Review: 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health

10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald S. Whitney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a helpful book to think through ten different aspects that mark spiritual growth. Whitney doesn’t give a checklist or form to fill out. Instead, you will have to read each chapter and reflect on the condition of your own heart in life. It does provide a good opportunity to take stock of your life. Over time, good habits tend to slide and bad ones creep in. Also over time, if we are growing in knowledge and grace, we are better able to assess where we are than a few years ago. If you take it seriously, you won’t enjoy reading this book but it will be helpful to you.

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Review: The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive

The Compelling Community: Where God's Power Makes a Church AttractiveThe Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive by Mark Dever
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is an excellent blend of biblical teaching and practical experience. The main thrust of this book has to do with the kind of unity a church ought to have. Churches can be like social clubs where the unity is built around similarities, whether demographic or special interests. Other churches have mere unity on a shared confession of faith, or distinctive doctrinal points. Both of those are common and both of those fall short of the mark of communal unity of the Lord’s churches in Scripture.

Dunlop uses the term “supernatural community” to describe the kind of church community taught in the New Testament. I’m not thrilled with that term, but the way he uses is right on. He also goes not to explain why there is no program to implement to have that kind of community. Pastors and church members will be benefited by reading, thinking, and praying through this book. The unity of the church membership should be working out in visible ways in terms of evangelism, discipleship, and even discipline.

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Review: Newton on the Christian Life: To Live is Christ

Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (Theologians on the Christian Life)Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ by Tony Reinke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony Reinke has combed through the letters of John Newton and sifted out many of his words pertaining to the Christian life. Newton excelled at distilling practical wisdom for daily living. His counsels are personal and helpful. Reinke does point out a couple of areas of deficiency in his writings. I think those deficiencies and Newton’s advice in a couple of other areas show he was somewhat affected with pietism, though he also denounced and warned against legalism. None of that should hinder anyone from benefiting from this book.

The author has arranged Newton’s counsels in different chapters that touch on various aspects of Christian life on earth. He gives us much on overcoming sin and temptation, viewing trials, and battling self, which Newton viewed as the greatest enemy. Reinke also acknowledges different aspects of life he didn’t have space to deal with, but the book is a real blessing.

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Review: Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity

Do More Better: A Practical Guide to ProductivityDo More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Challies has given us an excellent book that is both practical and helpful. Productivity books abound, but few are centered in productivity for the purpose of serving God and others. Challies gives us the how, but also the why, and that is inspiring. If you are familiar with GTD or the many other management and productivity systems, then you will be familiar with some of the practices in this book. I like that Challies has shown us that our chaotic lives can be brought into manageable order.

I like that the system recommended in this book is quite simple and doable. I have been doing some of the things he mentions. Some were new suggestions and some others were a faithful reminder that I ought to be doing them. I read this through and now I’m going to go back through it like a workbook. Challies has given us added value by linking to worksheets on his website that can be used in connection with this book.

I recommend this book, but give one caution. If you’re not familiar with any digital time, information, project, or calendar management, this book could be overwhelming. You can implement most of what he recommends manually, but it is worth the learning curve to use the digital tools.

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Review: Internet Inferno: A Contemporary Warning and Reminder Regarding this Ancient Truth – “The Tongue is a Fire, the Very World of Iniquity, and is Set on Fire by Hell” James 3:6

Internet Inferno: A Contemporary Warning and Reminder Regarding this Ancient Truth - Internet Inferno: A Contemporary Warning and Reminder Regarding this Ancient Truth – “The Tongue is a Fire, the Very World of Iniquity, and is Set on Fire by Hell” James 3:6 by Michael John Beasley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a book no one wants to read. The title refers to the flamings on social media of slander, gossip, lies, and so on. Sadly, Christians are often among the worst offenders. Beasley deals with the sins of the tongue in their modern incarnation, the sins of the keyboard. He deals with a number of relevant passages from the Old and the New Testaments. He is particularly convicting when he describe co-belligerence with Satan. Everyone needs to read and consider this book.

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