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Posts Tagged ‘Kindle

Life With My Kindle

When the Kindle first came out, I was one of those who mocked it.  I said that it would not be a success.  I said that I would rather hold a book in my hand than to read from a computer tablet.  I said that printed books would not be taken away from us and that the Kindle would fail because of that.

How wrong I was.

My first Kindle was given to me for Father’s Day by my wife back in 2008.  I didn’t know that it would change my reading.  Before Kindle, I had to either purchase my books online at Amazon or CBD, go to the library, visit a local used bookstore, or order from Lifeway.  Now I go online and in seconds can have a book downloaded to my Kindle.  It has changed my reading.

In 2013 I purchased only about 3 or 4 printed books.  That is amazingly low.  For the first time I spent more time reading from my Kindle for my own Bible reading.  I have begun to use my Kindle to read Bible commentaries.  My reading now consists of 90% in my Kindle.

What is amazing to me about the Kindle is that I currently have about 15 books that I am reading.  I am reading one book intensely while browsing the others.  I have four Bibles that I am reading from.  Two MacArthur Study Bible (ESV and NKJV), ESV Study Bible, and the Spirit-Filled Study Bible (NKJV).  I purchased the NIV One Year Bible earlier this year but I am enjoying reading from my ESV Study Bible that I will probably just stay with that in 2014.  I also am reading a commentary on the Gospel of Luke. With the Kindle, I can jump from reading the book of Psalms in the ESV Study Bible to reading 1 Samuel in the Spirit-Filled Study Bible to reading Matthew in the MacArthur Study Bible (ESV).

What helps is that there are websites dedicated to offering free to reduced priced Kindle books.  I visit this site everyday.

Let me end with my fears about the Kindle.  I fear that printed books will fade and this will spell the end of bookstores as we have known them.  Barnes & Noble is suffering.  Borders books has already folded.  Walden Books is gone.  I fear that Christian bookstores such as Lifeway will suffer.

One brother commented, “What would happen if Amazon went away?  If all we had was the Kindle, what would become of those books?  What is the Internet vanishes?  What is someone deleted all those books?  Without printed books, what would we do?”  I don’t fear that much.  After all, mankind has only had the printing press for the past 500 years or so and we have done just fine before that.  People still had books though not on a widespread level.

The other negative side to the Kindle is that I have noticed more “printed porn” being the top sellers at Amazon.  These “romance novels” are nothing more than porn in print.  They are hurting women and more and more women are addicted to this filth that will do nothing but destroy (Romans 6:23).  I pray that the Church would preach Philippians 4:8 to our people even about reading.

The blessing of the Kindle is that it allows people to read books.  I use to enjoy carrying my book bag full of books from my Bible to a commentary to a book I was reading.  Now I enjoy the Kindle because I just carry it only and it has all that I need.

These are just some random thoughts on my Kindle.  Happy reading!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/30/2013 at 1:24 PM

Posted in Books, Kindle

Tagged with , , ,

Why Do I Read Calvinists?

I recently had an Arminian brother e-mail me to ask why I read Calvinists works such as blogs, books, and listen to their sermons?  He believes that as Arminians we should fill our minds with Arminianism to combat the errors of Calvinism.  In some ways, I agree.  I do believe that Arminians should read the works of Arminius (and you can easily obtain them on your Kindle) or read various works from Arminian theologians such as Dr. Vic Reasoner, Dr. Robert Picirilli, or Dr. Jack Cottrell.  People are surprised to find that there are actually a number of good Arminian resources available and I have linked to many of them here.

In short, I read Calvinistic works because I am not an enemy to my Calvinist brothers and sisters.  I disagree but I do not believe they are “outside” of Christianity as perhaps some would feel about me.  We are justified before God through faith in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-7).  We can debate this justification but we must agree that we are justified in Christ Jesus.  We must agree that Jesus and His blood alone washes away our sins (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7).  Our only hope for redemption is the blood of Jesus (Romans 10:4; Hebrews 9:13-14, 22).  We are saved in Christ Jesus and not in Arminius or Calvin or Wesley or Luther.  We are not saved because we have been baptized in such and such church.  We have not been saved because we read from a certain Bible translation.  We are not saved because we simply said a prayer for salvation.  We are not saved because we know facts about Jesus.  We are saved through knowing Christ Jesus as Lord (1 John 2:3-6; 3:6-10).  Jesus is our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30-31) and not any thing or any one else.

