Modern Pensées

Reconsidering theology, philosophy, culture, economics, and politics

Posts Tagged ‘Missions

Best Links of the Week

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USC forced to vacate 2004 BCS National Championship

Fascinating article on Eric Spoelstra, the unlikely and humble head coach of the Miami Heat

BOA gets foreclosed on by a homeowner – sweet poetic justice

Provocative article, “The Studied Irrelevance of American Foreign Missions

Hashtags for Books

You know your state is a mess when your states own CFO says not to buy bonds in your state (Illinois )

62% top tax rate could be 2 years away

Interesting thesis posited over at American Thinker, entitled “The Coming Deflationary Contraction

Twitter-based Hedge Fund

61% say all or most abortions should be illegal

Bulgaria’s underground black market

Iran can produce a nuke within 2 months according to recent report

Daily Economic Briefings Disappear from Obama’s White House Schedule

Great article about how to handle frustrating worship experiences (HT:  Greg Willson)

Pretty incredible story of a friend of a friend who gave birth in the front seat of their car in broad daylight

Hilarious clip from Southpark, “Poof It’s Gone”

“I Got it at Ross”

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3 Month Introspective

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Introspective

So, I’ve been blogging consistently for three months.  This is the week of Christmas and I’ll be all over the place.  I thought I would briefly summarize the 3 months of blog series on here:

Blaise Pascal:  We took a look at Blaise Pascal’s thinking, its use of aphorism and its relationship to both tri-perspectivalism and presuppositionalism.  We also looked at his use of aphorism and his warnings against deism and atheism.

Thoughts on Evangelicalism Past, Present, and Future, Parts 1-7:  We defined the term evangelical.  We looked at its historical roots in the First Great Awakening, Second Great Awakening, and its ties to celebrity culture, democritization of knowledge, and modernism.  Then we looked at the roots of liberalism, the Protestant split and suburbanization, and defined and outlined evangelical populism and their game plan for reaching America.  Finally we assessed the current status of American evangelicalism and then made some predictions of future trends.

Introduction to Apologetics, Parts 1-7:  We looked in broad strokes at the various schools of apologetics.  We then took a more in-depth look at:  Classical Apologetics, Evidentialist Apologetics, Presuppositional Apologetics, and the specific apologetics of Blaise Pascal and Alvin Plantinga.  Finally, we employed the three phases football as an analogy for the different apologetic schools and I likened Tim Tebow to the presuppositionalists.

Thoughts on Evangelicalism Moving Forward, Parts 1-10:  We looked at some analysis of some shifts evangelicalism will need to make moving forward:  Doctrine, Worldview, Urbanization, Globality/Mobility, “Post-Modernism,” American Culture(s), Contextualization, Balance, and Final Analysis.

Top ~10 Books by Topic:

Top 10 Systematic Theology Texts

Top 10 Devotional Classics

Top 10 Books on the Church

Top 10 Books on Science and Christianity

Top 10 Books on Christian Biography

Top 10 Books on Culture

Top 10 Books on Eschatology

Top 5 Books on Worldview

Top 15 Books on Status of American Evangelicalism

Top 10 Books on Church History

Top 40 Books to Read While in College

Top 10 Books on Missions, Discipleship, and Evangelism

The 25 Most Destructive Books Ever Written…

Top 10 Apologetic Works

Top 10 Books on Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

Top 10 Books by John Piper

Top 5 Children’s Books

Best Creeds, Confessions, and Catechisms of the Christian Church

A Comprehensive List of Top 10 Book Lists of 2009

Up Next:  We will be looking at some thoughts on the economy and investment and then delve into the mind of Friedrich Nietzsche…

Written by Michael Graham

December 19, 2009 at 11:29 am

Top 10 Books by John Piper

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Desiring God by John Piper

This list is what I think are the 10 best books that I have read from John Piper.  I haven’t read some of the more recent ones, but have heard good things about This Momentary Marriage (a book on marriage apparently).

