Justin’s #58 – Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, David Platt, 240 pages

November 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

Early in the new year, I read David Platt’s new book, “Counter Culture“. I had actually heard about his book Radical but I had never read it, until now. The best way I can describe this book in a nutshell is from what Jesus said in Luke 9:23: “And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’” I think we read that and don’t take it seriously as Evangelical Americans. I think we read that and choose to ignore it. It’s not because we’re bad people (although, we do have wicked hearts) but I think it’s because we’ve been conditioned by a society that is so cultured to the opposition of what Christianity really is, we’ve lost our way a bit. This conditioning is due, in part, to the excessive wealth that being American has come to mean. Even those who live below the poverty line in this country are more wealthy than 60-80% of the world. David Platt understands this. And he wants you to take up your cross in a specific way. Because we live in a nation that adores the American dream. […]

Justin’s #57 – The Attributes of God Volume 2: Deeper into the Father’s Heart, A.W. Tozer, 352 pages*

November 2, 2015 // 0 Comments

One note about this book: I listened to this book and it was only about 8 hours which makes me a little skeptical that it was 352 pages long. But after looking at a couple different version, they are all about that long. So I put an asterisk on the page number (which I like to count up at the end of the year) just to clarify. Tozer begins this book by essentially asking the question, who is God? He reasons that we are to have faith in God for salvation, but whom are we having faith in? Who is this God? What makes Him special and unique among the myriad of “gods” that have appeared throughout history? I’m not sure that Tozer means that we must know everything there is about God in order to be saved (or to “have faith” in Him), but he makes sense in the fact that if you are a Christian, why wouldn’t you want to know Him better? Would that not give you a deeper understanding of the author of your salvation? So this is a book for all Christians. This is a book that is full of theological depth. And while we […]

Justin’s #44 – Desiring God, Revised Edition: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, John Piper, 368 pages

September 6, 2015 // 1 Comment

The motto of John Piper’s ministry could be “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” This is his definition of Christian hedonism. In essence, Desiring God is about being satisfied in God; making God our treasure. I think it is easy for us, as Evangelical Christians, to recite a prayer and believe that we have come to a type of saving faith. This is antithetical to Christian Hedonism: our desire to glorify God, according to Piper, stems from the joy we find in Him. Joy is a consistent theme for the Christian Hedonist. Hedonism defined means “the pursuit of pleasure; sensual self-indulgence.” But to the Christian Hedonist, joy is a result of giving God glory. Dr. Piper sets up his thesis by quoting the famous Westminster Catechism phrase, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” He says that enjoying Him and giving Him glory are the same thing. Therefore, Christian Hedonism (remember: the pursuit of pleasure) is doing things simply because you have the pleasure of giving God glory. The thought here is that sometimes Christians are inundated with denial. This denial makes us sometimes begrudgingly worship and do […]

Justin’s #41 – The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination, Loraine Boettner, 433 pages

August 26, 2015 // 0 Comments

There are few doctrines in the Christian faith that have produced so much consternation as the doctrine of predestination. In essence, the big debate is between two camps (there are more, but I won’t bother to delve into these): the “Calvinist” camp, which believes that man is entirely evil and that he cannot, on his own, come to salvation but God must intervene. Therefore, because God’s decreed will can never be thwarted, he “predestined” all who will come to salvation from before the foundations of the earth. The other camp is the Arminian camp, which believe that God has given up some of influence on man to allow us to have free will so that we can choose God on our own volition. Rightly so this has divided not only Evangelicalism, but Christianity in general. Loraine Boettner, a committed Presbyterian (ask him, he will tell you about it), wrote this book to flesh out some of the issues of the system of Calvinism. In his book, he introduces the doctrine and then examines each “point” of Calvinism that is commonly known in the acronym, “TULIP”: Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and the Preservation of the saints. He […]

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