That said, I can read the works of Calvin or a book by a Calvinist theologian and though I will not agree with all that they write, I can agree with much of what they write.  I have been reading from Dr. Sam Storms as of late and his edited version of Jonathan Edward’s book, Religious Affections.  I believe any disciple of Jesus could read this book and should read this book.  On my bookshelf next to me I have an entire section I have for Calvinists.  I have the works of Calvin, a book on Calvin’s commentaries, works from Spurgeon, works from the Puritans, and many books by Calvinist authors such as R.C. Sproul and John MacArthur.  Of course, right above them is two shelves full of Arminian books!  

On my Kindle I have many Calvinists books.  Most of them I have not read.  I get  many of them free and in time will start to read them.

My point here is not boast in my reading or my book collections.  I want to simply say that we can learn from each other.  How often do we create straw men when debating Arminianism and Calvinism.  We should read from each others books to see just what do Arminians or Calvinists believe.  Of course, there is no one spokesperson for either.  Even the works of Arminius and Calvin (while vital to the theology) are not 100% agreed on by Arminians or Calvinists.  And frankly, both Arminius and Calvin were just fallible men who were liable to mistakes and neither were 100% clear on all issues.  In fact, neither theologians dealt with many aspects of theology that today we debate such as inerrancy or the new perspective of Paul and other issues.

In the end, the true disciple should read the Bible more than any other book.  The Bible is the grid by which we judge all things (1 John 4:1).  The Bible is the perfect revelation from God given to us by inspiration of the Spirit to lead us to all truth (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  Jesus Himself said the Word of God was truth (John 17:17) and could not be broken (John 10:35).  If Jesus so felt this way about the Scriptures, so should the child of God.  The disciple could literally read only the Bible and never any theologians or other books and still be safe in the arms of the Lord Jesus.  As the psalmist wrote, “I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life” (Psalm 119:93).

May we all be a people who love the Word of God more than any other works.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

12/13/2013 at 9:43 AM

Posted in Books

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Book Review: Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher

I am slow at getting to this review.  This book is not a massive book at all and in fact is a quick read.  I suppose one could read it in just a couple of days at only 122 pages.  With the amount of reading I had on other subjects, along the way Killing Calvinism was pushed back and forth.  Yet I say that to write that I should have kept reading.  This book is a well thought out book that I enjoyed much.  Brother Dutcher loves Calvinism but I appreciated his heart for loving the gospel more and for seeing what I (an Arminian) already see, that Jesus is our salvation and not a system of theological thought from a sinful man in the 16th century.  While I appreciate much about Calvinism, I admit that I am no Calvinist and that I often write against Calvinism for its inconsistencies.  That said, I enjoyed Dutcher’s honesty about Calvinism and about how he (and others) have loved Calvinism more than Christ Himself.  We Arminians should read this book not just to see Dutcher’s heart but to be honest with ourselves and love Christ more than Arminius.  Again, Jesus is our Savior and we must love Him more than our systems (Colossians 3:1-4).

The chapters of this book are great titles themselves.  The chapters fit into how to kill Calvinism:

  • By Loving Calvinism as an End in Itself
  • By Becoming a Theologian Instead of a Disciple
  • By Loving God’s Sovereignty More Than God Himself
  • By Losing an Urgency in Evangelism
  • By Learning Only from Other Calvinists
  • By Tidying Up the Bible’s “Loose Ends”
  • By Being an Arrogant Know-It-All
  • By Scoffing at the Hang-ups Others Have with Calvinism

Each chapter stays on target and Dutcher does not chase rabbits along the way.  His stories of honest moments for him as a Calvinist are well worth the time to read.

All of these chapters are titles that we Arminians can learn from.  I pray that I don’t love Arminianism above the gospel.  I pray that I can learn from others including my Calvinist brothers and sisters.  I pray that I see that being an Arminian does not necessarily mean that I am a disciple of Jesus.  Jesus calls me to love Him (John 14:15) and to follow after Him.  Arminianism may or may not help me to follow Christ but the end of my journey should be to follow Christ always and not the ways of the flesh nor of man (1 John 2:15-17).

