It has slipped my mind, until now, to post some books from last month, and by “some” I mean “couple”. Aside from the books for my classes I had time to fit in two books for pleasure. I do enjoy the books assigned in class, but I am not sure you would. If you think you might be, message me and I will give you the list and my opinions of them.
The two books I had the pleasure of reading are Spectacular Sins by John Piper and Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian.
Spectacular Sins (click the link) is a short little book concerning the sovereignty of God in evil. This book is only 112 pages, but it sure packs a punch. Throughout its pages Piper reflects on biblical accounts of God using evil to promote His goodness. Piper covers Adam and the fall into sin, the tower of Babel and the dispersion of the human race, Joseph’s life story of seeming tragedy, the origin of David (it was rather sinful), the betrayal of Judas, and the supreme evil, the crucifixion of our Lord, Jesus Christ. To quote an impetus behind this book, or a reasoning Piper takes from biblical texts to support his claim, he says, “Christ holds sway over Satan’s will whenever he pleases. This means that anytime demons are doing horrible things, Jesus is not commanding them to do otherwise. And in not commanding them to do otherwise, he has reason for letting them do what they are doing” (45). This may be a hard pill to swallow, for we Americans tend to think God is only love and being only love He cannot cause calamity. I think this is an error of the American church, and it is something Piper is writing against because he affirms that the Bible teaches God’s sovereignty over evil. One more quote, this is the thesis, or the reason for his book, “This book is also meant to show that everything that exists–including evil–is ordained by an infinitely holy and all-wise God to make the glory of Christ to shine more brightly” (54). Many people would disagree with Piper’s conclusions, but it is hard to argue with the Bible if we indeed believe it to be the Word of God. I recommend buying this little book, even if you disagree with Piper’s reasoning.
Surprised by Grace (click this link too) is a wonderful book concerning God’s pursuit of sinners. Tchidjian uses the book of Jonah throughout the entire book and systematically moves through its four chapters with grace, affluence, and ease. He offers wonderful insight into the little book about a big God through a reluctant prophet. There are even pictures! Though the book revolves around God’s relationship to Jonah, there is an ever-present notion from the author to bring his conclusions back to the cross of Jesus. This book, though about an Old Testament prophet, will enlighten you on how the Gospel is relevant today. This book was a great read, it is written well, and deserves a second time over. BUY THIS BOOK! I do not think I can express it any better than in large letters with an exclamation point. This book will move you, and it will show you how God is consistently chasing you. Read it and love it, then share it.