Below is a list of what I believe are a few of the most important articles written (and a few podcasts) about the corona craziness, masks, government overreach, and the church’s response. I urge you to really take the time to read through each one. There are others that lay important groundwork, but these are the top of the bag. And, if you must narrow it down, just start at the top and work your way down.
Below are some crucial reminders about how central table fellowship is in the Christian life, and how to navigate some modern hindrances to it.
Allergic to Other People, by Doug Wilson
10 Food Considerations for Christians, by Ben Zornes
Many are surprised to learn that “emotion” is a recent idea, historically speaking—and, frankly, it’s a rather unhelpful category to boot. The discussion used to be primarily a moral one, a distinction between affections and passions was maintained, and this only quite recently morphed into a psychological, all-encompassing category of “emotion.”
To learn more about this distinction between emotions, feelings, affections, and passions—and how it relates to our theology of culture and worship—I commend the following resources for your study and edification.
For a summary introduction to the discussion, you might start with Dr. Scott Aniol’s helpful response to a question here.
That site—Religious Affections Ministries—is a remarkable resource altogether.
Pastor David de Bruyn’s articles on emotion and feelings in this series are tremendously helpful and interesting; especially pertinent is the article on “a short history of emotion.” The entire 58 part (!) series is worth your attention, but the several articles on emotion and feeling are particularly relevant to the inquiry at hand.
For a fuller treatment of the subject with regard to how the affections are related to our understanding and practice of worship, see this helpful paper by Dr. Aniol.
And, lastly, as I’m wont to offer, here are a few books of particular import:
The Religious Affections, by Jonathan Edwards
The Four Loves, by C.S. Lewis
From Passions to Emotions, by Thomas Dixon
You Are What You Love, by James K.A. Smith
Top Books of 2019
I read a lot of books in 2019. Below, I share the top of the bag—the cream of the crop—a few books that had a particularly significant impact on me, that I commend to you for your own edification.
Politics, by Aristotle
The Household and the War for the Cosmos, by C.R. Wiley
You Who? Why You Matter and How to Deal With It, by Rachel Jankovic
The Spine of Scripture: God’s Kingdom from Eden to Eternity, by Dominic Bnonn Tennant
Rules for Reformers, by Douglas Wilson
Political Church: The Local Assembly as Embassy of Christ’s Rule, by Jonathan Leeman
Why Children Matter, by Douglas Wilson
The New Covenant Ministry of the Holy Spirit, by Larry Pettegrew
Psalms for Trials, by Lindsey Tollefson
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution, by Kevin Gutzman
Honest Money: The Biblical Blueprint for Money and Banking, by Gary North
From Aristocracy to Monarchy to Democracy: A Tale of Moral and Economic Folly and Decay, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
A Theology of Biblical Counseling, by Heath Lambert
Books I’m Starting in 2020
I have no doubt I’ll read more than these, but these at least are the books I have started or know I will be reading, and which I’m greatly looking forward to.
Ploductivity: A Practical Theology of Work and Wealth, by Douglas Wilson
Building a Godly Home: A Holy Vision for a Happy Marriage, by William Gouge
Building Conservative Churches, by David de Bruyn
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen, a traditional English carol from the eighteenth century or earlier, is one of my favorite Christmas carols. Better known as God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, evidence suggests that in fact “you” is original, with the word being changed to “ye” at some point—perhaps to make it sound older or more authentic.
Often mis-punctuated as “God rest you, merry gentlemen,” the opening line is actually a prayer that God would “rest you merry,” which means to keep you, or to enable you to remain, prosperous, joyful, or blessed. The reason we ought to be joyful, rather than dismayed, is that we know that Christ our Savior has been born “to save us all from Satan’s power” (verse 1).
The third verse also emphasizes that Jesus was born “to free all those who trust in Him.” This truly is good news (tidings) of “comfort and joy.” The fourth verse ends by calling all those present to sing praises to the Lord and to respond with love toward one another, even while the unsaved world defaces and disdains the true meaning of Christmas—the birth of our savior and king.
So then, may God rest you merry!
Pastor C.R. Wiley… Familiarize yourself with his work.
I’ve previously recommended his book, Man of the House: A Handbook for Building a Shelter That Will Last in a World That is Falling Apart. It’s exactly as the subtitle claims—and worth every penny and every minute.
Pastor Wiley has now published a follow-up work: The Household and the War for the Cosmos: Recovering a Christian Vision for the Family.
One of the biggest dangers to the modern church is the downplaying, fragmentation, and recreationalization of the household. We need to get back to a biblical understanding of the strategic and central role the household plays in God’s plan for the cosmos.
Here, Wiley introduces a couple of the concepts he explains through the book.
In order to prepare for some of the concepts Wiley deals with, watch this helpful introduction and summary of the biblical doctrine of the household from Alistair Roberts…
…and this clip of Wes Calihan, of Roman Roads Media, explaining the Roman concept of piety—akin to the Christian paradigm, and an all important concept to grasp, as the idea of piety has been misused and relegated to an effeminate, quietistic cliche. It’s actually one of the core biblical principles of the Christian life.