Final Call (January 3)

Today I’m beginning a new feature, or trying out one, at least. I envision it as a late-afternoon or early-evening post that will provide something interesting, informative, and encouraging toward the close of the day. It will appear some days, not all days, and will always be a brief, hand-picked selection of articles, videos, and curiosities from the Internet and beyond. I will try it for a while, then evaluate and get your feedback. I’m calling it “Final Call.” Here we go.

Become a Patron

Top 100 of 2016

The Evangelical Christian Publishers Association has published a list of the one hundred bestselling books of 2016. Not surprisingly, it’s not a pretty sight. It’s noteworthy how many are related to Sarah Young (9), coloring books (7), and joke books (3). Not that there’s anything objectively wrong with coloring or jokes, but there’s something alarming about them outselling most other books. Also note that Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen have 4 each on the list. Of these hundred books, I think there may be no more than five or ten that I’d recommend.

Anyway, here’s the top-ten:

Top-100 Christian Books of 2016

You can see the rest of the list at the ECPA site.

Mini-Q&A

Q: It’s hard enough to part with books. Any thoughts on what to do with study bibles with study notes you would consider to be unbiblical? I have an old KJV Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible with many notes that are less than wonderful, and I really don’t know what to do with it. Giving it away would be impossible as the notes are unbiblical. Tossing it to the curb also doesn’t sit well as it’s still the Word of God (minus the study notes of course). Any thoughts?

A: We who honor the Word of God have to guard ourselves against superstition, and we can be a bit superstitious about the Bible as a book, a physical form. Disposing of an old Bible is not diminishing the value of Scripture. It is not disrespectful to God or the Word of God. There is nothing objectively wrong with disposing of an old Bible. There is no need for fear or superstition. You can simply put it in your recycling bin or in the trash. Throw it out respectfully—don’t burn it in your front yard or make a show of destroying it—but dispose of it without fear that you’ve committed a terrible sin.

If it is a quality translation of the Bible and in reasonable condition, another option is to send the Bible to an organization that will give it to someone who has no Bible. The Bible Foundation receives Bibles and even just parts of Bibles and will distribute them. So too does Christian Resources International. If you’re going to put your Bible in an box and ship it to them, perhaps slip a check in there as well to fund a few more. (Ask a Question)

A Is For…

A is for Adoption. “In regard to the application of salvation, the mighty work of God to take sinful people—enemies who are alienated and separated from him—and embrace them as beloved children into his family forever. Redemption through the Son of God results in their adoption as sons and daughters, together with the reception of the Spirit of adoption, by whom God is called “Abba! Father!” (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:4-7). Adoption as children into the family of God means further that Christians are brothers and sisters, united with one another (Gal. 3:26-28) and fellow heirs with their brother Christ (Rom. 8:17).
—Gregg Allison, The Baker Compact Dictionary of Theological Terms.

4 Great Books on Holiness

The Christian life is meant to be a pursuit of holiness for, as Kevin DeYoung says, “To run hard after holiness is another way of running hard after God.” Here are some books that will help. Begin with the modern day classic, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul, then follow it with The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges, a classic in its own right, and Kevin DeYoung’s The Hole in Our Holiness, which offers some contemporary considerations. Then turn back the clock and enjoy J.C. Ryle’s Holiness. We are well-served with books on this subject! (Note: All 4 of these books are better than every book on the top-100 ECPA list above!) (More book recommendations)

Quick Clicks

The Crazy Story of the Professor Who Came to Stay—and Wouldn’t Leave (Mother Jones). “It’s not easy to evict someone in California. Usually that’s a good thing.” But not in this case.

Mom and Dad, Thank You (Garrett Kell). You’ll enjoy this son’s parent-honoring tribute to his mother and father.

Baby Wildebeest Meets Baby Hyena (Video) (National Geographic). A baby wildebeest goes exploring and makes a new friend. It doesn’t work out so well.