Daily Archives: June 22, 2018

June 22: Love and Peace

Nehemiah 4:1–5:19; 1 John 4:16–21; Psalm 109:1–15

“You have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in you.” Augustine’s prayer, spoken so many years ago, is still poignant for us today. It appeals to our created purpose: bringing glory to God. When we’re living outside of that purpose, we try to fill that void through other means.

In his first letter, John shows how the love of God and communion with Him ultimately brings a sense of peace and confidence: “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God and God abides in him. By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as that one is, so also are we in the world” (1 John 4:16–17).

God Himself has addressed the great rift we created between ourselves and Him. Through the sacrifice of His Son, He has made it possible for us to abide with Him and find peace in Him (1 John 4:15). Those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God experience this love that brings peace and confidence.

But this love isn’t merely an emotion or a feeling of fulfillment; it’s a growing desire to be like Christ. Because God dwells in us, we will become more like Him in love. We can be confident of His work in us when we display self-sacrificial love for our neighbor.

How are you resting in God’s love? How are you loving others?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

June 22 Siding with God’s Enemies

“Is it not the rich who oppress you and personally drag you into court? Do they not blaspheme the fair name by which you have been called?” (James 2:6–7).

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You can’t accomplish God’s purposes by siding with His enemies.

Favoritism has a way of blinding its victims to reality. James wrote about Christians who were trying to impress a rich man so they could benefit from his wealth and social status (vv. 2–3). The rich man represented the enemies of Christ, and yet they gave him preferential treatment anyway. The poor man represented those whom God chose to be rich in faith and heirs of His Kingdom, and yet they treated him badly and dishonored him (v. 6). That’s not only inconsistent, it’s foolish! You can’t accomplish God’s purposes by siding with His enemies.

Some ungodly rich people tyrannized Christians by withholding their wages and even putting some to death (James 5:4–6). They forcibly dragged Christians to court to exploit them by some injustice or inequity. They blasphemed the fair name of Christ. The phrase “by which you have been called” (v. 7) speaks of a personal relationship. Typically new converts made a public proclamation of their faith in Christ at their baptism. From then on they were called “Christians,” meaning “Christ’s own,” “Christ’s ones,” or “belonging to Christ.” So when people slandered Christians, they were slandering Christ Himself!

That anyone could overlook those evils and show favoritism to the enemies of Christ shows the subtle and devastating power of partiality. Today the circumstances may be different, but the principles are the same. So for the sake of Christ and His people, remember the three reasons James gives for not showing partiality: 1. You and your brothers and sisters in Christ are one with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the glory of God revealed (v. 1); 2. God has chosen the poor to receive eternal riches (v. 5); and 3. God has called you by His name (v. 7). If you desire to be like Christ, you cannot be partial. Be fair and impartial in all your interactions with others.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Is there a personal or business relationship in which you are showing favoritism in order to gain some advantage for yourself? If so, confess it to the Lord and correct it right away.

For Further Study: Read Romans 15:5–7. ✧ How should Christians treat one another? ✧ What impact will we have if we obey Paul’s admonition?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 186). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

TIME Stands By Erroneous Crying Girl Cover Story Because Of Its Propaganda Value — The Federalist

TIME magazine is standing by a cover photo and story critical of Trump’s immigration policies that reporters exposed Friday as factually incorrect, wildly misleading, and lacking important context.

The cover features a 2-year-old Honduran girl sobbing as she looks up at Trump, with the words “Welcome to America.” Inside, TIME reported the little girl was one of those separated from her mother because of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy on families crossing the border illegally. She was taken “screaming” from her mother by border agents, the report claimed.

The photo and story made a big splash in the media war over the separation policy, which Trump has since ended, but both have now been completely dismantled by the press, resulting in a major correction.

“The original version of this story misstated what happened to the girl in the photo after she taken from the scene,” the correction reads. “The girl was not carried away screaming by U.S. Border Patrol agents; her mother picked her up and the two were taken away together.”

