The Great Cholesterol Myth – Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra (2012)

cholesterol myth

 ME:“Doc, I cycle 100 miles a week, burn approximately 10,000 calories a week, take fish oil, and I’m eating better.  I even take advantage of “nature’s broom” by eating oatmeal almost every day.  However, my cholesterol just won’t drop.

DOCTOR: “Because of family history and genetics, you simply won’t be able to lower your cholesterol without a statin.”

So for the last four years, I’ve taken a well-known statin and the results have been favorable.  However, Drs. Jonny Bowden and Stephen Sinatra disagree with the notion that lowering cholesterol prevents heart disease.  Their book, The Great Cholesterol Myth contains an argument that pumps feverishly through the arteries of this book: The real causes of heart disease include four key factors, namely – inflammation, oxidation, sugar, and stress.  The authors contend the real tragedy is the fixation with cholesterol which has produced an industry that boasts over $30 billion a year in the statin market.  In a shocking statement, both authors maintain, “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease.”

Bowden and Sinatra point out that cholesterol is vital for healthy living: “Cholesterol is an essential molecule without which there would be no life, so important that virtually every cell in the body is capable of synthesizing it.”  For over fifty years, the so-called lipid hypothesis has dominated the medical community which essentially states that “saturated fat runs up cholesterol levels, and elevated cholesterol leads to heart disease.”  The hypothesis has never been proved but continues to rule in the hearts and minds of most Americans.

One of the most helpful aspects of The Great Cholesterol Myth is the discussion about the importance of coenzeme Q10 (better known as CoQ10) which serves an important nutrient, a sort of fuel source for the heart.  Statins deplete CoQ10 which may lead to muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue.  Yet none of the doctors that have prescribed a stain in my case have ever mentioned that importance of supplementing with CoQ10.  The authors plead with readers who take statins to immediately begin supplementing their cholesterol lowering drug with  CoQ10 – a minimum of 200 mg daily.

Dr. Sinatra admits that he still prescribes statins on occasion but “almost exclusively to middle-aged men who’ve already had a first heart attack, coronary intervention, or coronary artery disease.”  He argues, “Statin drugs are anti-inflammatory, and their power to reduce inflammation is more much important than their ability to lower cholesterol.  But [and here’s the clincher] we can lower inflammation (and the risk for heart disease) with natural supplements, a better diet, and lifestyle changes such as managing stress.”

The authors reveal a fascinating study that includes five factors that significantly lowered the risk for heart disease:

1. Don’t smoke.

2. Drink alcohol in moderation.

3. Engage in moderate-to-vigorous exercise for at least half an hour a day on average.

4. Maintain a healthy weight (BMI under 25).

5. Eat a wholesome, low-glycemic (low-sugar) diet with plenty of omega-3 fats and fiber.

Notice that lowering cholesterol is painfully absent from the list.  Perhaps this is why, as the authors note, “Cholesterol is a relatively minor player in heart disease and a poor predictor of heart attacks.  More than half of all people who are hospitalized with heart attacks have perfectly normal cholesterol levels.”

The heart of the book explores the real culprit behind heart disease.  The authors dogmatically claim “the true cause of heart disease is inflammation” or as they put it, “acute inflammation hurts, but chronic inflammation kills.”  Second, oxidation is one of the sure signs of inflammation, which leads to a fascinating conclusion, namely – the only time cholesterol becomes troubling is if it’s oxidized (or damaged).  Third, the authors note that “sugar is a far greater danger to your heart than fat ever was.”  They go on to demonstrate that “the number one dietary contributor to heart disease is sugar.”  Finally, stress is included as a major cause of heart disease.

Bowden and Sinatra wonder out loud if statins will become the next medical tragedy – quite comforting to anyone who has relied on statins for years on end!  Side-effects are explored, which is well documented, and side-effects which I have personally experienced.  But the alarming news is that some researchers are warning that statins may contribute to Alzheimers, thinking skills, and memory.  One researcher comments, “Cholesterol changes the shape of the protein to stimulate thinking and memory.”  But the fact that is most often repeated is ability of statins to deplete the body of CoQ10.  “The depletion of CoQ10 is one of the most important negative effects of statins, and the one that is pretty much responsible for a host of common side effects involving muscle pain, weakness, and loss of energy.” To summarize, the authors maintain the risk of using statins outweighs the rewards.

Finally, Bowden and Sinatra explore how supplements can lead to heart health such as vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fats included in wild salmon.  Additionally, they recommend that stain users immediately begin to supplement their diet with CoQ10.  “Just as a gasoline engine can’t work without spark plugs, the human body can’t work without CoQ10.”

