Monday, February 24, 2014

Left Unreviewed - Part 3

I read a lot. As such I cannot review everything I read and not everything is deserving to be read. Both time and priority prevents me from commenting on everything I invest in. However, I do want to pass along a number of books worth highlighting. The following is not my endorsement of these books, but I believe they are important nonetheless. I include only the title, author, and publisher's description of each book. No comment from me.


John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor by W. Robert Godfrey
An introduction to the essential life and thought of one of history's most influential theologians, who considered himself first and foremost a pilgrim and a pastor.

July 10, 2009, marks the five-hundredth anniversary of the birth of John Calvin. As controversial as he was influential, his critics have named a judgmental and joyless attitude after him, while his admirers celebrate him as the principal theologian of Reformed Christianity. Yet his impact is unmistakable-a primary developer of western civilization whose life and work have deeply affected five centuries' worth of pastors, scholars, and individuals.

What will surprise the readers of this book, however, is that Calvin did not live primarily to influence future generations. Rather, he considered himself first and foremost a spiritual pilgrim and a minister of the Word in the church of his day. It was from that "essential" Calvin that all his influence flowed.
Here is an introduction to Calvin's life and thought and essence: a man who moved people not through the power of personality but through passion for the Word, a man who sought to serve the gospel in the most humble of roles.


The Visionary Christian: 131 Readings by CS Lewis; edited by Chad Walsh
VISIONARY CHRISTIAN Culled from some of C.S. Lewis's finest fiction and poetry, this collection of writings explores the eternal truths of Christianity in the accessible language of allegory, fairy tales, dream visions, and science fiction. From his children's classic The Chronicles of Narnia to the wisdom of Screwtape on marriage, democracy, and heaven, Lewis's literary imagination and extraordinary insight into the universe and God remain vivid and relevant for all times. The Visionary Christian is testimony to a true man of faith who continues to provide comfort and understanding to Christians around the world.



Happy, Happy, Happy: My Life and Legacy as the Duck Commander by Phil Robertson
This no-holds-barred autobiography chronicles the remarkable life of Phil Robertson, the original Duck Commander and Duck Dynasty® star, from early childhood through the founding of a family business.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien 
A great modern classic and the prelude to THE LORD OF THE RINGS
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

“A glorious account of a magnificent adventure, filled with suspense and seasoned with a quiet humor that is irresistible . . . All those, young or old, who love a fine adventurous tale, beautifully told, will take The Hobbit to their hearts.” – New York Times Book Review

Letters to Timothy: A Handbook for Pastors by John Bisagno
After nearly fifty years in ministry, Letters to Timothy is John Bisagno's retirement gift to younger and older pastors alike. A voluminous and comprehensive work, it is full of useful advice to ministers covering the “things that might have fallen through the cracks in seminary.” This book is a practical manual covering all aspects of pastoral life for clergy in churches of all sizes, locations, and denominations.


Transformational Church: Creating a New Scorecard for Congregations by Thom Rainer and Ed Stetzer
How are we doing? The church, that is. And how are we doing it? Congregations have long measured success by "bodies, budget, and buildings"--a certain record of attendance, the offering plate, and square footage. But the scorecard can't stop there. When it does, the deeper emphasis on accountability, discipleship, and spiritual maturity is lost. Ignoring those details, we see fewer lives transformed, Christian influence wane, and churches thin out--a situation that is all too familiar across North America today.

It is time to take heart and rework the scorecard.

According to Ed Stetzer and Thom S. Rainer, the authors of Transformational Church, "Too often we've highlighted the negative realities of the declining American church but missed the opportunity to magnify the God of hope and transformation."

Based on the most comprehensive study of its kind, including a survey of more than 7,000 churches and hundreds of on-site interviews with pastors, Transformational Church takes us to the thriving congregations where truly changing lives is the norm.

Stetzer and Rainer clearly confirm the importance of disciple making for all through active biblical engagement and prayerful dependence on God alongside of ever-increasing, intentional participation in mission and ministry activities. As the church engages these issues, the world will see the change:

* More people following Christ
* More believers growing in their faith
* More churches making an impact on their communities

The transformation starts now.

For more:
Left Unreviewed - Part 1
Left Unreviewed - Part 2
Left Unreviewed - Part 3
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