Reuters talked to the little girl’s father, who said she was not separated from her mother. The Honduran government confirmed his version of events. A border patrol agent who was at the scene, Carlos Ruiz, described what actually happened to CBS News.

We were patrolling the border, it was after 10 o’clock at night. We asked her to set the kid down in front of her, not away from her … and so we can properly search the mother. So, the kid immediately started crying as she set her down. I personally went up to the mother and asked her, ‘Are you doing okay, is the kid okay?’ And she said, ‘Yes, she’s tired and thirsty and it’s 11 o’clock at night.

The father also revealed the mother left three other children behind, and was crossing the border in search of a job — not in search of asylum. She didn’t tell any of them when she left. He told The Daily Mail the photo “broke his heart,” and he didn’t support her decision.

“Why would she want to put our little girl through that?” he said. “But it was her decision at the end of the day.”

In addition, Immigration and Customs Enforcement told media outlets the mother was attempting to cross the border illegally for a second time — moving her crime from a misdemeanor up to a felony.

“I don’t have any resentment for my wife, but I do think it was irresponsible of her to take the baby with her in her arms because we don’t know what could happen,” the father added.

He also claimed he heard the mother paid a smuggler $6,000 to get her across the border .

The combination of erroneous reporting, missing context and lack of due diligence in the reporting process from TIME here are stunning. What was supposed to be a story highlighting the plight of families who are torn apart as they flee violence turned out instead to highlight exactly the kind of case that conservatives say makes the situation at the border complex. Some families are falsely claiming asylum to game the system, and are knowingly putting their children in danger in the process, and drug traffickers and smugglers are taking advantage of the situation. It’s not as simple as the liberal press has made it out to be.

TIME defended its cover and its reporting Friday, essentially claiming the facts are irrelevant because of the propaganda value of the piece. The photo and story “capture the stakes of this moment,” the editor in chief told reporter Hadas Gold.

“The June 12 photograph of the 2-year-old Honduran girl became the most visible symbol of the ongoing immigration debate in America for a reason,” the EIC told reporter Hadas Gold. “Under the policy enforced by the administration, prior to its reversal this week, those who crossed the border illegally were criminally prosecuted, which in turn resulted in the separation of children and parents. Our cover and our reporting capture the stakes of this moment.”

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders criticized the piece in a tweet Friday.

“It’s shameful that dems and the media exploited this photo of a little girl to push their agenda,” she said. “She was not separated from her mom. The separation here is from the facts. Dems should join POTUS and fix our broken immigration system.”

via TIME Stands By Erroneous Crying Girl Cover Story Because Of Its Propaganda Value — The Federalist

This ‘n’ That for June 22, 2018

Well, summer is officially here, so grab a glass of iced tea and sit back while you enjoy your week in review (kind of):

  • We need a High Priest.
  • Hey, ladies, the Great Commission is for us, too.
  • Here’s your weekly dose of adorable (HT to Jennifer for the idea for this one!).
  • Some thoughts on living in, but not being of, the world.
  • Perhaps this is why we should leave wild animals alone and let them be what God created them to be: wild animals.
  • Summer is a time for reruns, but this one seemed timely.
Adoption gives us the privilege of sons, regeneration the nature of sons. —Stephen Charnock

JUNE 22 OUR SOVEREIGN LORD

The most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands.…Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool.

Acts 7:48–49

How can you be a Christian and not be aware of the sovereignty of the God who has loved us to the death?

To be sovereign, God must be the absolute, infinite, unqualified ruler in all realms in heaven and earth and sea. To be Lord over all the creation, He must be omnipotent. He must be omniscient. He must be omnipresent.

With all that is within me, I believe that the crucified and risen and glorified Savior, Jesus Christ, is the sovereign Lord. He takes no orders from anyone. He has no counselors and no advisers. He has no secretary to the throne. He knows in the one effortless act all that can be known and He has already lived out our tomorrows and holds the world in the palm of His hand.

That is the Lord I serve! I gladly own that I am His; glory to God! The Christ we know and serve is infinitely beyond all men and all angels and all archangels, above all principalities and powers and dominions, visible and invisible—for He is the origin of them all!

