I didn’t read as much as I normally would this April, but what I did read was fresh and nourishing. This month also saw me graduate with my M.Div, so I’m looking forward to being a little freer now to read more widely. Other books I read this month (not listed below) include Abraham Kuyper’s Lectures on Calvinism and Helmet Thieke’s A Little Exercise for Young Theologians.
This month turned out holding a selection of books from thoroughly enjoyable women-theologians. The first off the bench was Hannah Anderson, whose book is tenaciously biblical while exploring humility through our physical bodies, emotions, and the natural world. Anderson reminded me afresh how pride is conquered through the recognition of our dependence on God, our need for a Saviour, and the sustaining power of the Spirit without any of whom we would be dust. These ‘roots’ were complimented with frequent practical examples of what humility looks like in real life. Highly recommended.
In ten chapters Jen Wilkin looks at ten of God’s incommunicable attributes (things that are only true of God), showing that God is infinite, incomprehensible, self-existent, self-sufficient, eternal, immutable, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and sovereign. In a similar theme to another book I read this month, Wilkin talks about the importance of of studying God’s attributes; getting to know this incomprehensibly glorious God who has not only made himself known to us, but wants to be known by us.
Many people can go through the Christian life simply praying to god-in-general, never cultivating a relationship with any of the three persons of the Trinity. I loved being able to read about the beauty and wonder of the different functions of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and how encountering each one has increased tenfold my Christian life (not only my prayer life). Seeing the acts of God as acts in which the whole Trinity participates (The Father sends, the Son secures, and the Holy Spirit seals), as well as remembering that the Son taught us to pray “Our Father” through the Spirit is enriching and results in a deeper love and relationship with the God who is three-in-one.
I read Dave Furman’s book a while back (read my review) and really enjoyed his honest appraisal and compassionate advice. Gloria Furman also writes with clarity, imparting the kind of wisdom that only comes from lived experience. With eyes fixed on seeing how God’s plan for motherhood is a high calling encapsulated within God’s grand redemptive plan, Gloria takes a sweeping look at the Old Testament before traveling forward to Jesus, showing how he is every mother’s Prophet, Priest, and King. The call to live out the gospel in our homes as places of Christ-exalting hospitality is a wonderful, life-giving message that will impart courage for every mother.
Among the most important questions in Christianity are around how we practically ‘work out our salvation’. Far from easy-believism or cheap grace, I found this to be a super-helpful systematic look at the common questions around the call of Christ, the response of humanity, what genuine conversion looks like (in light of getting the previous two right) and the demonstration of saving faith ongoing in the life of the Christian. I listened to the audio book for this one, and found myself wishing I could take out a highlighter and mark plenty of paragraphs on the way through.