Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best book ever

I rarely read a book twice.  It is not that I take it all in on the first read by any means, but just that there are so many good books to read.  So any book I reread must be something special.  I have just finished this morning my annual read of an all time classic, the ultimate best seller. I never fail to find something new in it.  Though some bits were a tough read the overall story line was dead simple to spot.  The leading character takes the stage in the first few pages and appears in virtually every chapter.  At some stages early in the book it seems that the author is putting in a lot of unnecessary detail but only later do you work out that it was all there so that the main character will be seen as so unique.  At several stages in the plot it seems that evil will win, in fact there is one great climax moment when it seems that the book is about to come to an abrupt end as the leading character gets put through some vile torture and executed.  But then there is a masterly twist in the tail when the lead rises from the dead and is made king over everything.
Every time I read this book my heart is drawn out to this main character.  I am finding that I want to start all over again and reread to see what more I can find out about him.  And there is one other thing - reading this book was utterly different from every other read in 2013.  Something happened in my heart when I read this, not every time, but on many occasions - it was as if author was addressing me, pointing out things in my life.  Yet again it just sort of got a grip of me, I was in the plot line too.
There is only one thing for it - starting tomorrow  I am going back to the beginning and if I am spared to make the 31st December 2014 I will have read it through one more time.

Engaging with Keller

This book published by Evangelical Press does exactly what it says in the title.  This book is a series of well written, thorough papers that seek to interact with some of the teachings of Tim Keller.  The chapters are written in a balanced and gentle manner and at the same time clearly set out the issues that are just under the surface in some of the preaching and teaching of the popular American minister.  The areas that the writers highlight include what Mr. Keller teaches about: sin, hell, the trinity, mission, evolution and ecclesiology.  For any student for the ministry or minister who reads or listens to Keller this is a must read.  For years I have benefitted and been blessed in reading and listening to Tim Keller. I don't intend to stop that having read this book. But I will read and listen in a more informed manner.
As well as high lighting areas of concern in Keller's ministry this book also stirs the preacher to guard his doctrine and teaching closely.  While our ministries will not have the audiences that Keller's has, nevertheless a group of people are being moulded by our preaching and teaching - so let us be on our guard.  Useful book for seminary students to study and debate.  It will hone your ministry for good.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Psalter Reclaimed, Gordon Wehham

This Crossways publication is a collection of articles based on addresses that Bible scholar Gordon Wenham has given.  There are eight chapters.
What are we doing singing the Psalms?
Praying the Psalms
Reading the Psalms canonically
Reading the Psalms Messianically
The Ethics of the Psalms
The Imprecatory Psalms
Psalm 103 The Son of steadfast love
The Nations in the psalms
This is a good read and a must for any theological college student wanting some deeper examination of God's songbook.  You will not agree with all that you find in these chapters but it will deepen your appreciation of the Psalter