7 Quotes from You Who? by Rachel Jankovic

Rachel Jankovic is a wife and mother who serves at Christ Church in Moscow, Idaho. She’s written You Who? to combat the slitheringly subtle philosophy of existentialism. Put simply, existentialism (defined by Sarte) is the philosophy that your identity and meaning are what you make them. You exist, then you determine  what you are/who you are. Jankovic’s goal is to unveil the soft, and often undetectable inroads existentialism has made into the lives of Christians. While primarily written for a female audience, the book should be read by men as well. Jankovic’s book is bound to offend you for all the right reasons. I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Here are 7 favorite quotes:

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  • In Christianity, the self is always a tool and never a destination.
  • If your essence is in your choices, anything that takes away your own free will and choices is obviously the enemy.
  • A unique human life has unique human value. It does not need to do anything to have value. The value is found in what God did in creating it.
  • “Let go and let God.” Let him? Who exactly do you think he is?
  • Friends, there is no hope for you that is not Jesus. There is nothing interesting about you if it is not resurrected in him.
  • The longing to do something importantthat would just matter is just another form of unbelief. Every Christian is always in the middle of spiritual action.
  • For the world, “Who am I?” Is actually a much bigger question because it is the question of “Who is my god?”… For the Christian, the question of “Who am I?” Is actually just another way of asking, “Who is He?”

7 Quotes from The Pastor and Counseling by Jeremy Pierre & Deepak Reju

Counseling is not a strength of mine. But, as a pastor it’s a part of the job and so I want to grow into the counseling ministry. This year I’ll be reading three books on the subject. I just finished this short into by Jeremy Pierre and Deepak Reju: The Pastor and Counseling. The book divides into three sections: Concepts, Process, and Context. I explain those three here but I bring them up to highlight part of section three: Context.

The real strength of books from the 9Marks organization is their focus on the local congregation. No pastoral counseling can be separated out of the church context in which it occurs. Your church culture either encourages gospel-centered counseling or it discourages it. Pierre and Reju offer helpful ideas on cultivating a church discipleship culture that supports the pastor/member counseling relationship.

Buy the Book Here

Here are 7 of my favorite quotes:

Loving someone means showing concern for his well-being, even if you are unable to fix his particular troubles.

The scent of superiority rather than humility is a stench to Jesus, since it is the opposite of his example.

A pastor should commend anyone who seeks help. Even if you later discover that the presenting trouble has little to do with the actual problem, you can celebrate the God-given humility the person is demonstrating in recognizing his or her need for help.

Be sure to open you Bible during the first meeting. If God’s Word really matters to the process of change. you need to show it.

Don’t be easy or simplistic in labeling what a person’s heart is worshipping. You are not on an idol hunt, as if these things could be easily labeled.

For your people’s sake, don’t accept their starting points or conclusions. Help them to consider other frames, other angles, other lighting that better draw attention to the redemptive hope in the picture.

We should strive to make church a place where being anonymous or nominal is difficult to pull off.

Members who seek counseling should understand from the beginning that as a ministry of discipleship, counseling is a part of a broader accountability to the church. Counseling is therefore a safe place for those struggling against sin, even if they fall often in that struggle. But counseling is not a safe place for those who willfully continue patterns of clear and unrepentant sin.

Have a Biblical counseling book your enjoy? Recommend it in the comments.


7 Quotes from Reformed Preaching by Joel Beeke

What do you get when you cross a book on preaching methodology with a historical survey of Reformed preachers from Calvin to D. Lloyd-Jones? You get a book like Joel Beeke’s Reformed Preaching. I found the book helpful to distinguish the common denominators in Reformed preaching across the centuries, and certainly was encouraged by his thoughtful application of these defining features. This is a book that will commend itself well to any preacher who values the Reformed tradition. I wouldn’t expect many outside of the pulpit to want to buy or read it. Nonetheless, it’s a superb book and I leave you with some of my favorite quotes:

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  • Reformed experiential preaching uses the truth of Scripture to shine the glory of God into the depths of the soul to call people to live solely and wholly for God.
  • Of Edwards: All of his doctrine was application and all of his application was doctrine.
  • Spurgeon says, “Where the application begins, the sermon beings.”
  • Both internally in a preachers own conscience, as well as in the consciences of his people, a fearless application of God’s truth will exact a price.
  • E. M. Bounds, “The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful.”
  • Calvin taught that the preached Word and the inner testimony of the Spirit should be distinguished but cannot be separated. Word and Spirit are joined together organically; without the Spirit, hearing the preached Word only adds to the condemnation of unbelievers. On the other hand, Calvin admonished those who emphasized the Spirit apart from or at least at the expense of the Word, saying that only the spirit of Satan separates itself from the Word.
  • Increase Mather on his father, Richard, “His way of preaching was plain, aiming to shoot his arrows not over his people’s heads, but into their hearts and consciences.”

7 Quotes from “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung

The first book I have read in 2019 may very well be the best book I read all year. Just Do Something by Kevin DeYoung is a no-holds-barred argument for the sufficiency of Scripture as the source for understanding God’s will for your life. For too long evangelical Christians have been mired in the confusing and endless bog of “finding the center of God’s will for my life,” and DeYoung apparently had enough of it. (I’ve had enough of it as well.

His central argument is that God has revealed everything you need to live your life and make decision in his Word, and therefore your main task is to bring his Word to bear upon your decision making. Fair warning: little in this book is nuanced or qualified. DeYoung’s exhortations and rebukes are distilled and potent.

Buy the book here.

Here are 7 of my favorite quotes from the book, and I high recommend you read this if you haven’t already.

  • God micromanages our lives, he doesn’t just plan out a few of the big ticket items.
  • Many of us— men and women are extremely passive and cowardly. We don’t take risks for God because we are obsessed with safety, security, and most of all with the future.
  • Obsessing over the future is not how God wants us to live, because showing us the future is not God’s way.
  • Passivity is a plague among Christians. It’s not just that we don’t do anything; it’s that we feel spiritual for not doing anything.
  • Apart from the Spirit working through the Scripture, God does not promise to use any other means to guide us, nor should we expect him to.
  • The whole “fleece approach” to life is dangerously close to violating Jesus admonition, “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.”
Have you read this book? Let me know what you thought. Have a book on the will of God to recommend? Let me know.