Bibliophilism


Biographies:

Jonathan Edwards: A life, by George M. Marsden is a brilliant biography that goes deep into the life of a theological giant. One of the many things I liked about this biography was it brings you into the reasons and motives for most of his works.

Classics:

Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas is an excellent adventure novel. I usually don’t like to read books after I’ve seen the movie (the one that came out several years ago), but this was well worth it. The movie and the book are nothing alike except for the similar themes of revenge and imprisonment.

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson is another adventure novel that was a joy to read. If you want to find out where the name “Long John Silver” comes from, I would suggest reading this book.

Persuasion by Jane Austen was my fourth Austen novel. Though it wasn’t as good as some of here other works (IMHO), it still displayed the good ole Jane Austin style of writing that I’ve come to like. I find her to be a very talented and witty author.

Gospel:

God is the Gospel by John Piper, is a typical piper book, loaded with scripture and a strong theological foundation. This may be one of my favorite Piper books because God used it to give me a better and deeper understanding of the gospel.

Living the Cross Centered life by C.J. Mahaney is another book that gave me a better understanding of the gospel. The book was loaded with gospel truths and practical advice that encourages you to live the cross centered life.

Recent Fiction:

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Yes, I am a Harry Potter fan and I don’t just read them to engage the culture! Rowling is a brilliant author who has brought us one of the most popular serious of all time. She brings to life a story that is very intricate and always throws you for a loop.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling is the final book in the Harry Potter series. Does Harry and Voldermort live or die? Is Snape good or bad? What is the seventh Horcrux? Those are all questions that are answered in this book. And yes, I was one of those people who spent all of last Saturday reading it. All I can say is Wow!

I just got an email from a friend pointing me to the DG store.  On June 27-28, all books in the DG store are going for $5!!! (see the banner ad.)

Have you always wanted to give that special someone (named Mark) the Piper books he doesn’t have?  Now is your chance!

Ok, really, this is incredible.  I’m emailing my small group to see if we want to give away books to people, etc.

I’ve been reading “Jonathan Edwards: A Life” by George M. Marsden the past week.  If you couldn’t tell by the title, it’s a biography on the life of Jonathan Edwards.  The book has been engaging and stimulating, even for a biography. 

One part that completely caught me by surprise was the average marrying age of Northampton in the late 1720s and early 1730s.  From my previous understanding of marriage history (which is very limited), I would assume people during this era would have been married by, at the latest, their twentieth birthday.  I’ve always been under the impression that “back in the day,” people were marrying a lot younger and today’s marriage culture is a new phenomenon.  The “new” concept of marriage at an older age may not always have been the norm.  As Marsden points out, most men and women in Northampton around 1730 were in their late twenties when married (Edwards was early/mid twenties).  Now, this may have been a fluke and a rare occurrence, but shows that our “new” marriage culture may not be so new after all. 

I’ve been reading The Cross of Christ by John Stott and here are some excerpts that I’ve read the past couple of days. Enjoy and I would recommend this book as well!

The reason why many people give the wrong answers to questions about the cross, and even ask the wrong questions, is that they have carefully considered neither the seriousness of sin nor the majesty of God (Stott 91)

All inadequate doctrines of the atonement are due to inadequate doctrines of God and humanity. If we bring God down to our level and raise ourselves to his, then of course we see no need for a radical salvation, let along for a radical atonement to secure it. When, on the other hand, we have glimpsed the blinding glory of holiness of God and have been so convicted of our sin by the Holy Spirit that we tremble before God and acknowledge what we are, namely “hell-deserving sinners,” then and only then does the necessity of the cross appear so obvious that we are astonished we never saw it before. (Stott 111)

Stott, John. The Cross of Christ. 20th Anniversary Ed. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006.

In Chesterton’s chapter on Mr. Berhnard Shaw in the work Heretics, he suggests what should be running through Shaw’s mind when he catches a sight of his own feet:

What are those two beautiful and industrious beings,” I can imagine him murmuring to himself, “whom I see everywhere, serving me I know not why? What fairy godmother bade them come trotting out of elfland when I was born? What god of the borderland, what barbaric god of legs, must I propitiate with fire and wine, lest they run away with me?”

The Perspectives program has a helpful reading list, split up for all 15 weeks of the Perspectives course. You can check out the titles and course outline here. Go check it out!

If you haven’t read “The Holiness of God” by R.C Sproul, you need to move it up on the reading list. It has planted itself firmly in my top 5 book list.

Another book I’ve been working on for a while and almost finished is “Overcoming Sin and Temptation” by John Owen. If you haven’t read this book or don’t plan too, you need to put down your Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew and get some meat. 😉

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