Overall this is a solid book that should be read by all.  Both Arminians and Calvinists will learn from Dutcher.  I do recommend this work.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/25/2013 at 10:59 AM

Best Pentecostal/Charismatic Books on the Holy Spirit

I promise this to be the last post on the issue of the Pentecostal-Charismatic movement and the Holy Spirit.  This blog is not a blog that focuses on these issues and even we Arminians don’t fully agree on these issues.  Some Arminians are Pentecostals while many are not.  I myself was raised in the Assemblies of God (Royal Rangers and all!) and was saved in an A/G church in 1992.  I even was in full-time ministry for about 10 years in the Assemblies of God so I know much about being a Pentecostal.

The following are books that I have read from a Pentecostal-Charismatic perspective on the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  I found it ironic that Dr. John MacArthur stated at The Strange Fire Conference that charismatics have not offered any theological works to the Church.  I would disagree.  The following books would show that if they are read and studied.  These books are not placed in any given order.

1.  What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit by Stanley Horton.  A classic A/G book on the Spirit that once was required reading for all A/G students.  Dr. Horton remains one the greatest Pentecostal scholars in history.

2.  The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Perspective by Anthony Palma.  A great book that focuses on the doctrine of the Spirit.  Palma’s chapters on the baptism in the Spirit and on his comparison of Ezekiel 36:25-27 with Joel 2:28-32 is worth reading.

3.  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit by Jack Deere.  Deere, a former Dallas Theological Seminary professor, writes a defense for the sign gifts in this book.  One of the best books I have ever read that deals with cessationism.

4.  The Gift of Prophecy by Wayne Grudem.  One of the most attacked books by cessationists.  This book focuses on what the Bible teaches about prophecy and how God can use it today.  A well written book.

5.  What Meaneth This by Carl Brumback.  Brother Brumback is best remembered for his book on the Trinity against the Oneness Pentecostals but this book focuses on the issue of speaking in tongues.  Brumback argues not just for the gift of tongues but also the initial, physical evidence of the baptism in the Spirit.

6.  Are Miraculous Gifts for Today?  4 Views edited by Wayne Grudem.  This book allows four major views on the gifts of the Spirit.  Dr. Sam Storms writes for the charismatics and Dr. Douglas Oss for the Pentecostals.  A very good book that I have read three times already.

7.  The Holy Spirit: A Pentecostal Interpretation by L. Thomas Holdcroft.  This book is an excellent introduction to the Pentecostal teaching on the Spirit.  While very much evangelical (except the chapter on Spirit-Baptism), the book is well written.

8.  Spiritual Gifts: A Fresh Look by David Lim.  The commentary on the gifts of the Spirit is standard Pentecostal but what makes this book worth reading is Dr. Lim’s exegesis on 1 Corinthians 12-14.  His commentary on 1 Corinthians 14 is very well done.

9.  The Speaking in Tongues Controversy by Rick Walston.  A well written and thought out book on the issue of speaking in tongues in regard to the baptism in the Spirit.  Dr. Walston’s book will challenge you if you hold to speaking in tongues as the initial, physical evidence.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/21/2013 at 10:31 AM

Four Kindle Works You Need on Prayer

Prayer is so vital to the life of the disciple of Jesus that Jesus said that His disciples would pray (Matthew 6:5).  Our Lord’s own prayer life was so powerful that His disciples came to Him and asked Him to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).  Oh how often have I prayed those words to Jesus!  Oh how often have we neglected to seek God in prayer!

I urge you to read these books and allow the Holy Spirit to purge you of laziness in prayer.

1.  The Path of Prayer by Samuel Chadwick.  Only $0.99 and this book is full of wisdom form a man of prayer.  He was the master of Cliff College when Leonard Ravenhill was a student there.

2.  Why Revival Tarries? by Leonard Ravenhill.  Great book that first challenged this vessel to prayer.  Brother Leonard had a way with words and his prophetic voice is missed in the church.

3.  Praying Hyde by E.G. Carre.  John Hyde was a great man of prayer and you’ll be challenged as you read his stories.  Brother John was such a man of prayer that he earned the nickname “Praying Hyde” and “Apostle of Prayer.”  Like Rees Howell, Praying Hyde knew how to touch the throne of God and God heard his cries often.

4.  The Complete Collection of E.M. Bounds on Prayer.  E.M. Bounds was a man of prayer.  Most of his works came after his death in which he left behind his notes on prayer.  Bounds was a Confederate chaplain during the American Civil War but he learned how to pray and God heard his cries and saved many souls during the Civil War through this man’s preaching.  He was imprisoned by the Union and there he taught others how to seek God.

