There were three books that I recommended to our church family for the month of November:
1. Trophies of God’s Grace: Testimonies of the Church Family of Berean Baptist Church, Idaho Falls, Idaho (ACW Press, 2010)
This book covers 43 testimonial chapters, spanning 133 pages. The opening testimony by Jeff Ashenfelter begins this way, “Like a wild animal, my oldest sister tore down the hallway, and pounced on my dad’s back to stop his ferocious attack. Our mom crouched in the corner, steeling herself for another blow from dad’s raised fist. That summarizes my first memory of my parents’ fighting.” And the closing testimony, mine, finishes on page 133, “Dear friends, concerning the Gospel principles in Scripture, there is only one way, only one hope for mankind to escape the just wrath of heaven. Look in faith to the One who was lifted up on the cross for you. Turn from sin in repentance. Turn to Jesus in trust. Let the Spirit wash and make you anew. And then, as you have experienced the amazing grace of gospel salvation, be an ambassador of reconciliation in this community. We have so much good news to declare. It is all God. All grace. All glory. Paradise regained. We are trophies of God’s grace.”
Get the book. If you haven’t read it in November, read it during the Christmas holiday. It is so fun to give a shout out to God’s glory and grace.
2. The Institutes of Christian Religion by John Calvin (edited by Tony Lane and Hilary Osborne)
In Baptist churches, some people enjoy Calvin, while others can’t stand him. But if you have never read Calvin, whether you love him or hate him, pick up this small, condensed volume. After reading Augustine last month, you can more easily identify with how Calvin quotes Augustine in his Institutes. Pastoral intern, Beau Floyd, in our church family wrote a two and a half page response on the book, covering three main topics: (1) Man, Deprived of Freewill is Miserably Enslaved, (2) The Necessity of Christ’s Incarnation, and (3) The Beginning and Progression of Justification. It is a nice summary. See him if you are interested in reading it.
3. The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything (Crossway, 2010) by Fred Sanders.
Fred talks about his book here – http://www.scriptoriumdaily.com/2010/08/23/the-deep-things-of-god-how-the-trinity-changes-everything/
Justin Taylor comments on the book – http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2010/08/12/the-deep-things-of-god-how-the-trinity-changes-everything/
Nick Norelli shares his review – http://rdtwot.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/the-deep-things-of-god-how-the-trinity-changes-everything/
As my church family knows, this is #1 on the list — that I expressed thanks for during our Sunday morning service before Thanksgiving.
P.S. – This Sunday at Berean will be Christmas at church as we pass out to the church family, three books for your December reading.
I started reading through the Institutes the other year, but had to set it aside for lack of time. I really ought to pick it up again sometime in the next few years to finish the job. Same with The Complete Works of Menno Simons, actually, with which I did the same thing.
Good recommendations; I love these sorts of posts.
That’s great, JB.