Recommendations - September 16, 2020
by Josh Howeth
I cannot recommend more highly the very useful devotional book by Milton Vincent, A Gospel Primer: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love. This is one of those books where the cover looks completely unappealing and dated, yet the content of the book could not be more relevant.
The book is only 97 pages long and has 4 parts. The first part gives you 31 readings (one per day of the month) that help you rehearse the gospel daily. Going through these short paragraphs really does show you how the gospel is necessary and powerful to a myriad of different areas of your life.
Parts two and three give you a memorable way to hear the narrative of the gospel. One part is prose, the other is poetic.
Part four is a short testimony for how Milton Vincent came to see his need to daily rehearse the powerful truths of the gospel in his life.
We really must come to see that the gospel matters for all of our life and that our behavior problems are really belief problems. The gospel is the power of God that brings about a transformation in our lives that nothing else can.
I’ll leave you with this excerpt from part one.
Outside of heaven, the power of God in its highest density is found inside the gospel. This must be so, for the Bible twice describes the gospel as “the power of God” (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:18). Nothing else in all of Scripture is ever described in this way, except for the Person of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:24). Such a description indicates that the gospel is not only powerful, but that it is the ultimate entity in which God’s power resides and does its greatest work.
Indeed, God’s power is seen in erupting volcanoes, in the unimaginably hot boil of our massive sun, and in the lightning speed of a recently discovered star seen streaking through the heavens at 1.5 million miles per hour. Yet in Scripture such wonders are never labeled “the power of God.” How powerful, then, must the gospel be that it would merit such a title! And how great is the salvation it could accomplish in my life, if I would only embrace it by faith (Hebrews 4:2) and give it a central place in my thoughts each day!
Two Podcast Episodes
- How do I overcome anxiety and depression? The Gospel Coalition has a helpful podcast called “Q&A” where they have various people speak into different questions. This episode I found very helpful in processing through anxiety and depression as a Christian. It’s theologically sound and practically helpful. Anxiety and depression are two struggles that affect the masses, and 2020 has only made matters worse. If you are struggling or someone you love is, this will be a helpful place to get some help.
- How can I love church members with different politics? Crossway has a helpful podcast and on a recent episode they made available for FREE an audiobook version of the short book titled: How can I love church members with different politics? This 9Marks book from their Church Questions series is co authored by Jonathan Leeman (author of “How The Nations Rage: Rethinking Faith and Politics In A Divided Age”) and Andy Naselli (author of “Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ.”)
In the book they propose the following:
Christians should learn how to disagree on many issues with a spirit of gracious understanding by recognizing the importance of what binds us together as a local church body.
During an election year and polarizing political perspectives that have divided our nation and churches, this is well worth the 1-hour listen.