The Already Not Yet: Post-Mid-Summer Reading Report – Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

With approximately four weeks of summer vacation left, my summer to-read list is shorter than I’d like. Here are the books that are on the list along with a blurb about each – generally in the tone of an explanation of why I’d like to read that particular book.

How to Read a Book Having heard John Piper recommend this book multiple times, it was only a matter of time before I had to pick it up. That, along with a desire to get the most out the other books I’d like to read puts this book in the front of the queue.

Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood Being that I agree with both Paul Jewett, when he said that “[sexuality] conditions every facet of one’s life as a person,” and Emil Brunner who contended that “[sexuality] penetrates to the deepest metaphysical ground of our personality,” I figured that it was about time to make a concerted effort to understand how biblical manhood is to “condition every facet of [my] life” (quotes from RBMW, pg. 34).

The Glory of Christ I’ve had this book for a little while now and, though I’ve wanted to, I’ve yet to read anything from John Owen. I decided that a book revolving around how glorious Christ is would be a good introduction to his works.

The One True God is a workbook on the doctrine of God containing a lot of Scripture references. Though I have only made it through the first two chapters, it has been delightful being led in a structured meditation on God as He is portrayed in the Bible – for in the Bible is found the only divinely inspired exposition of Who God is. I also want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Leiter of Lake Road Chapel for kindly giving me this workbook (as well as “Thoughts For Young Men,” which was mentioned in my last post).

Institutes of the Christian Religion Having benefited much from what little of Calvin I have read, I’m hoping to make it through the first book of the Institutes (probably primarily so I can say that I have read through the first book of the Institutes) afore the summer is out.

So there you have it, my summer reading, both past and future.

The Already Not Yet: Post-Mid-Summer Reading Report – Part 1

With summer a little more than half over it’s time to check out how the summer reading is going. Up first, a quick look at what I’ve read so far:

Don’t Waste Your Life This was the first book I read this summer. It was definitely a solid read – thoroughly challenging. The chapter on how not to waste you job (i.e. working 9-5 for the glory of God) was very good.

Future Men Well, this book was written for parents who are raising boys, which (obviously!) made me part of its target audience – not. Nonetheless, Doug Wilson did well to put out a decent definition of manhood while highlighting certain characteristics that parents need to be cultivating in their boys.

The chapter titled “Contempt for Cool” caught my attention, as even thinking about having a contempt for coolness is totally counterculture. My favorite quote from this book is definitely, “A biblical wife can outdo all the one-night-stands in the world. Information to the contrary is nothing more than lying propaganda.”

I thoroughly enjoy the way Wilson writes, he is witty, down to earth and humorous, making this book an enjoyable read.

Her Hand In Marriage This book was an excellent treatise on courtship. Dealing with everything from theological reasons for courtship to the practical outworking of how a wedding should be planned – and all of this in under 92 pages! The chapter on parents authority (in particular, the dads authority) over their daughters romantic interests was well worth the price of the book. Arguing from Numbers 30 (and other texts) Doug Wilson lays out a clear biblical case for the responsibility of fathers in their daughters lives – especially with regard to their marriage. Another enjoyable read from Mr. Wilson.

What Is A Healthy Church Spurred on by my need to pick a church to attend for the summer, yet not wanting to do so without some informed thought, I finally read What Is A Healthy Church by Mark Dever. This book is short and has short chapters, making it very easy to read. Reading this book did well to bolster my ecclesiology. I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to begin thinking more biblically about the Church.

A Survey Of The Old Testament Granted, this was one of the required text books for the summer class I just finished up; but I still had to read it, in all it’s thick, textbookieness. In short, I would describe this book as a glorified study Bible; that is, it contains all of the stuff (and more) that you find before each book in a study Bible. The authors give the outline, background, structure and organization, purpose and message, how the book was written, and the key theological themes for each of the books in the Old Testament. There are also chapters on the different genres found in the Old Testament – I found the piece on prophecy to be very helpful.

Cracking Old Testament Codes Another required read (courtesy of my class) but decent none the less. This book takes a more in depth look at the different genres contained in the Old Testament, including: narrative, historiography, law, nonproverbial wisdom, apocalyptic, lament, oracles of salvation and others. One of the best features of this book was that it included a piece on how to most effectively interpret each of the different genres – this was very beneficial.

Thoughts for Young Men This book was short, a lot shorter than I expected it to be. But, J.C. Ryle does a good job to pack an excellent exhortation to young men in only a few pages.

Next, stay tuned to see what books are in the queue for the rest of the summer in Part 2.

Even the Confessing Wedding Planner Knows God's Design for Marriage is Good

I recently read an article called Confessions of a Wedding Planner: 5 Signs a Couple Will Crash and Burn. The title caught my attention because I thought that this article might evidence that even those outside of Christendom are beginning to acknowledge and count as good God’s design for men and women in marriage.

Not surprisingly, the first two things this wedding planner identified as signs that a new marriage would not last were: 1) the bride refuses to let the groom choose the cake and 2) the groom lets his mom call the shots.

A bride who refuses to let the groom choose the cake is usurping his authority (granted, in a small way) and responsibility to lead in making decisions for the couple. In other words, she is refusing to fulfill her God given role within marriage – to intelligently submit to the leadership of her husband.

A groom who allows him mom to call all the shots is, quite simply, being a pansy. In allowing his mother to call the shots, he is not demonstrating an ability to both protect and lead his wife as he ought – “A man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).

In these two cases both the bride to be and the groom to be are already showing an inability to fulfill the distinct roles that God has called them to fulfill in their marriage relationship. Just as this wedding planner aptly noted, a marriage which is not lining up with God’s revealed will is a one that is headed on a course to “crash and burn.”

photo by B2COLD

Update: The link is fixed.

Links for You on 7.9.09

Sin Is No Small Matter

Think for a moment what the Bible says about sin:

  • how it dwells naturally in the heart of every man and woman alive (Ecc 7:20; Rom 3:23)
  • how it defiles our thoughts, words and actions, and that continually (Gen 6:5; Mat 15:19)
  • how it renders us all guilty and abominable in the sight of a holy God (Isa 64:6; Hab 1:13)
  • how it leaves us utterly without hope of salvation, if we look to ourselves (Psa 143:2; Rom 3:20)
  • how its fruit in this world is shame, and its wages in the world to come, death (Rom 6:21, 23)

Think calmly of all of this.

– J.C. Ryle in Thoughts For Young Men