Mind in Renewal

"Do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed through the renewal of your mind" -Romans 12:2

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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Spurgeon and Edwards

Posted by Daniel Edwards on December 23, 2009

I recently finished reading The Power in Prayer by Charles Spurgeon. Though short in length, this book delves far beyond the surface of its subject matter and provides helpful insights into both the reasons and modes of prayer. Starting from the most basic aspects of prayer, Spurgeon masterfully progresses to some deeper and perhaps less thought of facets of the praying life. I especially appreciated Spurgeon’s challenge to prepare myself as I come before the Lord of the Universe to make my petitions as well as his treatment of “Order and Argument in Prayer”, which I will be posting on later (Lord willing). In all, I recommend this book to you wholeheartedly for your edification.

Another resource that has been encouraging and enlightening to me has been the audiobook A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards, written by George Marsden and produced by Hovel Audio. This audiobook has been an insightful overview of Edwards’ life that sets itself apart from other biographies in its comparison and contrast of Edwards to his contemporary Benjamin Franklin. Another short book (about four hours in length), A Short Life receives my full endorsement.

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Christmas Giveaway

Posted by Daniel Edwards on December 16, 2009

Trevin Wax has another Christmas giveaway this year. The winner will receive an ESV Study Bible, Trevin Wax’s latest book, Holy Subversion, and these ten books for free:

1. Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1859-2009– Greg Wills
2. Unfashionable– Tullian Tchividjian
3. Deep Church– Jim Belcher
4. The Case for Life– Scott Klusendorf
5. The God Who Smokes– Timothy Stoner
6. Adopted for Life– Russell Moore
7. Manhunt– James Swanson
8. Counterfeit Gods– Tim Keller
9. Why We Love the Church– Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
10. The God I Don’t Understand– Christopher Wright

To enter for this contest, visit his blog here.

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Billy

Posted by Daniel Edwards on December 16, 2009

Billy Graham has been a faithful servant of God for many years and a man that has always been known for his moral strength and dependence on God. I recently was able to get a closer look at his life through the eyes of one of his close friends.

Billy: A Personal Look at Billy Graham, the World’s Best-loved Evangelist, by Sherwood Eliot Wirt, is less of a biography about the events in Mr. Graham’s life and more about revealing the character of a great servant of God as seen from a man who was close to him for many years. If you want to get to know Billy Graham and how God worked through him throughout his many crusades over the year, then I recommend this book to you.

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Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem

Posted by Daniel Edwards on November 30, 2009

At around 1600 pages, Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem is, as of now, the longest book that I have ever read (excluding the Bible). Though it is technically written to be a text book, Grudem’s Systematic Theology is one of the most accessible books discussing theological matters that I have ever read. The only time that I found things hard to understand was when the subject matter itself was difficult, never was I turned away because of Grudem’s wording.

I recommend this book as a resource that should be in every Christian household. It’s accessibility and plain language make it easy to find answers and study theological subjects. As Christians, we are all theologians, in that we all should be studying about God and the things of God. For those who have never did any real theological study, this book is a wonderful place to start.

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Reasons Not to Look for Signs

Posted by Daniel Edwards on November 28, 2009

Many of us, as we read the story of Gideon, are tempted to think that because Gideon sought God’s will through a miraculous sign then so should we. However, as J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom point out in their book, Guard Us, Guide Us, they break down several reasons why this is not a correct assumption. They are as follows:

1. Most of the Bible had not yet been composed in Gideon’s day (the books of Moses and maybe Joshua) and there is no reason to think that country-boy Gideon would have had access to what there was.

2. Gideon’s situation was significantly different than our own: he had already been visited by an angel of God. Also, the fate of a nation was being decided, not a personal decision as in our own experiences.

3. Gideon was asking for reassurance, whereas when we “put out a fleece” we are coming dangerously close to what Jesus called putting God to the test (Matthew 4:7, citing Deutoronomy 6:16).

4. “…to treat the Old Testament account of someone’s action or experience as a model for ourselves without taking into account the difference made by the coming of Jesus, and the completing of revelation, and the writing of canonical Scripture, plus the present reality of the full post-Pentecost ministry of the Holy Spirit, is always a mistake.”

5. “Laying down a fleece” may easily be a sign of laziness with almost no character development.

