11 Best Books on Cultural Engagement – Bruce Ashford “First, “cultural engagement” is a very broad term, encompassing many things, and a short list like I am providing only scrapes the surface. Second, I’ve tried to include a mixture of beginning, intermediate, and advanced books in order to provide recommendations for every type of reader. Third, although I don’t agree with everything that is said in any of the books I recommend, I do think each of the books I recommend provide helpful guidance in how to engage our 21st century Western context.”
Lazy Busy – Tony Reinke “
This is sloth at its deadly best: trying to preserve personal comforts through the candy of endless amusements. Sloth is a chronic quest for worldly comfort that compounds boredom — boredom with God, boredom with people, boredom with life.
The most common species of slothfulness is “lazy busy” — a full schedule endured in a spiritual haze, begrudging interruptions, resenting needy people, driven by a craving for the next comfort. It is epidemic in our day.”
Your Job is God’s Assignment – John Piper
A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions (Part 2) - Aubrey Sequeira “Westerners get so googly-eyed with sensational stories from the East that they don’t even notice the non-existence of any form of the gospel message.”
A Plea For Gospel Sanity in Missions – From East to West (Part 3). -Aubrey Sequeira “In previous posts, I addressed two major issues plaguing missions work in India: the craze for numbers and the West’s fascination with “supernatural” testimonies. Here, I wish to address another issue that is quickly gaining traction and causing problems in India, much like it has in the Muslim world: extreme forms of “contextualization.”
“We must proclaim the transcultural lordship and glory of Jesus, rather than hyper-orienting our message and praxis around specific cultural groups.”
“Scripture forms the people of God, not vice versa. I have often wondered if a connection exists between contextualization movements and the influence of post-modernism. The authority is shifted from the revealed Word to the community of readers.” “The notion that communities should read and come to their own conclusions is actually rooted in the post-modern mindset that places authority in the community rather than in the text. “
“Make a distinction between those forms of culture that are religious and those that are not. Do not shrink back from teaching the “whole counsel of God”—which means teaching people to embrace Christianity as an entire worldview. Teach them to reject cultural practices where the Scripture demands it, and be certain that all your “contextualization” is biblically warranted.”
Don’t Follow Your Heart - Jon Bloom “Therefore, don’t believe your heart; direct your heart to believe in God. Don’t follow your heart; follow Jesus.”
Living Well in a Digital World – Tim Challis “When the Bible tells us how to live as Christians, it so often tells us that we need to put on and put off. It tells us that there are habits, patterns, and behaviors we need to stop, and new habits, patterns, and behaviors we need to begin.”
Is Your Heart Spiritually Numb? - Christel Humfrey “In communing with Christ, we move toward becoming our most authentic self, namely, "dead to sin and alive to God" (Rom. 6:11). So let me encourage you to make just one change that will promote your spiritual health. If you are spiritually alive in Christ, then live. Reshuffle your priorities and become who you were meant to be.”
3 Reasons Women Need Good Theology – Alyssa Poblete “Therefore, the only way to prevent a distortion of womanhood is by encouraging women to behold their God—to taste and see that he is good—and to search out his Word to learn of reason after reason after reason to give him praise. We ought to tremble at the thought of encouraging women to do anything else.”
How To Read The Bible For Yourself - John Piper “The aim of our Bible reading is not just the response of the mind, but of the heart. The whole range of human emotions are possible responses to the meaning of the Bible. God gave us the Bible not just to inform our minds, but also to transform our hearts — our affections. God’s word is honored not just by being understood rightly, but also by being felt rightly.”
Millennial Adulthood Delusion – Chris Martin “
I’ve always been fascinated with the two primary Millennial stereotypes: 1) Millennials are self-centered and 2) Millennials aren’t growing up. I never understood where those come from. Now I get it: they’re intertwined and they’re deep within the Millennial understanding of what it means to flourish.
Three of the 34 “ways you change as you become an adult” are focused on others. Sounds more like these may be ways to become parasites of happiness, not productive, caring adults.
Millennials won’t grow up because we won’t care about anyone but ourselves.
It’s hard to grow up and be an adult when you can’t get out from in front of the mirror.”
Everyday Obedience – Our Best Witness JD Greear
You Never Marry The Right Person – Timothy Keller
Why Sing Sad Songs When I Don’t Feel Sad? - Matthew Westerholm “Because of the sin and brokenness of our hearts we have reason to lament. And because of the sin and brokenness in our church and world, we have reason to lament. Most of all, because of the love of our rescuing God, we have an invitation to bring our mournful sadness as protest and appeal to our God. The God who invites our laments can rescue us. And he most certainly will.”
Answering Post-Christian Questions - Nancy Pearcey “Finding Truth offers a 5-part strategy that equips us to penetrate to the core of any worldview and weigh its claims. As one of my students said, “Your book is different from any other book I’ve read on apologetics. Other books are informational; they tell us about various worldviews. Your book teaches us how to actually do apologetics.””
Apologetics, Cultural Liturgies, and our Post Modern Age – Nancy Pearcey
Emotional Blackmail – John Piper “Not feeling loved and not being loved are not the same. Jesus loved all people well. And many did not like the way he loved them.”
4 Reasons Why God Wills Work – John Piper “The curse under which we live today is not that we must work. The curse is that in our work we struggle with weariness and frustration and calamities.”
Think of Yourself Less – video and transcript – Jason Meyer “As C.S. Lewis said, true humility is “not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.””
We Complain Because We Forget - Steven Lee “The antidote to spiritual amnesia is making every effort to recall and remember God’s gracious deliverance. The fact that you — a sinner who was an enemy of God — are now a beloved child is a miracle. Don’t let that wonder ever fade.Remember.”
Fight Like A Girl – Jen Wilkins (The Like A Girl Ad is here) “This is a message given by a female to a female audience, so it covers some ground you might never hear preached from a pulpit. But that's exactly why women teaching women is such a needed layer of discipleship. If you're a guy, don't let that scare you from listening along. If the church is to embrace a strong vision of womanhood, both men and women will need to value it.”
The Spiritual Stages of the Believer’s Life - Nicholas T. Batzig “God’s children who pursue the true purpose of the Christian life belong in one of three categories. The apostle tells us they are little children, young men, or fathers in spiritual life (1 John 2:12–14).”
Does The Devil Have Your Ear? William Farley – “How do we know we have been listening to the Devil’s lies? The fruits are ominous and varied. We become discouraged when life doesn’t go as we had planned. We wallow in guilt after a careless comment hurts someone we love. We compare ourselves to others and then feel worthless. We give into hopelessness or fear as we observe cultural change. Some even yield to the despair that this life is all there is. The Devil knows how to “preach it,” and we are often the victims.” “ “Maturing believers cultivate the discipline of preaching to themselves. In fact, they turn this into an art form. They read Scripture, internalize it, and then continually preach its truths back to themselves. When fears of death and dying arise, they speak to themselves about the world to come. When guilt grips their heart, they remind themselves that they have been united with Christ and that Christ’s righteousness is theirs. They don’t listen to self. They preach to self!””