I am not ready to pitch my statin until my doctor recommends doing so.  But The Great Cholesterol Myth has got me thinking.  And it has led to some concrete action steps such as implementing CoQ10 into my daily diet.  I’m actually looking forward to my next doctor visit – where my list of questions will be long.  Let’s just say, I’ll be getting my money’s worth that day!


Holy Roar:- Chris Tomlin & Darren Whitehead


Chris Tomlin & Darren Whitehead, Holy Roar (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017), 128 pp.

Chris Tomlin has become somewhat of a household name in recent years. His worship songs have circled the globe and are songs in languages from every tribe and nation. I will never forget sitting with a group of college students in an Eastern block country. I was the only participant that did not speak a lick of Russian. These students belted out song after song in their heart language – and I didn’t understand a thing. But twenty minutes into the service, this group of joyful worshippers began to sing “How Great is Our God” – in Russian. It was a moment of sheer delight as I hummed the well-known words in English and worshipped with my Russian comrades, brothers and sisters in Christ.

Holy Roar is the collaborative work of Chris Tomlin and his pastor, Darren Whitehead. In each chapter Pastor Whitehead unpacks the seven Hebrew words of praise and invites readers to join in each of the respective aspects of God-centered worship. Each of the words is summarized below:

  1. Yada (ידה) – The hands of praise
  2. Halal (הלל)- The fools of praise
  3. Zamar (זמר) – The music of praise
  4. Towdah (תּוֹדָה) – The expectation of praise
  5. Barak (ברך) – The posture of praise
  6. Tehillah (תְּהִלָּה) – The songs of praise
  7. Shabach (שׁבח) – The shout of praise

Whitehead briefly defines each Hebrew word and makes direct application that can be immediately implemented in the Christian life.

Tomlin concludes each chapter with personal story about a song he’s penned or recorded and how that song relates to the Hebrew word for praise in the chapter.

Holy Roar is a short and readable book. It may be used as a devotional or may be utilized by small groups of Christ-followers who are seeking the face of God. The authors invite readers to join them on “this unifying journey of praise.” Each participant, then, will join the heavenly throng (as I joined with my Russian friends) in the collective holy roar.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.

Apologetics and Worldview · BOOK REVIEWS · Schaeffer Sympossium · VERITAS FELLOWSHIP

He is There and He is Not Silent- Francis Schaeffer (1972)

I first read He is There and He is Not Silent by Francis Schaeffer in 1992.  Multiple readings have ensued and I turn back to Schaeffer’s book again and again for help with apologetics.

Schaeffer argues for three basic areas of philosophical thought: metaphysics (being or existence), morals (the dilemma of man), and epistemology (the problem of knowing). Philosophy and religion are essentially devoted to the same questions, namely, metaphysics, morals, and epistemology.

Philosophy is concerned with either an academic subject or a person’s worldview.  It is the later, that Schaeffer is concerned with in this volume.  Schaeffer contends that every man is a philosopher of sorts because it is impossible for humans to live without a worldview.


There are three basic answers to the question of metaphysics.  The first answer is that “everything that exists has come out of absolutely nothing.”  Naturalism’s answer suggests no energy, no mass, no motion, and no personality.  This answer is, as Schaeffer calls it, “nothing, nothing.”

The second answer is that everything had an impersonal beginning.  This answer leads automatically to reductionism.  “Beginning with the impersonal must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus chance,” writes Schaeffer.  This answer poses many problems.  But the two primary problems fail to answer the major philosophical question: the need for unity and the need for diversity.

The third answer is the biblical answer.  The third answer is the only rational and satisfying answer.  This answer suggests that we must begin with a personal beginning.  And to have an adequate answer of a personal beginning, one must have a personal infinite God, and personal unity and diversity in God (found the holy Trinity).

Schaeffer concludes: “The reason we have the metaphysical answer is because the infinite-personal God, the full Trinitarian God is there and he is not silent.”


There are only two basic answers to the question of morals.  The first: Everything had an impersonal beginning.  The is the answer of atheism.  Schaeffer never minces words.  He writes, “Beginning with the impersonal, there is no explanation for the complexity of the universe or the personality of man.”  When one begins with the impersonal, one eliminates the possibility of morals or ethics.

The second answer is the biblical reality of a personal beginning.  Man was created by an infinite-personal God.  Man sinned or “made a decision to change himself” as Schaeffer notes.

“The starting point,” writes Schaeffer “to the answer (of the question of morals) as with metaphysics is the fact that God is there and he is not silent.”


