Friday, January 15, 2016

Books to Deepen Faith

Forgiveness: Following Jesus into Radical Loving
By Paula Huston

Forgiveness is a profound book on the difficult issue of coming clean and forgiving all those in our past who have hurt us. It is a book teaching us how to follow Christ in every day life. This involves radical loving as the subtitle suggests. It also involves a great deal of soul searching. Paula Husted reveals her own struggles in forgiving others and in forgiving herself. Her journey in forgiveness led her to become an oblate – a lay member of a monastic community. This is a book that must be read over and over. Gems of wisdom jump from every page. Here are a few examples:

“No other religion came into being through an act of forgiveness.” xvi

 “The vengeance cycle can only be broken by humility.” 38

“When self-esteem is our primary goal, we learn to see ourselves and our own concerns as ultimate; we lose our sense of awe in the face of the divine.” 42

“Purity of heart means that every desire is for the same thing: God….Purity of heart refers to that joyful sense of being in which we can freely love the good things of life without losing sight of our North Star.” 71-72

Desiring God
by John Piper

Desiring God fanned the flame of my love for Christ and taught me much. Piper, who calls himself a Christian Hedonist, beautifully details the doctrine of the supremacy of Christ. He says that “the deepest and most enduring happiness is found in God. Not from God but in God.” His passionate descriptions of God and worship attest to this and raise the level of the readers’ desire for God and experience of worship. The supremacy of Christ is beautifully defined and worshipfully experienced.

Piper’s thoughts about false teaching, indifference and accountability in the church are also helpful and well said. It also delighted me to read Piper’s views on worship and missions.

 “Mission is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Mission exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over and the countless millions of redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It’s a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.”

This book is a classic and one to be read over and over.

“The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him.” John 4:23

Blessings, Dottie

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