Book Review: Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life

Your Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian LifeYour Mind Matters: The Place of the Mind in the Christian Life by John R.W. Stott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an excellent little book on the place of the mind in the Christian life. Far too many professing Christians have followed a charismatic, mystical emphasis on experience and focused on head/heart distinctions to the point we have lost our minds (no pun at all intended). Stott does an excellent job considering scriptural teaching and practical application. Sure, you will find some points of disagreement here and there, but I highly recommend it.

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Book Review: Gospel and Wisdom: Israel’s Wisdom Literature in the Christian Life

Gospel and Wisdom: Israel's Wisdom Literature in the Christian LifeGospel and Wisdom: Israel’s Wisdom Literature in the Christian Life by Graeme Goldsworthy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fine book in many ways. Goldsworthy helps us understand the relation of wisdom books to one another and to the Gospel. He asserts we cannot read wisdom literature in the Old Testament as if Jesus doesn’t exist, wasn’t made flesh, didn’t live, didn’t die, wasn’t resurrected, and hasn’t ascended to Heaven. There were a few bumps along the way relative to statements about the kingdom and some hints at over-realized eschatology.

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Book Review: How to be a Christian: Reflections and Essays

How to Be a Christian: Reflections and EssaysHow to Be a Christian: Reflections and Essays by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a collection of Lewis’ essays from various works. The publisher has selected essays around the general theme of practical Christianity. So, this book is not what Lewis would have produced if he had set about the task of writing a book on the practical Christian life. Setting that disappointment aside, we find here a great collection of essays Lewis did write and a transcribed interview of what Lewis did say. So, maybe the next best thing.

Lewis was a great thinker and writer. He had a knack for putting things well. He had a way of taking something very familiar, changing the familiar perspective, and putting it across improvingly. Any mention of Lewis sends certain ones of the population running to fetch their aluminum foil caps to prevent any of Lewis’ alien waves from entering their brains. Lewis had his theological problems. He could write a brilliant and beautiful passage and sometimes follow it with a brilliantly ugly passage. Only advertising his shortcomings is to whip a straw horse.

Spurgeon had many critics in his day. They often complained about his girth, the hair on his face, and at least one old lady nearly fainted when she heard something akin to humor in one of his sermons. Those journalists and church marms could always have exercised their personal rights of locomotion and declined to attend Spurgeon’s preaching.

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Book Review: Charity and its Fruits

Charity & Its FruitsCharity & Its Fruits by Jonathan Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is a thorough exposition of 1 Corinthians 13, which is an extensive description of Christian love. I had some quibbles here and there, but overall a very good book. Edwards did not make much of the overall context of the chapter being in the assembly of the local church in Corinth. Chapter 13 is written to a church and is about the corporate life of a church. Jesus said that the world would know his disciples by the Christ-like love they have for one another, and 1 Corinthians 13 is a thorough description of that one-another love. Edwards is well worth reading and this book is no exception.

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Book Review: When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man

When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of ManWhen People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man by Edward T. Welch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is encouraging, challenging, and deeply convicting. I appreciate how Welch brings the Gospel to bear on these issues and gets to the root sin in our fears. He distinguishes between needs and lusts, revealing the idolatry of the latter. I also greatly appreciated the emphasis on discipleship, or the role of the church body in discipling one another. I cannot imagine anyone reading this without having the author put a finger on some of their own root sins.

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