1.  Desiring God [y, l, e, p, s]

This classic is what introduced me to a sovereign God and the doctrines of grace.  It also taught me that my pursuit of joy and my pursuit of God were one and the same pursuit.  If you cannot get through it or are intimidated by its size, try The Dangerous Duty of Delight, he essentially says the same things, just more concisely.

2.  Don’t Waste Your Life [y, l, e, p, s]

Quite simply this book needs to be read (and can be) by everyone.  The title says it all.  His passion for living a worthy life is infectious.

3.  Let the Nations Be Glad [y, l, e, p, s]

This is his book on missions.  It is excellent.  Reading this book is what compelled me to spend time overseas investing the Gospel into people.

4.  Brothers We are NOT Professionals [l, e, p, s]

Just as relevant in 2009 than it was in 2002.  I agree with my friend James W. that this book ought to be read by every seminarian before and after seminary.  Piper takes aim at the professionalization of the ministry.  We are not professionals, we are shepherds.

5.  The 5 Book Biography Set [y, l, e, p, s]

Each book has three or so vignette-length biographies.  They are all good and the link above takes you to DG’s Christmas sale.

6.  Finally Alive [l, e, p, s]

This book may prove to be one of Piper’s most important contributions.  The book concerns the rarely written on, doctrine of regeneration.  Definitely one of the best books of 2009.

7.  Battling Unbelief [y, l, e, p, s]

This book gives you tools to fight for your joy in Christ when you don’t feel it.  Also, I am told that, When I Don’t Desire God, and When the Darkness Will not Lift are both quite good and in the same vein.

8.  The Supremacy of God in Preaching [e, p, s]

One of the best books on preaching.  Period.

9.  Future Grace [l, e, p, s]

The superior pleasure of Christ and the hope of future grace are our tools in fighting against sin.

10.  God’s Passion for His Glory [y, l, e, p, s]

This books is Piper channeling Jonathan Edwards thoughts (which is much of what Piper has done his entire ministry… and that is a good thing).  We would be wise to listen to Edwards and his vision for a God who is passionate for His own glory.

Honorable Mentions:

What’s the Difference – book on Biblical manhood and womanhood.

Counted Righteous in Christ – book defending the doctrine of Christ’s imputed righteousness.  A critical doctrine and a solid book on the matter.

The Justification of God – rock solid exegesis of Romans 9.  If you have ever had questions about Romans 9, this book will answer them.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

Top 10 Books on Missions, Evangelism, and Discipleship

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Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper

These books are books that are excellent concerning Missions, Evangelism, or Discipleship.

1.  Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper  [y, l, e, p, s]

This classic elevates worship as the goal of missions.  It is an easy and enjoyable read.

2.  The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman  [y, l, e, p, s]

Coleman takes a thorough look at Jesus’ method of discipleship.  A short and easy must read.

3.  From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya:  A Biographical History of Christian Missions by Ruth Tucker  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Missionary biography is fascinating and oftentimes hilarious.  See my previous write-up here.

4.  Tell the Truth by Will Metzger  [y, l, e, p, s]

Great book on evangelism written from a Reformed perspective.  Metzger challenges people to tell the whole gospel to whole people, causing you to ask the questions, ‘what are the essentials of the Gospel and people?’

5.  Operation World by Johnstone and Johnstone  [y, l, e, p, s]

Operation World is essentially several dossiers on the remaining unreached people groups, giving analysis on how you can pray for them.  Also, Window on the World is like Operation World for kids.

6.  A Faith Worth Sharing by C. John Miller  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Jack Miller lived a pretty crazy life.  These are some of his stories.  It is a short, encouraging, and easy read.  Also, Miller’s, Heart of a Servant Leader is excellent – it consists of letters he has written to various people under his care throughout his ministry.  Really valuable wisdom.

