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.

Death by Living, by ND Wilson

By Brian Gault | September 17, 2019

Life is a story. A good friend recently told me, “I read this every year.” That caught my attention. I picked up Death by Living by ND Wilson, the son of Doug Wilson. ND Wilson is a story teller, a fiction writer. He was written several children’s trilogies including the 100 Cupboards series, the Ashtown…

Community and Growth, by Jean Vanier

By Brian Gault | August 13, 2019

Genuine community is a rebellion against the isolation of today’s culture. Loneliness has skyrocketed over the past 50 years. It’s an epidemic and a deep wound. 47% of Americans often feel lonely. A 2010 study at Brigham Young University reported that loneliness shortens a person’s life by 15 years. Originally translated into English in 1979,…

Heal Us, Emmanuel, edited by Doug Serven

By Brian Gault | July 30, 2019

Heal Us, Emmanuel is “a call for racial reconciliation, representation, and unity in the church.” This collection of essays written by PCA Teaching and Ruling Elders was published in 2016. It came as a response. In 2015 Ligon Duncan and Sean Lucas brought a Personal Resolution on Civil Rights Remembrance to the 43rd PCA General…

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

By Brian Gault | July 23, 2019

World War II history tends to be about strategies and battles, fronts and guns, heroes and power. It’s a tale told about men. It’s a tale told by men. But that’s only half the story. Kristin Hannah paints a vivid picture of Nazi-occupied France during World War II. It’s historical fiction, but she creates a…

Same Lake, Different Boat, by Stephanie Hubach

By Zack Owens | July 14, 2019

I once heard an excellent sermon from Luke 14. The Gospel was applied it in a real way to our lives. The preacher firmly and compassionately spoke about our spiritual blindness, our spiritual disability. But there was a problem: “He said also to the man who had invited him, ‘When you give a dinner or…

Boundaries with Kids, by Cloud and Townsend

By Brian Gault | July 9, 2019

In his excellent sermon at PCA General Assembly this year, David Cassidy said, “Our kids are always being discipled. The question is by whom and into what.” Right now, your children are learning boundaries. The question is whether they are good boundaries or bad boundaries. Boundaries define our limits and freedoms. They teach responsibility and…

The Tech-Wise Family, by Andy Crouch

By Brian Gault | May 28, 2019

Summer is upon us. At our house, kids are suddenly at home instead of at school, which consequently involves setting more boundaries around screens. Andy Crouch thinks deeply and writes clearly. He’s exploring what human flourishing looks like in a world of technology. This book has influenced the way I think about our use of…

The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones

By Zack Owens | May 20, 2019

When I first began teaching children in a summer camp setting, I began accumulating resources (curricula, books, bibles, etc). So when our first child was born, I had an arsenal of children’s bibles on hand to start reading. But there was a problem. Whether the message was moralistic, the hero wasn’t Jesus, or the storytelling…

Wild at Heart, by John Eldredge

By Brian Gault | May 14, 2019

This is a book about men—specifically about the heart of men. It is a powerful book that has spoken to countless readers. It also requires discernment. We might compare the Christian life is like a plane with two wings—duty and desire. With two balanced wings, the plane flies straight ahead. When one wing is shorter,…

Galatians for You, by Tim Keller

By Brian Gault | April 24, 2019

I’m a big Tim Keller fan. My favorite Keller titles include: The Meaning of Marriage, Walking with God through Pain and Suffering, Prodigal God, and Counterfeit Gods. Using logic and reason, illustration and analogy, he has repeatedly shattered my unhelpful views and replaced them with more biblical ones. Galatians for You packs the same punch,…

Safe People, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

By Brian Gault | April 17, 2019

God created us to be in relationship, and relationships can be hurtful and/or healing. Healthy relationships are essential for us to flourish. But what are healthy relationships, and how do we find them? Cloud and Townsend, the co-authors of Boundaries, answer that question in Safe People. They start by defining unsafe people, who generally fall…

United by Faith, by DeYoung, Emerson, Yancey, and Kim

By Brian Gault | April 9, 2019

United by Faith answers Divided by Faith—intentionally so; it’s framed as a companion volume. The problem? Divided by Faith discusses evangelical religion and the problem of race. As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.” The answer? United by Faith proposes “the multiracial…

Lament for a Son, by Nicholas Wolterstorff

By Brian Gault | April 2, 2019

Eric was twenty-five years old when he died. He was climbing in the mountains. He slipped and fell. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Eric’s father, gives voice to his grief. It is raw. Heartbreaking. Honest. The news came at 3:30 on a Sunday afternoon. Nicholas Wolterstorff writes, “For three seconds I felt the peace of resignation: arms extended,…

The Hole in Our Holiness, by Kevin DeYoung

By Brian Gault | March 26, 2019

Kevin DeYoung has a knack for breaking complex theological topics into crisp categories. He uses humor, analogy, and imagination. In The Hole in Our Holiness, DeYoung says we might view holiness is like he views camping. He quips, “Who decided that vacation should be like normal life, only harder?” He goes on about camping at…

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…