Today's Devotions

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New Things to Consider

  • Witnesses for Jesus by Tim Keller (Mark 15) +

    Tim Keller discusses the significance of the women and men who saw Jesus die, buried, and resurrected.  Read More
  • Prayer-bringing light into darkness by NT Wright +

    NT Wright discusses the importance of prayer in maintaining a relationship with Jesus. Read More
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good_and_beautiful_godThe idea behind James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful God (InterVarsity Press, 2009) is twofold. First, spiritual growth generally requires intentionality and discipline--hence the "soul training" exercises at the end of each chapter. Second, many Christians struggle with loving and growing in God. A common cause of these struggles is "false narratives," misconceptions about God that we may or may not realize we have, but that make a huge difference in our spirituality. ("God wants me to try harder," "God blesses me when I'm good but punishes me when I'm bad," etc.)


Smith works to uncover these narratives and replace them with Jesus' narratives. Living by Kingdom narratives not only encourages healthy spiritual growth, it also inspires greater love and appreciation for God. For me, Smith's method is especially helpful because he convinces my scholarly skeptic side, yet remains surprisingly accessible--without dumbing things down to the point of insulting readers' intelligence. The narratives he addresses are things I've struggled with, myself, and it's so refreshing that he doesn't just give me platitudes, but instead addresses them on a much deeper level.

The InterVarsity Press website offers good info on the book, including the table of contents.  The Good and Beautiful God is the first in Smith’s three-part “Apprentice” series. Additional material, including supplementary blog posts, audio files, and even a sample chapter, can be found on the series website: www.apprenticeofjesus.org.

Reflections to Consider

  • The Community of Jesus

    What does it mean to be a Christian? Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, makes a compelling Read More
  • Life as an Alien

    Timothy Keller, the pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC, provides an inspiring portrayal of what the church is supposed Read More
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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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The Hit List

  • Salvation Altogether (Spurgeon) +

    Salvation Altogether by Grace by C. H. Spurgeon “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not Read More
  • The Landscape of Piety: Majors +

    The following is recommended reading from the blog by Justin Taylor, on the gospel coalition website. J. I. Packer: For Read More
  • Why We Need the Puritans by JI Packer +

    1 Horse Racing is said to be the sport of kings. The sport of slinging mud has, however, a wider Read More
  • Cases and Directions Against Censoriousness and Unwarrantable Judging, by Richard Baxter (Puritan) +

    The following comes from: http://www.puritansermons.com/baxter/baxter26.htm Cases and Directions Against Censoriousness and Unwarrantable Judging. By Richard Baxter Tit. 1 Cases of Read More
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Gems

  • Freedom of Simplicity, Richard Foster +

    In Freedom of Simplicity Foster gently encourages us to see that our identity, our sense of comfort and security must Read More
  • Disciplined Spirituality Links +

    Letters by a Modern Mystic by Frank Laubach Simple but astonishing in its example of what discipline and perseverance can Read More
  • Spirit of the Disciplines, Dallas Willard +

    Understanding Changes Lives A good companion to Richard Foster's book Celebration of Discipline, the Path to Spiritual Growth; it provides Read More
  • Spiritual Classics, Richard Foster and Emilie Griffiin +

    Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups on the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines Good collection of essays, saints throughout the ages. A Read More
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