Lord, to begin to understand Your attributes is totally overwhelming. That such an Almighty God would care so much for His creation is truly humbling.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

21 signs you’re a narcissist

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  • Narcissistic behavior includes self-righteousness, a pattern of cheating in relationships, and taking advantage of other people.
  • We put together a list of 21 typical behaviors of narcissists, based on research and expert opinion.
  • This list isn’t intended to be diagnostic, but it can give you a good idea of whether you or someone you know might be a narcissist.

You’re more likely to find a narcissist in the C-suite than on the street, research suggests.

That’s because the traits that make narcissists so difficult to hang out with or date — including a constant need for validation, a willingness to control people, and a ruthlessness in getting their needs met — happen to make them super effective at rising up the ranks.

To help you figure out if you, or perhaps your boss, are a narcissist, we combed through the psychology literature looking for patterns of narcissistic behavior. We also spoke with Joseph Burgo, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of “The Narcissist You Know.”

Here are 21 common signs of narcissism.

This is an update of an article originally written by Vivian Giang, with additional contributions by Drake Baer. 

You are a bad sport.

Getty/Dennis Grombkowski

Burgo says some narcissists are bullies — and one of their most troublesome traits is their tendency to be a sore loser and a sore winner.

For example, when they lose in a sports match, they might try to humiliate the referee. When they win, they might gloat excessively or act abusive to the losing party.

 

You constantly feel underappreciated.

Business Insider

The kind of people that Burgo calls “grandiose” narcissists always hold a grievance against the world.

They typically feel entitled to something better and think they’re not getting the recognition they deserve from others.

 

If you’re not grandiose, then you’re introverted, hypersensitive, defensive, and anxious.

Business Insider

Psychologists talk about the “two faces of narcissism.” On one end there’s the hyper-aggressive, super-loud type. But there’s a softer form of narcissism, too. It’s called “covert narcissism,” which is denoted by introversion, hypersensitivity, defensiveness, and anxiety.

“Both shades of narcissism shared a common core of conceit, arrogance, and the tendency to give in to one’s own needs and disregard others,” Scientific American reports.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Source: 21 signs you’re a narcissist

TIME Magazine Admits Cover Of Trump Punting Crying Immigrant Child May Have Been ‘Slightly Misleading’ — The Babylon Bee

NEW YORK, NY—Shortly after publishing a cover of President Trump punting a crying immigrant child up into the air, editors at TIME Magazine admitted that they may have “lightly edited” the photo using Adobe Photoshop, and that it does not perfectly reflect reality. TIME staffers stated that they value truth and honesty in all their…

via TIME Magazine Admits Cover Of Trump Punting Crying Immigrant Child May Have Been ‘Slightly Misleading’ — The Babylon Bee

Everything About Time Magazine “Crying Girl” Immigration Propaganda Story is False…. — The Last Refuge

Time magazine decided to take “fake” news to new levels of jaw-cropping falsity with their latest story of a Honduran toddler crying while accompanying her mother into the U.S.

Dozens of newspapers and magazines around the globe published a picture of a little girl and her mother Sandra Sanchez trying to get into the U.S., but everything about the story is false.

The two-year old and her mother were never separated; additionally, Mrs. Sandra Sanchez was previously deported for illegal border crossing.  This is the second time Sandra Sanchez was stopped attempting to gain entry, making her effort a felony under U.S. law.

The father of the child has told media and government officials, and the Honduran government confirms, the toddler’s mom abandoned her other three children in Honduras and there was no economic hardship.   Everything about this story is fabricated; however, that didn’t stop the media and politicians from attempting to exploit the narrative.

Washington – […] As more information comes out about the situation of Sandra Sanchez and her 2-year-old daughter, ICE confirmed on Friday that Sanchez was previously deported in 2013. (read more)

Reuters is reporting after contact with the child’s father:

“My daughter has become a symbol of the … separation of children at the U.S. border. She may have even touched President Trump’s heart,” Denis Valera told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Valera said the little girl and her mother, Sandra Sanchez, have been detained together in the Texas border town of McAllen, where Sanchez has applied for asylum, and they were not separated after being detained near the border.  Honduran deputy foreign minister Nelly Jerez confirmed Valera’s version of events.

