We are needy people.
Think of all the things that we need for survival: food, water, oxygen, sleep, and, depending on who you’re talking to, coffee. But God is not so. This is what is known as God’s “aseity”—the fact that God derives all that He needs from Himself. There are many passages in the Bible that speak to this, but I want to highlight two:
R.C. Sproul expounds on God’s aseity when he writes, "If we go a few days without water or a few minutes without oxygen, we die. Likewise, human life is susceptible to all kinds of diseases that can destroy it. But God cannot die. God is not dependent on anything for His being. He has the very power of being in and of Himself… This is the supreme difference between God and us; God has no such dependence upon anything outside of Himself.”
Why does this matter, you ask? Because it is easy to forget we need God and easy to believe God needs us. A.W. Tozer wrote about this in his book, Knowledge of the Holy, where he writes, “Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, (needy) God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we see. Twentieth Century Christianity has put God on (a leash). So, lofty is our opinion of ourselves that we find it quite easy, (even) enjoyable, to believe that we are necessary to God."
We don't worship God because He's needy, but because He's worthy.
But the truth is this: God does not need us.
God is not a divine egomaniac in need of his ego being stroked by finite man. No, He is an infinitely glorious God who is in need of nothing we have to offer. We do not come to church to worship because he needs it. We don’t worship God because He's needy, but because He’s worthy! And He is worthy because “from him and through him and to him are all things” (Romans 11:36) therefore, we lay down our lives and lift up our voices again and again and again because He is worthy of it all. Whereas we are finite and frail creatures in constant need, God needs nothing because He has all that He needs in and of Himself. And that, my friends, is a reason to worship.
I recently finished a stack of books I had been reading through over the past several weeks. I hope you'll find something helpful in this list of recent reads.
After years of building a robust theological library, I am now making the switch to a digital theological library through Logos Bible Software (read more about why I made the change). This means that I am now selling most of my physical library at a highly discounted cost.
CONDITIONS OF THE SALE
I plan to have this portion of my library sold by September 1, 2018. If you are interested in purchasing any of the volumes listed, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (26 Volumes)
Pillar New Testament Commentary Set (16 Volumes)
Single Commentaries & Reference Books
Not that it needs to be stated again, but… I love books. A book is a piece of art. It’s cover, contents, and binding are all like splashes of color on a blank canvas that create beauty. This is one of the main reasons why many (myself included) will never ditch print books entirely.
In recent months, however, I’ve started to reevaluate my relationship with print books because of one reason: accessibility. While print books are aesthetically appealing they are not easily accessible. I cannot carry more than 2 books in my (awesome!) briefcase. I can’t search for a phrase or word in a book without having to rely on my often-failing memory. I can’t hold my entire theological library—well over 1,500 books—in my home. Therefore, I often forget what books I have on topics or themes that might be handy at any given time.
It is for these reasons that I started researching Logos Bible Software in March of 2018.
What I found was astonishing.
At the click of a mouse I could search my entire library for a phrase or word and flip through a library that can get as big as I want/can afford. I took the next couple of months to talk to veteran Logos users and read anything/everything I could get my hands on about the positives and negatives of switching from a print library to completely digital. After months of consideration, I was sold.
I made the decision to no longer buy print commentaries or reference books, but instead to buy them digitally on Logos. This means I must begin the tedious (and even painful!) process of selling my print commentaries and reference books—more to come on that :-)
It will no doubt take me years to replicate my print library, but I’m convinced that it will be well worth it in the long run.
On April 20-21, Bethlehem College & Seminary and Crossway cohosted the Theologians on the Christian Life Conference.
John Piper kicked off the conference by answering questions given to him by Justin Taylor. I found the interaction both inspiring and enjoyable as Piper helps listeners understand the important role of biography in the Christian life.
Piper addresses a similar struggle many people have in reading biography—it can be hard to persevere. I'm convinced this is because many biographies are just poorly written. Therefore, choosing a well written biography is actually more important than choosing any biography of your favorite historical figure at random.
Here is a short list of biographies I have read and recommend:
If you are just beginning to read Christian biography, I recommend you start with the Theologians on the Christian Life series. I have found each of the books to be helpful in understanding the personal life & ministry of the theologian while also offering insights into how their view of the Christian life can impact our own. Tolle lege!