Showing posts from March, 2023

The Secret Place of Thunder

As mentioned in a previous review, as I turned 45 I was looking for some wisdom on how to enter midlife (or well after that) strong and finish the same. John Starke is a pastor in New York that made a public recommendation for another book that helped in that thinking and here he has his own new title that actually perpetuates the pursuit of Christian maturity.  The Secret Place of Thunder , with the subtitle: Trading Our Need to Be Noticed for a Hidden Life with Christ, calls us to see Christ in ways that help us think of setting aside the performative obsession of our age with something more steady and life-giving.  The book is a quick read near 180 pages but it is packed with helpful insight and wisdom. It's about setting aside what the world suggests we must be after for a hidden life in Jesus. "This isn’t a book on escapism or living a more secluded or private life. Actually, it’s about how to live more fruitfully with others..."  Starke challenges our assumption abo

Sacred Fire: A Vision for a Deeper Human and Christian Maturity

As I turned 45 and began to contemplate what life and ministry would look like into the remaining years of my life (a post mid-life non-crisis!) I followed the recommendation of some faithful saints online and grabbed Ronald Rolheiser's Sacred Fire . The title says it is "a vision for a deeper human and Christian maturity" and that is exactly what I needed.  Rolheiser is a Catholic priest and while that comes through in his writing, I saw great value in his thinking. The book in three parts looks at discipleship as coming to Christ and living even into your adult years and maturity is when the bulk of life is accomplished and something new needs to set in. The section on Mature Discipleship is the largest portion of the book and covers giving our lives away in profound ways as invited by Scripture, strengthened in prayer, and done for others.  Rolheiser gives "Ten Commandments for the Long Haul," which include: 1. Live in gratitude and thank your Creator by enjo

Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation

Like most people in reformed circles I anticipated this great book from Collin Hansen and grabbed a physical copy from Barnes and Noble (rare as I read mostly ebooks). Timothy Keller: His Spiritual and Intellectual Formation is, as has been said elsewhere, less biography and more bibliography of Keller's life. The book recounts the people, places, circumstances, and authors that shaped one of the most prominent pastors of a generation.  With his own collection of culture and church defining books, Keller was, like any of us, uniquely formed by a bevy of influences and Hansen has given us the roadmap for adding many of these formative voices to our own lives.  There are some new stories in the book, things perhaps you didn't know of Keller, but much that is here sheds light on the voice you have heard preaching or writing these last two decades of his popularity.  My take-away was to faithfully be where we are supposed to be and stay curious, ready to grow and change across the