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/08/2013 at 10:00 AM

Books That Floored Me

I love to read.  I have read thousands of books.  Sitting next to me is no less than probably 150 books.  My desk is covered with books.  I have three book shelves that are full of books.  I have books on the floor.  And this is but a little taste of the books that God has blessed me with.  I am more than blessed to have these books and Bibles.

I wanted to write a post on books that have floored me.  I have read many books but few have floored me.  In my years as a disciple of Jesus, there have been actually few books that have caused me to fall on my knees in worship or repentance (most repentance).  But some have.  Here are just a few of those titles that I can remember.  I am not posting them because I agree with them all theologically but because of what they did to my soul and for my soul.

1.  Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala.  I know that some have taken issue with this book because Cymbala is no cessasionist.  I have read some Reformed bloggers reviews of this book in which they seek to kill the book because of Cymbala’s use of phrases such as “God said to me.”  This book, however, gave me a passion to pray.  How can you read Cymbala’s testimony and not be moved to tears?  How can you not weep at your own prayerlessness when you read how God has used Brooklyn Tabernacle Church to impact souls for eternity?  This book left me hungry to pray and I praise God for that.  I have read this book three times and I need to read it again.

2.  The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman.  This book opened my eyes to my need to love my wife by speaking her love language.  I am not perfect at it still but I am trying.  God wants our marriages to reflect His love for His Church (Ephesians 5:22-33).  This book will open your eyes to see your own love language (mine is words of affirmation) and others around you (my wife is quality time).  We tend to speak our own language to our spouse or those we love the most yet we don’t often try to speak their love language.  This eye-opening book is a must read for both married and unmarried folks.

3.  All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon.  I bought this little book while in college.  At that time I was struggling with legalism in my own life.  I was graceful toward others (sometimes) but was not toward myself.  I hated myself.  I hated my lack of prayer and lack of passion for the lost.  I would read great stories of men and women of God and would weep at my own carelessness in spiritual things.  And then I read Spurgeon’s book.  This book is based on Acts 15:11 (KJV).  I needed to hear Spurgeon’s sermon on the grace of God and that salvation is all of grace and not by works.  God saves sinners by His own mercy and grace and not by my works (Ephesians 2:8-9).  I was freed by the grace of God to see that He loved me despite me and in spite of me and He saved me by His grace and not by my flesh (Galatians 2:16; 5:1).

4.  Humility by Andrew Murray.  The Bible says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).  Pride will damn a soul to hell.  Pride is a destroyer.  Pride is the reason we sin.  Pride is why people will not repent.  Pride is what keeps us from prayer.  Pride is what ends revivals.  Pride always destroys.  This is why we must read Murray’s work.  Murray shows us the humility of the Lord Jesus and how we are to imitate Him (Philippians 2:1-11).  I pray that I would be a humble servant of God and that I would always focus on pleasing God and not myself.  This book floored me by showing me my own pride and how God didn’t want to hurt my pride but kill it.

5.  Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians by J. Gilchrist Lawson.  This book is full of stories of people hungry for God.  I don’t agree with all the theology of the people here but I did enjoy reading how passionate these folks were for Jesus and to be full of the Holy Spirit.  Many of them were powerfully used by God because they waited on the Lord and were powerfully anointed by God for His glory.  Some of them I have never heard of until I read this book but I was hungry for the Lord after reading this book and passionate to be full of the Spirit from reading this book.

6.  Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill.  I bought this book while going to the mountains at a small book store now gone.  I had read Keith Green’s life story and had heard of Leonard Ravenhill from that but I had never heard of nor read Ravenhill.  Then I got this book and it floored me.  I was so convicted by my lack of prayer.  It rained most of that weekend but it poured in my soul as the Lord first convicted me of my prayerlessness and then He showed me how to pray (Romans 8:26-27).  Ravenhill was truly a prophet of God who was used to call people to repent and the Lord used brother Len to do that to me.

7.  The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur.  This book was given to me by a brother only about a year after I was saved.  I read the book and begin to teach others the principles I was learning.  I was shocked as people often hated my teaching on the Lordship of Christ.  I was shocked to meet people who actually believed one could be saved and on their way to heaven despite living for the devil.  I was shocked to hear sermons that taught that one could be a “carnal Christian” and live in sin while claiming Jesus and His salvation.  MacArthur’s book destroyed such lies and helped give me strength to preach against sin in my own life and in others as well.  If Matthew 1:21 is true, Jesus can save us from sin!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

06/07/2013 at 5:12 PM

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