Schaeffer concludes by setting forth the problem concerning epistemology and the epistemological answer.

The epistemological problem concerns the tension between nature (particulars) and grace (universals).  When nature becomes autonomous, the universal is lost with the hope of giving the particulars meaning.  The problem is that when nature becomes autonomous, nature “eats up” grace.  Schaeffer argues that when we are left with only particulars, we become lost in the areas of metaphysics, morality, and epistemology.

The epistemological answer was summarized by the Reformers.  The Reformers did not allow for a dichotomy between nature and grace.  The reason: they had verbal propositional revelation.  The Reformers were vocal about the reality of God’s existence and the reality of his revelation.  Schaeffer popularized this view in the title of his book, He is There and He is Not Silent.  God has spoken truly about himself.  However, he has not spoken exhaustively about himself.

Schaeffer urges readers to come face to face with two gigantic presuppositions – “the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and the uniformity of natural causes in an open system and in a limited time span.”  Ultimately, readers must determine which worldview fits with the facts.

Schaeffer summarizes, then, the basic presuppositions in historic Christianity.

1. God is there.

2. God is the infinite-personal God who has made man in his image.

3. God made man a verbalizer in the area of propositions in his horizontal communications with other men.

4. God communicates to us on the basis of propositions, viz, he is there and his is not silent.

Schaeffer maintains, “Under the unity of the apex of the infinite-personal God, in all of these areas we can have meaning, we can have reality, and we can have beauty.”

He is There and He is Not Silent is an essential work of apologetics.  It should be required reading for every Bible College/Seminary student.  Schaeffer put his finger on the essential issues of the day – even in the early 70’s and especially in our day.

Apologetics and Worldview · BOOK REVIEWS

Two Contents, Two Realities – Francis Schaeffer (1974)


Sometimes the best things come in small packages.  Case in point: Two Contents, Two Realities by Francis Schaeffer.  To call it a booklet would be inaccurate.  To call it a pamphlet would be insulting.  The worst accusation one could hurl at this work is irrelevant or outdated.  Originally published in 1974 as a position paper that was presented at the International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, Schaeffer’s work (as usual) is prophetic, timely, and challenging.  His writing aims squarely at the Christian mind but always impacts the heart.  And whenever the mind and heart are inflamed by Christian truth, the hands and feet are quick to follow.

Schaeffer’s proposition in this piece is simple.  The culture is getting increasingly more secular and ungodly.  There are two contents and two realities:

Content # 1: Sound Doctrine

Content # 2: Honest Answers to Honest Questions

Reality # 1: True Spirituality

Reality # 2: The Beauty of Human Relationships

The First Content: Sound Doctrine

Schaeffer argues, “We must have the courage to make no compromise with liberal theology and especially neo-orthodox existential theology.”  He argues strenuously against any system that abandons the role of the intellect which is tantamount to rejecting propositional revelation.  In regards to the doctrinal content, Schaeffer maintains there are three things we must recognize:

1) There must be a strong emphasis on content.

2) There must be a strong emphasis on the propositional nature of the Bible, especially the early chapters of Genesis.

3) There must be a strong emphasis on the practice of truth.

Anyone who takes a serious look at the church in the 21st century must admit that we have clearly moved away from these important components in Schaeffer’s system.  Theology is marginalized in most churches.  Propositional truth is relegated to modernity and cast aside in favor of mysticism and existentialism.  And while practicing the truth may be in vogue, one wonders which truth is being practiced given the shaky epistemological groundwork.

The Second Content: Honest Answers to Honest Questions

Schaeffer identifies the strong Platonic worldview that has been embraced by mainstream evangelicals – a view that divides man into two parts, namely, spiritual and physical.  He rightly adds, “We must consciously reject the Platonic element which has been added to Christianity.  God made the whole man; the whole man is redeemed in Christ.  And after we are Christians, the Lordship of Christ covers the whole man.”

Herein lies the rub.  Since historic Christianity is the truth (what Schaeffer calls elsewhere, “true truth),  it must therefore “touch every aspect of life.”  Difficult questions may be challenging, but answers must be given nonetheless.  Forever gone are the days when one answers, “You must just believe.”  Such a mindset is tantamount to blind faith – which in all reality is no faith at all!

Schaeffer adds, “Answers are not salvation.  Salvation is bowing and accepting God as Creator and Christ as Savior.  I must bow twice to become a Christian.  I must bow and acknowledge that I am not autonomous; I am a creature created by the Creator.  And I must bow and acknowledge that I am a guilty sinner who needs the finished work of Christ for my salvation.”

