Let’s Read Some Watson!

Hey there!

Just a quick note to let you know that I’m reading along with Brother Kofi this month as we work through Thomas Watson’s classic book The Godly Man’s Picture (Drawn with a Scripture Pencil). That’s right, getting a head start on my #Booktober2022 list!

If you want to join us, it’s not too late! You can find PDF versions of the book for free online, but you should also go ahead and order a good copy from Banner of Truth. (#NotSponsored, though that would be cool, wouldn’t it? Maybe one day.)

Kofi’s reading plan can be found at that first link above, along with a link to a Discord server for conversation (which I admit will be the first time I will be using Discord, if I can figure the thing out). If you take part and jump into the discussion, let them know The4thDave sent you by!

I’ll post updates here from time to time when things jump out at me from the reading, because I expect this will spur some good contemplation. And if you’re planning on reading along with us, let me know in the comments! See ya!

#OctTBR2022 Day 31: “Here I Stand” by Roland Bainton

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: One of the most highly-regarded biographies of Martin Luther ever written.

Why I’m Reading It: OF COURSE, I’m closing out October with a Luther biography. It only makes sense. (Here I stand; I can do no other.) Bainton’s biography of the German reformer is far and away the most recommended I’ve seen, so I want to make sure I read this one.

Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite book about the Reformation? Let me know in the comments!

(And coming up tomorrow: the triumphant return of “Thirty Thankfuls.” See you then!)

#OctTBR2022 Day 30: “Expository Apologetics” by Voddie Baucham, Jr.

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A book about apologetics and evangelism from the man with the best beard in Reformed evangelicalism.

Why I’m Reading It: An area I always need to grow in and stretch is evangelism. And Voddie Baucham is a beast. I’m excited to be challenged by this one. (I think this book would be considered “presuppositional apologetics,” but I’m still not 100% sure what this means, so I don’t know if I’m fer’it or agin’it. But I’m absolutely for using the Bible as much as possible, so there’s that.

Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite book about apologetics and evangelism? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 29: “Adorning the Dark” by Andrew Peterson

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: I think it’s a book about creative work and Christian faith, along the lines of Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water or Annie Dillard’s Bird by Bird.

Why I’m Reading It: Andrew Peterson has been one of my favorite multi-format “creatives” of the last 5-10 years. His Wingfeather books are stellar, his music is an absolute joy, and his “Behold the Lamb of God” concert series is a Christmas tradition for us now. I’d love to hear from his mind and heart about the process of creating art.

Are you a fan of Andrew Peterson’s work (in any genre/format)? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 28: “The Genius of Jesus” by Erwin McManus

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A book by the religious philosopher and futurist about the person of Jesus Christ.

Why I’m Reading It: McManus is someone who always raises some red flags in my mind when I read or hear his quotes. His vibe is very post-modern. I can’t cite for you exactly why I’m cautious with his work; he just never passed the smell test for me. However, I have multiple friends who think he’s the bee’s knees. I was sent an email with an offer to read and review his latest book, and I signed up and then promptly forgot about it. Several months later, a hardbound copy of this book landed on my doorstep. (Two, actually.) I’m interested in diving in and seeing what McManus is all about so that I have a clearer basis for assessing his positions. If nothing else, it will give me something helpful to talk about with my afore-mentioned friends.

Have you read this book or anything else by McManus? What do you think of his writing/speaking? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 27: “Holiness” by J.C. Ryle.

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A 19th-century Christian classic about what it means to live a holy life.

Why I’m Reading It: It’s good to read old books from faithful saints of the past (as already demonstrated in my list so far). This one is one I’ve been meaning to get around to for a while but never quite got past the first couple of chapters. Like the Puritans, Ryle is not one you can rush. You must read slowly and chew completely to get the full benefit. Well, it’s past time for me to start doing so.

Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite book from past centuries that has stood the test of time? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 26: “Everything Sad is Untrue” by Daniel Nayeri

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: The memoir of an Iranian (?) boy transplanted to Oklahoma.

Why I’m Reading It: This book was released in 2021 and received a lot of positive buzz. Thanks to the kindness of a friend, I was able to get a copy for myself. The author’s story is not just about his experience growing up in a new culture, but the story of his mother who converted from Islam to Christianity and then fought to build a new life for herself and her son. I’m intrigued.

Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite memoir? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 25: “Antifragile” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A book praising the benefits of what TR would call “the strenuous life.”

Why I’m Reading It: I’ve heard several people talk about Taleb’s ideas here and the benefits of being “anti-fragile” in a world that seems determined to make people soft and dependent. I can recognize that my own life has often drifted into path of least resistance, but if I want to be the kind of husband, father, and man that I should, I need to embrace challenge. I’m curious to see if Taleb can help me readjust my mindset in this direction.

Have you read this book? What’s the best book you’ve read on personal development or improvement? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 24: “Providence” by John Piper

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A doorstop of a book about God’s sovereign care for His creation.

Why I’m Reading It: I know people have their concerns/misgivings about Piper, and I can appreciate some of them, but I have to say 2 things in response. First, his sermon at T4G this year was a stunner and exactly what my heart needed. Second, when I want to dwell on the amazing kindness of sovereign glory of God, Piper is one of the voices that makes my heart sing. This book is a beast, clocking in at something like 800 pages, but it will be a glorious journey if I can make it through.

Have you read anything by John Piper? Do you know anyone who has actually finished this book? Let me know in the comments!

#OctTBR2022 Day 23: “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

[What is #OctTBR2022? I explain it here.]

What It Is: A classic Russian novel about guilt and judgment from the author of The Brothers Karamazov.

Why I’m Reading It: You can tell by the cover that I’ve had it for a while. It’s been a resident on my TBR shelf for YEARS but I’ve never gotten up the gumption to dive in. I’ve read The Brothers Karamazov and The Idiot and enjoyed them both, but Dostoyevsky is no easy feat, so I’ve been a little intimidated about starting this one. No more. It’s time to party–and by “party,” I mean “be horrified by an insightful depiction of human depravity and the lengths man will go to avoid facing the just judgment for his sins.”

Have you read this one before? What’s the most challenging novel you’ve ever read? Let me know in the comments!