Category Archives: book recommendation

Numbness will be the Exception, not the Norm

Some rich, gospel encouragement from an excerpt of Jared Wilson’s upcoming book.

But! Oh man. If we are regularly and excitedly engaging people in the good news of the finished saving work of the sacrificing, dying, rising, exalted, sovereign Jesus Christ who is the death-proof, fail-proof King of kings before all things and in all things and holding all things together as he sustains the world by the mere word of his power, the ones whose hearts are opened by the Spirit to be won to Christ will be irrevocably changed. Numbness will be the exception, rather than the norm. We will not have to lead them through hoops of creative entertainment, constantly hamstrung by the limits of our artistic brainstorming sessions, seeking to keep their attentions stirred by a well-composed aesthetic this or that.


A Book I Want to Read

My buddy, Bob, is reviewing a book that I can’t wait to get into–Jared Wilson’s Your Jesus is Too Safe.


Fight Clubs Book Now Available!

I am pumped to announce that my good friend, Jonathan Dodson, has just released his book Fight Clubs: Gospel-Centered Discipleship! I strongly believe that God is going to use this book to help many men and women to fight sin and trust the Savior–through the gospel, without legalism or license, as a community, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of God.

Here’s Jonathan in his own words…

My first book, Fight Clubs: Gospel-centered Discipleship, is now available free online and by print-on-demand. This book has been a process. My adult years as a struggling disciple of Jesus have shaped this book. From my failures in college to my successes in ministry, following Jesus has been both difficult and rewarding. Sufferings, temptations, and personal sin can be a beating. The gospel of grace uplifting. I thank God that He fights for me, for us, in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ!

This book was written for the church, for disciples who struggle to follow Jesus well. It’s intended to equip you to fight the fight of faith in the power of the gospel, and to do so as Jesus intended, in community. My hope is that it will strengthen your resolve to fight the good fight of faith well (1 Tim 6:12), and in the strength that God provides (1 Pet 4:11). I hope it helpfully dismantles legalistic and loose patterns of discipleship and frees you to follow Jesus by grace. May it inspire you with the rich gospel motivations God has given us in the Son and the Spirit to follow hard after God!

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New Tolkien Book Arriving May 2009

Like the Children of Hurin I have high hopes for Tolkien’s new book, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún. But my expectations are quite different since The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is not the latest installment of Tolkien’s ‘forgotten stories’ of Middle Earth. Rather it is Tolkien’s retelling of the Norse sagas, that over 70 years ago, inspired Tolkien to sub-create his own mythology for England.

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is a previously unpublished work by J.R.R. Tolkien, written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford during the 1920s and ‘30s, before he wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It makes available for the first time Tolkien’s extensive retelling in English narrative verse of the epic Norse tales of Sigurd the Völsung and The Fall of the Niflungs. It includes an introduction by J.R.R. Tolkien, drawn from one of his own lectures on Norse literature, with commentary and notes on the poems by Christopher Tolkien. (From the Publishers)

Read the Forward by Christopher Tolkien at The Tolkien Library.

To better understand and appreciate Tolkien’s literary genius check out Tom Shippey’s The Road to Middle Earth: How Tolkien created a New Mythology.

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Posted by on April 27, 2009 in book recommendation, Tolkien


He Who Does Not Read Books Proves He Has No Brain at All!

If ever there were an unassailable defense for building a library of great books (and READING them!), this is it. Listen to my hero, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, explain the great need for reading sound works of theology as he preaches about 2 Timothy 4:13 and Paul’s request for Timothy to bring his books.

We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read. . . . A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot, and talks any quantity of nonsense, is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men’s brains—oh! that is the preacher. How rebuked are they by the apostle!

He is inspired, and yet he wants books!

He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books!

He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books!

He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books!

He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books!

He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books!

The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own.

Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”—join in the cry.



50 FREE John Piper Books

In case you didn’t know. You can get  about 50 titles by John Piper for FREE, here. Thank you, God, for Desiring God Ministries!


