Top Ten Blog Posts on Servantsofgrace

Posted by on Dec 30, 2010 in Academic Work

Greetings in Christ,

A few days ago I posted my “top ten” books I read this year. In the spirit of that post, I’m posting the top ten most read blog posts on the website starting from #10 to #1.

#10- The Decline of Christianity in Europe- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/17/the-decline-of-christianity-in-europe/

#9- What is Justification?- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/11/03/what-is-justification/

#8- Spending Quality time in the Word of God Part 1 http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/21/spending-quality-time-in-the-word-of-god-part-1/ and Part 2- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/22/spending-quality-time-in-the-word-of-god-part-2/

#7- The Destiny of the Unevangelized and the Nature of Hell- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/08/the-destiny-of-the-unevangelized-and-the-nature-of-hell/

#6- Towards a Biblical Sexuality- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/10/13/towards-a-biblical-sexuality/

#5- The Growth of Christianity in Uganda- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/18/the-growth-of-christianity-in-uganda/

#4- The Triumphant Resurrection of Christ- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/10/04/the-triumphant-resurrection-of-christ/

#3- Book Review of Marriage Matters- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/12/15/review-of-marriage-matters/

#2- Burning the Quran, 9/11 and Islam- http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/09/burning-the-quran-911-and-islam/

1) The role of spiritual warfare in spiritual growth http://servantsofgrace.org/2010/09/23/the-role-of-spiritual-warfare-in-spiritual-growth/

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Top Ten Books of 2010

Posted by on Dec 28, 2010 in Book Reviews

Greetings in Christ,

Many of you will not be surprised that one of my favorite activities to do outside of spending time with my wife or playing golf is reading.  This past year I read 145 books but here are some of my favorites that I think you should check out. Many of the books on this list were not published in 2010 but they are still well worth your attention.

1) What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert.  This is an important book that clearly articulates what the Gospel is and its importance for the Christian life. This is an especially important book given the popularity of the terms “Gospel-Centered” and “Christ-Centered”. This book clearly articulates what it means to be Gospel-Centered and Christ-Centered.  You can pick up a copy here: http://www.amazon.com/What-Gospel-9Marks-Greg-Gilbert/

2) Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne. This is one of the best books on ministry I’ve read. In this book the authors explain the importance of what a ministry grounded thoroughly in the Gospel looks like and how to train disciples and pastors to be trainers for the sake of the Gospel. You can pick up a copy of the book at http://www.amazon.com/Trellis-Vine-Ministry-Mind-Shift-Everything

3) Deep things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything by Fred Sanders. This is a book that should be read by every Christian who is serious about studying the Bible. Dr. Sanders in this book clearly articulates how the Trinity is thoroughly Gospel centered and saturated. You can pick up the book at http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Things-God-Trinity-Everything/

4) For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper is a book that needs to be read slowly and prayerfully. This book is written by a “who’s who” in the evangelical world.  It is written for the purpose of honoring the ministry service of Dr. John Piper and his contributions to the Body of Christ. You can pick up the book at http://www.amazon.com/Fame-Gods-Name-Essays-Honor/

5) How People Change by Tim Lane and Paul David Tripp is one of the best books I read this year. If you’ve tried, failed in your Christian life you need to read this book. This book clearly sets forth the biblical pattern for change that doesn’t minimize Scripture but is thoroughly Scripture-saturated. You can pick up this book at http://www.amazon.com/How-People-Change-Timothy-Lane/

6) What did you expect? by Paul David Tripp is a book that every married couple needs to read. This book takes the Bible seriously and rigorously applies the Gospel to every area of one’s marriage. Reading book will help you to learn how to live with your spouse in a way that honors God.  You can pick up this book at http://www.amazon.com/What-Did-You-Expect-Redeeming/

7) Marriage matters by Winston Smith is one of the best marriage books I’ve ever read. In this book Winston Smith outlines not only what marriage is but how to have a marriage that is thoroughly grounded in the Gospel, and how to live out the Gospel in one’s marriage. You can buy this book at http://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Matters-Extraordinary-Through-Ordinary/

