What I’m Reading Now

     There are many things that I cannot do while I am recovering from surgery. But I am resolved to do all the good that I can while I am laid up.  I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to engage in some concentrated study;  Here are some of the books I’ve been reading.
     Blessed: A History of the Prosperity Gospel, by Kate Bowler, is an academic history of the Word of Faith movement.  Dr. Bowler is a professor of church history at Duke Divinity School.  This is an important book that I’ll write a separate post on.  I say that it’s important, because Texas and Oklahoma are the centers of the prosperity gospel.  What this means for us is that many of our neighbors have been taken in by this aberrant teaching.  As I will point out in the future, this should not make those of us who are Evangelical and Reformed feel superior.  On the contrary, we need to be patient and compassionate with those who have experienced t his faith tradition, and who have felt betrayed by its false promises.
     The Man of God: His Calling and Godly Life,  by Albert N. Martin.  As a pastor, it’s always good to reexamine your call and your fitness for it in terms of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1.  Having pastored a single congregation for forty-six years, Pastor Martin is a master of pastoral theology.  Any minister or interested church member would profit by reading this book.  This is the first of four projected volumes of pastoral theology.  It’s wonderful to be able to “listen in” on the wisdom of such a godly servant of the Lord.
     Living by Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles H. Spurgeon, by Tom Nettles.  This is perhaps the definitive biography on Spurgeon.  It’s refreshing to read a biography of a man whose holiness matched his immense gifting and effectiveness in ministry.
     Job.  I’m continuing to work ahead on sermons from the Book of Job.  I had anticipated being able to preach through the book in about ten or so sermons.  In doing so, I had forgotten the counsel of Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old, who was the pre-eminent scholar of the Reformed faith in the twentieth century.  He said, “every time you preach through a book of the Bible, it will take you longer because you find more depth.”  However, I do not plan to preach 157  sermons on Job, as Calvin did, or 576, as Joseph Caryl did.  I’m working through Matthew Henry’s commentary and Derek Thomas’ doctoral dissertation:  Calvin’s Teaching On Job:  Proclaiming the Incomprehensible God.   I feel like I’m trying to bail out the Atlantic Ocean with a coffee cup.  But it’s good to read over your head, and some of it will stick.  
     Some Pastors and Teachers: Reflecting a Biblical Vision of What Every Minister is Called to Be, by Sinclair Ferguson.  Dr. Ferguson has spent a lifetime in the pastorate.  In this book, he writes on lessons learned from John Calvin, John Owen, and John Murray.  
Latin. Having taught Latin for ten years, I may be functional but have a long way to go.  I’m pushing myself to stay sharp and improve.

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