Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading
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The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment

 By: Tim Challies
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Discernment - we all need it, it is much sought-after, but not many seem to want to go through the steps to get it. Much of the time this is because discernment is misunderstood. In this his first book, Tim Challies grapples with this problem head-on, and simplifies the process for those looking for a clear definition of what biblical discernment truly is.

Beginning with the clear scriptural mandate to be discerning, Challies encourages Christians to focus on what discernment is, what it means to committed Christians, and the consequences of not acquiring a mature ability to discern between right and wrong. In a world where truth is downplayed and ambiguity is embraced, discernment is indispensable to an active and engaged Christian faith.

Challies pulls no punches in outlining this defining characteristic of all mature Christians, giving its biblical basis and reasons for developing it. But he goes further to warn against the abuse or misuse of discernment - speaking the truth without love, elevating disputable doctrine to the level of critical doctrine, assigning guilt (or honor) by association, etc. - as well as giving a practical way to implement discernment. Concise, comprehensive and challenging, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment will serve as a standard text on this subject for many Christians.

A Tale of Three Kings
A Study in Brokenness
 By: Gene Edwards
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To the many Christians who have experienced pain, loss, and heartache at the hands of other believers, this compelling tale based on the biblical figures of David, Saul, and Absalom offers comfort, healing, and hope.

Expository Listening
A Handbook for Hearing and Doing God's Word
 By: Ken Ramey
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In many people's mind, if they don't get anything out of the sermon, its the preacher's fault. But that's only half true.  The Bible teaches that listeners must partner with the preacher so that the Word of God accomplishes its intended purpose of transforming their life.  Expository Listening is your handbook on biblical listening.  It is designed to equip you not only to understand what true, biblical preaching sounds like, but also how to receive it and ultimately, what to do about it.  You need to know how to look for the Word of God, to love the Word of God, and to live the Word of God.  In this way, God and His Word will be honored and glorified through your life.

Hitler's Cross
How the Cross Was Used to Promote the Nazi Agenda
 By: Erwin W. Lutzer
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When Germany needed a Savior, Hitler falsely stepped in.  He directed his country men to a cross but he bent and hammered the true cross into an horrific substitute, the swastika.  Where was the church through all of this?  With few exceptions, the German church looked away while Hitler inflicted his final solutions upon the Jews.  Hitler's Cross is a chilling historical account of what happens when evil meets a silent shrinking church, and an intriguing and convicting expose' of modern Americas' own hidden crosses.

Life in the Father's House
A Member's Guide to the Local Church
 By: Wayne Mack & David Swavely
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This book introduces us to the meaning of church membership, the traits of a good church, and how we are to function as parts of the body. Written for lay men and women, it includes practical discussions on church leadership, male and female roles, worship, spiritual gifts, confrontation, unity, and prayer.

No Place for Truth
Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology
 By: David Wells
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Written expressly to encourage renewal in evangelical theology, No Place for Truth explores the interface between Christian Faith and the modern world in entirely new ways and with uncommon rigor.  David F. Wells's sweeping analysis examines the collapse of theology in the church, the academy, and modern culture, raising profound questions about the future of conservative Protestant faith.

Rescuing The Gospel
The Story and Significance of the Reformation
 By: Erwin W. Lutzer
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In prose that captivates as it informs, Erwin W. Lutzer captures the people, places, and big ideas that fueled the Reformation.  He explains its lasting influence on the church and Western civilization.  And, perhaps most importantly, he shows why the actions of passionate believers five hundred years ago still matter today.

The Enemy Within
Straight Talk About the Power and Defeat of Sin
 By: Kris Lundgaard
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Why do I keep on sinning?  This book takes dead aim at the heart of ongoing sin.  Drawing from two masterful works by John Owen, Kris Lundgaard offers insight, encouragement, and hope for overcoming the enemy within.

The Supremacy of Christ: Sufficient
 By: Dr. William McCarrell & Rev. Richard McCarrell
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Of all the books of the Bible, Romans Chapter 8 addresses the entire breadth of the Christian experience. Beginning with Christ's finished work on the cross on our behalf, it progresses to many of the blessings and riches that are available today because of Christ. It goes further to assure believers of the unimaginable eternity with no separation from Christ. McCarrell uses Scripture illustrated with anecdotes to remind and refresh our spiritual lives and his intense love for the Word is infectious.

The Trellis and the Vine
 By: Colin Marshall, Tony Payne
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All Christian ministry is a mixture of trellis and vine.  There is vine work: the prayerful preaching and teaching of the word of God to see people converted and grow to maturity as disciples of Christ. Vine work is the Great Commission .  And there is trellis work: creating and maintaining the physical and organizational structures and programs that support vine work and its growth.
What's the state of the trellis and the vine in your part of the world? Has trellis work taken over, as it has a habit of doing? Is the vine work being done by very few (perhaps only the pastor and only on Sundays)? And is the vine starting to wilt as a result?
The image of the trellis and the vine raises all the fundamental questions of Christian ministry:
  • What is the vine for?
  • How does the vine grow?
  • How does the vine relate to my church?
  • What is vine work and what is trellis work, and how can we tell the difference?
  • What part do different people play in growing the vine?
  • How can we get more people involved in vine work?
In The Trellis and the Vine, Colin Marshall and Tony Payne answer these urgent questions afresh. They dig back into the Bible's view of Christian ministry, and argue that a major mind-shift is required if we are to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ, and see the vine flourish again. 

There Really Is a Difference
A Comparison of Covenant and Disopensastional Theology
 By: Renald E. Showers
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Currently, two theological persuasions dominate efforts to systematically interpret Scripture.  In this book Dr. Renald showers draws the distinctions between Covenant and Dispensational Theology and demonstrates that the differences are not superficial but fundamental - there really is a difference.