Recent Posts


Subscription Options

  RSS Feed
  Receive updates via email

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Summer Reading List

Now that we are into the Summer months and we are preparing for vacations and relaxation, I have found that many magazines and newspapers have offered up their recommendations for Summer reading lists. So, I thought, in the spirit of things, I would offer up a few books you might consider adding to your list as you prepare for long car trips and airline flights.

Books on Evangelism
Looking to brush up on sharing your faith. These books will help you build confidence and clarify your message.
  • FF Bruce, "The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?"
  • Mark Driscoll, "The Radical Reformission"
  • CS Lewis, "Mere Christianity"
  • Paul Little, "Know What You Believe"
  • Lee Strobel, "A Case for Christ"
Books on Faith
Want to know study what you believe more deeply and discuss why you believe it? Check out these dandies!
  • Jacob A. O. Preus "Just Words: Understanding the Fullness of the Gospel"
  • Harold Sankbeil, "Sanctification, Christ in Action"
  • Gene Edward Veith, "The Spirituality of the Cross"
  • The Book of Concord (It might take two summers...its thick!)
The Classics
CS Lewis stresses that if we want to understand our day better, we need to understand the past. These are books that have helped shape the minds of Christians for centuries!
  • St. Augustine, "Confessions"
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "Life Together"
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The Cost of Discipleship"
  • John Bunyan, "The Pilgrim's Progress"
  • Martin Luther, "The Bondage of the Will"
  • Martin Luther, "The Freedom of the Christian"
Perhaps you just want a good novel to make you think with a Gospel overtone. These are stories with a meaning!
  • Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities"
  • Fyodor Dostoyevsky, "Crime and Punishment"
  • Bo Giertz, "The Hammer of God"
  • CS Lewis, "The Chronicles of Narnia"
  • CS Lewis, "The Space Trilogy"
And, of course, read your Bible! In fact, make it a point this summer to read from your Bible every day! I'd love to hear what you think of these books or if you are reading something fantastic, let me know, I am always looking for a good read! Happy reading!

Pastor Bob

Speaking of Jesus: July 2009

One of the most offensive parts of our faith is that we claim that Jesus is the Lord of all things. It was the claim "Jesus is Lord" that was so infuriating to the opponents of Christianity. To call Jesus "Lord" was angering to the Jewish opponents because that was a term designated for God in the Old Testament. To call a man that is unbearably heinous (unless it is true!). To worship a man and not God was to break the very first and most important of all the commandments. For the Gentile opposition, calling Jesus "Lord" was offensive because it was a name reserved for Caesar. To worship someone over and against Caesar was illegal and, in the wrong company, could get you killed. And, despite such opposition, recognizing they could die for such claims, the early Christians proudly and boldly worshiped Christ as Lord! Thomas has the greatest of all confessions in the Bible when, upon seeing the risen Jesus, he exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)

The offense has not left the claim in our day and age. People recoil when we proclaim that Jesus is Lord over all. People do not want a Lord, but would rather be in charge of their own lives. They do not want to be told they are sinful or that they cannot take care of their own lives. The sinful nature is always trying to be the master of its own destiny. When we claim that Jesus is Lord over all creation, which He both brought into existence and redeemed, and the ONLY Lord with no other beside Him, it is a clear reminder that I am not Lord, not even of my own life.

But this is where we are able to offer up Good News about the Lord Jesus! He is not a malicious dictator who cares nothing for you or me, but cares only for His own power and glory. Rather, He is a Lord who loves us and serves us! When we turned against His Lordship in a coup to take over our lives, only to secure our own death, He put His life in our place and died to forgive our rebellion and give us life. Far from pursuing His own self-serving glory, His glory was to shame Himself on a cross for us. He has risen from the dead, thus conquering death for us, and now rules us with love and mercy. He does not rule us to condemn us, but to save us and forgive us. He said, "For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it." (John 12:47) We do not have a Lord who demands we live up to His standards or else..., but one who wants to serve us by loving us, forgiving us, and saving us. He kept His demands for us. There is nothing else He demands that He hasn't given us. And now He wants to continue to love and serve us, to guard and protect us, and to carry us through to salvation on His strong arms of mercy and love!

When we speak of Jesus as Lord to our friends, and they grow uncomfortable with the idea of having a Lord over them, let us be quick to remind them of the nature of Christ's reign. It is not one of laws and demands, but one of love and mercy. As Robert Kolb says, "To unbelievers who bristle at the thought of anyone trying to exercise lordship in a life which they wish to dominate themselves, the Christian presents a fatherly and loving Lord, who provides security because He framed the universe, and who provides meaning because He reclaimed human life by entering into the midst of it. No common Lord is He. He is the Lord!" (Speaking the Gospel Today, 134)

Pastor Bob


Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email