Saturday, November 30, 2013

Hidden, The Secret of more in plain sight, Mark Buchanan

Mark Buchanan is a Canadian pastor and writer.  It has been a number of years now since I read his super book, Your God is too Safe.  This volume is based around II Peter 1v1-9 with each chapter working out in detail the components that Peter states are vital for a useful life.  Buchanan has some interesting and stimulating comments on each of the key characteristics - faith, virtue, knowledge, self control etc.  His style of writing in a strange sort of way is compelling reading and at yet at times frustrating, as for me, he gets carried away in his  description of details, pouring in every word in the Thesaurus.  You will certainly not agree with everything that he writes especially when he tends to speculation about the details of Peter's life.  However this is a worthwhile read and certainly thought provoking.  A useful stimulating read for any wishing to live a life of useful for the Lord Jesus and for anyone preparing a series of addresses on the life of Peter.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Expository Thoughts on the Gospels, John Volume 1, J.C.Ryle

The more I read of Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospels the more that I am convinced that no Christian home should be without a set of these devotional commentaries on the gospels.  With each volume Ryle seems to crank up the intensity of comments.  This first volume on John's gospel only covers the first six chapters of the gospel.  Ryle's comments are as usual pithy and heart warming.  But this volume takes his notes to a whole new level.  Often in this volume the footnotes exceed the commentary.  But even the notes, which are his gleanings of his reading are filled with a host of good things.
Forget the perfume, aftershave or whatever this coming season of present exchanging and buy something that will last and make a real difference.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Risk is Right, John Piper

This is more a booklet than a book as it comprises just over fifty pages.  It is vintage Piper, calling the people of God to a life of active risk taking service for Jesus Christ.  The subtitle is as good as the title, Better to lose your life than waste it.  After a forward by David Platt the book has eight short chapters each designed to push and entice followers of Jesus Christ out of their comfort zone and into battle.  Piper writes this book to give readers and taste for the more substantial book "Don't waste your life."
If you are looking for a giveaway booklet to stir friends for the new year this is it.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Crazy Busy, Kevin Deyoung

This book caught my eye because I am 50 plus and far too busy.  But I guess I am not on my own.  It is just a short book of 120 pages but is packed with dynamite.  Be prepared to have your sin exposed as the writer gets to the heart of why we are often crazy busy.  After an opening chapter or two to set the scene the writer then gives seven reasons why we are so busy.  Each chapter is well written, honest and hard hitting.  The final chapter is the best of all.  There are no self make overs offered in this little volume, just honest heart searching and the only remedy clearly presented.
Highly recommended for all you busy people.  If you are too busy to read a 120 page book it is time to get a grip.

Because He Loves Me, Elyse Fitzpatrick

This is a masterly application of the gospel to the life the believer.  If you haven't yet realised it most believers suffer from spiritual amnesia and this book is designed to help you remember.  It comprises some twelve chapters and in each of these the gospel is clearly explained and gentle pressed into your heart.  The writer is a skilled communicator with that wonderful knack of getting the healing balm of the message of Jesus' life, death and resurrection slipped right into where we need it.
If you are prone to discouragement, depression, or just being downcast - you simply must read this.
Each chapter ends with some questions which could easily be expanded to form the basis of a small groups study. Excellent material here too for the preacher who needs to learn to apply the gospel to the people of God.