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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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In the light of my last post about ‘having a mind towards family’ as a strengthener of marriage, I found this website interesting and encouraging and well, yes, we need to talk in these terms these days, because marriage and family don’t always go hand in hand anymore.

The Book

It’s a fresh look at a few other issues too. Enjoy.

Once again, blowing the dust off my blog. Maybe it will stay off this time…

You need to find a copy of this book.

Theology is a word that can frighten people. It may sound highbrow and out of reach for the ordinary everyday christian; something you study if you go off to bible college. But really it just means thinking and speaking about God (Packer’s own simple description). This book Concise Theology; A Guide to HIstroic Christian Beliefs by JI Packer is a pithy little book which explains in just a few paragraphs, great, big, whole, concepts about our Creator and God.

There’s a storm brewing outside my little room and I need to bury my head in some German grammar but not before I insert an excerpt from this morning’s reading. Enjoy:

Self-existence: God has always been. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2

Children sometimes ask, “Who  made God?” The clearest answer is that God never needed to be made, because he was always there. He exists in a different way from us: we, his creatures, exist in a dependent, derived, finite, fragile way, but our Maker exists in an eternal, self-sustaining, necessary way – necessary, that is, in the sense that God does not have it in him to go out of existence, just as we do not have it in us to live forever. We necessarily age and die, because it is our present nature to do that; God necessarily continues forever unchanged, because it is his eternal nature to do that. This is one of many contrasts between creature and Creator.

God’s self-existence is a basic truth. At the outset of his presentation of the unknown God to the Athenian idolaters, Paul explained that this God, the world’s Creator, “is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else” (Acts 17:23-25). Sacrifices offered to idols, in today’s tribal religions as in ancient Athens, are thought of as somehow keeping the god going, but the Creator needs no such support system. The word aseity, meaning that he has life in himself and draws his unending energy from himself (a se in Latin means “from himself”), was coined by theologians to express this truth, which the bible make clear (Pss. 90:1-4; 102:25-27; Isa. 40:28-31; John 5:26; Rev. 4:10).

In theology, endless mistakes result from supposing that the conditions, bounds, and limits of our own finite existence apply to God. The doctrine of his aseity stands as a bulwark against such mistakes. In our life of faith, we easily impoverish ourselves by embracing an idea of God that is too limited and small, and again the doctrine of God’s aseity stand as a bulwark to stop this happening. It is vital for spiritual health to believe that God is great (cf. Ps. 95:1-7), and grasping the truth of his aseity is the first step on the road to doing this.

Before I even went to Equip earlier this year, I was excited that they were launching an online book club. I knew it was for me. Then I wondered, hopefully, if it was possible to interest people from our own church in a *real live* book club based along the same lines and using the same book list. I suggested the idea to our pastor, who was encouraging. Our first meeting was last Saturday and you can read about it on the equipbooks blog.

Yay!

John Piper recommends this bible reading plan in ‘When I Don’t Desire God’ and I have been meaning to download it since I read about it yonks ago.

The plan has only 25 days reading per month, which is fab for me because (realistically) I will miss days here and there. In that past when I’ve followed a plan, I get behind, feel out of the swing of things and give up! This way I can catch up on the leftover days. <big smile> Someone like Bette, who’ll never get behind, could use the leftover days to do some special reading.

Also Diane suggested that if the 4 readings (2 x OT, 2 x NT) were too much for one day, you could just read one OT and one NT and take it over two years.

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Alan saves quotes. He’s been doing it for years. When he reads a good’n, he bothers to write it down. This is great because then I can say “who was that guy who said such and such”. Keep it up bro’.

Today he gave me these from his storehouse:

“True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop”
– Matthew Henry (on John 15:1-8)

“First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure.”
– Mark Twain

I only just found this site which sells books new and used so I haven’t discovered too much but it looks exciting… and they give free delivery world wide.

See this book intro.

I have investigated the book I mentioned yesterday, a little further. Koorong will have my copy here in a few days!

This is from the back cover: “With remarkable ease and wisdom, Rebecca Jones takes a provocative look at the Bible and femininity in Does Christianity Squash Women? Written with twenty-first-century freshness, she examines the development of women’s issues through the Bible and then considers their implication for present-day Christian living. What’s discovered is not a box of confinement but rather a fulfilling path to freedom and purpose. When we accept God’s authority to define us,” says Jones, “we discover what it means to be a woman.”

This sounds like it may replace my current suggested reading material on this topic Let me be a Woman by Elisabeth Elliot. Or maybe it will complement it well. It certainly seems more up-to-date on the issues. Sounds like a blend of the EE book + Kirsten Birkett’s The Essence of Feminism, (also here).

The only part Amazon would let me read was from the first chapter, entitled Confusion. She’s obviously setting the scene of where our modern idea of womanhood has taken us. Here are a couple of quotes:

“Part of the laudable attempts to bring wealth and education to Third World countries is the questionable assumption that women will make “better” choices about fertility. Ironically, many Third World women, when asked what they would do differently if they were better off financially, responded, ‘I’d have more children’!”

And “Will our world be happier with fewer people in it? Or do ecofeminists actually throw the…bathwater out with the babies?”

She asks “How drastically has the influx of women into the marketplace cut available jobs for men?”

“Women’s bid for autonomy has made their children autonomous by default. Such little ones, without the presence of a strong yet merciful mother, are growing up rootless… Meanwhile, women are pouring their best into the corporation, instead of into their children, whom they love so dearly.”

A randomly pulled quote from the book, Does Christianity Squash Women? By Rebecca Jones.

(Speaking about the general worldview developed as a result of feminism): “To achieve a balanced, sustainable, global human family, contraception and abortion have been added to the key pillars of [society’s worldview, along with] education, economic stability and democracy.”

I’ve been reading what I can online at Amazon (how amazing is the “Look inside this book” function?) But I am going to see if Koorong can track it down.

Check this for yourself.

Last year for Christmas, I sent my brother in Holland a copy of “The Aussie Bible – well, bits of it anyway” by Kel Richards. So this year when I saw Charles Dickens’ famous story retold by the same clever bloke, I couldn’t resist. We’ve been reading it aloud a couple of times a week at the evening meal…it’s so Aussie, it’s really funny.

Set in the outback town of Dandaloo where the stinking hot wind blows the gritty red dust about, Ted Scrooge, the stingy old Stock and Station Agent who sends his nephew away with “Tommyrot – what’s Christmas for anyway!” meets his deceased friend Jack Marley who introduces Ted to some experiences he will never forget. Dickens’ timeless message in a culture and climate we are all familiar with gives the story a wonderful fresh slant.

View the book here

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