Books Read In February

A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden

A great intro to Jonathan Edwards, his life, work, ministry and writings. Marsden has a fuller biography of Edwards (Johnathan Edwards – A Life; 640 pages) but tghlyhis at 152 pages, will wet your appetite to pursue further reading of this remarkable man and theolgian.

Marsden’s writing style is easy and flowing and so wonderful for just getting immersed into the story. Highly recommended.

Reversed Thunder: The Revelation of John And The praying Imagination by Eugene Petersen

I have to say that I expected more from this book. We used this as our recent men’s book club group which meets at 7am at a local cafe for breakfast. I learnt that 7am may be too early to read this book. Eugene is obviously a master with language but at times he left me in a wake of his poetic language and imagery. It was hard to follow – and when revelation is hard to follow, and the commentary commenting ON revelation is tough to follow then we are struggling.

If you are steeped in english literature, poetry and some philosophy then you might enjoy this, but otherwise I would not recommend this book.

Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper

This is really a great little book. For me this is like a personal treatise to ministers from someone who cares (that is how it reads). You can sense the passion and heart-felt conviction of Piper leap from the page as he writes on topic after topic exhorting those in the ministry to stop being ‘professional’ and start to be men of God – called ministers to the gospel of Christ and to the glorification of God. Professionalism is killing the church. Piper opens the book with “the mentality of professionalism is not the mentality of the prophet. The more professional we are the more spiritual death we leave in our wake.” Piper writes one of the best chapters on prayer I have ever read – convicting, powerful and challenging. It is a rare writer who can write such a chapter and still leave you wanting to go and pray and develop a deeper prayer life. Each chapter is short enough that this might be an excellent devotional book. Highly recommended.

The Message Of Ephesians by John Stott

Our Adult Education program this past 7 weeks have been in Ephesians. We have had four groups meeting each week to discuss and work through a chapter of Epheisans. It has been a real blessing and a wonderful book to study. Stott’s commentary is really outstanding. It is understandable but also very thorough. Most of all, it is filled with spiritual insight and great exegesis.

I would highly recommend this commentary as both a scholarly work for preparing sermons and talks but also for devotional reading. That is the gift Stott has – reaching the scholarly level and yet readable for the layman.

God’s Passion For His Glory by John Piper

This book works on two levels. Firstly, it gives us an introduction to the life, work, passion and theology of Edwards by one of his biggest fans and advocates, John Piper. Secondly it provides us the text of Edwards great work – The End for Which God Created the World.

This is a delightful book, with much information and snippets of gold about Edwards. Highly recommended.

The Unwavering of Resolve by Steven Lawson

This is a great little book on the 70 Resolutions which Edwards began to write during his first, brief, pastorate in New York in 1722. The book examines Edward’s and the topics of holiness and spiritual disciplines from the perspective of the resolutions. Highly recommended.


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