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Hey friends!

Two brief announcements:

  1. I have recently updated the comment section of this blog so it is easier to leave comments.
  2. There is still time to sign up to win a book and/or t-shirt from Lecrae. Sign up here.

Best of New and Free Resources

3 Free Kindle Books. One of which I hope you read, and two of which I hope you never need:

Bible & Theology

7 Arguments for Why You Should Be Anxious Today and How the Bible Responds by Justin Taylor

Christian Living & Prayer

Why Regulating Screen Time May Not Be Helpful to You or Your Kids by John Dyer

How does the gospel bring ongoing renewal in the lives of Christians?

Cultural Engagement

A Transgendered Thought Experiment. In which Kevin DeYoung exposes logical flaws in transgender thought.

Talking to My Boys After the Transgender Talk at Their Public School. Wise counsel from Brad Hambrick

Sometimes A Question is Better than an Answer
by John Stonestreet (Listen Below)

Why No School Has to Obey Obama’s Bathroom Decree by Julie Roys

Ministry

25 Quotes from The Vine Project: Shaping Your Ministry Culture Around Disciple-Making

Where Culture Change in a Church Begins. A great excerpt from The Vine Project.

Randomness from the Interwebs

What is the Internet’s Favorite Book? (At Least According to GoodReads) (HT)

Calvin and Hobbes. Glad to see the ESV Study Bible make #2.

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In partnership with B&H Publishers, I am giving away copies of Lecrae’s new book Unashamed and Unashamed t-shirts. There will be three winners with the following prizes:

  1. Unashamed book and T-shirt (Grand Prize)
  2. Unashamed book
  3. T-shirt

There are two ways to enter:

1. Enter below by email.

If you are already an email subscriber, you can enter below or reply to the email with this information and say “hi” or “I want to win!”

2. “Like” my Facebook page.

Winners will be contacted by email. You can preview the book by reading 5 Lessons Learned from Lecrae’s Biography Unashamed

Lecrae Biography Unashamed Book CoverThe first time I heard it was in the Wengatz Hall at Taylor University—and I couldn’t believe my ears.

Catchy beats and clever lyrics filled with Scriptural truths blared through the bathroom boom box, and it was music to my ears in more ways than one.

This was a time of great Spiritual growth in my life—I finally came to really understand the amazing truths I had taken for granted so long: that we could know God through Jesus Christ and that the Bible was His Holy Word. When good Christian rap entered my life, I did whatever I could to get my hands on as much of it as I could.

Lecrae’s first album Real Talk was my first Christian rap album because that was all that was available. Songs like Crossover, Represent, and The Line were the soundtrack of my life as a freshman in college trying to figure out who he was.

Soon after, After The Music Stops dropped and I added songs like Jesus Muzik, Send Me, and The King to my life, loving how they drove me to both set my mind on things above in worship and move my body. I even was able to see Lecrae rap at a youth center in Marion, Indiana.

For the next several years, I constantly listened to Lecrae and other rappers in his circles like Tedashii, Trip Lee, and Flame, going to concerts whenever I could and even being part of a Christian rap music video. (Technically as an extra in this video at 1:12-14 and 1:30-31. I’m the geeky white guy in the blue hat). Lecrae’s new albums Rebel and Rehab continued to fuel my faith post-college and into seminary, before my listening habits slowly shifted away from mainly listening to music to mainly listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

Lecrae is one of those artists about whom I can honestly say, “I liked him before he was big,” and continue to like him now, albeit for different reasons. At first, I enjoyed his music and example because they drew me to Christ. Over time through following his example and life, my appreciation for him has morphed from solely music to his boldness with the gospel, cultural engagement, compelling honesty, and growing platform. His growing and unique platform has opened opportunities to share ideas with Christian outlets like Q or Desiring God and secular sources like TIME and Jimmy Fallon.

That’s why I eagerly plowed through his new autobiography, Unashamed, to learn more about the man who has taught me so much.

