The Plan

It’s that time again!

Tonight, billions of people around the world will make New Year’s Resolutions. Tomorrow, about half of the resolutions made will have been broken. By next week, many of the rest will be toast as well. In light of this, I offer my reading goal for the year. This aspect of the blog has fallen slack over the past two years, but it’s my hope to build this up again!

12, not 60

A couple years ago I tried to read 60 books: 5 books per month. Yeah, that didn’t work. So I thought about trying for 24 this year (outside of school reading), but my wife lovingly told me it would be a good idea to stick with 12 (one per month). So, without further ado, here are the first four I hope to get through:

Golfing with God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth and Breakfast with Buddha are both comedic novels about life, death, philosophy, and theology. My supervisor gave them to me to read and I look forward to seeing what others have to say on these matters. Having read a few pages in Golfing I think I know where the author (Roland Merullo) is coming from on these. But more on that later.

Ethics is looking like it will be a great read. Dietrich Bonhoeffer never actually finished writing this book before his imprisonment in Nazi Germany, but the pieces that we have in a book seem to be worth a spot on every bookshelf.

Gospel Wakefulness: I have heard author Jared Wilson preach a few messages on this topic of Gospel Wakefulness- the idea that we can believe in Christ but not have a real awakening to the beauty of His grace. I look forward to reading more to this end.

I hope I can read well, for God’s glory, this year. We are to honor Him with all things, our minds included.

The Greener Grass Conspiricy

Is this specifically a marriage book? No. Should all couples read it? Absolutely.

The Greener Grass Conspiracy: Finding Contentment on Your Side of the Fence is a book about contentment that is only found in Jesus. The truth of the matter is that we all seek happiness and fulfillment in everything but Jesus. Which, when you think about it, makes no sense whatsoever because if Christ made us and saved us, why would he not give us all that we truly need? But us, in our sinfulness, tend to make little gods out of everything else. Yes, school, work, spouse, kids; these are all little gods that are initially good things but become horrible rulers of our lives.

Stephen Altrogge does a great job at attacking our sinful hearts with the Word in this short read. He hammers home the true gospel (which you know i love!) and is sure to point us to Jesus as the end goal of everything. We pursue education not to find fulfillment, but to worship Jesus. The sum of our being isn’t found in our jobs, but in Christ and His atonement at the cross. And contrary to Jerry MacGuire’s theology our loved ones do not complete us! It’s when we believe that everything is more important than Christ that things go sour. If true happiness were to be found elsewhere, we would be right to run from our current situations and seek better ones.

Implications for marriage

So then he mentions marriage a few times. What cause quarrels and fights among us? James says that it is our passions which war within us. So when we fight in our marriage, it’s more of our sinful nature wanting what we can’t get from our spouse- true lasting joy. We need to remember that people will fail us, but Jesus won’t. That is Altrogge’s point. We need to stop following this conspiracy that says things are better elsewhere and we deserve better. No, we deserve death, but Jesus has graced us with life and holiness in Him. What else do we need?

For a more thorough review, see Tim Sewall.