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A Few Good Reads

A Few Good Reads August 22, 2016

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

Can the Devil Read My Mind?
There are few areas of theology Christians struggle with more than their understanding of Satan. There are so many unanswered questions about his origins and what he is able to do. Here R.C. Sproul answers whether or not the devil can read our minds. His answer is short, but shows how we can think through these kinds of issues. “I know that Satan has more power than one would normally find among human beings. At the same time, I know that Satan is not divine; he is not God, does not have divine powers or attributes. He is a creature with the limitations that are found normally with creatureliness. He is an angel.”

Your Neighbor is Not a Number
Many church leaders and pastors can quote volumes of statistics about their community. Jonathan Parnell is concerned we know the numbers about our neighbors without actually knowing our neighbors. In a call every Christian needs to hear, he pushes us out of our offices and back porches and into everyday life with the people who live around us. “ And it is true that some places are statistically more lost than others. But before describing that lostness with blanket figures or statements, picture the face of a neighbor, not a number on a page. Don’t pretend to know how conversations will go with the people in your city until you actually start having them. More often than not, people will be much more receptive to your church and message than those gnarly numbers seem to suggest.”

3 Lessons to Learn from Olympians David Boudia and Steele Johnson
Many have seen the video of synchronized diving gold medalists David Boudia and Steele Johnson saying their identity is rooted in Christ rather than in how they would perform in the Olympics. Davis Lacey shares three lessons we can learn from their testimony. “So let us be busy with the work of disciple-making, while enjoying God’s gifts and the identity he has bestowed on us through Christ Jesus. And let us watch and be amazed at the work God accomplishes through his Spirit, who is already at work within us.”

9 Books to Help Christians Think about Politics
Scores of books will be written about the 2016 Presidential election. I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime, and this year’s events have shown me that many Christians don’t have a coherent understanding of the role of politics and government. Thankfully many Christians have written about these issues throughout the years and Zak Schmoll has put together a good list to get you started in gaining a greater grasp of the relationship between faith and politics. “ome people are viewing this election as a necessary vote for the lesser of two evils while others are more willing to vote their conscience by voting for candidates who have a very limited chance of winning. Naturally, the consequence of voting your conscience is that perhaps the greater evil might win if people do not unite behind the lesser of two evils.”

Next Door as It Is in Heaven
Every once in a while you come across a new book and the title just grabs you. Lance Ford and Brad Brisoc accomplished it this week with their new work on loving your neighbors. I’m convinced one of the ways Christians can make the greatest impact in our current culture is to be a friend to the people who live around them, and this book looks like it will be a great resource to help us accomplish this. “There was a time when neighbors knew each other’s names, when small children and the old and infirm alike had more than their families looking out for them. There was a time when our neighborhoods were our closest communities.”

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