5 Lessons Learned from Lecrae’s Biography Unashamed

Lesson #1: The importance of role models.

Lecrae never knew his father growing up and longed for good role models. With only gangster uncles or his mom’s abusive boyfriends around, Lecrae struggled with identity and direction, longing for someone to look up to. (Lecrae said it’s a problem when the only black role model he had was Theo Huxtable from The Cosby Show.) Reflecting on this struggle drove him to write the song Just Like You about his experience growing up.

One striking story Lecrae shared involved his step-father’s reaction to the cops bringing him home as a teenager for the umpteenth time. Instead of screaming and violence, he calmly spoke hard truth to Lecrae telling him he would go nowhere in life and never be able to own a house or provide for a family unless he changed his life. These words struck Lecrae’s heart and rang in his mind for years to come. This is the type of strong male voice he wanted growing up.

Lesson #2: The importance of discipleship for new believers.

Although he grew up going to Mexico on missions with his grandmother, Lecrae never put his trust in Christ until attending a conference during his college years. These years were a struggle for identity and acceptance, causing him to transfer schools and reinvent himself several times. Lecrae shares about the sin in his life pre-conversion and post-conversion; and the depth of his post-conversion sin (drugs, sex, abortion, throwing illegal parties) reminded me of the importance of discipleship for new believers.

When someone is born again, they are typically a baby spiritually. Just like you wouldn’t leave a new baby on his own for months or years after birth, new believers need to be ‘parented’ by more mature believers who can help establish them in the faith.

Related Songs: Take Me As I Am, Indwelling Sin, and Praying for You.

Lesson #3: The traumatic effects of sexual abuse.

This lesson may have been the most unexpected for me. Lecrae opens up about being abused by a babysitter as a child and sharing how the abuse’s destructive effects echoed through his life for years to come, affecting his view of women, his relationships, and his trust for others. This part of his past only takes up a handful of pages in the book, but it still helped me enter a new—and dark—situation I’ve never before experienced. This is the beauty of biography because it allows us to see the world through different eyes.

Lesson #4: The need for culture changers.

Lecrae started making music for Christians and filled each song with more theological truth than many churches speak of on Sunday mornings. Lecrae wanted to reach people for Christ. And, in the Lord’s grace, he did. People trusted Jesus, were encouraged in the faith, and finally came to realize that not all Christian music is cheesy.

After a few albums, new relationships, and Christian notoriety, Lecrae realized there were many people he wanted to reach who would never listen to rap about ‘going hard for the Lord.’ Through reading Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey and Culture Making by Andy Crouch, Lecrae realized a different approach to his music might allow him to reach more people. He was to become someone who influenced the broader culture through hip hop and not just reformed Christian circles. Why reach just believers when he can influence the entire rap industry for Christ?

Two examples of his newer philosophy are seen in Anomaly, Lecrae’s most recent album that reached #1 on Billboard Charts. Nuthin’ talks about how most rap is about, well, nuthin’ except guns, sex, and money. Lecrae confronts many in the rap industry with the lyrics:

And every song talking ’bout they selling work on every corner
Don’t talk about the laws, taking kids away from mommas
Don’t talk about your homie in the trauma cause he shot up
Or what about your young boy messing up the product
They don’t talk about the bond money that they ain’t have
And everybody snitch on everybody in the jam
They don’t talk about the pain, they don’t talk about the struggle
How they turn to the Lord when they ran into trouble
I’m a talk about it

In another song, The Good, the Bad, the Ugly, he confesses to aborting a child. (Learn more about this song in an interview with John Piper.)

This raw honesty and broadened approach to ministry has opened doors for Lecrae to appear on Jimmy Fallon, be featured on BET, and speak at TEDx event. It also has given him many opportunities to build friendships with influencers in the rap world, some of which have come to Christ.

This broadened approach has also struck some fans as selling out, causing Lecrae to view himself as an outsider.

