Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading
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Chosen by God

 By: Sproul, RC

"Sproul's background in philosophy helps him to clearly grasp paradoxical concepts, such as the compatibility of human choice and divine sovereignty. Sproul walks through his own struggle with the doctrine of predestination, then helps the reader wrestle with the Scriptures, explaining the relationship to being born again and exhibiting saving faith. He tackles the solidarity of mankind with Adam in the Fall, how predestination relates to foreknowledge, and the most troubling concept of "double" predestination. Most thankfully, this book is aimed at the layperson, so there is not a lot of discussion regarding pre- or postlapsarian convictions. There is also a chapter on how these matters relate to assurance of salvation."  Alex Chediak

Don't Waste Your Life
 By: Piper, John

"As the back cover says: Most people slip by in life without a passion for God, spending their lives on trivial diversions, living for comfort and pleasure, and perhaps trying to avoid sin. We were made to live in the hot pursuit of God's glory among the nations. We are called to offer our entire lives in worship to God. Being risk averse is ultimately suicide because we waste our lives. Far better to "attempt great things for God, and expect great things from God." We may be cut-off early in life (as happens to martyrs), but it will have been better to have lived briefly with full vigor for God than to have merely passed time and not impacted others for good. There is an outstanding chapter on what this means for (the majority of) us who work a non-ministerial job from 8-5. It affects the way we respond to disappointment in the workplace or economic hardship. We are called to demonstrate to others, even when all else fails, that our deepest happiness in God (Hab 3:17-18). This book is a tonic for those who want to see God's glory extended to the ends of the earth and to not spend their vaporous existence in the narcissistic self-absorption so prevalent in our day." Alex Chediak 

Institutes of the Christian Religion
 By: Calvin, John

Published first in 1536, the Institutes of the Christian Religion is John Calvin's magnum opus. Extremely important for the Protestant Reformation, the Institutes has remained important for Protestant theology for almost five centuries. Written to "aid those who desire to be instructed in the doctrine of salvation," the Institutes, which follows the ordering of the Apostle's Creed, has four parts. The first part examines God the Father; the second part, the Son; the third part, the Holy Spirit; and the fourth part, the Church. Through these four parts, it explores both "knowledge of God" and "knowledge of ourselves" with profound theological insight, challenging and informing all the while. Thus, for either the recent convert or the long-time believer, for the inquisitive beginner or the serious scholar, John Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion is a rewarding book worthy of study!  You can read it online through Christian Classics Ethereal Library.

Living the Cross Centered Life
Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
 By: Mahaney, C. J.

Have the extremities taken over and left the core of your faith forgotten? Do you get confused by what you feel versus what is real? Let dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney strip away the nonessentials and bring you back to the simplest, most fundamental reason for your faith: Jesus Christ. This book is packed with powerful truth that will grip your heart, clear your mind, and invigorate your soul. Get ready to behold a breathtaking view of what God intends to accomplish in and through you every day. You’ll discover how embracing this cross centered life is both our highest privilege and greatest responsibility.  Living the Cross Centered Life is the sequel to Mahaney's The Cross Centered Life.

Some of our small groups at Refreshing Springs Church have gone through this book together.

Money, Possessions, and Eternity
 By: Alcorn, Randy

It's time to rethink our perspectives on money and possessions. In this thoroughly researched and extensively updated classic, Randy Alcorn shows us how to view them accurately—as God's provision for our good, the good of others, and his glory.

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
 By: Whitney, Don

Spiritual discipline sounds great in theory. But actually putting it into practice---that's different! How do you grow in godliness while avoiding the trap of legalism? Where do you find the time? If you're looking for spiritual revitalization, this book will give you the biblical inspiration and practical guidance you need. (Publisher's description)

Strengthening Your Marriage
 By: Mack, Wayne

Systematic Theology
An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine
 By: Grudem, Wayne

"A clearly written, very readable systematic theology. I've heard of people struggling through Berkoff and other texts. Grudem explains concepts very well, and presents multiple positions on issues quite fairly. His chapters are long and thorough. (He later put out a book called Bible Doctrine, which was a more concise version of his Systematic Theology.) He starts with the Doctrine of the Word of God, which makes sense since Christianity is a body of revealed truth (God having spoken to us by His word and by His Son). In several instances he adds a pastoral flavor, which provides good practical balance for the weighty matters being discussed. For example, he concludes each chapter with a hymn on the topic of that chapter. If you are new to theology, this is a great book for you to get an overview." Alex Chediak 

