A few days ago I received three packages in the mail and, coincidentally, each of them contained a book for which I had penned an endorsement several months before. I bring them to your attention because of them is worth reading.
The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric Bargerhuff. Here’s what the publisher says about it: “A surprising number of well-known Bible verses are commonly misused and misunderstood. Whether intentionally or not, people take important verses out of context, and pastor and Bible scholar Eric J. Bargerhuff has seen the effects: confusion, faulty decisions, sin being dismissed, and more. With a deft touch, he helps readers understand and apply sound principles of interpretation and application of twenty familiar verses. This concise high-interest approach appeals to the curious as well as readers concerned about incorrect theology.” And my blurb went like this:
There is great value in memorizing Scripture and in storing up God’s Word in your heart. But that value is diminished when verses are then quoted out-of-context, used in ways they were never meant to be used. Eric Bargerhuff has done the church a great service in selecting a list of verses we are prone to misuse and patiently and winsomely explaining what they really mean and how they actually apply to us. This is a book that is long overdue and I gladly commend it to you.
Together: Growing Appetites for God by Carrie Ward. The publisher says, “Christian parents have a responsibility to make sure their children know and love God’s Word. But what if you struggle as a parent to read the Bible yourself. How can you pass a love for God’s Word along to your children if you struggle with it yourself? That was Carrie Ward’s story. Until God gave her a plan to help her develop a consistent time in the Word, right along with her children. Readers will walk together with Carrie Ward, an everyday mama, as she journeys through the Bible with her small children one chapter a day. As her children re-enact the Bible stories readers will be able to see Scripture through the eyes of a child. Parents will learn how to impart God’s truth to their children day by day, and will see its transformative power on their families. Together: Growing Appetites for God is an easy read and includes helpful tools for scripture memorization and charts to follow progress through the Bible.” Aileen and I endorsed this one together:
Like all Christian parents we long to raise our children “in the fear and discipline of the Lord.” Carrie’s wonderful little book models one simple but profoundly important way we can do that–reading God’s Word together. Together has strengthened our resolve to maintain this important discipline and it has encouraged us to see that it is not only possible, but that it also bears fruit.
Am I Called?: The Summons to Pastoral Ministry by Dave Harvey. The publisher says, “Many men have the skills to lead a church, but only some are called. Dave Harvey helps men considering pastoral ministry to see God’s active role in the process of discerning their calling. God’s Word offers a clear framework for evaluating one’s call, especially within the context of community. Harvey offers six diagnostic questions to help prospective pastors process their calling, and what they should be doing now if they aren’t sure. Illustrated with personal and historical stories, Harvey explores biblical and practical principles for determining the pastoral call. Over the past twenty-four years of ministry, Harvey has enjoyed assisting many men in discerning whether they are called into ministry. This book will guide you through that all-important process with wisdom and confidence in God’s faithfulness in your life.” I wrote:
The history of the church is marked and marred by the “ministries” of unqualified men. The reason I am glad to recommend Am I Called? is that Dave Harvey sets the call to pastoral ministry in the biblical context: the calling from God and the calling from and to a local church. May God use this book to raise up a whole new generation of men who are called, equipped and competent for the work he (and we) have called them to.