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.

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…

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…