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The Bible Speaks Today (Commentary Series) – ed. J.A. Motyer and John Stott

Pastors and Bible study preppers, I have long loved and used these commentaries. They bring pastoral wisdom and academic precision together. I preach through books of the Bible as a habit, almost all the time in my church, and so I really value commentaries that help me do that as best I can. These commentaries are some of the best I’ve used.

See them all at IVP

The Defense of the Faith – by Cornelius Van Til

Maybe 15 years ago, someone awakened me to the treasure of Van Til and his presuppositional apologetics. Man, O, man, Van Til blew my mind. As someone who has long loved evangelism and apologetics, it was like all the stars aligned when I came to understand the presuppositional method. I couldn’t get enough! This book and many others drove my ravenous desire to understand. And through my feeding, I came to understand the truly reformed apologetic method of Van Til. So grateful for it. If you don’t know much or anything about this, start reading. You can also find a lot of resources as this site.

Standout Line
“If one does not make human knowledge wholly dependent upon the original self-knowledge and consequent revelation of God to man, then man will have to seek knowledge within himself as the final reference point. Then he will have to seek an exhaustive understanding of reality. He will have to hold that if he cannot attain to such an exhaustive understanding of reality he has no true knowledge of anything at all. Either man must then know everything or he knows nothing.”

“This new edition provides an enormous service to the reader. The somewhat challenging text is abundantly illuminated by Scott Oliphint, no doubt the leading expert on Van Til in our times.” –William Edgar

“Though Van Til often engages ideas, terms, and conversation partners unknown to contemporary readers, this work has a delightful effect in exposing the pretensions of human autonomy and the grandeur of God’s sovereign grace. In his careful, thorough, and sympathetic notes, Professor Oliphint has done us all a tremendous service.” –Michael S. Horton

About the Author
Cornelius Van Til (1895-1987) was born in Grootegast, the Netherlands, and immigrated with his family to America in 1905. He attended Calvin College and Calvin Seminary before completing his studies at Princeton Theological Seminary and Princeton University with the ThM and PhD degrees. Drawn to the pastorate, Van Til spent one year in the ministry before taking a leave of absence to teach apologetics at Princeton Seminary. When the seminary reorganized, he was persuaded to join the faculty of the newly founded Westminster Theological Seminary. He remained there as professor of apologetics until his retirement in 1972. Van Til wrote more than twenty books, in addition to more than thirty syllabi. Among his best-known titles are The Defense of the Faith, A Christian Theory of Knowledge, and An Introduction to Systematic Theology.

Amazon – $20.03
christianbook.com – $19.82

She’s Got the Wrong Guy: Why Smart Women Settle – by Deepak Reju

Oh, here’s a clever book I’ve recommended over and over. I really love Deepak Reju; he has a fantastic personality and he’s full of biblical wisdom. This book carries a striking hook which should grab your attention. So many women can relate to this helpful book. If you know someone who can benefit, recommend it right away. It’s good.

Dr. Reju has turned the topic of dating on its head with this insightful and thoughtful look at who not to marry. As a seasoned counselor and brother in Christ, he walks single Christian women through a methodical process of considering the dangers of settling. Using compelling case studies, Deepak carefully leads them to consider many biblical factors that are sometimes swept away as insignificant while encouraging smart women to be patient in waiting for God’s best.
Mary K. Mohler, President’s Wife, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director of Seminary Wives Institute

With the wisdom that comes from hours and hours of counseling brokenhearted women, the biblical insight that springs from years in the Scriptures, and the compassion that flows out of the heart of a follower of Jesus, Deepak has written a sensitive and important book for women who want to be married and might be tempted to settle for someone . . . anyone . . . who will take away the loneliness. Sisters, if you’re considering who you should date (and ultimately marry), let me encourage you to read this book first and to take Deepak’s counsel to heart. He loves the Lord and his words are true.’
Elyse Fitzpatrick, Author of Counsel from the Cross: Connecting Broken People to the Love of Jesus

Author Bio
Deepak Reju is a pastor, counselor, husband, father, and now an author. His passion is for studying God’s Word, loving his family and shepherding God’s people.

Amazon – $16.31 (kindle – $9.99)
christianbook.com – $14.99
Thrift Books – $15.56

What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done – by Matt Perman

Oh boy, I’m pulling out all the stops on this update. I love, love, love this book. Now, I must say I really don’t care much for books about “leadership” or “productivity.” So often they strike me as shallow and trite and busy. But this book…oh, this book strikes a far different tone. This book is actually Gospel-centered instruction about stewardship of time and energy, in work and life and ministry. You only need this book (IMO). It will help you discern you God-given roles, establish your key values and the best places to invest your life. It’s so good; for real.

“In this amazing volume, Matt Perman offers a wealth of practical, real-world productivity solutions, all framed within the context of the Gospel. He provides the know-how and the know-Who we need to be faithful stewards over the gifts we have been given.” –Michael Hyatt, New York Times bestselling author of Platform; MichaelHyatt.com

“A refreshing, lively, remarkably insightful, deeply God-centered approach to productivity. I kept taking notes about ideas that I wanted to implement in my own life. Everyone from any walk of life who reads this book will be helped and encouraged by it.” –Wayne Grudem, Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies
Phoenix Seminary; author, The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution

“Love your neighbor at work! That’s the ultimate message of Matt’s book What’s Best Next. He shows you not only why you need to do this, but also how. Without getting lost in the details, Matt gives a comprehensive framework for identifying the most important things in your work and life and then putting them first. No matter who you are or what your work is, this is a reliable, exciting, and encouraging guidebook on making things happen and getting things done, from a God-centered perspective. –Brad Lomenick, President of Catalyst; author, The Catalyst Leader

Author Bio
Matt Perman is the director of career development at The King’s College NYC. Formerly he served as the senior director of strategy at Desiring God in Minneapolis, MN, and is a frequent speaker on the topics of leadership and productivity from a God-centered perspective

Amazon – $11.89 (Kindle – $14.99)
christianbooks.com – $11.99
Thriftbooks – 8.69

Spiritual Gifts: What They Are and Why They Matter – by Thomas Schreiner

Caution, here’s a controversial topic! Just kidding; there are no divisive topics, only divisive people. But this topic is certainly lively and important and challenging. That’s why I found it so helpful; this book brings cogent and helpful treatment to the important question of spiritual gifts.

Standout Line
Schreiner shares his personal experience related to spiritual gifts, but more importantly, he unpacks what the Bible has to say about them. In doing so, he brings a spirit of humility and charity, reminding us that though spiritual gifts are important, we can have unity in Christ even where we disagree.

Author Bio
Thomas R. Schreiner is the James Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds an MDiv and ThM from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and a PhD from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has published a number of articles and book reviews in scholarly journals.

Amazon – $15.47 (Kindle – $9.99)
christianbook.com – $12.99
Thrift Books – $12.59


“One of the World’s Longest-Running Experiments Sends Up Sprouts” – by Cara Giaimo
Fascinating article about some old plants which grew late in life. Wow. – article here

“Carolyn Hax: You hate your husband’s pandemic beard. Now what?” – by Carolyn Hax
Always love a well-written beard article. Guys what you think? – article here

“Mothering at the End of Me” – by Liz Wann
An encouraging article for the moms in the crowd. – article here

“Why I am deleting Goodreads and maybe you should, too” – by Kat Smith
I use LibraryThing, but the point about GoodReads remains a good one. Readers, what do you think about this? – article here

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*As always, be a discerning reader.