The Gospel of Yes: We Have Missed the Most Important Thing About God. Finding It Changes Everything by Mike Glenn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
When you think of God, what immediately comes to mind? Do you think of an overbearing dictator in the sky who revels in telling you what to do and punishing those who disobey? Do you imagine a score-keeper who maintains a running talley of your faults and expecting you to make good for your wrongs?
Well, if those are your perceptions, you are the person that Mike Glenn had in mind when he wrote his book The Gospel of Yes. God is not that way at all. In fact, as Glenn points out, even in the Ten Commandments God lays out the way that life works best and opens our lives up to the “yes” of the rest of existence.
Glenn does an admirable job of laying out the story of the Bible and how even from the beginning God pursued humankind, making a way back to himself. In different ways to each prominent character he made declarations of his promises and his determined mission to carry them out. I was excited to read about how desperate our need is for a “yes” in a world that constantly tells us “no.”
What’s So Great about the Doctrines of Grace? by Richard D. Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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“Why would you want to believe that?” is what people often say when they hear about my Reformed perspective on the Bible and theology. Generally it is a perception built around misconceptions of what Calvinism is all about, that often with that ravenous demand that is buried deep within each of us to be our own masters and the shapers of our own destinies.
My response to that question is usually something about that it is what the Bible teaches, so I choose to believe it. There are definitely times where biblical theology is hard to swallow. Times when I have spoken so often about our faith to a dear soul who continues to refuse to believe and repent. Times when I want to change things and want God to do things my way. Times when God’s sovereign plan and his discipline of me is just so painful to endure.
Yet there is amazing beauty in the doctrines of grace, which is what the tenants of Reformed theology are called. Firmly based in the full testimony of the Bible, they offer incredible comfort, the “peace that passes understanding” that Paul talks about, and the steadfast hope of a future in the arms of God.
What’s So Great About the Doctrines of Grace? is a little book that does a very big job of talking about just that. The hope and security we have in Christ is not something of our own devising, and so it is something that can outstand our undoing. The rich fullness of a belief in a God who is all together sovereign in human affairs, in the laws of the universe, and in every turn of a leaf is so breathtaking, anything less would not be God.
In the manner I have come to expect from Reformation Trust publications, Richard Phillips does a very good job at sharing just what is so great about the doctrines of grace in very accessible language. Get this book to either enrich your own understanding of these precious teachings, or let this be a short introduction to the doctrines if you have either despised them or have questions about them.
Legal: a copy of this book was provided by the publisher. No obligation was made to present a positive review.
Parenting by God’s Promises by Joel R. Beeke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a new father I frankly feel overwhelmed at times by what is happening in our world, knowing that my son will have to face challenges that are likely increasingly difficult. It seems that every day I read about “parents” who decide to end the life of their unborn child and most recently about parents who are sueing because they chose to give birth to a child that was later diagnosed with Down Syndrome.
It is in this world that we are called to parent. How we face these challenges as adults has everything to do with how we raise our children. What values will they have? How can we help guide them through the mines of moral indiscretion and raise them to hate sin or even to know what sin is much of the time?
Mark: Saint Andrews Expositional Commentary by R.C. Sproul
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Four stories about Jesus and this is the oldest. It is also the quickest since every event in Jesus’ life seems to have happened immediately after the last. Yet what sets this account apart is that it speaks dramatically of Christ’s authority and the draw that he had as people heard and felt the weight of that connection to the Father.
In his signature style, R.C. Sproul present this full exposition of the gospel account with Christ’s authority as its central theme. His accessible discourse provides a look at the gospel nearly verse by verse as he not only talks about the passage itself, but connects it with the rest of the book and its significance to the life of Christ and our foundational belief as Christians.
Promise of Provision, The: Living and Giving from God’s Abundant Supply by Derek Prince
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Is your life empty? Do you not have the riches that you expected when you signed up for this Christianity thing? Well, you are in luck because in his newest book (published posthumously) Derek Prince offers 5 steps and 3 principles that are sure to get God to pay up for what he owes you. Of course, that is not the way he puts it. In fact throughout the book he denies that he is teaching the prosperity gospel and that the term “prosperity” means more than finances, yet most of his examples of God’s promises fulfilled mean amassing large amounts of material wealth.
Though he expressly denies it, Prince, like the other “prosperity gospel” preachers including Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer, teaches a strong perspective on the law. Essentially he says that if we were to take God’s promises seriously and do what God commands, then we would have the wealth and prosperity that is promised in the Bible. That is, as a matter of fact, entirely true. The only trouble is that God expects perfect compliance with the Law, and none have been successful but Christ.