Wicked-Good Sovereign Grace Music and Book Sale

Bob Kauflin just announced Sovereign grace is having another wicked-good sale this February.

From February 1–28, at the Sovereign Grace store, you’ll find these prices:

  • Sovereign Grace books (23 of them, including Worship Matters, Worldliness, and Living the Cross Centered Life): $7 each
  • All CDs produced by Sovereign Grace Music (including Together for the Gospel Live, Psalms, Come Weary Saints, Awesome God, In a Little While, and Valley of Vision): $6 each

Plus there’s free shipping in the continental US (library rate) and serious discounts for international orders too.


Because the people of Sovereign Grace know how that a bad economy is not a good enough excuse for people to stop listening to and reading God-centered resources.

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Posted by on January 28, 2009 in book recommendation, frugal, music


Tim Keller and The Prodigal God

While I was ordering my ESV Journaling Bible from Westminister Bookstore, I happened to see that Tim Keller’s got a new book coming out this October. It’s called The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. It’s based on his previous sermon “The Prodigal Sons.” Essentially Keller argues that there are two ways to live your life without Jesus as your Savior. The first is obvious, irreligion–live any way you darn well please (younger brother). The second is subtler, religion–live a good life so you will be accepted (elder brother).

Here’s the description…

This short book is meant to do no less than lay out the essentials of the Christian message, the gospel. It can therefore serve as an introduction to the Christian faith for those who are unfamiliar with it or who may have been away from it for some time.

This volume is not just for seekers, however. Many lifelong Christian believers feel they understand the basics of the Christian faith quite well and certainly don’t think they need a primer. Nevertheless, one of the signs that you don’t grasp the unique, radical nature of the gospel is that you think you do. Sometimes long-time church members find themselves so struck and turned around by a fresh apprehension of the Christian message of grace that they feel themselves to have been essentially “reconverted.” This book, then, is written to both curious outsiders and established insiders of the faith, to both the people jesus calls “younger” and “elder” brothers in his famous Parable of the Prodigal Son.


Sovereign Grace CDs for Six Bucks

During the whole month of February you’ll be able to buy all the incredible music of Sovereign Grace Ministries for only $6 a CD! Books, too, will be severely discounted. Not to mention free shipping!

Bob Kauflin fills us in on why they’ve decided to be so ridiculously generous…

Why are we doing this? A few reasons. The primary mission of Sovereign Grace Ministries is to serve Sovereign Grace pastors who are giving their lives to build Gospel-centered local churches. We want to do everything we can to help them serve the people they lead. Providing Christ-exalting, biblically faithful music and books in one of the ways we can do that. We also want to make it as easy as possible for other churches and individuals to have access to what we produce. We figured that lowering the price of everything we’ve done is a step in that direction. We also want more people to hear our music and read our books because we produced them to encourage God-glorifying, Gospel-centered, Spirit-empowered living.Basically, it makes us happy to get our materials out for the lowest price possible.


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Posted by on January 28, 2008 in book recommendation, music


Most Important Worship Resource of 2008?

Bob Kauflin’s book Worship Matters: Leading Others to Encounter the Greatness of God will be available in April 2008. Having been hugely blessed by Bob’s blog Worship Matters, his various lectures, and his God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-empowered songs…I am willing to go out on a limb and say that this book is going to be the most important worship resource of 2008!

You can pre-order it here. I hope to share the contents and endorsements as they come out.

For now here’s a small taste…

What is our greatest hindrance in worshipping God? We could come up with a number of potential answers.

“Our worship leader isn’t very experienced.”
“The services are too planned/spontaneous.”
“The songs are too complex/simple.”
“The band/orchestra/organist/guitarist sounds bad.”
“There are too many new/old songs.”
“Our church is too big/small.”

Ignoring for a moment that all these statements refer to a meeting context, they reveal a profound misconception about the hindrances to true worship. Contrary to what we might think, our greatest problem doesn’t lie outside us, but within our own hearts. It’s the problem of idolatry.

–from “Worship Services: Idolatry on Sunday Mornings”


Posted by on December 13, 2007 in book recommendation, worship