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.
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.
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.
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.”
- George Washington
- William Wilberforce
- Eric Liddell
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- Jackie Robinson
- Pope John Paul II
- 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.
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.
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.
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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It’s rare I pick up a book of historical fiction that satisfies a reader’s demand for accuracy as well as interest. Mary DeMuth and Frank Viola have created a nice hybrid between the stories of the gospels and the possibilities that lay in the gaps of the stories.
The Day I Met Jesus beautifully weaves together the truth of Scripture with imaginative storytelling to tell the stories of five women:
- The woman caught in adultery
- The immoral woman who washed Jesus’ feet
- The Samaritan woman
- The woman with the issue of blood
- Mary of Bethany
Told from a first-person perspective, some of the details of these women’s lives aren’t pretty, and the fiction does its job—with tactful and skillful writing—to bring these details to life.
Good questions deserve good answers—especially when the questions are honest.
Too often questions about the Bible intend only to put up a smokescreen in which the critic uses as an excuse to hide from his or her accountability to God.
Christians need to know the Bible’s answers to the skeptic’s questions. In fact, a good answer can blow away the smoke and leave the critic exposed to the reality that his or her sin leaves them accountable to God. But thankfully, the Bible also it shows how God’s love has made provision for that sin through Jesus Christ.
Norm Geisler and Jason Jimenez have written an excellent reference book, The Bible’s Answers to 100 of Life’s Biggest Questions, which answers questions that would leave most of us standing with our mouths in the shape of a question mark. We would expect an apologetics book to offer good answers to the typical questions, like: How can a good God allow evil? And what about the person who’s never heard of Jesus? And it does well at these.
But this new volume answers question that seem slipperier.
Last year I tried something I had never done before. I tried to read 50 books by the end of the year (and amazingly, I did). But I wondered if my strategy would work again this year.
I thought perhaps last year was a fluke, so I tried it again this year. Guess what? It still works.
Because your life, like mine, is busy, I’d like to share with you 5 ways I’ve found that you can read more books—and 5 ways you can even find some free ones.
(If you’re curious, I’ll also share the 50 books I read—and tell you my favorite.)
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The Bible Reader’s Joke Book (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition, 2014)
What’s so funny about the Ten Commandments? Wonder no longer. Need a good one-liner for your upcoming Bible lesson on relationships, or your sermon on giving, or your youth talk on purity? You’re all set.
A few years ago, my friend Dr. Stephen Bramer told me he was writing a joke book for the Bible. I laughed. I thought he was joking.
Turns out, he was! (And the book totals more than 2000 jokes.) The subtitle says it all: A collection of over 2,000 jokes, puns, humorous stories, and funny sayings related to the Bible: arranged from Genesis to Revelation.
- Arranged in biblical-chronological order, this thick volume is jammed with jokes, puns, one-liners, and funny (dare I say, “corny”?) stories sure to cause every reaction from a chuckle to an eye-roll.
- You can look up a joke by Bible verse or by topic.
The funniest part of the book to me? The copyright page.
Seriously. Check it out here.