August 1, 2009

Family Vacations and book reading.

I am currently on my family vacation.

Every year my wife's side of the family takes a little vacation. They always get some sort of cabin or vacation home... something big enough for all of us... and we get together for a few days.

I usually spend the spare moments of this vacation catching up on my reading.

I just finished the book Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer. It was a really good book. The first few chapters were the best chapters that I have ever read on the sovereignty of God. At least they were the best that I can remember reading. Maybe I will write an official "review" of this book in a few days.

Since I finished that book, I started reading The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink. (Why is it that so many of my favorite authors go by their initials and their last name? C.S. Lewis, A.W. Tozer, J.C. Ryle, A.W. Pink, J.I. Packer, R.A. Torrey, etc. Hey, I should start doing that!) I just read the first chapter and thought that it was pretty good. He makes a point right at the beginning of the book that I thought was really relevant:
Almost all doctrinal error is, really, Truth perverted, Truth wrongly divided, Truth disproportionately held and taught. The fairest face on earth, with the most comely features, would soon become ugly and unsightly, if one member continued growing while the others remained undeveloped. Beauty is, primarily, a matter of proportion. This it is with the Word of God: its beauty and blessedness are best perceived when its manifold wisdom is exhibited in its true proportions. Here is where so many have failed in the past.

Those words struck a sure chord in my mind. I believe that the issues that I have run into, both with other people and within my own mind, have been issues of disproportion. Specifically when tackling the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. I think that is why I love to read books from both perspectives. I love to be convicted and driven on by those books which lay out my responsibility to obey God's commands, but I also love the reassurance that comes from reading about the sovereignty of God.

I have been thinking about starting a book group (for lack of a better title) that is devoted to reading through the great books of the faith... Books that have been around for a while... That have stood the test of time... That have authors who only use their first and middle initial and then tack on their last name. Those kind of books. I might start it with my church or my family and see where it goes from there. I would especially like to get some men involved, men who want to think deep and tackle tough thoughts...

Anyway, back to the vacation and away from deep thoughts for a moment... For a little leisure reading I just finished reading Peter and the Starcatchers. I know, this sounds a little juvenile, but it was a really good book. I guess that there are a few more in the series, so I am looking forward to picking those up from the library. My mom got me started with these books and now that I am finished with the first one, I can understand why. I think that these might be a good series to read with my boys.

Well, I need to get up from the computer and enjoy a little family time. More later.

M.C. Harmless