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.

Grace Unknown by RC Sproul

By Brian Gault | March 23, 2020

We all have a theology—an understanding of the Bible out of which we answer life’s big questions and think about the world. What’s your theology? In Grace Unknown, R.C. Sproul presents Reformed Theology or the doctrines of grace. It’s an accessible explanation of an elegant system that revolves around the Sovereignty of God. The book…

What’s Best Next by Matt Perman

By Brian Gault | February 27, 2020

At the beginning of each year, I like to read a book on productivity to shape the year ahead. This year, I reread one of my favorites, What’s Best Next, by Matt Perman. Perman takes a ‘Christian’ approach to productivity, and he builds his system from David Allen’s Getting Things Done (stronger in projects and…

Setting Parents Free by John Cox

By Zack Owens | February 24, 2020

When I first started reading Dr. John Cox’s book Setting Parents Free, my 7-year-old daughter sat nearby finishing her homework. As my mechanical pencil went wild, she looked up from her notebook and asked, “Why are you underlining?” “Because I want to remember certain things.” “Are you going to put it in a bible lesson…

New City Catechism (with Children’s Mode)

By Brian Gault | November 22, 2019

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year. When this goes out on the Wednesday Update, you may find yourself travelling in the car for several hours. Perhaps you’re looking for a way to pass the time. Here’s an idea that’s fun for the whole family: Catechism! Some of the best…

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni

By Elbert McGowan | November 7, 2019

Have you ever been on a team? Maybe you were on a sports team growing up. Maybe you were put on a team by a professor and tasked with doing a group project. Maybe a boss nominated you to serve on a transition team to help the company roll out a new product. Maybe you…

Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

By Brian Gault | October 23, 2019

I love the Chronicles of Narnia. They’ve been called children’s stories, and they are. But they’re so much more. C.S. Lewis communicates the wealth of the Gospel with childlike simplicity, in a way that breaks our paradigms and penetrates our souls. I still remember reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first…

Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller

By Brian Gault | October 16, 2019

On Sunday, Pastor El talked about the importance of Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller. I couldn’t agree more. Counterfeit Gods has been deeply formative for me in the Christian life. Pulling it off the shelf is like visiting an old friend. You can read it in a couple hours, but digest it for the rest…

He Gave Us Stories, by Richard Pratt

By Brian Gault | September 30, 2019

We have a God who acts and speaks. He acts in history, and then he interprets his actions through his word. His word is full of stories. To interpret those stories correctly, we need hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the study of principles or methods of interpretation. Whenever we read anything, either consciously or unconsciously we are…

Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

By Brian Gault | September 24, 2019

Fiction helps me to enter into another world. As the pages turn, I live in that world. The world that Colson Whitehead creates in The Underground Railroad is not for the faint of heart. It’s a harsh reality. Though it’s a fictional story, it uncovers a hard truth. A truth that needs to be told.…

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…