Below are a list of books Pastor Joe thinks would be of great benefit for our church family to read, so if you’re looking for a great book to take on vacation or enjoy at home, check out one of these.
Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart
by J.D. Grear
How to Know for Sure You Are Saved
“If there were a Guinness Book of World Records entry for ‘amount of times having prayed the sinner’s prayer,’ I’m pretty sure I’d be a top contender,” says pastor and author J. D. Greear. He struggled for many years to gain an assurance of salvation and eventually learned he was not alone. “Lack of assurance” is epidemic among evangelical Christians.
In Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, J. D. shows that faulty ways of present- ing the gospel are a leading source of the confusion. Our presentations may not be heretical, but they are sometimes misleading. The idea of “asking Jesus into your heart” or “giving your life to Jesus” often gives false assurance to those who are not saved – and keeps those who genuinely are saved from fully embracing that reality.
Greear unpacks the doctrine of assurance, showing that salvation is a posture we take to the promise of God in Christ, a posture that begins at a certain point and is maintained for the rest of our lives. He also answers the tough questions about assurance: What exactly is faith? What is repentance? Why are there so many warnings that seem to imply we can lose our salvation?
Such issues are handled with respect to the theological rigors they require, but Greear never loses his pastoral sensitivity or a communication technique that makes this message teachable to a wide audience from teens to adults.
Every Good Endeavor
by Timothy Keller
Connecting Your Work to God's Plan for the World
In a work world that is increasingly competitive and insecure, people often have nagging questions: Why am I doing this work? Why is it so hard? And is there anything I can do about it?
Tim Keller, pastor of New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church and New York Times bestselling author of The Reason for God as well as The Skeptical Student in the Encounters with Jesus ebook series, and many others, has taught and counseled students, young professionals, and senior leaders on the subject of work and calling for more than twenty years. Now he puts his insights into a book for readers everywhere, giving biblical perspectives on such pressing questions as:
- What is the purpose of work?
- How can I find meaning and serve customers in a cutthroat, bottom-line-oriented workplace?
- How can I use my skills in a vocation that has meaning and purpose?
- Can I stay true to my values and still advance in my field?
- How do I make the difficult choices that must be made in the course of a successful career?
With deep insight and often surprising advice, Keller shows readers that biblical wisdom is immensely relevant to our questions about our work. In fact, the Christian view of work – that we work to serve others, not ourselves – can provide the foundation of a thriving professional and balanced personal life. Keller shows how excellence, integrity, discipline, creativity, and passion in the workplace can help others and even be considered acts of worship – not just of self-interest.
Creature of the Word
by Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger & Josh Patterson
The Jesus-Centered Church
The Reformers viewed the gospel as not merely one thing among many in the life of a church but rather the means by which the church exists. When the gospel is rightly declared and applied to God’s people, the church becomes “a creature of the Word.” She understands, embraces, and lives out the reality of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection in more than her doctrinal statement. The gospel impacts all the church is and does.
Creature of the Word lays out this concept in full, first examining the rich, scripture-based beauty of a Jesus-centered church, then clearly providing practical steps toward forming a Jesus-centered church. Authors Matt Chandler, Eric Geiger, and Josh Patterson write what will become a center- ing discussion piece for those whose goal is to be part of a church that has its theology, culture, and practice completely saturated in the gospel.
A To Z With C. S. Lewis
by Louis A. Markos
Professor, apologist, novelist, literary critic, fantasy writer, philosopher, theologian, and ethicist, Lewis has exerted a profound influence on the way millions of people read literature, make moral choices, think about God, and live out the Christian faith. By means of a genial blend of reason and imagination, logic and fantasy, profound academic insight and good old common sense, Lewis has challenged the modern world to re-examine the claims of Christ, the Bible, and the Church, re-experience the goodness, truth, and beauty of literature, and re-expand its vision of God, man, and the universe. In each 600-word entry, Markos enlist Lewis’s aid in the study, both theoretically and practically, of a topic of perennial interest to humanity and of particular interest to the early 21st century.
The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness
by Timothy Keller
What are the marks of a supernaturally changed heart? This is one of the questions the Apostle Paul addresses as he writes to the church in Corinth. He s not after some superficial outward tinkering, but instead a deep rooted, life altering change that takes place on the inside. In an age where pleasing people, puffing up your ego and building your résumé are seen as the methods to make it , the Apostle Paul calls us to find true rest in blessed self forgetfulness. In this short and punchy book, best selling author Timothy Keller, shows that gospel humility means we can stop connecting every experience, every conversation with ourselves and can thus be free from self condemnation. A truly gospel humble person is not a self hating person or a self loving person, but a self forgetful person. This freedom can be yours...