Contend Earnestly: A Couple of Book Review Highlights

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Couple of Book Review Highlights

I thought I would highlight a couple of book reviews. These two are books that I greatly enjoyed and just wanted to share them with all. As always, you can see all my book reviews at Contend Earnestly Books.

John Piper hit it on the head in this book. Piper is known for his zeal and love for the cross and the preaching of the word and he does not let up in this small book all centered on preaching God. The first half of the book is centered on the Trinity and their "roles" in preaching.

First, is the Goal of Preaching: The Glory of God. Piper really nails down the reason we preach and teach is all for God's glory and nothing else. He focuses the reader on understanding the preaching of the holiness of God will bring people to their knees.

Second, is the Ground of Preaching: The Cross of Christ. If one has succeeded in the preaching of holiness of God then the hearers should really be at the point of understanding their sin in light of God's holiness. This is where the blood stained cross comes in. Piper then goes to explain the humility of preaching the cross, understanding its power and its purpose. Piper is really echoing 1 Cor 2:1-5.

Thirdly, is the Gift of Preaching: The Power of the Holy Spirit. Piper now focuses on the revelation of the Spirit through the word of God and also the power the Spirit gives to a preacher who relies on Him. Piper uses the acronym APTAT every week before he preaches: A (ADMIT to the Lord that without Him I can do nothing) P (therefore, I PRAY for help) T (TRUST, not merely in a general way in God's goodness, but in a specific promise for the upcoming hour) A (ACT in confidence that God will fulfill his word) T (THANK God at the end of the service that I was sustained and the truth of His word were preached)

Piper then goes to speak of the "Gravity of Gladness" in preaching. This quote hit me really hard and I completely agree with it:

Another answer is that a pastor who is not manifestly glad in God does not glorify God. He cannot make God look glorious if knowing and serving this God gives no gladness to his soul. A bored and unenthusiastic tour guide in the Alps contradicts and dishonors the majesty of the mountains.

For the last half of the book Piper focuses on the ministry of Jonathan Edwards and all that he has learned from this great man of the faith. He discusses keeping God central, submitting to God's sovereignty and also making God supreme.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you are a pastor it is a must read over and over again. Link to Buy.

This book is excellent. Authored by Stuart Scott and the forward by John MacArthur. A couple of years ago I went to a conference where they focused one of the sessions on this book throughout the week. I will tell you that at that time I came back and begged forgiveness from my wife. Since that time I never actually read the book until now. It had some great reminders and also some insight that time did not permit at the conference.

The book is laid out in four sections:

1. A Husband's Recognitions: Foundational Truths for the Exemplary Husband

This section focuses on understanding God's sovereignty, sin, relationships and the husband's role. This really sets up the foundation for the husband and the man of God in the marriage role. Understanding who God is and who the man isn't.

2. A Husband's Responsibilities: Faithful Commitments of the Husband

This section focuses on worship, love, leadership, physical intimacy and
stewardship. I found this to be a section that deals with a subject that is often avoided: sexual intimacy. There were great reminders and also some great thoughts on the subject on the importance of sexual intimacy, but also the reminder that our marriages are not completely revolving around sexual intimacy. Sometimes, we as husbands, wish it were.

3. A Husband's Resolves: Fundamental Commitments of the Exemplary Husband

This section focuses on humility and service, sensitivity, helping wife with sin, communication and conflict resolution. This was a great section that lists out issues of those with pride and also shows you the aspects of a humble person. I really enjoyed this section as it showed me some things I really need to work on with pride and communication. Very practical and easy to follow.

4. A Husband's Regrets: Fatal Sins to the Exemplary Husband

This section deals with anger, axiety, fear and lust. It completely helps
the husband "nip these problems in the bud" and deal with them biblically.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to any and all husbands and also for those who are engaged as well. Very biblical book that focuses the attention on our calling from a biblical standpoint instead of some of the misconceptions of the secular viewpoint of what the Bible calls the man to be. The author changes the thought of the man being a dictator to the man being the godly leader who submits to Christ and readies his wife for eternity. Link to Buy


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