The Case for a Creator
A Journalist Investigates Scientific Evidence that Points Toward God
 By: Strobel, Lee

"My road to atheism was paved by science . . . But, ironically, so was my later journey to God." - Lee Strobel

During his academic years, Lee Strobel became convinced that God was outmoded, a belief that colored his ensuing career as an award-winning journalist at the Chicago Tribune. Science had made the idea of a Creator irrelevant - or so Strobel thought. But today science is pointing in a different direction. In recent years, a diverse and impressive body of research has increasingly supported the conclusion that the universe was intelligently designed. At the same time, Darwinism has faltered in the face of concrete facts and hard reason. Has science discovered God? At the very least, it's giving faith an immense boost as new findings emerge about the incredible complexity of our universe. Join Strobel as he reexamines the theories that once led him away from God. Through his compelling and highly readable account, you'll encounter the mind-stretching discoveries from cosmology, cellular biology, DNA research, astronomy, physics, and human consciousness that present astonishing evidence in The Case for a Creator.  Related books by this author include The Case for Christ and The Case for Faith.

The Cross Centered Life
Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing
 By: Mahaney, C. J.

Remember Jesus Christ? Although it seems almost too obvious, the center of our faith is surprisingly easy to forget. Dynamic pastor C. J. Mahaney shows how to overcome our tendency to move on from the gospel of grace. Finding joy in the gospel - whose promises allow us to escape condemnation whenever it attacks - helps us avoid the prevalent trap of legalism. With practical suggestions, Mahaney demonstrates the difference between knowing the gospel... and making it the main thing in daily decisions and daily living.

Some of our small groups at Refreshing Springs Church have gone through this book together.

The Potter's Freedom
A Defense of the Reformation and a Rebuttal of Norman Geisler's Chosen But Free
 By: White, James

"Anyone who has tried to get their mind around God's sovereignty and human responsibility in salvation will doubtless have got into a real tangle. It's not that the Bible is muddled, it's quite clear - God sovereignly saves sinners and sinners are responsible for their sin - but our minds struggle to hold what appear to be opposing truths. Our minds are simply too tiny to comprehend the infinite wisdom of God. Many good and godly Christians have struggled to hold these two truths and often sacrifice one (mostly God's sovereignty) for the sake of the other. Norman Geisler, a man who has written many helpful books, is one such man. In 'Chosen but Free' he attempted tone down the truths of the Reformation. This book by James White is an answer to Geisler. He carefully examines Geisler's argument and turns then to scripture and examines what the scriptures say, carefully and exactly. I haven't read Geisler's book, but it didn't matter, White quotes from it at length.  This book is thorough and needs to be read with your head switched on, its detailed and in-depth, but it shows us that we have absolutely nothing to fear from all the bluster of those who dislike our reformed theology.  It's a good tool to have for those who are looking for a robust defence of the reformed faith..." Mark Loughridge

This Momentary Marriage
A Parable of Permanence
 By: Piper, John

From John Piper's website: "There never has been a generation whose view of marriage is high enough. The chasm between the biblical vision of marriage and the common human vision is now, and has always been, gargantuan. Some cultures in history respect the importance and the permanence of marriage more than others. Some, like our own, have such low, casual, take-it-or-leave-it attitudes toward marriage as to make the biblical vision seem ludicrous to most people."

John Piper's This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence, is an excellent book that shows God's design for marriage in contrast with the world's ungodly views of marriage.  You can download the PDF version from John Piper's website.

What on Earth Are You Doing?
Jesus' Call to World Mission
 By: Griffiths, Michael

What does it mean to be a missionary in the world today?

Dr. Griffiths, who has extensive experience in the area of cross-cultural ministry and missions, challenges those who may have not seriously thought about missions before, confronting them with the prospects of a life spent in cross-cultural missionary service.  He also helps those who are already missionary candidates to assess their inner thoughts wisely and to face their futures confidently yet realistically.