Mark’s #44 – The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller (2013)

November 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

As we read the Bible, the Apostle Paul stands out. He walks in freedom and in Joy – but why?  He was certainly aware of both his failures and his successes, but he refused to be defined by either. His heart had been supernaturally transformed by the gospel of grace. In this book, Tim Keller unpacks Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian church with the secret to his freedom (1 Cor. 3:21–4:7) – He doesn’t focus on himself or judge himself, he focuses on Christ and His righteousness and finished work on his behalf. Though short, this book unpacks a truth worth soaking in.  Pick it up and read it in one sitting. The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. Because the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.   True gospel-humility means I stop connecting every experience, every conversation, with myself. In fact, I stop thinking about myself. The freedom of self-forgetfulness. The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness

Mark’s #43 – You Are Not Special: …And Other Encouragements by David McCullough, Jr. (2015)

November 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

David McCullough, Jr., son and namesake of the famous historian, high school english teacher, husband and father of four sprang into the public eye with his now famous graduation speech entitled, “You Are Not Special.”  This book, is an expansion of the speech as McCullough challenges many aspects of our culture, it’s definition of success, the pressure put on students, the distractions of the modern world, micromanaging parents, the disfunction of youth sports and activities, and more. McCullough shares stories of fatherhood, teaching, and his own childhood.   He encourages students, parents, and school administrations to cast aside this obsessive pursuit of what we have collectively determined to be success.  Parents hover, teachers bow to pressure to lower standards and raise grades, and students have stopped taking risks for fear of failure. Against this pressure, McCullough encourages readers and students to step out, pursue life, pursue joy, and to make a difference in the world.  Learn for the sake of learning.  Play sports for fun.  Read constantly. Write something. Stay humble. “You see, if everyone is special, then no one is.  If everyone gets a trophy, trophies become meaningless.  In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one […]

Mark’s #42 – Revival by Stephen King (2015)

November 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

Occasionally I enjoy reading Stephen King because I know the story will always be creative and sometimes thought-provoking.  At other times, King is just a bit too bizarre for my tastes – Revival is on of those books. I appreciate King’s unique perspective, but more often than not, when it comes to metaphysical reality, he seems to paint a caricature of Christianity.  In this case, the protagonist of the story is a former Methodist pastor who bitterly turns away from faith upon the tragic death of his young wife and son.  What follows is a life of pursuing ‘special power’ and various healings through electrical treatment.  To conduct his experiments and healings, Charlie Jacobs eventually becomes a t.v. ‘faith healer’… At any rate, I was fairly bored by the book, I persisted to the end, but just barely.

Mark’s #41 – Einstein: His Life and Universe (2008)

November 29, 2015 // 0 Comments

I’m running out of time trying to get these books read and reviewed, so I’ll be brief with this one. Biographer Walter Isaacson opens the door on one of the most significant lives of the 20th century.  While there was plenty of scientific lingo that went above my head in the book, the majority of the book explored the person and unique personality of Einstein.  He was a man who challenged conventional thinking, cherished creativity, and loved individuality and personal freedom.  He was also a deeply flawed man (as we all are).  He was not a good husband or father, often absent and consumed with his work. He also was an advocate of world peace, yet his solution of a one world government seems misguided to me.

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