6. When the Antichrist comes, he will be accompanied by “many signs and wonders”.
(taken from pages 39-44)

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Guarded by the Good Shepherd

Posted by Daniel Edwards on November 27, 2009

I’ve been a little behind on letting you know about the books I’ve been reading, but I would like to try to remedy that in the upcoming week or so. So, for starters, I would like to recommend to you Guard Us, Guide Us, by J.I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom.

In their book, the authors explain biblically what divine guidance is, starting from Psalm 23. They relate how God guides us not normally through impressions, visions, or other subjective spiritual experiences, but rather through His Word, through other Christians, and the wisdom that we get from them. They seek to dispel the notion that making decisions without any overt affirmation from God is somehow less spiritual than acting upon personal revelation. In fact, they argue, it takes more spiritual maturity to examine the Bible, understand its principles and evaluating how they relate to your situation so that you can make the right decision –and they expound upon how to do that effectively.
I recommend this book to any who are seeking God’s guidance in their lives… which should be all followers of Christ.

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From Whence this Fear and Unbelief?

Posted by Daniel Edwards on November 20, 2009

From whence this fear and unbelief?
Hath not the Father put to grief
His spotless Son for me?
And will the righteous Judge of men
Condemn me for that debt of sin
Which, Lord, was charged on Thee?

Complete atonement Thou hast made,
And to the utmost Thou hast paid
Whate’er Thy people owed
How then can wrath on me take place,
If sheltered in Thy righteousness
And sprinkled with Thy blood.

If thou hast my discharge procured,
And freely in my room endured
The whole of wrath divine.
Payment God cannot twice demand
First at my bleeding Surety’s hand
And then again at mine.

Turn then, my soul, unto thy rest!
The merits of thy great High Priest
Have bought thy liberty.
Trust in His efficacious blood
Nor fear thy banishment from God
Since Jesus died for thee!

by Augustus Toplady, quoted in Knowing God by J.I. Packer

Posted in Books, Hymns | 1 Comment »

Michael Crichton Came Close… But Missed It

Posted by Daniel Edwards on November 13, 2009

Michael Crichton was a popular science fiction writer who died last year and whose most famous works include: Congo, The Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park and The Lost World. He was well-known for his way of incorporating cutting edge and controversial scientific issues into his fictional stories. And he was often good at hitting on key philosophical and ethical issues in a profound way. He certainly recognized the enormous complexity and wonder of the universe. In The Lost World he writes:

“[Darwin had no idea] that life is so unbelievably complex… Nobody realizes it. I mean, a fertilized egg has a hundred thousand genes, which act in a coordinated way, switching on and off at specific times, to transform that single cell into a complete living creature. That one cell start to divide, but the subsequent cells are different. They specialize. Some are nerve. Some are gut. Some are limb. Each set of cells begins to follow its own program, developing, interacting. Eventually there are two hundred and fifty different kinds of cell, all developing together, at exactly the right time. Just When the organism needs a circulatory system, the heart starts pumping. Just when hormones are needed, the adrenals start to make them. Week after week, this unimaginably complex development proceeds perfectly –perfectly. It’s incredible. No human activity comes close…

“I mean, you ever build a house? A house is simple in comparison. But even so, workmen build the stairs wrong, they put the sink in backward, the tile man doesn’t show up when he’s supposed to. All kinds of things go wrong. And yet the fly that lands on the workman’s lunch is perfect.”

However, to my knowledge, Crichton never professed faith in the Lord Jesus before he died. Crichton glimpsed the glory of the Lord in His creation, but unfortunately he didn’t see God in it, nor did he accredit it to the Lord, but instead to chance. I pray that others would not make the same mistake.

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Westminster Bookstore

Posted by Daniel Edwards on October 30, 2009

Attention book lovers! If you have not heard of Westminster Bookstore, you’ll be glad to know that this online bookstore has a wealth of resources for every Christian bibliophile and for every Christian in general. Some of the advantages of buying from Westminster:

1. Westminster’s prices are often equal or less than that of other comparable sites, such as Amazon.
2. It is easier to find certain Christian books than at other websites.
3. When you buy from Westminster, you’re supporting a Christian organization.

Next time you’re looking for a Christian book, I encourage you to go to the Westminster Bookstore online.

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Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

Posted by Daniel Edwards on July 16, 2009

N.D. Wilson has released his new book, Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl. If it sounds interestin, watch the trailer below or read about the new book on Justin Taylor’s blog. All I can say is that I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl trailer from Gorilla Poet Productions on Vimeo.

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