consider:

  • Chronological Reading Plan: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, by George Guthrie is a unique resource. This Bible is published with a one year daily reading plan in mind, ordering the Biblical material chronologically along the Bible’s own narrative framework and includes a reading plan. George Guthrie has also published a one year chronological Bible reading plan, Read the Bible for Life.
  • The M’Cheyne Plan with Daily Devotional Commentary: For the Love of God is a two volume series of books written by D.A. Carson providing daily reading to supplement the M’Cheyne reading plan. This plan, named after its designer and Scottish minister in the 1800′s, Robert Murray M’Cheyne, takes you through the Old Testament once and the Psalms and New Testament twice in one year.
  • Several Places A Day: Crossway’s Daily Bible Reading Plan is available as a PDF form to print out as a series of bookmarks. This plan gets you through the Bible in a year, reading from several different places in the Bible each day. Crossway has published 10 reading plans to supplement the ESV, including RSS, email, audio, and print versions daily. Also, the Discipleship Journal “Bible Reading Plan,” by NavPress, takes you through the entire Bible by reading from four different places each day.
  • Just a List of Chapters: The Bible Reading Record, by Don Whitney, is a simple list of every chapter in the Bible. With this, you can read at whatever pace you like and keep track of what you’ve read until you’re through the Bible. This, of course, wouldn’t necessarily be a one year plan, but it could be. To get through the Bible’s 1089 chapters in a year, you need to read an average of 3.25 chapters a day, which comes out to about four chapters per day if you commit to reading five days each week.
  • A Plan for Following God’s Redemption Plan: The Bible Eater is a simple one-page print out with a list of every chapter in the Bible of you to read on a certain rhythm and check off as you go. This plan highlights the Bible’s chapters that are especially significant for grasping the Bible’s storyline centered in Christ.

If the Bible is new to you, or if you haven’t personally invested in knowing the Scriptures through regular reading, listen to Ryan’s sermon on Psalm 1, “If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life….” And if you need some help reflecting on some of the spiritual dynamics involved in our struggle to read the Bible, check our Ryan Kelly’s article, “How’s Your Bible Reading Going?.” Finally, for a list of helps in understanding the Bible as you read it, check out the previous DSC post, “Help for Understanding the Bible.”

Nov 28

A Free Book for John Bunyan’s Birthday

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Yesterday was John Bunyan’s birthday. Not sure who that was? He did live a long time ago, so perhaps that’s understandable, except that his book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, has sold more copies in English than any other work besides the Bible.

Here’s a little background on the time of Bunyan’s birth from Desiring God, followed by a link you should check out.

On November 28, 1628, in a quiet cottage nestled within the English parish of Elstow, during one of the most tumultuous times in the country’s history, John Bunyan was born.

The place of Bunyan’s birth in Elstow was only a mile from the busy town of Bedford, where years later Bunyan would be imprisoned for over a decade for preaching the gospel. Like his father, Bunyan learned the simple trade of a tinker — a mender of pots and kettles — and came to be known as the “tinker turned preacher” when he began lay preaching in his late twenties. Bunyan’s skill and passion drew hundreds of listeners. Theologian John Owen, a contemporary of Bunyan, when asked by King Charles why he went to hear such an uneducated man preach, replied, “I would willingly exchange my learning for the tinker’s power of touching men’s hearts.”

But Bunyan’s legacy is not so much in his preaching, but his writing. During his imprisonment in the Bedford jail, Bunyan wrote several books, including most popularly, The Pilgrim’s Progress, which has sold more copies in the English language than any book besides the Bible. Today, the book still remains both an incomparable source of spiritual education and a classic in English literature.

On the occasion of Bunyan’s birthday, Desiring God has released a revised version of The Pilgrim’s Progress with a recently found preface by John Newton from 1776. Click here for links to digital and print versions of the book. This would make a great gift for anyone this Christmas.

Apr 4

Help for Helping People who Struggle with Same Sex Attraction

2014 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

On Saturday we will spend three hours together considering the topic of homosexual marriage and numerous related issues. It’s from 9:00 AM-12:00 PM. Click here to register if you haven’t already.

To give you a running start on the topic, here’s an immensely helpful one-hour lecture by Sam Williams from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, titled, “A Christian Psychology of and Response to Homosexuality.” This is a thoughtful reflection and analysis of the personal and historical dynamics involved in same-sex attraction, its causes, the nature of change, and how the gospel intersects with these issues.

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

For a summary paper of the social-science research by Mark Yarhouse, whom Sam cites several times, read Yarhouse’s paper, “At the Intersection of Religious and Sexual Identities: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality.”

At Saturday’s seminar we will explore these issues across the morning and with particular focus in the third hour.

Nov 29

God’s Most Successful Setback

2013 | by Trent Hunter | Category: Recommended Resources

Timely, helpful, and free. That’s how we can describe a new book by John Piper, Good News of Great Joy: Daily Readings for Advent. It’s available here as a free download. Print it out, staple it, and set aside 5 minutes a day to read and pray.

Here’s the reading from December 16, “God’s Most Successful Setback”:

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” —Philippians 2:9–11

Christmas was God’s most successful setback. He has always delighted to show his power through apparent defeat. He makes tactical retreats in order to win strategic victories.

Joseph was promised glory and power in his dream (Genesis 37:5–11). But to achieve that victory he had to become a slave in Egypt. And as if that were not enough, when his conditions improved because of his integrity, he was made worse than a slave — a prisoner.

But it was all planned. For there in prison he met Pharaoh’s butler, who eventually brought him to Pharaoh who put him over Egypt. What an unlikely route to glory!

But that is God’s way — even for his Son. He emptied himself and took the form of a slave. Worse than a slave — a prisoner — and was executed. But like Joseph, he kept his integrity. “Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow” (Philippians 2:9–10).

And this is God’s way for us too. We are promised glory — if we will suffer with him (Romans 8:17). The way up is down. The way forward is backward. The way to success is through divinely appointed setbacks. They will always
look and feel like failure.

But if Joseph and Jesus teach us anything this Christmas it is this: “God meant it for good!” (Genesis 50:20).

You fearful saints fresh courage take
The clouds you so much dread 
Are big with mercy and will break
In blessings on your head.

Click here to download a fee copy of Good News of Great Joy.