The church must address cultural questions as well as questions that come from within.  Schaeffer maintains that in order for this to take place, there must be sufficient training in both the church as well as the academy.

The First Reality: True Spirituality

Behind true spirituality is a commitment to truth which is stated in propositions.  Schaeffer spoke to the liberals in his day and echoes that same reality to emergent types and neo-liberals with this bold challenge: “Anybody who diminishes the concept of the propositionalness of the Word of God is playing into … non-Christian hands.” He proceeds to encourage readers to grasp propositional truth by making truth come alive in the streets and in the marketplace of ideas.  He reacts strongly to any system that is a mere end in itself: “A dead, ugly orthodoxy with no real spiritual reality must be rejected as sub-Christian.”

The Second Reality: The Beauty of Human Relationships

Schaeffer observes, “We are to show something to the watching world on the basis of the human relationships we have with other people, not just other Christians.”  Schaeffer illustrates how we are called to love people without compromise.  He uses the liberal theologian as an example.  He adds, “Yes, we are to stand against his theology.  We are to practice truth, and we are not to compromise.  We are to stand in antithesis to his theology.  But even though we cannot cooperate with him in religious things, we are to treat the liberal theologian in such a way that we try from our side to bring our discussion into the circle of truly human relationships … We can have the beauty of human relationships even when we must say no.”

Francis Schaeffer’s understanding and exposition of two contents and two realities is very helpful as one seeks to make inroads with secular people.  I commend it and trust that this excellent work will be read and digested by many.

Apologetics and Worldview · BOOK REVIEWS

Genesis in Space and Time – Francis Schaeffer (1972)

Great thinkers throughout the course of history have queried, “Where did it all come from?  Who made the cosmos?  What made the cosmos?  What or who holds it all together?  What is the meaning of life?  What is the basis of knowledge?  Where are we heading?  And where do we go when we die?  For those who reject a personal Creator – the questions posed above become totally unanswerable.  For all those who reject a personal Creator, there is a hopelessness that lies under their dogmatic certainty.

Genesis in Space and Time by Francis Schaeffer examines the flow of Biblical history.  The book of Genesis sets the parameters and helps articulate a Christian worldview that includes a personal God.  “He is there and he is not silent” as Schaeffer remarks in another book.  At the core of the book stands the belief in a personal Creator.  Affirming macroevolution or denying a personal Creator stands behind the hopelessness among the unbelieving world.  Schaeffer adds, “It is either not knowing or denying the createdness of things that is at the root of the blackness of modern man’s difficulties.  Give up creation as space-time, historic reality, and all that is left what Simone Weil called ‘uncreatedness.’  It is not that something does not exist, but that it just stands there, autonomous to itself, without solutions and without answers.”   The proliferation of the so-called new atheism is vivid proof that Schaeffer articulated almost forty years ago.

Schaeffer maintains that one must understand the book of Genesis in order to develop a workable approach to metaphysics, morality, and epistemology.  Genesis in Space and Time continues to be relevant as many evangelicals back away from a literal interpretation of Scripture and a six-day creation week.  Genesis in Space and Time is prophetic, bold and relevant.  It is a powerful antidote for postmodern skeptics.


No Final Conflict – Francis Schaeffer (1975)

“It is my conviction that the crucial area of discussion for evangelicalism in the next years will be Scripture.  At stake is whether evangelicalism will remain evangelical.”  So stated Francis Schaeffer in his 1975 landmine, No Final Conflict.  While this treasure was penned over forty years ago, it remains relevant and applicable to 21st-century culture.

It was not unusual for Schaeffer to warn Christians.  He did it often during the seventies and eighties.  His chief warning in No Final Conflict is to cling to the propositional truth of the Scriptures:  “We must say that if evangelicals are to be evangelicals, we must not compromise our view of Scripture … The issue is clear: Is the Bible truth without error wherever it speaks, including where it touches history and the cosmos, or is it only in some sense revelational where it touches religious subjects?”  Schaeffer smelled a “rat” in 1975.  He always had a good sense of smell!  The pesky “rat” that Schaeffer detected continues to scurry about in postmodern culture; in fact that “rat” has produced offspring.  The liberalism of the 70’s is flourishing in the 21st century.  Schaffer’s antidote is simple – We must embrace the truth of Scripture: “In our day that point is the question of Scripture.  Holding to a strong view of Scripture or not holding to it is the watershed of the evangelical world … We must say most lovingly but clearly: evangelicalism is not consistently evangelical unless there is a line drawn between those who take a full view of Scripture and those who do not.”