Lesson #5: Faithfulness sometimes means being an outsider.

Unashamed opens with the story of Lecrae attending a Grammys party with A-listers and feeling like he didn’t fit in. This experience is a theme in Lecrae’s life.

I’ll admit, I was one of the ones disappointed when Lecrae’s music dropped a lot of the rich theology I was used to. But I didn’t know the whole story (I still don’t). Now I respect Lecrae’s devotion to the Lord and desire to broaden his reach for the Kingdom. I also realize many dangers facing him in the secular music world. But as the book shares, he has a team of godly people always surrounding him and keeping him grounded. And he has people like me praying for him.

I’m guessing there are many former fans he won’t win back and will never understand his heart. But I also guess that Lecrae’s ambassadorship to culture will bear unique fruit for the kingdom, as evidenced in Lecrae’s claim that for every fan he lost, he has gained ten more.

Related Songs: Outsiders, Say I Won’t

Recommendation

I recommend Unashamed to fans of Lecrae, Christians wanting to engage culture in innovative ways, and other outsiders. It’s short (about 200 pages) and quick read that will make you chew on weighty topics as you follow the compelling narrative of a life that has inspired many.


Win a Copy of Unashamed and a T-Shirt

Lecrae-T-Shirt-

I am hosting a giveaway! Email subscribers can win one of three prizes:

  1. Grand Prize: Unashamed book and T-shirt
  2. Unashamed book
  3. T-shirt

There are two ways to enter:

1. Enter below by email.

If you are already an email subscriber, you can enter below or reply to the email with this information and say “hi” or “I want to win!”

2. “Like” my Facebook page.

Contest ends May 31st at 11:59pm.

Links-To-Make-You-Think-and-Grow

Best of New and Free Resources

Free Kindle Book: Get Real: Sharing Your Everyday Faith Every Day by John Leonard

Check out the new: The Gospel Project Study Bible

Bible & Theology

15 Discernment Diagnostics from Kevin DeYoung. Needed wisdom on discernment from the pastoral epistles.

5 Common Misconceptions Concerning Buddhism by Stephen Lewis

Christian Living & Prayer

A Plan for the Problem of Porn by Phil Ryken. Important words on an issue that is devastating for the church.

Cultural Engagement

Four Lessons from the Little Sisters of the Poor Case by Russell Moore

This video shares about the unintended victims of Bathroom Bills and Locker Room Policies: the abused. Let’s pray for sanity for our culture.

Ministry

Singing Songs from Questionable Sources by Bob Kauflin. I’m not a worship leader, but have wondered about this issue myself.

6 Ways Pastors Can Equip Churches to Engage Cultural Issues by Dan Darling. Key quote:

By not “doing politics” many are actually doing politics, offering subtle affirmation, by their silence, to the culture’s reigning orthodoxies. In other words, you can’t escape the culture wars, even if you tried.

Let’s Revive the Lost Art of Christian Polemics by Conrad Mwebe. Important for us all.

Randomness from the Interwebs

New Photos of President Bush First Hearing of 9/11

A good tweet/book excerpt sharing the challenges of communicating the gospel in an image-saturated culture.

Pixar: What Makes a Story Relatable

Best Quotes from Onward by Russell MooreOnward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore won Christianity Today’s 2015 Beautiful Orthodoxy Book of the Year—for good reason.

In Onward, Moore sets out a clear, compelling, and motivational rally cry for evangelicals to not lose focus of our identity or our task as the culture becomes increasingly hostile to the historic Christian faith.

This book is a must read for all Christians, especially those engaging our culture with the gospel or overly anxious about the direction the country is headed. Russell Moore is also just a stinkin’ good writer, as you will see in the quotes below that provide a basic summary of the book. If you’d rather listen, I’ve provided a two-minute and a forty-minute video of Moore sharing his message.

The Best Quotes from Onward by Russell Moore

Christianity in its historic, apostolic form is increasingly seen as socially awkward at best, as subversive at worst.

