The Pastor as Scholar & The Scholar as Pastor, by Piper and Carson

This book is a rare glimpse into the person life and ministry of John Piper and D.A. Carson. Piper charts his journey from the halls of academia to the pulpit, where he has become well-known. Carson charts his journey from the pulpit to the ivory tower. Along the way they offer lessons and insight into the importance of integrating ministry and scholarship.

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“I was disillusioned with such scholarship. It seemed driven by the need for peer approval. It used technical jargon that only insiders could understand and that often concealed ambiguity. It put enormous weight on speculative methodologies (formesgeshichte, traditionsgeschichte, and redaktionsgeschichte, and sachkritik) that gave rise to scholarly articles which began in the mode of wahrscheinlichkeit (probability) and by the end had been transformed into the mode of sicherheit (certainty) by waving the wand of scholarly consensus.”

John Piper in The Pastor as Scholar & The Scholar as Pastor, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2011, 42

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Contest: Dropbox Pro for Life

AppSumo currently has a contest in which 10 individuals will receive Dropbox Pro for life. All you have to do is enter your email address. You also receive additional chances for each friend you refer.

Click here to enter.

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World Tilting Gospel, by Dan Phillips

Generally all of the books listed here are read before they are recommended. The reason for that is to make informed purchases as you build your library. This book is something of an exception because I am familiar with the author, it is brand-new, it is free for a limited time on the Kindle!

I wanted to make sure to post it in case it is not available by the time I finish it. Get it while you can!

Download it to your Kindle or Preview & Purchase at WTS.

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Think, by John Piper

John Piper’s book will help Christians think about thinking. I’ve seen it given out to college students, and believe that it would be helpful to them in the face of sophisticated intellectual challenges to their faith. Yet, it is not a book about Christian intellectualism. It is a helpful book for all believers to keep thinking in balance with emotions and experience. As Piper says, “the mind serves to know the truth that fuels the fires of the heart” and you may read the quote below to understand his intention for the book.

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For the month of October, the audio book is offered free-of-charge at ChristianAudio.com. You may find it here.

 Yes, I have concerns. For example, I hope this book will help rescue the victims of evangelical pragmatism, Pentecostal short-cuts, pietistic anti-intellectualism, pluralistic conviction aversion, academic gamemanship, therapeutic Bible evasion, journalistic bite-sizing, musical mesmerizing, YouTube craving, and postmodern Jell-O juggling. In other words, I believe thinking is good for the church in every way.

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Willing to Believe, by R.C. Sproul

R.C. Sproul surveys the free-will controversy by introducing the reader to the views of Pelagius, Augustine, Cassian, Luther, Calvin, Arminius, Edwards, Finney, and finally, Chafer. Each man receives a chapter, and thus the work provides helpful historical perspective. Along the way, Sproul provides limited commentary and evaluation of each man’s understanding, largely in an objective manner. His brief conclusion is stated below.

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If the fall renders man morally unable, dead in sin, and enslaved to sin, then human freedom must be viewed in one way. If the fall is not so radical, then the will of man is viewed differently. How we view our fallen condition, then, has radical implications for how we understand both the nature and necessity of regeneration as it relates to faith. This in turn greatly influences how we understand the biblical doctrine of election. From Augustine to the Reformers and Jonathan Edwards, down to the present, those who believe that the fallen sinner retains the capacity to choose what he desires but is enslaved by these desires, rest their confidence in the knowledge that salvation is of the Lord and those whom the Son makes free are free indeed.

R.C. Sproul, Willing to Believe : The Controversy Over Free Will, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2000), 204.

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Courageous, by Sherwood Pictures

The movie Courageous is currently in theatres and worth watching. It is a unashamedly Christian film, and in it you can expect to see the gospel, the power of Scripture to change lives, and a challenge to take responsibility for your faith and your family. (There is also a sizeable amount of action for a Christian family film)

Courageous Trailer

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Spiritual Leadership, by J. Oswald Sanders

Oswald Sanders’ book on leadership is a classic text. There are many who only know Sanders from his book on leadership and discipleship, so it might interest them to know that Sanders was a general director of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (then known as the China Inland Mission). This book grew out of two series of messages delivered to their leaders at conferences in Singapore in 1964 and 1966. The messages were amplified and shared with a wider public, for which we are grateful.

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It is possible that the subordinate may not do the task as well as his superior, but experience proves that that is by no means necessarily the case. Given the chance, the younger person may do it better because he or she is better able to feel the pulse of contemporary life. But in any case, how is the younger leader to gain experience unless he or she has been delegated both the responsibility and authority for the task?

J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership : Principles of Excellence for Every Believer, Updated ed.]. (Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2007), 138.

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The Illuminati, by Larry Burkett

Larry Burkett’s novel is completely a work of fiction, and it has been updated so as to hide its age. Burkett is known primarily for his financial guidance, and this is not a wholesale endorsement of his creative writing. However, there was a good (and short) description in this book that I wanted to share, which offers insight into the culture of many Christian churches.

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She had always gone to church and Sunday school, even as a little girl. When she was thirteen, she had even dedicated her life to Christ. But mostly, she knew she had reacted to the other kids who were dedicating their lives. She hadn’t really surrendered to Christ. She had surrendered to peer pressure. In some circles, peer pressure meant drugs or sex. In hers, it meant becoming a Christian. It was what her parents had wanted most of all.

Larry Burkett, The Illuminati (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2004).

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The Drama of Scripture, by Craig Bartholomew

Craig Bortholomew and Michael Goheen have collaborated to write a helpful overview of Scripture that is appropriate for introductory college classes. They explainthat Scripture is comprehensive in its scope of history, covering creation through to consummation, and walk through the six acts of the drama – creation, sin, Israel, Jesus, mission and new creation. Find your find your place in the story!

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[F]aith in Jesus should be the means through which a Christian seeks to understand all of life and the whole of history. This is not just because the scriptural story is comprehensive, or because it happens to be the story that we have inherited, or because it is the story that works for us. We must take the Christian story seriously in this way because it is true and tells us truthfully the story of the whole of history, beginning with the creation and ending with the new creation.

Craig G. Bartholomew and Michael W. Goheen, The Drama of Scripture: Finding Our Place in the Biblical Story (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2004), 21.

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All I Have is Christ, by Jordan Kauflin

One of the most moving videos this year, adding meaningful illustration to an already meaningful song.

All I Have is Christ

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