Varela said he was awestruck and pained when he first saw the photo of his crying daughter on TV. “Seeing what was happening to her in that moment breaks anyone’s heart,” he said.

The photo was used on a Facebook fundraiser that drew more than $17 million dollars in donations from close to half a million people for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based nonprofit that provides legal defense services to immigrants and refugees.

[…] Sanchez and her daughter had left Puerto Cortes, a major Honduran port north of the capital city, Tegucigalpa, without telling Valera or the couple’s three other children, he said.

He said he imagined that Sanchez left with the little girl for the United States, where she has family, in search of better economic opportunities.

“If they are deported, that is OK as long as they do not leave the child without her mother,” Valera said. “I am waiting to see what happens with them.”  (read more)

Time Magazine issues a correction, but will not retract the story despite the entire claim surrounding the narrative being entirely manufactured:

Today on the floor of the Senate Democrats use the picture to continue a false immigration enforcement narrative:

Democrat politicians and their media enablers are willing to fabricate any story in order to advance political goals.  This is the essence of “FAKE NEWS”:

via Everything About Time Magazine “Crying Girl” Immigration Propaganda Story is False…. — The Last Refuge

12 European States Revolt Against Merkel, Macron Plan To Reform Europe

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https://www.zerohedge.com

Two days ago, when we laid out the components of Merkel and Macron’s blueprint to reform the EU, we said that while “Macron suggested the proposal will be presented to other countries, with specifics to be worked out later this year and the plans to take effect from 2021, it was unclear how he plans to get “other countries” to vote for a proposal which has already led to the alienation of Central and Eastern Europe, Brexit and an openly populist government in Italy.”

We did not have to wait long for confirmation, because just two days later, Europe’s two self-proclaimed leaders were facing an unexpected backlash from most other European governments against the German and French plans for a common eurozone budget, dealing a blow to the two countries’ ambitions for a big overhaul of the single currency area.

As the FT reports, the rest of Europe’s “core”, including the Netherlands, Austria and Finland are among 12 governments questioning the need for any joint eurozone “fiscal capacity”, challenging a central tenet of French President Emmanuel Macron’s vision for the eurozone that he has successfully pressed Berlin to endorse.

As we reported on Wednesday, increasingly unpopular French president Macron and the politically embattled Merkel tried to restart their close collaboration this week ahead of a wider summit of EU leaders. They agreed that a new common pot of eurozone money could be funded by a mixture of national contributions and new EU levies, such as a financial transactions tax.

Ironically, while their agreement supposedly forms part of a broader deal between Paris and Berlin on how to strengthen the currency bloc, the rest of Europe generally disagreed, which incidentally is also the reason why any attempt at “Federalizing” Europe is doomed to failure: Europeans tend to frown upon self-declared “master states” who tends to decide for everyone else, even if these states end up paying for much of the outlays (largely thanks to the presence of the EUR and the absence of the DEM).

As a result, EU diplomats said Merkel’s concession to Macron – as a reminder, having found herself isolated at home, Merkel has been forced to see support abroad – had emboldened other countries to resist the blueprint, out of concern that it would leave their taxpayers too exposed to problems in crisis-hit member states.  And, as the FT writes, the splits were observable at a meeting of EU finance ministers in Luxembourg on Thursday, with increasing signs that governments have formed competing camps with distinct visions on the direction of further integration.

According to a letter seen by the Financial Times, Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra has written to Mário Centeno, the president of the eurogroup, to underline that there is “wide divergence” on the need for any budget, with a number of countries concerned about “moral hazard risks” and questions of “fiscal neutrality” posed by the plan.

The letter insisted that the lack of the agreement on the budget be clearly communicated to leaders at next week’s summit.