7.  Transforming Mission by David Bosch  [p, s]

This is a deep, dense, and thorough look at missionary paradigms.  It is not an easy read but patience will be rewarded with excellent deep thought.

8.  Perspectives on the World Christian Movement by Ralph Winter  [y, l, e, p, s]

This is the classic introduction to the task that lies ahead for the worldwide church.

9.  Breaking the Missional Code:  Your Church Can Become a Missionary in Your Community by Ed Stetzer  [l, e, p, s]

Stetzer is quite knowledgeable on how to create church cultures that have real Gospel impact on their community.  Also, Lesslie Newbigin’s, The Open Secret, and Darell Guder’s (editor), Missional Church are excellent.

10.  Re-Entry by Peter Jordan  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Going from living in one culture back to your culture can really mess you up (just think of the stereotype of the socially awkward and/or out of touch missionary who comes back to give a powerpoint presentation to your church).  Long-term missionaries invariably find themselves in a cultural no-man’s land as they have adopted many of the redeeming aspects of the people they are ministering to, while putting off many of the deplorable or unfortunate aspects of their former culture.  There is also the question of where is home?  The people you are ministering to or the place where you grew up?  Re-Entry is a helpful guide for the returning missionary.

Update:  Highly Recommended

Church Planting Movements by David Garrison

I have heard this book recommended several times (including the comments from this post), so I thought I would put it up here.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

Top 10 Books on Christian Biography

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Here I Stand by Roland Bainton

1.  Here I Stand:  A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton  [e, p, s]

This is the definitive biography on Martin Luther.  Luther’s life makes for fantastic reading as Western civilization and church history take sharp turns.

2.  The Life and Diary of David Brainerd by Jonathan Edwards  [y, l, e, p, s]

Edwards was enraptured by young David Brainerd, missionary to the Indians.  This is his diary and biography.  It is quite good.

3.  A Short Life of Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden  [y, l, e, p, s]

Edwards is considered to be the greatest thinker in American history.  He started at Yale at age 14 and completed his graduate degrees at 19.  He was instrumental in the First Great Awakening.  He was a great husband and father.  He was the 2nd President of Princeton and much more.   There are a few good biographies of Jonathan Edwards, this one is brief, readable, and excellent.

4.  From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya:  A Biographical History of Christian Missions by Ruth Tucker [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Missionary biography can be quite comical.  The history of missions reads like a comedy of errors, tragedies, and crazy stories that leave you with the inescapable conclusion that God is real and He is advancing His kingdom despite us.

5.  John Calvin:  Pilgrim and Pastor by William Godfrey [y, l, e, p, s]

There are about a half dozen good biographies on John Calvin.  I can vouch that this one is quite good.

6.  Biography Set by John Piper [c, y, l, e, p, s]

This is a set of 5 books with multiple biographies each.  Brief, readable, and commendable.  The audio/text of these can also be found through a link below.

7.  John G. Paton:  Missionary to the New Hebrides compiled by James Paton  [y, l, e, p, s]

Amazing story.

8.  Through Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot  [c, y, l, e, p, s]

Elliot writes of the martyrdom of her husband Jim and four others at the hands of the Waodani and then recounts their conversion to Christ.  Tens of thousands of missionaries look to this event and the Life Magazine article about their death as the moment in time they decided to pursue a life of overseas missions.

9.   Autobiography of George Mueller by George Mueller  [y, l, e, p, s]

This guy lived a radical life.

10.  The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon vol. 1 and vol. 2 by Charles Spurgeon  [e, p, s]

Charles Spurgeon was a fascinating person and fantastic preacher.

I would also commend to you these biographies from Desiring God Ministries.  At their annual Pastor’s Conference, John Piper delivers a biography of some person in church history.  They are concise, excellent, moving, and I highly recommend working your way through them, either on the web or in audio format.

(c=children; y=young adult; l=lay leader; e=elder; p=pastor; s=scholar)

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