Thursday, January 16, 2014

Reckless Abandon

Reckless Abandon: A modern-day Gospel pioneer's exploits among the most difficult to reach peoplesReckless Abandon: A modern-day Gospel pioneer's exploits among the most difficult to reach peoples by David Sitton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is my conviction as a mission leader, rather than encouraging this generation of young believers to pad their IRA retirement accounts, we should be pointing them towards packing their own coffins with a few belongings as they set sail for the strongholds of Satan in the 10 / 40 Window countries. (201)

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Martin Luther

Martin Luther: A LifeMartin Luther: A Life by Martin E. Marty

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Since then your serene majesty and your lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner, neither horned nor toothed. Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the Pope or in the councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience.” And possibly, “I cannot do otherwise, here I stand…May God help me. Amen.” (68)

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Think Slow

Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of GodThink: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God by John Piper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“This book is a plea to embrace serious thinking as a means of loving God and people. It is a plea to reject either-or thinking when it comes to head and heart, thinking and feeling, reason and faith, theology and doxology, mental labor and the ministry of love."   

Purpose of mind “The main reason God has given us minds is that we might seek out and find all the reasons that exist for treasuring him in all things and above all things.” (15)

Definition of loving God with mind: "our thinking should be wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things.” (83)

Quote on relativism:

Relativism enables pride to put on humble clothes and parade through the street. But don’t be mistaken. Relativism chooses every turn, ever pace, every street, according to its autonomous preferences, and submits to no truth. We will serve our generation well by exposing the prideful flesh under these humble clothes. (113)

Also cites Chesterton in fn 6 “We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.”

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in EverythingEyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything by Steve DeWitt

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What if we were to realize that every sunset viewed, every sexual intimacy enjoyed, every favorite food savored, every song sung or listened to, every home decorated, and every rich moment enjoyed in this life isn’t ultimately about itself but is an expression and reflection of God’s essential character? Wouldn’t such beautiful and desirable reflections mean that their Source must be even more beautiful—and, ultimately, most desirable? (8)

“Alice must grow small if she is to be Alice in Wonderland” (57, G. K. Chesterton)

Good stuff on how all art is sacred. Key question is whether it is true. However, as cross is source and standard of beauty, he could have shown how we evaluate all art and culture from the cross, as in Php 4.8-9.

God is "unbearably beautiful"! (179).

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Packer on Evangelism

Evangelism & The Sovereignty of GodEvangelism & The Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clarifies relationship between God’s sovereignty, man’s responsibility, and Christian’s evangelistic duty. Aim is to dispel notion that belief in God’s sovereignty will hinder evangelism (7-8)

Charles Simeon’s conversation with John Wesley (13-14): following is an excerpt

“Then, Sir, with your leave I will put up my dagger again; for this is all my Calvinism; this is my election, my justification by faith, my final perseverance…and therefore, if you please, instead of searching out terms and phrases to be a ground of contention between us, we will cordially unite in those things wherein we agree.”

Impersonal evangelism!

And therefore the indiscriminate buttonholing, the intrusive barging in to the privacy of other people’s souls, the thick-skinned insistence on expounding the things of God to reluctant strangers who are longing to get away—these modes of behavour, in which strong and loquacious personalities have sometimes indulged in the name of personal evangelism, should be written off as a travesty of personal evangelism. Impersonal evangelism would be a better name for them! 81-2


What, then, are we to say about the suggestion that a hearty faith in the absolute sovereignty of God is inimical to evangelism? We are bound to say that anyone who makes this suggestion thereby shows that he has simply failed to understand what the doctrine of divine sovereignty means. Not only does it undergird our evangelism, and uphold the evangelist, by creating a hope of success that could not otherwise be entertained; it also teaches us to bind together preaching and prayer; and as it makes us bold and confident before men, so it makes us humble and importunate before God. Is not this as it should be? We would not wish to say that man cannot evangelize at all without coming to terms with this doctrine; but we venture to think that, other things being equal, he will be able to evangelize better for believing it. (125-6)

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