“There was clearly no consensus on starting to explore options” at Thursday’s meeting of finance ministers, the Dutch finance minister said in the letter, adding there was also no agreement to start exploring the use of a financial transactions tax to finance it.

And the punchline: the letter was written by the Dutch finance minister on behalf of Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ireland and Malta.

The simple math: 2 vs 12, and it is safe to say that the rest of the eurozone is not aligned with France and Germany either.

It gets better: according to the FT, the 12 countries expands a coalition called the “Hanseatic League” (a reference to the commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Northwestern and Central Europe, which in the late 1100s, grew from a few North German towns to dominate Baltic maritime trade for three centuries along the coast of Northern Europe), an initial group of eight smaller fiscally conservative countries, which have insisted on more national responsibility to solve economic problems in the eurozone.

Meeting with vocal resistance, Berlin and Paris have insisted that the Franco-German deal on reforming the monetary union is not a fait accompli for the rest of the eurozone; it is however mandatory that at some point Europe will have to be reformed, and Germany and France will have to likely lead that effort (assuming of course that Merkel is still around). And judging by the Thursday backlash, Europe’s core has just carried out a coup.

Trying to soften the harsh reception, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that “it is not a take it or leave it road map. It is open for discussion for negotiations among members of the eurozone.”

And judging by the reaction, Europe is done “negotiating” when the outcome is the one pre-decided by just two nations.

* * *

But wait, it gets worse, because while Merkel and Macron may have been hoping to lay the groundwork for what Europe will look like in several years, Merkel may not make it if she is unable to find a common ground in the coming “migration” summit, and fails to provide a satisfactory answer to the CSU’s 2 week ultimatum.

As Reuters reports, Merkel played down expectations of any major breakthrough at hastily-arranged talks among EU leaders on Sunday on the migration dispute dividing Europe. Plans for the emergency meeting, before a full EU summit at the end of next week, were thrown into chaos on Thursday when Italy’s new prime minister said a draft accord on migration had been withdrawn because of a clash with Merkel.

10 Books Every Christian Should Read — Tim Challies

I believe that of all the questions I receive, the most common relate to books. What are some books I ought to read? Can you recommend a book on this subject or that subject? What should I read next? I’m happy to answer such questions, but thought I might be able to answer a bunch at once by suggesting 10 books that every Christian ought to read.

Transcript

As you can probably imagine, I get a lot of feedback from people who watch these videos, people who read my website, and I think of all the questions I get, probably the most prominent relate to books. What are some books I ought to read? Can you recommend a book on this subject? Those sorts of questions. I’m happy to answer them. I thought I might be able to answer a bunch of them by suggesting ten books that every Christian ought to read.

Today we’re talking about Christian books and I’m going to suggest ten books that I think every Christian ought to read, or at least try to read, at some point in your lifetime. These are not going to be in any particular order, also these are all contemporary books. Another time I can do some classics everybody ought to read, some of the older books, but for now let’s just focus on ten books, modern books, every Christian ought to read.

We will start with JI Packer and his classic, Knowing God. It’s a true classic book, everybody knows about it, everybody ought to read it. What Packer does so well there, is he simply introduces God as He is. So many of us have notions of God that are wrong, they’ve come in unhelpful ways, we’ve believed wrong things. He simply wants to show us who God is, so we can believe in the God who really is, believe in God as He actually exists. So it’s a fantastic introduction to the person of God.

Next up, The Holiness of God by RC Sproul. What do we say about this book? What RC does so well here, is he introduces God in all His holiness. You know, all the things God is, of all the attributes of God, there’s just one that’s repeated three times, right. God is not wrath, wrath, wrath. He’s not mercy, mercy, mercy. He’s not love, love, love, but God is holy, holy, holy. That attribute that’s repeated to the third degree, that’s an attribute of God we ought to know, we ought to celebrate. The Holiness of God by RC Sproul.

