Helpful Book Review 12-29-12

Jesus is Calling by Sarah Young – James Montgomery Boice once said that the real battle in our times would not be the inerrancy or infallibility of Scripture, but its sufficiency—are we going to rely on the Bible or will we continually long for other revelation? In Jesus Calling we see this so clearly. Young teaches that though the Bible is inerrant and infallible, it is insufficient. It was not enough for her and, implicitly, she teaches that it cannot be enough for us. After all, it was not reading Scripture that proved her most important spiritual discipline, but this listening, this receiving of messages from the Lord. It is not Scripture she brings to us, not primarily anyway, but these messages from Jesus. – Tim Challies

The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America by David Stokes – It’s important to keep in mind, however, the difference between strong preaching and sensationalistic preaching. Strong preaching is grounded in the text of Scripture and reiterates forcefully what the text says plainly. Sensationalistic preaching is motivated by what will draw attention. It may use the text as a launching pad, but the bulk of the message is the pastor’s forceful delivery of his own personal opinions. – Trevin Wax

Dangerous Calling by Paul David Tripp – In a pastoral tone, Tripp also exposes the real danger of being so familiar with the things of God that we lose our awe of God. When we no longer fear God, our ministry will be motivated by fear of other, false gods: failure, man, circumstances, or future. For some, a loss of awe leads to mediocrity in ministry. But Tripp reminds us that the neglect of personal devotions and spiritual disciplines reveals most obviously that a pastor has lost his awe of God. Perhaps nowhere is this neglect of private worship more obvious than in how we approach sermon preparation. All preparation should be devotional, but we must not allow preparation to “crush devotion” (184). “The commitment to a regular time of communion with your Lord,” Tripp writes, “stimulates the battle in your heart between the essentiality of private worship and the necessity of adequate preparation” (185). – Juan Sanchez

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