Our understanding of human sexuality, and behind that of human meaning, is at the heart right now of virtually all of the ongoing “culture war” skirmishes, over the sanctity of human life, over the purpose of marriage and family, over religious liberty and freedom of conscience. Many of the political divisions we have come down to this: competing visions of sexuality as they relate to morality and the common good.

The Christian message isn’t burdened down by the miraculous. It’s inextricably linked to it.

We cannot build Christian churches on a sub- Christian gospel. People who don’t want Christianity don’t want almost- Christianity.

The loss of the Bible Belt may be bad news for America. But it can be good news for the church.

The problem was that, from the very beginning, Christian values were always more popular in American culture than the Christian gospel.

God was always welcome in American culture. He was, after all, the Deity whose job it was to bless America. The God who must be approached through the mediation of the blood of Christ, however, was much more difficult to set to patriotic music or to “Amen” in a prayer at the Rotary Club.

The shaking of American culture is no sign that God has given up on American Christianity. In fact, it may be a sign that God is rescuing American Christianity from itself.

If our principal means of differentiation is politics or culture, then we have every reason to see those around us as our enemies, and to see ourselves as somehow morally superior. But if what differentiates us is blood poured out for our sins, then we see ourselves for what we are: hell- deserving sinners in the hands of a merciful God.

A Christianity that is without friction in the culture is a Christianity that dies.

The church now has the opportunity to bear witness in a culture that often does not even pretend to share our “values.” That is not a tragedy since we were never given a mission to promote “values” in the first place, but to speak instead of sin and of righteousness and judgment, of Christ and his kingdom.

Our end goal is not a Christian America, either of the made- up past or the hoped- for future. Our end goal is the kingdom of Christ, made up of every tribe, tongue, nation, and language.

If [the church] adapting to the culture were the key to ecclesial success, then where are the Presbyterian Church (USA) church- planting movements, the Unitarian megachurches?

A church that assumes the gospel is a church that soon loses the gospel. The church now must articulate, at every phase, the reason for our existence, because it is no longer an obvious part of the cultural ecosystem. That

It would be a tragedy to get the right president, the right Congress, and the wrong Christ.

If we see ourselves as only a minority, we will be tempted to isolation. If we see ourselves only as a kingdom, we will be tempted toward triumphalism. We are, instead, a church. We are a minority with a message and a mission.

The problem with carnal anger and outrage is that it’s one of the easiest sins to commit while convincing oneself that one is being faithful. The adulterer is often able to rationalize his adultery, and put it out of his mind, but he rarely sees the adultery itself as part of his holy mission. But how many angry, divisive, perpetually outraged Christians are convinced that they are reincarnated Old Testament prophets, calling down fire from heaven? Now, to be sure, there’s a time to call down fire from heaven. But you had better make sure that God has called you to direct that fire to fall. If not, then you’re acting like a prophet all right, but not a prophet of God.

We must learn to be strange enough to have a prophetic voice, but connected enough to prophesy to those who need to hear. We need to be those who know both how to warn and to welcome, to weep and to dream.

The kingdoms of the moment, whatever they are, seem more important than the kingdom of Christ, without our ever even realizing it. That’s why our blood pressure is more likely to rise when we hear someone disagree with us about our political party or our sports team or an item in the news than when we hear faulty teaching from a Christian pulpit.

The church is the embassy of the coming kingdom, not the fullness of that kingdom. Our mission is defined in terms of a gospel appeal to reconciliation, now, not the subjugation of our foes.

We lose sight both of the fact that all of human history— from Eden onward— is a war zone, and that God’s kingdom triumph is proven not by our electoral success or our cultural influence— as important as that is in being obediently “salt” and “light” in our culture. Our triumph is proven in the resurrection of the world’s rightful ruler.

We are stranger and exiles in the present time, that’s true. But we are not losers. There will be wars and rumors of wars, literal and cultural, but Jesus is on the move. We fight, but we fight from triumph, not from defeat.

