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Book Review – Bearded Gospel Men

51u0kkqydsl-_sx335_bo1204203200_Title: Bearded Gospel Men: The Epic Quest for Manliness and Godliness
Author: Jared Brock and Aaron Alford
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publishing Year: 2017
Pages: 304
My Rating: 4 out of 5 (1 meaning I hated the book, 5 meaning I loved the book)

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher for review. I was under no obligation to offer a favorable review.

Bearded Gospel Men is a 31 day devotional written by Jared Brock and Aaron Alford. The book presents you with a Bible verse and quote for each day along with a short biographical sketch of an influential leader from church history. Of course all of these leaders are men, and men with beards. This is followed by a prayer and contemplative questions that help you carefully think through the material in an applicable way.

As someone with an appreciation of church history, I found this book both fascinating and hilarious. If you enjoy memes on social media, you will enjoy this book. The humor sprinkled throughout every page keeps you interested but the spiritual meat of the book keeps you engaged. While I was already familiar with most of the men featured, I still learned quite a bit I did not already know.

While I would recommend this book, it obviously has an intended, limited audience. There is quite a bit of truth we all can learn from, but the constant jokes about masculinity and beards would probably turn away most ladies. I would also caution that the book has more of a wide-spread Evangelical appeal and would not be as “reformed” as would like. Yet, the book is still worth the read.

Purchase the book for yourself here.

Free E-Book Alert – Calvin on the Christian Life by Michael Horton

 

The fine folks at Crossway are once again offering a free book, this time by one of my favorite authors – Michael Horton.  By the way, Dr. Horton has agreed to come on my podcast this month!

Here’s the amazon.com description of the book:

John Calvin, a man adored by some and maligned by others, stands as a legendary figure in Christian history. In Calvin on the Christian Life, professor Michael Horton offers us fresh insights into the Reformer’s personal piety and practical theology by allowing Calvin to speak in his own words.

Drawing not only from his Institutes and biblical commentaries, but also from lesser-known tracts, treatises, and letters, this book will deepen your understanding of Calvin’s theology and ministry by exploring the heart of his spiritual life: confident trust and unwavering joy in the sovereign grace of God.

Part of the Theologians on the Christian Life series.

Download the book by filling out this quick survey.

This and That

A Word of Empathy, Warning, and Counsel for “Narrow” Complementarians – Christians, furthermore, should know how to adjust their volume depending on whether the matter at hand is a straight-line law issue or a jagged-line wisdom issue. I’ll raise my voice—metaphorically speaking—over abortion. I’ll speak more softly in the tougher matters of policy or ethics. Why? Because I recognize that my calculations are just that, mine, not God’s. I arrived at those conclusions only after several sharp bends in the road. – Jonathan Leeman

This and That

Repenting of Confirmation Bias Christianity – The reason we fall into confirmation bias politically is not essentially a political problem. It is a human problem, which is to say, it is a sin problem—which is to say, it is a problem of self-interest and self-worship. The truth is, you and I are prone to conducting our entire lives along the narratives constructed from confirmation bias. – Jared C. Wilson

How to Teach Boys to Respect Women – Do not let the boys and young men around you ever, even for a millisecond, see you waving away or justifying sexual predation, misogynistic comments, or violence against women by a sports figure because he plays for your team or a politician because he belongs to your party or an entertainer because he makes you laugh. Your hypocrisy cannot only point the next generation away from Jesus, but may also point them toward the way of predation. – Russell Moore

9 John Calvin Facts You (Probably) Didn’t Know – He had good friends like Philip Melanchthon, Heinrich Bullinger, Martin Bucer, and William Farrel (for a while). Yes, he had some good friends. But considering his personality, making friends didn’t always come easy for Calvin. He sometimes bullied, intimated, and manipulated people. But some of these same people stayed loyal to him, even being there for him on his deathbed. – David Qaoud

3 Reasons Every Christian Needs to Use the Creeds – When our beliefs are written down and we have them informed by those who have gone before us, we safeguard ourselves from our generations peculiarities and from the tyranny of leaders who would abuse their authority. Like roads on a highway, they keep us from driving onto terrain that will destroy our tires or, as Paul says, to prevent us from shipwrecking our faith (1. Tim. 1:19). – Timothy W. Massaro

Billy Graham, flawed social justice warrior, RIP – I will take on young Graham over a hundred would-be experts on Bahnsen who geek out over doctrinal minutiae while sitting on their hands. Graham actually did it, and he did it when it was tough, and when it mattered; and that’s what we should remember. Graham, when he was at his best, was not just a preacher of the Gospel. He was a social justice warrior in his message and his actions, and when he did it, he did it the right way. – Joel McDurmon

On the Passing of Billy Graham

This morning a giant went to be with His Lord.  Evangelist Billy Graham died at the age of 99 leaving behind him a rich history of faithfulness to Christ.

I never had the opportunity to see him in person.  The closest I ever came is that his son Franklin once waved hello to me at a rally he held in Madison, WI last summer.  Yet, the well-known evangelist had a profound impact on my life.  My Dad was led to Christ during a Billy Graham crusade.  It was because of this that I was raised in a Christian home and was exposed to the gospel at an early age.  My Dad and I would watch many televised crusades together along with several movies produced by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association such as Joni and Time to Run.

