This is the third year that I have committed to reading 50 books (you can view my completed books list on Goodreads here). With the perfect blend of curiosity, intentionality, and tenacity, you can join me in reading more. If you desire this, I have shared my personal tips and tricks on reading more. As I am continually shaped by what I read, I desire to share books worthy of your time and energy. These are my favorite books read in 2019 (not necessarily published this year). As you read through each section, I hope you will see the overlapping and recurring themes. This is one of the joys of reading more. Continue reading
In 1954, as the connection between smoking and lung cancer was becoming more discernible through research, the tobacco companies provided “A Frank Statement” to counterattack the bad publicity they were receiving. Siddhartha Mukherjee, in his book The Emperor of All Maladies, points out that this statement was anything but frank: “By half revealing and half concealing the actual disagreements among scientists, the advertisement performed a complex dance of veils. Obfuscation of facts and the reflection of self-doubt—the proverbial combination of smoke and mirrors—would have sufficed for any ordinary public relations campaign. But the final ploy was unrivaled in its genius” . . . they proposed more research and even offered aid and assistance.
The Shema, from which Jesus appropriated the greatest commandment, is found in the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is a restatement of the Mosaic covenant, which was grounded in Israel’s redemption from Egypt (Ex 2:2). This redemption was grounded in God’s covenant with Abraham (Ex 3:15). This covenant was the result of God’s gracious choice (Gen 12:1) and his plan to redeem for himself people from all nations through Abraham’s seed (Gen 12:3). Further, this covenant was rooted in God’s promise in the garden to defeat Satan with the seed of the woman (Gen 3:15). In this unfolding of redemptive history, God is actively restoring creation to its original design—a world filled with image-bearers who reflect the glory of their Creator. This is precisely what Jesus came to do.
What does it meant to be human? To err is human—yes, but even though the darkness pervades every corner of our being, sin is not essential to our humanity. Sin is a welcomed contaminant—something that has successfully baited us with high hopes of self-actualization and autonomy, but has in the end betrayed us and left us with self-afflicted adversity. Continue reading
The greatest commandment is a call to love. But what is love? Where do we look for an accurate and full understanding? Should we look to what the secular culture teaches about man or what the sacred Scriptures teach about God?
The greatest commandment is a high calling. Loving God with your whole heart, soul, and strength is no easy task. What is the groundwork for such a command? Is this command rooted in our ability to please God and earn his favor? Or is the basis for the command who God is and what he has already done?
What’s so great about the greatest commandment? Was Jesus’ answer really that profound? Of all the commandments in the Old Testament, why did Jesus point to that one? What role does this command have in helping us understand the whole story of the Bible?