But the temptation to apply 2 Chronicles to the nation rather than to the church persists, for the same reasons that some insist on applying Genesis 12:3 (“I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse”) to foreign policy rather than to where the Bible applies it: to the gospel of Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:7–14).

The church is not to be walled up from the broader culture but to speak to it (1 Pet. 2:12), but that can only happen if, as sojourners and exiles, we have something distinctive to say (1 Pet. 2:11).

The kingdom came to us not from a boardroom or a literary guild, but from a feeding trough and an execution stake. The church is not built on the rock foundation of geniuses and influencers but of apostles and prophets.

God’s election in Scripture is meant to make people more, not less, secure in God’s faithfulness.

A church that loses its distinctiveness is a church that has nothing distinctive with which to engage the culture.

Let’s not aspire to be a moral majority but a gospel community, one that doesn’t exist for itself but for the larger mission of reaching the whole world with the whole gospel. That sort of kingdom- first cultural engagement drives us not inward, but onward.

The question though, at face value, is crucial. The future of Christian social witness cannot assume the gospel, but must articulate it explicitly and coherently, not simply as the tagline at the end of our activism but as the ground and underpinning of it.

A Christianity that doesn’t prophetically speak for human dignity is a Christianity that has lost anything distinctive to say.

A feminist leader once said that most people are pro- life with three exceptions: rape, incest, and “my situation.” I fear she is all too right.

But the separation of church and state wasn’t invented by secularist progressives, but by orthodox believers who didn’t want the state empowered to dictate, or to suppress, doctrine and practice. A government in the business of running the church, or claiming the church as a mascot of the state, invariably persecutes and drives out genuine religion. It’s a good old phrase that we ought to reclaim.

The gospel is big enough to fight for itself. And the gospel fights not with the invincible sword of Caesar but with the invisible sword of the Spirit.

The concept of Christianity as a cultural majority often has done violence to a Christian understanding of the relationship between church and state, between the kingdom and the world.

It is better for our future generations to be willing to go to jail— for the right reasons— than to exchange the gospel of the kingdom for a mess of Esau’s pottage. Sometimes jails filled with hymn- singing, letter- writing, gospel- preaching Christians can do extraordinary things.

A church can only stand for religious liberty if it knows that the Judgment Seat of Christ is more ultimate than the state.

A state that can pave over the conscience— anyone’s conscience— without a compelling interest in doing so, is a state that is unfettered to do virtually anything.

We are Americans best when we are not Americans first.

Human civilizations have died out in world history for various reasons— famine, warfare, environmental calamity— but no human civilization has ever died out because the people forgot to have sex.

The family, patterned after the kingdom, is a matter of gospel priority. Salvation is not some sort of escape from the creation but instead restores the created order, directing it toward its goal.

Many have already demonstrated the falseness of the claim that evangelical Christian divorce rates are higher than the outside culture, but it is true that regions of the country with high numbers of self- identified born- again Christians tend to have higher divorce rates, that the divorce dockets are fullest in those parts of the country most saturated with the Bible. On a closer look, what these studies show is not that the gospel propels a divorce culture but that an almost- gospel does.

A speech on family values is more likely to get applause at a “God and country” rally than a speech on church membership. But only transformed church communities, as outposts of the kingdom of Christ, can provide the alternative vision of the family we so desperately need.

The gospel flourished in places known for temple prostitutes and gladiator fights, and it still stands.

We don’t persuade our neighbors by mimicking their angry power protests. We don’t win arguments by bringing corporations to the ground in surrender. Frankly, if we had that sort of cultural cache, corporations would already have market- tested it, and found ways to curry favor with us while keeping their immoral practices subterranean.

The Scriptures command us to be gentle and kind to unbelievers, not because we are not at war, but because we’re not at war with them (2 Tim. 2:26).

