Saturday, February 15, 2014

Book Reviews

Partially because I read so few books last year and partially because I have so many in front of me that I really want to read, I’m trying to be consistent in daily reading time. I have finished several books so far this year (for some of you this may be nothing and to others impressive, so don’t compare yourself). I decided that it would be fruitful to write short summaries of the books I’ve read so far, for my own benefit as I look back on them, and to share with you, as you might consider reading them. There are much better reviews than mine on many of these, so if you want to look into them, be sure to search for others.

Here to There: Getting from CROSS to Your Mission Field
This book is practical as well as solid. It summarized many things I heard at the CROSS conference and gave insight into how to pursue foreign missions. With a huge emphasis on the church, it gives tips on how to get your church involved, how to be sent by a church, what a missions organization can do for you, and how to be careful to make sure your goal in missionary work is primarily the gospel and the planting of churches. Additionally it speaks of what it means to be qualified to serve as a full-time missionary, something we tend to negate in lieu of our “missionary calling”. I recommend it for any teen or adult interested in furthering the gospel globally.

Filling up the Afflictions of Christ, by John Piper
Powerful testimonies of the cost of spreading the gospel to all people. John Piper summarizes the lives of William Tyndale, John Paton and Adoniram Judson, and reveals how their lives were gospel-centered and devoted to following the Lord no matter where it took them or what it cost them.

Crazy Busy, by Kevin DeYoung
Not as short as I expected, but not long my any means. Packed with great information to help you think through your reasons and motives in being “busy”. After all “Busyness does not mean you are a faithful or fruitful Christian. It only means you are busy, just like everyone else.” (Crazy Busy) A lot of times we’re busy because we’re focusing on meeting every need or pleasing people rather than God. Sometimes it’s because we spend too much time in front of a screen. Sometimes ministering to others is just inefficient and causes us to be busy. You can be busy for a variety of reasons. This book is not one full of formulas or answers to make your life less-busy, but rather direction on how to help set your priorities straight and stay Christ-focused in the midst of seasons of busyness.

Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung
I had somewhat of a negative assumption about this book, based off a couple quotes I read beforehand, so I was eager to read the whole thing for myself. I appreciated and agreed with many of the points in this book. However I do think it would have been helpful if there had been a bit more clarification when it came to how to choose a spouse, as it came across as though if you meet a Christian, you can automatically marry, without considering whether you have similar passions, direction for the future, goals, etc. Now, this book wasn’t entirely marriage based, so he couldn’t have spent too much time getting into all that, so I’ll give him some grace. One thing I really appreciated in this book was that Kevin DeYoung said that one thing Christians tend to forget about when praying about where to take a job is whether there is a good, solidly biblical church in the area. Being a part of a local church is so important, so we mustn’t dismiss this question. I also think his emphasis on considering how God wants to sanctify us and if and how we are loving the Lord with our heart, soul and mind was great. Unfortunately, many Christians can get caught up in the “What does God want me to do?” (usually involving a non-moral decision, not a clear-cut command in Scripture), to the neglect of the things we ARE to do. It may come across a bit “extreme” in regards to some things, but I believe Christians can glean much wisdom from this book.

Dug Down Deep, Joshua Harris
I re-read this book as I haven’t read it since it came out a few years ago. I was pleased with the truth packed into this easy-read. It answers many apologetics-like questions in an interesting way, and compels you to know and study theology. Great introduction to learning how to answer questions like: Who is God? What is He like? Who is Jesus? Why did He have to die? What is salvation? What is the purpose of the church? Why study theology? The format is not too intellectual that it will go over your head, but still includes deep truth. Solid and biblical. He hits hard the importance of studying theology, and yet reminds us what it means to embrace it humbly. I recommend for anyone who is interested in theology or who wonders why theology even matters. “We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true.” (Dug Down Deep)


No comments: