Why These Books?

Why These Books? June 13, 2016

Each summer, the elders supply a selection of recommended books that connect with our sermon series—an implicit encouragement to take advantage of the extra leisure of summer to cultivate our minds and nurture our faith with some good reading. Today, you’ll find a dozen excellent titles for sale on the table in the lobby. Here’s a brief word about why each might be worth considering for your prayerful study.

In Counsel from the Cross, Elyse Fitzpatrick and Dennis Johnson start from the assumption that the gospel really is God’s cure-all, and they proceed to work out practically how it transforms our hearts, our emotions, and our relationships.

Counterfeit Gods is Tim Keller’s typically incisive explanation of why the idols of our age (i.e., money, sex and power) can never satisfy our souls; yet there is Someone who will.

Kris Lundgaard has done all of us a service in The Enemy Within by making accessible the profound insights of John Owen’s classic The Mortification of Sin. This book is, as the subtitle claims, straight talk about power and defeat of sin.  

I’ve read several books on anxiety, trust, and fear; Max Lucado’s Fearless is one of my favorites. Devotional and tender, this book confronts all of the most common and frightening threats we face in our fallen world.

Finishing our Course with Joy, by J. I. Packer, is the one book on the table I’ve not read, but Karl Peterson recommended it to me and so I feel confident recommending it to you! It will be one of my own summer reads.

Tim Lane and Paul Tripp use everyday language and stories to offer us a seminary-level explanation of sanctification in How People Change.

All I can say about Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands is that this is one of the top 5 books I have ever read, in terms of its impact on my life.

For years, Aundrea and I have used Gary and Betsy Ricucci’s Love That Lasts in our premarital counseling, because we believe it’s the best book available on how the gospel applies to our most intimate relationship. Need a boost in your marriage? Read—and apply!—this book.

Ken Sande’s The Peacemaker has been my constant counselor over the past 15 years since I first read it, frequently coming off the shelf to speak biblical wisdom and practical advice into my life (and sermons) for how to deal with conflict of any kind.

Every essay in David Powlison’s Seeing with New Eyes is excellent, but his “X-ray Questions” is worth the price of the book. I cannot recall how many times I read and distributed this penetrating article.

Jerry Bridges’ Trusting God is the best popular treatment of God’s sovereignty—and thus His trustworthiness—that I have ever read. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I wish every Christian would read it!

This last title says it all: When People are Big and God is Small. According to Ed Welch, pride, fear of man, peer pressure, and shame all find their antidote in the fear of the Lord.