How do we deal with flaws done by people in the past that we look up to? Whether it’s Spurgeon’s smoking cigar, Luther’s anti-Semitism, Thomas Cranmer’s recanting his Protestant belief (and recanting his recantations before going to the stake) or Bonheoffer‘s involvement to assassinate Hitler, these flaws tainted the respect we hold so dear to them (or has it?). We don’t want those “just human” or “no one is perfect” responses. Those excuses will sweep the issue under the rug. What we do want is something that will confront those flaws head on with godly wisdom that will benefit us.Read More »
J. I. Packer: His Life and Thought offers the readers the life, faith, career, works and controversies of this influential theologian. The set up of the book is giving the narrative first then the analysis from McGarth. So this is not the usual all narrative and then the conclusion will give the analysis of the person. This will give you a breather from the narrative to examine what takeaways we can get from that part of Packer’s life. Both the narratives and reflections are meaty and in some parts of the book, you can’t distinguish each other. I like how McGarth gives a satisfying context of certain events, people, books and career moves of Packer that shaped his life. You won’t get lost reading this book.Read More »
Here’s some quotes from the book, J. I. Packer: His Life and Thought by Alister McGarth published by InterVarsityPress. If you like these quotes, consider supporting the author by purchasing the book by clicking this link.
“In studying the past, we can think of ourselves as stepping into the laboratory of faith, seeing how ideas were developed and explored, and checked out against their biblical moorings, their apologetic potential and their capacity to deepen our love for God – to mention just three criteria, to which more could be easily added.”Read More »
I started the year by checking some of the free audiobooks I accumated by subscribing at Christian Audio. I want to listen to something. If I’m enjoying podcasts over Spotify these audiobooks will fill my time with spiritual stuff. So I started with a biography from a prominent Christian and secular rapper, Lecrae.
“If you live for people’s acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection.”
“If you are a politician, you don’t have a “secular” job. If you are a computer programmer, you don’t have a “secular” job. The term secular is defined as an attitude, activity, or thing that has no religious or spiritual basis. But there is nothing on the planet that God isn’t ruling over. Everything a believer touches and uses in a way that honors God is, in a sense, no longer “secular.”
“Success is not what I’ve done compared with what others have done. Success is what I’ve done compared with what God has called me to do.”
“But before God could change me, He needed to mature me. And before God could mature me, He needed to move me.”
“There is no such thing as Christian rap and secular rap. Only people can become Christians. Music can’t accept Jesus into its heart. So I am not trying to make Christian music or secular music. I’m just making music. Hip-hop, like all music, is a good thing. I could use it for evil by filling it with violence and misogyny and profanity. Or I can use it to glorify God.”
“A person can be removed from slavery in an instant, but it takes a lifetime for slavery to be removed from a person.”
“Two thousand years ago, the apostle John wrote, “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.”17 Not much has changed in two millennia. Achieving what the world calls “success” has taught me that these are still three of the world’s main temptations.”
“Even though He knew all my mistakes, God still died for me. I don’t even like God, and God loves me. Despite everything, God bought me at a price.”
We all want to read a book that has something to do the occasion to make us more appreciative on the event. Come Reformation Day 2018 and a book came to me that is quite not the book I’m expecting read. Its bio book about a certain Reformer that has a concoction of history, humor and cartoons in it.
The Real Martin Luther is a bio book for the rest of us. The reasons are from being too lengthy or too boring to read. Josh took Luther from the stained glass and introduces him as a human flaws and all. I think every biography book strives to present the person as ordinary as possible so we can easily relate on whom he was and what he has done. The Real Martin Luther goes beyond that by injecting humor to the narrative. It’s getting the low down on Martin Luther without hitting below the belt. Luther wasnt drag to the mud here. This book reminds me of Plato and a Platypus Walks into a Bar… adding comedy to a boring subject.