Next, we’ve got Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur and I guess some might say that’s an odd one to add to the list, but there’s good reason. I don’t think we fully understand yet just how deeply pragmatism has infiltrated the Christian church. So many of the principles of church growth and growing churches constantly bigger and bigger, this is built on pragmatism. This notion that the end justifies the means. That if something is working, it’s proof that it’s God’s will. We need to fight hard against that notion and that’s exactly what MacArthur does so well in Ashamed of the Gospel, a book I highly, highly recommend that does battle with something that’s so, so present in the church here in the 21st century.

Then we’ve got The Disciplines of Grace by Jerry Bridges. You’ve probably heard people talk about preaching the Gospel to yourself, probably heard them talk about the centrality of the Gospel in the Christian life and the Christian church. Well, many of those people are really downstream from Jerry Bridges and really this book. He shows how God means the Gospel to be central and I mean that can be cliché, there’s all sorts of ways that can go wrong. Bridges does it so, so well. Read that book, absorb that book, live out that book, you’ll be so much better for it.

I know I said these would be largely contemporary books, but I’m going to make an exception here, well kind of. Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen. Now John Owen wrote a massive body of work, in one of those volumes is this material, sin and temptation. I’m including this in the list because this is a version that Justin Taylor and Kelly Kapic have gone over, they’ve modernized it a little. They haven’t changed it, they’ve just adapted it. They’ve changed some of the words that no longer fit, they’ve taken Owen’s strange way of quoting scripture and updated it. So it makes it that much easier to read. But this is a book that’s all about how we can fight hard against sin, how we can overcome temptation, how we can put on Christ’s righteousness. There is no book you’ll read in your life, sure the Bible of course, that will probably have a greater effect on your understanding of your own sinfulness, your understanding of God’s grace to help you overcome that sin.

It’s only right that I should have a biography on the list. I don’t even know that we know how much we benefit from reading about the lives of other believers. Well, how about Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore? Such a great biography of such a great figure. It’s fairly short for a man who accomplished as much as Spurgeon did, it’s so readable and it’s such a living, just a joyful biography to read. So I highly recommend Spurgeon by Dallimore.

I guess we need to have a book about the disciplines of the Christian life, the spiritual disciplines. So how about Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney? Of course there’s so many books about the spiritual disciplines today, and for good reason. This is an especially good one, it’s well into its second edition now. One that will help you understand, what does God call us to do as disciplines in the Christian life? How can we take hold of the means of grace that God offers? Whitney does such a good job in describing those things and calling us to them for all the right reasons.

And how about Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey? Nancy in some ways, in many ways, is following the thought of Francis Schaeffer. And so she’s bringing Schaeffer’s notion of truth into the 21st century. Such an important book as it shows the craziness of relativism around us. It shows this two-tiered version of truth that so many people, perhaps even us, have bought into, the sacred-secular divide. You really ought to read this book, it will help you think better about your own life, help you think better about the world around you.

Of course, we’ve got to have some John Piper on the list, right. Now, most people would think you ought to go with Desiring God. I’m going to go with The Pleasures of God. Here’s why: because it’s secondary to Desiring God. So in some ways, you get the best of Desiring God and yet you get the continuation of Piper’s thought into his next volume. So, you can’t go wrong with reading anything by Piper, but The Pleasures of God is probably as good a place as you’ll find to start, so you can understand, what is it that has so captivated John Piper? What is it about God that has so captured his heart, that so many people are listening to him and enjoying him and just being downstream of his thought? Such a good book, I’m sure you’ll be blessed by it.

And let’s close out with John Stott’s The Cross of Christ. Of course, we need to have a book about the sacrifice, the atoning sacrifice, the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Nobody’s written on this in a better way than John Stott in his absolute classic work, and justifiably a classic work, The Cross of Christ. Pick it up, read it. I’m absolutely certain it will prove to be a blessing to you.

So, of the thousands and tens of thousands of books we could have looked to, here are just ten. I don’t think there’s a person in the world, a Christian in the world who wouldn’t benefit by reading these ten books that every Christian, at least at some point in their lifetime, ought to consider reading. I hope you’ll give some of them a shot.

via 10 Books Every Christian Should Read — Tim Challies