Sunday, January 20, 2008
Prayer by Richard Foster
This is another book I would like to own, mark full of notes, and look back on regularly, but listening was better than nothing. Foster covers many different types of prayer in 21 chapters including simple prayer, prayer of tears, prayer of examen, prayer of adoration, unceasing prayer, meditative prayer, petitionary prayer, healing prayer, radical prayer, and many other. The book is practical as opposed to theoretical, and it includes a good bit of biographical data as he shares many of his experiences. I found the book to be full of grace and encouraging rather than condemning. I found myself wanting to pray more and wanting more of God. Foster is able to bring together a wide variety of Christian branches. This may be uncomfortable for some people.
Battling Unbelief by Dr. John Piper
Dr. Piper takes the 8 application chapters from Future Grace and reprints them in this shorter book. These chapters are: Battling Anxiety, Pride, Misplaced Shame, Impatience, Covetousness, Bitterness, Despondency, and Lust. I found each chapter enlightening, challenging, convicting, and encouraging. It would have been better to read this from a book then listen to the mp3 files, but since I was unable to read it, this was better than nothing. Dr. Piper goes from the perspective that we sin because we think it will bring us happiness. No one sins out of duty. But this is a lie. It never will bring us true happiness, only following Jesus will do that. He then shows the lie and how to battle it in each of the eight categories.
How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer
I listened to this twice and am also reading the book and trying to design a curriculum out of it for our kids. I wish I had been introduced to Dr. Schaeffer earlier. This is a truly great book. He is able to look through history and see where we have come and predict where we are heading with amazing accuracy. 30+ years later Dr. Schaeffer's thoughts are still very applicable. He begins with Rome and follows western thought through the Rennaisance and Reformation and to the present. He shows clearly how the different movements were shaped by their belief or unbelief in the God of the Bible. His contrast of France and England during their revolutions is excellent as well as his explanation of different movements in art and how art and philosophy both reflect and guide the worldview and lives of their times. This is a must-read (or listen to) for everyone, I think.
It's Not My Fault by Cloud & Townsend
Cloud & Townsend cover the idea that we must take responsibility for our actions if we want to be happy and have healthy relationships, but that most people do not do this. They walk through the many ways people avoid taking responsibility and try to show how we can change. I think they are right for the most part, but as is so often the case with books like this, reading it will not bring about much change in most people. They do not say much that is new, and if we could just do it, then they would not need to write the book. I doubt that many people read the book and say, "Oh, that is the problem. Now that I know it, I'll just be different." However, in spite of this, I did find the book helpful and am glad I listened to it. I have not fully changed in the applicable areas but am further down the rode than I was before reading it.