My Top Reads from April

This is a new venture here on the blog. Every month, I’m going to share a few of my favorite books that I have read from the past month. I’m pretty excited about this idea, so let’s get things going.

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Longing for Motherhood by Chelsea Patterson Sobolik

I’m not going to lie, I originally got this book simply because Russell Moore wrote the forward and I thought “Well, at least I’ll have a better idea of what some of my sisters have gone through.” I did not expect for this book to be one of the best books on suffering and grief that I have ever read. Yes, the focus and the heavy lifting of this book is about childlessness. It deals with this sensitive subject Biblically and lovingly, yet the book has a deeper subject matter about grief. Chelsea Patterson Sobolik is so vulnerable in these pages, helping you relate with questions that you may have never said out loud, but definitely thought during your own times of struggle. The rich theology throughout the book was impressive and the love the author has for the local church is made clear as well.  This book blew me away. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I think every woman and at least every pastor should read this brilliant work. Its wisdom regarding grief, loss, and God's goodness is on par with C.S. Lewis' The Problem of Pain and I do not say that lightly. 

 
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The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

For the last few months, my oldest son and I have been making our first journey through Narnia together. This is especially fun for me as I have loved these books since childhood. It’s been exciting to see my son fall in love with them as well. We’ve read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, we finished Prince Caspian, and April was filled with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As a kid, this was my least favorite book. It was hard to follow with so much descriptive paragraphs about the islands and not a lot of action or at least my ten year old self thought so. It was a pleasant surprise to read this with my son and see all that I missed as a kid and then later as a teenager. The chapter about Eustace describing how his dragon state was reversed by Aslan is some of the most beautiful Gospel imagery in all of the Chronicles. My son had to ask why I was crying. 

 
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High King of Heaven edited by John MacArthur

Any book that has John MacArthur attached to it in some way is going to be helpful. High King of Heaven fits this category. While I did not learn very much from it, other than Reeves' chapter which stands above the others, it will be a resource I will use in the future. I remember hearing these statements from watching Shepherds Conference, but now I have them in black and white and can quote them with little effort. As the title suggests, the subject is the Person and Work of Jesus Christ so yes, it was an encouraging read. Nothing will lift the soul like reading about the holiness of Christ. 

 
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Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney

This is a book that I’ve been meaning to read since it came out and I am glad that I finally got a chance to read it. This is one of the most practical and helpful books on prayer. Every Christian has had moments when they know their prayer was overly repetitive or even prayers that upon saying “Amen" they wonder, “Did I even really mean that?” This book will help by understanding that we are to offer God’s Word back to Him in worshipful prayer. Dr. Whitney offers simple steps toward achieving a more Biblical prayer life. I love what he says about the Psalms, “God gave Psalms to us so that we would give the Psalms back to God.” (46) This book would be a help for any Christian. 

 
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1689 London Baptist Confession

I have held to the 1689 LBC for the last few years and have read it many times, but this past month I decided to spend a considerable amount of time and effort digging deeper into this confession than I have ever done before with any statement of faith. What I found was extremely encouraging and insightful. The 1689 stands above every other confession that I have come across. I can say with absolute certainty that no other statement better describes how I view God, His Word, and the outer workings of theology. My copy is now marked up for teaching and explaining in the future. Also, as a side note, to those who would say that such calvinistic documents are anti-evangelism, the 1689 is one of the only confessions that I have found which specifically speaks to church planting. Just sayin’. #NoBetterConfession

That’s some of what I read in April. Come back next week for a normal blog post. 

- Dean