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Book Notes: One Way Love / Our Common Prayer / Walking with God through Pain and Suffering / The Power of God

Notes on four books I’ve read recently:

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ONE WAY LOVE
Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World
Tullian Tchividjian

This is Tullian’s best book. Personal, passionate, and bold, One Way Love wrecked me afresh with the beauty of grace.

For me, one of the marks of a good book is if I finish it loving Jesus more at the end. One Way Love was a refreshing reminder of grace for weary evangelicals (like me) who tend to look inward at their own performance instead of upward to God’s transforming power.

What I enjoyed most about this book was how Tullian recounted moments in the past when grace (what he describes as “one way love”) altered a situation and brought lasting change in his life. Highly recommended.

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OUR COMMON PRAYER
Winfield Bevins

A few years ago, I experienced a dryness in my prayer life. I had a list of requests, but no overall structure in which to present them. A good friend gave me The Book of Common Prayer as a help. Written prayers were new to me. I approached the written prayers of past saints much as a child trying on the shoes of his dad. Would my feet ever fit into the spiritual shoes of the giants who have gone before me? I decided to pray those prayers, to pray Scripture, to pray the psalms, and to let my prayer life be shaped by the beauty of the written word. Over time, I found even my spontaneous prayers were reinvigorated.

In Our Common Prayer, Winfield Bevins wants to introduce the beauty and majesty of Cranmer’s work to a new generation. I recommend this book if you desire to find your soul enriched by the biblical truth expressed in these prayers, and to find, through the Spirit your heart further reflecting the Savior.

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WALKING WITH GOD THROUGH PAIN AND SUFFERING
Tim Keller

Tim Keller is on a publishing tear these days. It seems like every couple months, there’s a new release.

This book on suffering is a major accomplishment I hope doesn’t get overlooked in the mix of all the other Keller books currently available. It begins with the “something’s terribly wrong with our world” diagnosis that serves as common ground for believer and skeptic alike. Then Keller skillfully highlights the inability of a secular worldview to find meaning and purpose in suffering. He shows how religious worldviews handle suffering in healthier ways, and eventually, he narrows his scope to Christianity’s resources for those going through suffering.

This book is both an apologetic resource and a pastoral guide to walking through pain. Easily one of the best books of the year.

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THE POWER OF GOD
A Jonathan Edwards Commentary on the Book of Romans

Wait a minute… Jonathan Edwards didn’t write a commentary on Romans, did he? No. But he wrote enough and preached so much from the book that David Lovi and Benjamin Westerhoff were able to compile his thoughts into commentary form. This volume approaches 400 pages – a scholarly and pastoral treat – features all of Edwards’ comments on Romans collated into a commentary, easily accessible for pastors.
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