The artwork is awesome and also hilarious. Brynn James sets the tone on how we should visualize the book with just the right artwork style. She then puts some millennial and hipster references here and there to poke fun to Luther. Sometimes it complements the text and sometimes it’s a standalone humor. My only hopes for future volumes are that they go all out in artwork as in turn it into a comicbook.
This book is the first volume of the Holy Misfits series so we should expect there is more of this stuff. You’ll finish The Real Martin Luther not really laughing so hard to forget it all together, but with a fresh outlook on this reformation hero. A bit bold and a bit uncomfortable for readers who usually digest the usual biography book. But then again this is a totally different bio book. It’s history that is entertaining. This book is definitely a must read (re-read) for everyone.
5 out of 5
(The review copy of this book is provided by the author)
This is a first of its kind commemorative children’s book about one of the greatest Christian missionary, Hudson Taylor. The story of how God calls Taylor is one story every kids and adult should not miss. Read how God guides Hudson Taylor’s trial and triumphs as steps to fulfill what the Lord has imprinted in his heart: to bring the gospel to China.
Indeed this book explicitly celebrates how God used Hudson Taylor to China. Accompanied by stunning artwork by Jether Amar, the story came to life in bursting colors and dramatic scenes.
Looking forward for more of this kind of biographical books for children. This book is badly needed in these times were kids look for superheroes. Hiyas presented more than a hero but a man of God that made ripples for the gospel for generations to come. I hope they will publish more of like this.
Teachers Can Make an Impact
I once read a T-Shirt that somewhat reads “Teacher’s Makes Impact to a Student for Eternity”. Indeed, teachers does have that ability. They are the ones that build up a person that will also make an impact to others. Do you remember your teachers in elementary and high school? What kind of teachers do you remember that really did influenced you? Is he the kind one or the terror you dont want to attend the class? Who every he or she is, you should be thankful because of that teacher, you were able to read this article.
Speaking of teachers, Galatians 3:24 states that the law (specially the 10 Commandments) is a teacher (schoolmaster or tutor in other Bible translations) that leads us to Christ. Without this law we will not know that we sin against God (Romans 7: 7-13). Have we examined ourselves in the light of the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20). Are you good enough for heaven? Have you lied? Took something that doesnt belong to you? You’re a thief if you have done that. Have you been angry with someone? According to Matthew 5, Jesus says thats murder. Thats only 3 of the 10 Commandments which is enough for God to punish us. And the punishment of our sins is eternity in hell.
The 10 Commandments of God serves as a mirror to see our filthiness (sins) and it also says that we should come to Jesus to wash us clean. God is holy and we cannot come to Him because of our sins. But being merciful, God made a way so that we can come to Him by sending Jesus Christ to save us (Juan 3:16). Doing good works, being charitable, having baptized and being a member of a church wont make us righteous to God. If we insist in doing that to be accepted by God, we are like a criminal trying to bribe a good judge. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ he shed in Calvary can wash our sins. Why not repent and trust in Jesus today (Efeso 2:8-9, Romans 10:13) and receive His free gift of salvation? Call on Him today and He will save you.
A collection of 40 giants in Christendom by a little know author, How Great Christian Me Christ (published by Moody Press in 1973)is one of those book that has this outstanding idea for a book but didn’t have a blockbuster hit on the market. This book which I got from Booksale (and most of the books I put a title “Used Book Finds”) has the “Who-who” personalities in Christianity. Name it this book got it. You don’t believe me? Take a shot! Spurgeon is here. Augustine is here. So is Billy Graham, John Wesley, Hudson Taylor, D. L. Moody, John Newton, Billy Sunday, Harry Ironside, Justin Martyr, George Muller is here. Impressive list isn’t it?! This brief and concise collection on how they got converted in Christianity has the best and not so best in terms of how the author tells it or the conversion is not that earth shaking. Still it’s a good read. You got to give the author the credit for the effort he has done. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this post. If you have something to share about finding great books over second hand bookstores please post a comment.