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@ 7 PM
It has been over a year since I last posted on this blog. The irony is that the blog is titled "A Shepherd's Thoughts." That should have you concerned about the sparsity of my thoughts...
Actually, if you know me, you know I'm not short on thoughts. But the last year of my life pastoring a new church has been consumed with one thought, "Just keep your head above water and don't drown!" Praise the Lord that 16 months after the birth of Harvest Bible Chapel Austin, we are not just surviving but THRIVING!
Now it's time to start blogging again. This time the blog is going to go a little different direction. The blog is going to be for the purpose of protecting you from one of the most dangerous places on earth. If you have been at our church long, you know what place I'm about to say--THE "Christian" BOOKSTORE. That's right. I believe the "Christian" bookstore is a scary place for most people to venture into. No, I'm not scared of porcelain angels or cliche t-shirts. I'm scared of the books.
When you go into a bookstore and see
Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ
on the same shelf as
Every Day a Friday: How to Be Happier 7 Days a Week
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance
! Most of the books on the shelf are, at best, a waste of money. But many of the books are full blown heretical. Paul says that anyone who preaches another gospel should be accursed (Gal. 1:8). And a different gospel is exactly what most are writing about.
For the foreseeable future, this blog will be dedicated to talking about books that the leadership of this church are reading and what we are learning from them. The goal is threefold. First, I desire to encourage you with wonderful truths about Christ that are being mined from great books. There is nothing better than sitting down with a nice cup of coffee and reading words that stimulate you to think about the person and work of Christ or what it means to follow Him. I am personally indebted to men throughout the centuries that have allowed me to grow from the wisdom God blessed them with. Only a book allows me to sit in the classroom of C.H. Spurgeon and have a private lecture (
Lectures to My Students
) or lap up the words of John Owen as he explains how to mortify sin that wants to kill me (
The Mortification of Sin
Second, I want to whet your appetite for good the books we discuss so that you will purchase them and read for yourself. I do believe that anyone serious about making and leading disciples must be a reader. In the words of Spurgeon, "As the Apostle said to Timothy, so he says to every one of us, 'Give yourself to reading.' He who will not use the thoughts of other men's brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature. But study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the puritanical works and expositions of the Bible. The best way for you to spend your time in leisure is either in reading or praying." I can't expand on that...
Third, I hope that you will grow in your own discernment of what is a good book and what is junk. Life is too short to read worthless books. And life is too important to read books that lead you away from the ultimate truth and greatest book we have--the Bible! There are only a limited amount of books you can read before you die. Make each one count.
I hope that this endeavor will serve each of you well. May your soul be richly nourished as you read from the living Word of God and overflow as you glean from those who have grown to know our Savior so deeply. In the end as we are about to die, I hope you and I will ask for the same thing the Apostle Paul did before his departure from earth,
"When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the
Oh, and so that I don't blow the whole point of the blog, I guess I should clarify that the "Every Day is a Friday" and "Shack" books are the examples of dangerous "Christian" books.
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On 1/13/02012 10:43 PM,
Marc Wagoner said...
Hello my brother in the Lord. I look forward to reading your blog. Always be encourage that you and the local congregation at Harvest is being prayed for as we eagerly wait for His return.
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