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What a humble man is John Piper. Praise God for the impact of this book, published 25 years ago.

Watch the video on his website as he talks about it.

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from his book, The Best Kept Secret of Christian Missions

For free download of Peter Cook’s bookPeter Cook cover: Mothering Denied. The sources of love and how our culture harms infants, women, and society.

Note that Peter Cook is a secular child psychiatrist and many of his presuppositions are in direct discord with a Christian view. This doesn’t mean that his research has nothing to say to our modern world, or to thinking Christian people. Mothering is yet another area where Christians have sadly dropped the baton, forgetting that we should speak God’s thoughts to the world on all the issues of life.

deceive:

v.   tr.

1. To cause to believe what is not true; mislead.
2. Archaic To catch by guile; ensnare.

When a person is deceived, (by virtue of meaning of the word) they are ignorant of the deceit. There may be a little goad at the conscience saying “is this right?” but deceit convinces it’s hearers that it is true. That is why is dangerous.

This is one reason why each Christian needs a warm and encouraging and honest relationship with other strong Christians. We *need* each other. Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

We may need to think whether we are allowing deceitfulness to beguile us if we hear ourselves saying “well, at least I’m not…” or “I’m not as bad as…” Deceit lets us justify our actions as “not really that bad” or asks “how far can we go” rather than the truth which declares “pursue righteousness”

Look at the difference in attitude between “what can I get away with?” and 2 Timothy 2:15 which says “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” Let’s not be afraid to speak up people. And let’s not consider “doing good” as weak.

Some links on issues (esp young) Christians may find challenging:

What wrong with Christians getting drunk? Discussion by the Sola Panel

Arrogant youthful attitudes… a blogpost from Boundless

Dating, youth culture and Lust The message of Josh Harris’s books (and DVDs) is clearly more about ‘pursuing righteousness’ in Christ and for Christ than any moral comment.

Elizabeth has been reading “Do Hard Things” by Brett and Alex Harris, 19 year old twins. I’ve been reading along behind her. I mentioned it in December when I put it on backorder at Koorong, but now it’s finally published.

I want to post some quotes I’ve highlighted as an indicator to the content and it’s helpfulness to teenage Christians:

God’s word is clear. Psalm 1:1 tells us, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” A lot of people, though, seem to quit reading there and miss the next verse: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

Our culture seems to hear the don’ts but not the dos.

Charles Spurgeon…commented, “Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you – Is you delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s word? Do you make it your…best companion and hourly guide?” If not, Spurgeon said, the blessing of Psalm 1 does not belong to you.

I appreciate the following comment on our modern culture’s low expectations for achievement; you only need be ordinary to gain accolades for excellence, and let’s face it; most good, Christian kids these days could gain this reputation without effort

The real danger for youths intent on rebelution is that these smarter-than-the-average-bear kudos can become the new and easy standard.

Unfortunately, we often get praise for things that weren’t particularly difficult to achieve. If we focus on the props and the encouragement to those who have low expectations for us, we become mediocre.

It can be challenging to set our sights on excellence, particularly when we’re hearing that we’re already there. One of life’s greatest lessons, which we all must learn, could be expressed in the phrase “That was nothing. Watch this.” Challenge yourself and others to call the normal things normal and save that word excellent for things that really are.

We’ve received [letters] form teens complaining about getting corny awards at school like the Celebration of Excellence for Leadership. All they’d done was turn in their homework and pay attention in class while everyone else goofed off. “It’s sad how little I had to do to earn this award,” wrote one girl.

What do we expect of/for our emerging adults?

Possibly the first time I became really aware that feminism was attacking the church was in 1992 when we visited L’Abri in the UK. We knew we were swimming upstream when it came to stay-at-home-motherhood,  material wealth and some other issues. It was good to know that asking these questions was important.

Since then I have come across a universe of material both supporting and condemning Christian Feminism. One of the most helpful books I’ve read on the subject is Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood by Piper and Grudem (which is available free as a pdf here) If you only read chapter one, you won’t regret it. The other is The Essence of Feminism by Kirsten Birkett. (published by Mathias Media)

Over the last two weeks I’ve read Does Christianity Squash Women? by Rebecca Jones. More than just a pragmatic book about ‘how to…’, it develops an intelligent, theological explanation of the issue while still being easy to read. These are two quotes to sum up the book but they also sum up my thinking on the issue.

If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point. MARTIN LUTHER

How Christians think about and live out our male-female distinctions is one of the foremost evangelistic tools in reaching those who have not understood the gospel. The ‘women’s issue’ is not secondary, but central to the proclamation of the gospel in the twenty-first century. from the book (emphasis mine)

That’s all.

A book list by John Piper on reference books supporting the reliability of the bible. (note Aussie Paul Barnett amongst the author lists)

Interesting article about the Eldredges’ book, Captivating. Looks to me like a theology of glory.

Quote I like: We must be sure to direct women who are searching to understand who they are and who may be confused about their sense of worth to the Bible. The Bible’s clear and strong message is that our worth is found in Christ who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Tim 1:9, Rom 5:1, Eph1:5, 2:6, 10, 13, Phil 3:20, 1 Pet 1:2-3)! Our true sense of worth is found in our saving relationship with Jesus.

Yesterday a friend was here who is reading this book by Tony Payne. I was interested as it is another subject of importance in Scripture but we seem very adrift in our understanding of it as Christians. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its front cover; I know I read little of it (2 chapters – although it is an easy book to flit through as it is quite small). But I have to admit I am finding it very difficult to take him seriously after reading some of the remarks. In particular:

A conversation takes place with a doctor during his (Payne’s) vasectomy procedure. He then goes on to talk (very accurately) about how our understanding of fatherhood comes from God in the bible. But somehow…I’m gone. I’m sorry…I just can’t imagine God, our Father, having a vasectomy.

(the second thing I have a problem with is that during his wait in the clinic before the procedure it became clear to him that abortions were also performed in the same clinic – and he didn’t seem to even consider taking his money and his business elsewhere)

We need good books on Fatherhood. This book is probably one of them. But I’ll have to get over the stumbling blocks first.

I visit several other blogs regularly and the desiringgod blog just gave a book list recommended by the staff from their personal reading last year. It was pretty varied – only one repetition I think in the 24 person list! Some I’d read, some I’ve thought I’d like to read, many I’d never heard of. As I am (trying to) read 4 different books at the moment (not counting the bible and devotional) AND two waiting in the queue, maybe I shouldn’t even look.

I thought I’d mention it here because I know a couple of you will like to tick off the ones you have read and you may also be interested in investigating others. It would be a challenge for some of you to list and then actually read three books this year; for others, three will make a small percentage of the total. Have a look and see if your curiosity is not piqued! Here are a couple of specifics I thought of:

Bette and Alan: check out the second last one of the whole list.

Bette, Fran, DD: 12 books that changed the world.

Carly: I thought of you with this and also this (because you’ll be busy!)

Bette: Save the Cat.

I also thought The Tipping Point, Church History in Plain Language and The Nation of Rebels looked interesting. But what I was wondering was how our list would look if we all put one together. Anyone else interested?

PS I haven’t read these books so can’t say really what they are like, so investigate well before you purchase anything.

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