Pastoral Reading Reflections

This is a space for our pastoral staff to reflect on what they are reading. These are not reviews, recommendations, or summaries, but short reflections on books they've read.

Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell

By Brian Gault | March 19, 2019

The American Dream is that anyone, if they work hard enough, is able to make it to the top. Everyone has equal opportunity, and it’s up to them to make the most of it. In his book Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell challenges this American understanding of how we attain success. He takes a deep dive and…

The Songs of Jesus, by Tim Keller with Kathy Keller

By Brian Gault | March 7, 2019

In the Psalms, the heart of the believer encounters the heart of God. John Calvin says the Psalms are an “anatomy of the soul.” You see gratitude and grief, confidence and confusion, discipline and doubt, victory and violence, longing and languishing, struggle and satisfaction—all as the psalmist pours out his heart to God. Those words…

Show them Jesus, by Jack Klumpenhower

By Zack Owens | March 4, 2019

Jack Klumpenhower, a journalist by training and trade, was a gifted Sunday School teacher. But something was missing in the way he approached discipleship and spiritual formation with children and youth. Shifting away from lessons that focused on the kids’ response (behavior and right thinking), Jack began to show children the grace of God through…

The Color of Compromise, by Jemar Tisby

By Elbert McGowan | February 27, 2019

Would you rather tinker or follow a pattern? There are two types of Lego users. Some want to follow a pattern to recreate the exact image on the Lego box. Others want to use their imagination to build whatever they desire. Same blocks, two different ways to approach them. This is a helpful analogy to…

Free at Last? by Carl Ellis

By Brian Gault | February 18, 2019

Carl Ellis (a friend of Redeemer, along with his wife Karen) has written a survey and analysis of the African American experience as it intersects with God’s word and Christianity, but it’s much more than that. In this space I want to introduce you to two of Ellis’s valuable concepts, from among many: (1) White…

The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

By Brian Gault | February 13, 2019

It’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see the world from their perspective. You don’t know what you don’t know. We often cram the details of someone else’s world into our categories. We simplify their complexity. The biblical command to love others asks us to enter into the world of another with…

Just Do Something, by Kevin DeYoung

By Brian Gault | January 14, 2019

“What is God’s will for my life?” We’d love to have a clear answer on whom we should marry, which job we should take, where we should go to church, and where we should live. And we might fear that if we make the wrong choice, we’ll be out of the center of God’s will,…

Soul of Shame, by Curt Thompson

By Brian Gault | January 13, 2019

In the garden of Eden, in the last verse before the fall, here’s the description of Adam and Eve in the blessed state of paradise: 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Gen 2:25 ESV) “Not ashamed” seems an odd choice. He could have said “joyously jubilant” or…

Educated, by Tara Westover

By Brian Gault | January 13, 2019

For some, abuse is impossible to imagine. For others, it is a hideous reality. Way too often abuse is ignored. Sometimes it is denied. Educated is about abuse. It’s about more than abuse, but certainly not less. Tara Westover grew up on a mountain in Idaho. She received no formal education. Her father worked in…

Union with Christ, by Rankin Wilbourne

By Brian Gault | December 17, 2018

It has been argued that nothing is more important to understanding the Christian life than the doctrine of union with Christ. The phrase “in Christ” appears 89 times in the New Testament, and includes some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.…