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Reading Updates

March 12, 2012

Someone at church yesterday asked me about the blog. They noticed that I had not blogged lately. And then they wondered how I even had time to blog anyway. I told them that I did not. Blogging is a luxury these days. When my schedule has time for it, and my mind has the energy also, I will sit down and write a few words for this mostly inconsequential corner of the internet. You see, blogging is the least of the things on my agenda these days. And if I get to it, it is because I have something pressing on my mind that I desire to share with those few faithful who read it, or I have some unexpected free time and energy (no golf, college basketball or football to check out :)).

Nevertheless, after he asked me about the blog, I was reminded that I have not updated my readings lately. Though I have not been blogging, you can be assured that I have been doing some reading. In fact, most of it has been rather encouraging and enlightening. Here are some books I have either read and am currently reading:

Praying Backwards by Bryan Chapell. (This book is currently being discussed by one of our men’s discipleship groups.) Last week the sermon was on Mark 11:11-25 (A Fruitful Faith) in which Jesus ends that section of scripture teaching on the importance of faith in prayer. In preparing for that message, I read Chapell’s book and found it both edifying and instructive. It informed my prayers and my sermon. Highly recommended.

The Joy of Calvinism by Greg Forster. This book is a well-written defense of Calvinism. Forster does a good job in detailing for us the inherent joy of the doctrines of grace, when they are biblically understood and applied. At times I found it overly apologetic in seeking to assert the truth. But this tends to happen when we know we must speak of the hard biblical doctrines, but don’t want to come across as being hard in speaking of them. I have found myself doing it a time or two. So I don’t knock Forster too much for this. All and all, this is a welcomed addition to the collection of volumes on Calvinism. Can’t get too much experiential reformed doctrine, if you ask me.

The Pilgrim’s Progress. I’ve read it more times than any book other than the Bible. I will continue to read it for the rest of my life. This time I am reading it with the fellas in my discipleship group. Some of them are reading it for the first time. Last week one of them said to me, “This may be my favorite book I have ever read.”  Mission accomplished!

Brothers, Rival, Victors: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and the Partnership that Drove the Allied Conquest in Europe.  Speaking of mission, wartime personalities, politicians, and heroes always fascinate me. I am always intrigued by their leadership, and how under pressure the leaders rise to the top. Leadership is lonely, misunderstood, and yet indispensable. Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley were all brilliant generals during the WWII. This book is really good. Learning more about Eisenhower and Bradley than I had ever known. Always knew Patton was both brilliant and crazy.  Can’t you tell? He’s the one in the middle!

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