Fallen humanity responds to the light of Christ not just with cognitive rejection but with moral revulsion (John 3:19–20).

A gloomy view of culture leads to meanness. If we believe we are on the losing side of history, we slide into the rage of those who know their time is short. We have no reason to be fearful or sullen or mean. We’re not the losers of history. We are not slouching toward Gomorrah; we are marching to Zion. The worst thing that can possibly happen to us has already happened: we’re dead. We were crucified at Skull Place, under the wrath of God. And the best thing that could happen to us has already happened; we’re alive, in Christ, and our future is seated at the right hand of God, and he’s feeling just fine. Jesus is marching onward, with us or without us, and if the gates of hell cannot hold him back, why on earth would he be panicked by Hollywood or Capitol Hill? Times may grow dark indeed, but times have always been dark, since the insurrection of Eden. Nonetheless, the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not, the darkness will not, the darkness cannot overcome it. The arc of history is long, but it bends toward Jesus.

The next Billy Graham might be drunk right now. That’s a sentence I remind myself of almost every day, every time I feel myself growing discouraged about the future.

The new birth doesn’t just transform lives, creating repentance and faith; it also provides new leadership to the church, and fulfills Jesus’ promise to gift his church with everything needed for her onward march through space and time (Eph. 4:8–16).

Buy Onward on Amazon or WTS Books.



Russell Moore’s latest accomplishment: Being called a “terrible representative of Evangelicals” and “a nasty guy with no heart!” by Donald Trump. Moore’s response:

10 of the Best Free Puritan Books for Kindle

“By all means read the Puritans, they are worth more than all the modern stuff put together.” —Charles Spurgeon

One of my reading resolutions last year was to read more of the Puritans rich and biblical treatises on the Christian life. I’ve since read three or four of the classic Puritan works with great fruit.

Thanks to many faithful brothers, organizations, publishers, and web ministries*, Puritan resources are available more readily than ever. I thought I would be helpful to curate ten of the best free Puritan books that you can download free in several digital editions: Kindle, ePub, and PDF. If you prefer to purchase a physical book, I provided links** for your convenience.

Ebook resources: Free Kindle Apps | Transfer InstructionsMonergism Free Ebook List
Print Resources: Banner of Truth | Puritan Paperbacks on Amazon and Westminster Books

Free Kindle of Pilgrims Progres John Bunyan Desiring God1. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

Pilgrim’s Progress is the most-read book outside the Bible in history. (Source)

Written in the 17th century from a prison, John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress is a classic allegory telling the journey of Christian from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. This story continues to challenge and inspire millions of readers to walk by faith and think Scripturally.

Download for free from the Amazon Store, DesiringGod.org, or Monergism. Purchase at WTS Books.

2. Holiness by J.C. Ryle

John MacArthur writes about Holiness: “Holiness is by far Ryle’s most important doctrinal and practical work…In any list of must-read books, this one should be somewhere near the very top. It is simple, clear, practical, and biblical—a clarion echo from an earlier time, but still an ideal corrective for this generation.”

Download from free from Monergism or buy on Amazon or WTS Books.

Also recommended: A Call to Prayer and Expository Thoughts on the Gospels.

3. Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs

Description: Burrough’s writings, some published before and others after his death, were numerous, but The Rare-Jewel of Christian Contentment is one of the most valuable of them all. Its author was much concerned to promote (1) peace among believers of various ‘persuasions’ (2) peace and contentment in the hearts of individual believers during what he describes as ‘sad and sinking times’. The Rare Jewel concentrates upon this second aim. It is marked by sanity, clarity, aptness of illustration, and warmth of appeal to the heart. ‘There is an ark that you may come into, and no men in the world may live such comfortable, cheerful and contented lives as the saints of God’. Burroughs presses his lesson home with all the fervour and cogency of a true and faithful minister of God.

Download from Monergism or buy the Puritan Paperback on Amazon or WTS Books.

4. Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks

Description: “Brooks treated the seductive influence and terrible power of Satan in a way greatly more full and suggestive than in the literature of the present day. Brooks lists seven reasons for writing this book. The first reason is enough…Brooks says, “Satan hath a greater influence upon men, and higher advantages over them than they think he hath, and the knowledge of his high advantage is the highway to disappoint him, and to render the soul strong in resisting, and happy in conquering.”

Download from Monergism or buy the Puritan Paperback on Amazon or WTS Books.

5. The Doctrine of Repentance by Thomas Watson

Description: Knowing what repentance is, and actually repenting are essential to true Christianity. Jesus Christ himself said that if we do not repent, we will perish! It is vital, therefore, to read and study what Scripture has to say about this theme.

Few better guides have existed in this or any other area of spiritual experience than Thomas Watson. He was a master of both Scripture and the human heart, and wrote with a simplicity and directness that keeps his work fresh and powerful for the twenty-first century.

Download from Monergism or buy the Puritan Paperback on Amazon or WTS Books.

Also from Thomas Watson: All Things for Good

6. The Mortification of Sin in Believers by John Owen

John Owen’s classic work on personal holiness warns readers to “be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.” This book made an immediate impact on me and my pursuit of holiness. The only personal holiness book to rival The Mortification of Sin‘s impact on me was The Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges—itself drawing from the deep wells of Owen’s theology. Bridges had this to say about Owen: “John Owen’s treatises on Indwelling Sin in Believers and The Mortification of Sin are, in my opinion, the most helpful writings on personal holiness ever written.”

Download free from Monergism or buy the Puritan Paperback on Amazon or WTS Books.

7. The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Description: Since its first publication in 1630, The Bruised Reed has been remarkably fruitful as a source of spiritual help and comfort. Richard Baxter records: `A poor peddler came to the door . . . and my father bought of him Sibbes’ Bruised Reed . . . It suited my state . . . and gave me a livelier apprehension of the mystery of redemption and how much I was beholden to Jesus Christ . . . Without any means but books was God pleased to resolve me to himself.’ Such testimonies could be multiplied.

Download from Monergism or buy the Puritan Paperback on Amazon or WTS Books.

8. The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel

Description: First published in 1678, this little work is based on the words ‘God that performeth all things for me’ (Psalm 57:2). It shows us how providence works for us in every stage and experience of our lives. The book is richly illustrated from the lives of believers and from the author s wide reading in church history. There are avenues of spiritual knowledge and experience opened to the Christian in this work which he probably never knew existed.

Free download from Monergism. Purchase on Amazon or WTS Books.

9. The Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards

Description: The author’s object in this book is to distinguish between true and false religion by showing the marks of a saving work of the Holy Spirit in men. In his Preface, Edwards stresses the importance of using ‘our utmost endeavours clearly to discern…wherein true religion does consist’. For ’till this be done, it may be expected that great revivings of religion will be but of short continuance’.

Free download from Monergism or buy on Amazon or WTS Books.

10. Biography of Robert Murray McCheyne by Andrew Bonar

Description: Written by Andrew Alexander Bonar, brother of Horatius Bonar, this is a moving and passionate account of Robert Murray M’Cheyne. Bonar, a great friend of M’Cheyne, wrote this biography a year after the death of M’Cheyne. He includes a detailed and insightful portrayal of M’Cheyne’s youth and ministry, providing personal anecdotes, as well as quotes and poems from McCheyne. The work is also comprised of dozens of letters, sketches of sermons, and several essays previously published. This biography and collection of M’Cheyne’s writings will enhance your understanding and appreciation of this devoted man of God.

Download from Monergism or buy on Amazon or WTS Books.

Runners Up:

Other Free Resources to Consider:

* Special thanks to Monergism for their work in making digital Puritan works free and accessible.

** Links to Amazon and Westminster Books are affiliate links that share a small percentage of each sale with me at no extra cost to the buyer to help cover blogging expenses.