8- God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment by James Hamilton is an outstanding contribution to the field of biblical theology. Reading this book will help you to learn how God’s glory in judgment is played out throughout the Bible.  You can buy this book at http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Glory-Salvation-through-Judgment/

9) Bonheoffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet and Spy by Eric Metaxas is one of the best written biographies I’ve ever read. In this book, Eric explores the life and impact of Dietrich Bonheoffer. You can buy this book at: http://www.amazon.com/Bonhoeffer-Pastor-Martyr-Prophet-Spy/

10) A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a distracting world by Paul E. Miller is a very helpful book that will help you learn and grow in your prayer life. In this book, Paul discusses why most of us don’t pray and the importance of prayer. You can buy this book at: http://www.amazon.com/Praying-Life-Connecting-Distracting-World/

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Review of God So Loved, He gave

Posted by on Dec 16, 2010 in Book Reviews, Reviews

God So Loved, He Gave: Entering the Movement of Divine Generosity is written by Kelly M. Kapic Professor of Christian Studies at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Georgia along with Justin Borger who serves as the Generosity Content Director for the Maclellan Foundation. The book is broken down into three sections: First, from belonging to bondage, second God Reclaims all by giving all: Son, Spirit and Kingdom, and in the final sections concludes with living in the gifts: cross, resurrection church.
Dr. Jerry Bridges in the endorsing this book notes that this work should be read attentively and prayerfully, and he’s spot on with that statement. This is an important book, one that is grounded in the premise that God’s generosity in creating the world, and specifically in sending the gift of His Son to do His work in the Cross and Resurrection.
This work is thoroughly grounded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The authors explain how God created a good and perfect world but that world turned from him and now- the Father loved the world and gave the Son, and the Father and the Son pour out the gift of the Spirit into the hearts of humanity bringing about praise, hope and new creation. The Gospel in this work is never assumed but rather explained in great detail.
As the argument continues to unfold in the book, the reader will get a greater sense of the work of God in creation and in the Word of God. The authors conclude this book by looking at the practical ramifications for all they have said but even then they do not revert to self-help but ground all they say in the Word of God.
This is a book that received glowing endorsements from many men, I highly regard such as Justin Taylor, Dr. Bridges, Dr. Horton, and Dr. Chappell and their endorsements are well deserved. This is a book that will challenge you to see the gift of eternal life and how God calls you in every area of life to live out the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I recommend you get this book and be challenged to see the preciousness of the Gospel afresh as a gift from God.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Zondervan book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review of Marriage Matters

Posted by on Dec 15, 2010 in Book Reviews, Reviews

Marriage Matters is written by Dr. Winston Smith a counselor and faculty member at CCEF (Christian Counseling Education Foundation). Having read several books by New Growth Press, the publishing arm of CCEF, I eagerly awaited reading Marriage Matters and it did not disappoint. In fact, this book exceeded my expectation which is something that rarely every happens.

Having read widely on the topic of marriage, I can honestly say Marriage Matters is the one of the best marriage book I have ever read right along with Dr. Paul Tripp’s book, What did you expect?

Marriage Matters is a book that can be used in seminary classrooms, Sunday school class, or read for devotions. I recommend this book not only for married couples but also for singles to learn what a God honoring marriage is.

Typically most marriage books will focus on a few problems with marriages and then seek to offer solutions to those problems by appealing mostly to secular models. Marriage Matters; however, is different from vast majority of marriage books, I have read in that it does not load you down with self-help but rather explains what the Bible teaches on topics related to marriage. Along the way, Mr. Smith offers personal stories and examples from his own marriage which helpfully illustrate the point he is making.

It is not often that I read a book that is not only very well written as this is, but is also written from a biblical-theological framework that brings honor to Christ and accomplishes its intended purpose. Marriage Matters not only accomplishes its goal, but in the view of this reviewer exceeds it. Marriage Matters simply put is one of the best books I have read on marriage ever, as well as one of the best books I have read all year.

Beware of reading Marriage Matters! It will confront the issues of your heart with the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a book I will be recommending to all my married and single friends. Whether you are newly married or you’ve been married a long time, I recommend you read this book for the sake of your sanctification individually and for the sanctification of your marriage.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the New Growth Press book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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