Short Answers to Big Questions

Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Baker Books, 2015)

Good questions deserve good answers. They’re even better answers if they’re short ones. Clinton E. Arnold and Jeff Arnold have given us the best of both—short and good.

Their volume, Short Answers to Big Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity, begins where it must if we are to answer questions related to God, Christianity, and the Christian life. Questions about the Bible must first find good answers. Otherwise, we have no basis of authority for answering other questions.

Each of the 50 chapters in this excellent volume uses a question as its title—and a subject as it subtitle by way of a topical overview.

Sacred Marriage

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy? (Zondervan, 2000, 2015)

I have literally read dozens of books on marriage, and Gary Thomas has written the best. Why? Because Sacred Marriage is not about marriage but about how marriage is merely the context for married people to love and serve God.

Thomas’ classic quote says it best:

We also have to rid ourselves of the notion that the difficulties of marriage can be overcome if we simply pray harder or learn a few simple principles. Most of us have discovered that these ‘simple steps’ work only on a superficial level. Why is this? Because there’s a deeper question that needs to be addressed beyond how we can ‘improve’ our marriage: What if God didn’t design marriage to be ‘easier’? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

Dealing with topics such as romance, learning to love, honoring one another, marriage as God’s tool of sanctification, developing perseverance, learning to forgive, each chapter focuses on God and God alone as the point of marriage (and life). Even the chapter on sex drills down to the glory of God.

After 15 years of publication, this book continues to be one I read over and over. I need this book. And if you’re married, YOU need it too. Sacred Marriage is a gift to your spiritual life. 

What Keeps You Up at Night

What Keeps You Up at Night? How to Find Peace While Chasing Your Dreams (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Pete Wilson rubs his finger on the bruise that causes us each to flinch: What we fear most.

Beginning with the fact that we’re not alone, What Keeps You Up at Night shows how fear is a common response of all people—including those greats in the Bible. Abraham, Joseph, Joshua, Daniel, all faced fear and overcame because they chose to trust God in spite of the fear. 

Whatever the Cost

Whatever the Cost: Facing Your Fears, Dying to Your Dreams, and Living Powerfully (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Okay, I’ll be honest. I thought Whatever the Cost would be a quick, entertaining read. No big deal. Instead, I found two more heroes to add to my life.

I loved reading about the Christian home David and Jason Benham came from—how their father poured into them the mindset to “make our theology our biography.” In other words, live what you believe.

These brothers do that.

I found myself laughing out loud several times as I’d read one brother poke fun at the other one. All in good nature, but hilarious.

seven book

Seven Men: And the Secret of Their Greatness (Thomas Nelson, 2015)

Having enjoyed Eric Metaxas’ book on Bonhoeffer, I was eager to review his latest volume, 7 Men.

The book covers seven famous men in history whose faith made a difference in the way they lived.

Metaxas expressed it this way: “I was looking for seven men who had all evinced one particular quality: that of surrendering themselves to a higher purpose, of giving something away that they might have kept.”

  1. George Washington
  2. William Wilberforce
  3. Eric Liddell
  4. Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  5. Jackie Robinson
  6. Pope John Paul II
  7. Charles Colson

Each chapter of 7 Men includes a brief introduction why Metaxas chose the man, the story of what made the man great, and—by indirect suggestion—how we can live by their example.


Undone: A Story of Making Peace With an Unexpected Life (Zondervan, 2015)

Michele Cushatt is one of the best writers I’ve read in a long time. And her newest book, Undone, gives more than good writing. It’s a great subject.

The book hooked me early on. I read. And read. And read. Refreshing, real, raw. She had me laughing and crying often on the same page.

The message of the book is wonderful. The fairytale we want out of life isn’t real. It never was. If you’ve ever struggled with shattered hopes, a fearful diagnosis, a wayward child, a dysfunctional church, or the silence of God, Undone will walk beside you as a companion.

Here’s why I liked it–and why I’m sure you will.

My Readers’ Top Books to Read

Figuring out good books to read is a lifelong pursuit. Very few of the books I read are those I would recommend. It takes a lot of reading to find gems. If you’re looking for great books, this post will help.

My Readers Top 8 Books to Read

(Photo courtesy of

Last week I asked you to share with me what books have helped you most (other than the Bible). I got some wonderful responses, and I’ll summarize these into a “Best Of” list.

I also mentioned that I’d share the top 5 books to read that have most impacted me.

So, here are both lists.

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