Thank you, Dr. Graham, for your passion for the gospel and commitment to the Kingdom.  Someday we will meet around the throne of God worshipping the savior you’ve been pointing us to for so long.

My Interview with Tullian Tchividjian

I am really excited about the latest episode of my podcast as it features an interview with a man who has profoundly influenced my thought, Tullian Tchividjian.  I know for some the very name itself will be a turn-off due to his past, but this is certainly worth a listen.  If anyone can tell you about God’s grace to the rejected, it is Tullian.

So listen here – https://basicbiblepodcast.wixsite.com/basicbiblepodcast/single-post/2018/02/19/023–The-Gospel-of-Grace

Or, now you can listen on SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/basicbible/the-gospel-of-grace

On the Passing of Dr. Bobby Roberson

This past week saw unspeakable tragedy.  The school shooting in South Florida was a horrific act of treachery that is becoming way too common.  But, lost in headlines from last week was the passing of Dr. Bobby Roberson, the pastor of the Gospel Light Baptist Church in Walkertown, NC.

Brother Bobby, as he was known to many, was the pastor there at Gospel Light for over sixty years though his ministry extended far beyond that church.  I had the pleasure of meeting him on several different occasions, mostly Bible conference settings.  Two things immediately jump out about him.  First, he had a clear passion to win souls to Christ.  It was what drove him.  He loved the lost and sought every opportunity to give them the gospel.  Second, he was a pastor to pastors.  He strove to be an encouragement to those in gospel ministry.  He wanted to be the shot in the arm to pastors throughout the country to keep them going amid difficult ministries.

My first encounter with Dr. Roberson was back in college while I attended Crown College in Powell, Tennessee.  During Bible Conference back in 1997 I believe he preached a powerful message entitled, “Why I Can’t Quit.”  While today I could quibble with some theological aspects of the message, it was one of those sermons that still comes to my mind from time to time.  I probably still have the cassette recording of the message somewhere.  I can still hear groveling voice proclaiming, “I’ve got a debt to pay.”  It was a powerful message to keep preaching Christ.

Brother Bobby left a lasting legacy and will now for the rest of eternity be worshipping Christ alongside many of the people he helped lead into the Kingdom.

Five Ways Dr. Bobby Roberson Influenced Me by Paul Chappell

Tribute to An Encourager by Scott Pauley

A Book You Need – Onward by Russell Moore

Normally when I post about books it’s either a link to a free one or a review of one I just read.  Today, I found out one of the best books I’ve read on faith on politics authored by one of my favorites guys is on sale for just $.99.  I cannot recommend this book enough.

Here’s the Amazon description:

As the culture changes all around us, it is no longer possible to pretend that we are a Moral Majority. That may be bad news for America, but it can be good news for the church. What’s needed now, in shifting times, is neither a doubling-down on the status quo nor a pullback into isolation. Instead, we need a church that speaks to social and political issues with a bigger vision in mind: that of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As Christianity seems increasingly strange, and even subversive, to our culture, we have the opportunity to reclaim the freakishness of the gospel, which is what gives it its power in the first place.

We seek the kingdom of God, before everything else. We connect that kingdom agenda to the culture around us, both by speaking it to the world and by showing it in our churches. As we do so, we remember our mission to oppose demons, not to demonize opponents. As we advocate for human dignity, for religious liberty, for family stability, let’s do so as those with a prophetic word that turns everything upside down.
The signs of the times tell us we are in for days our parents and grandparents never knew. But that’s no call for panic or surrender or outrage. Jesus is alive. Let’s act like it. Let’s follow him, onward to the future.

Download the book here.

This and That

My Pastor Just Bombed A Sermon – Watch your expectations. Were you expecting your local pastor to be as talented a speaker and preacher as the “big names?” If you were, you might have been setting your expectations a little too high. You should expect your pastor to do well and to have done his studying and preparations. But when you expect greatness you are disappointed by anything less. Rather expect your pastor to be who you know him to be. Expect him to faithfully deliver the Word and to do it as he is built to do it. And as you expect your pastor to be himself, support him in that. – Adam Kareus

Don’t Be A Fundamentalist (Calvinist Or Otherwise) – When you elevate your doctrinal system too highly, you become a fundamentalist in a second sense: you start to believe that all of God’s graces, or at least the best of them, are found only within your narrow little camp. Again, I am no doctrinal relativist, but it seems that God has chosen to give greater insight into certain areas of Christian life and teaching to people I disagree with on secondary issues than he has to me and the people in my camp. Fundamentalism doesn’t recognize that–in many ways, can’t recognize that. Fundamentalism believes that if you’re not in our camp, and you’re not on the approved list, there is very little you have to say. The best of God’s grace is only with me and mine.  – J.D. Greear

Jesus Doesn’t Give A Standing Ovation to Sexual Assault – Sexual assault utterly appalls him. A confession of sexual assault is not something to be applauded. Yes, we can be grateful that the event has come to light, but we shouldn’t be applauding a man for a half-hearted confession that should have happened twenty years ago. There is nothing admirable or praiseworthy in admitting you raped someone only after that person goes public with their story. – Stephen Altrogge