One of Schaeffer’s key points is to clear up the confusion between reason and faith.  Indeed, this was one of the major notes of his writing.  He saw a unity between faith and reason; a unity that is marginalized especially by the new atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.  Schaeffer posits, “There may be a difference between the methodology by which we gain knowledge from what God tells us in the Bible and the methodology by which we gain it from scientific study, but this does not lead to a dichotomy as to the facts … if both studies can be adequately pursued, there will be no final conflict.”  Truth is “unified” as Nancy Pearcey observes.  There is no conflict between reason and faith.

Dr. Schaeffer went to be with his Lord in 1984.  If he were still with us, I’m convinced that he would never have an “I told you so attitude.”  Rather, he would continue to admonish believers to hold to a strong uncompromising view of Scripture.  He would challenge Christ-followers to cling to the rock of propositional truth.  And he would warn disciples of Christ to flee from anything that looks like a rat, smells, like a rat, or walks like a rat.  His warnings mattered over forty years ago.  They continue to be as relevant as ever!

BOOK REVIEWS · Leadership

MINISTER OF MERCY – Alexander Strauch (1992)

The man  who gifted the church with his work, Biblical Eldership delivers an equally impressive volume – Minister of Mercy.  The former title dealt with the office DEACONof elder; the latter deals with the office of deacon.

Part One – Dividing Up the Work: Word and Deed

The first section focuses on the necessity of dividing the work between elders and deacons.  Generally, elders minister in Word through a solid biblical teaching ministry.  Deacons on the other hand, minister in deed and offer assistance to needy and hurting people in the body of Christ.  Specifically, the job description of the deacon is surveyed.

Part Two – A Two-Office Church: Overseers and Deacons

Part two may be the most crucial part of the book.  The author clears up the misunderstanding that is typically associated with the office of overseer (elder) and the office of deacon.  A clear distinction is drawn between these two important New Testament offices.

Part Three – The Qualifications for Deacons

As such, the qualifications for the office of deacon are explained with exegetical precision.  Additionally, the deacon must be examined publically by the overseers and the congregation.  Finally, the qualifications for wives who assist their husbands is clearly articulated.

Part Four – The Importance of Deacons in the Church

The author alerts readers to the importance of this office by directing their attention to 1 Timothy 3:13, “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”  In other words, the office of deacon serves as a place of influence and high honor in the local church.  Strauch adds, “Do not underestimate the potential influence the diaconate can have on the local church … Although deacons do not teach or govern the congregation, they can be spiritual giants who exercise bold faith.”

Alexander Straunch should be commended for writing such a practical and readable book.  This man has done his homework which is set forth in graciousness and humility.  A solid work that pastors should turn to again and again as they seek to raise up new deacons in the church.


The New Elder’s Handbook – Greg R. Scharf and Arthur Kok


Greg R. Scharf and Arthur Kok, The New Elder’s Handbook (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2018), 192 pp.

The New Elder’s Handbook by Greg Scharf and Arthur Kok provides readers with a field-tested approach to training elders in the local church. The book is arranged in three parts, each of which is summarized below.


The first part sets forth the biblical qualifications for the office of elder. Scharf and Kok refuse to cut corners here. In a clear and meticulous fashion, they spell out what Scripture demands: “Doctrinal accuracy is indispensable for elders, but it is not enough to preserve the health of the church. Truth must shape life, and the truth must be taught to others.” Elders are called upon in Scripture to be men of character, knowledge, and skill. This model is the framework or template that allows elders to see how close they match the biblical expectations. The authors argue that truth must be faithfully transferred: “The best way to keep the gospel safe is to faithfully teach it to those who are equally able to teach it to others.”

Ezra is presented as an example of a godly man who grows spiritually as he subjects himself to the Word of God and immerses himself in prayer, and is guided by the Holy Spirit. Such is the life of a biblically qualified elder.


Part two focuses on seventy-five questions for new or prospective elders. Carefully reasoned and biblical responses are offered along with pertinent resources to help candidate mature in their character, knowledge, and skill. This section is an invaluable aid for churches who need practical help in the training process.

Discipleship Resources

Part three provides a template for personal discipleship. Each lesson is guided by a set of Scriptures and questions are included for maximum growth. Suggested assignments are given at the end of each lesson.

The New Elder’s Handbook is a strong resource that will likely receive strong reception by the local church. Current elders will be strengthened by this material and prospective elders will be trained in a biblical manner that will help ensure that leaders are in place for years to come.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.


Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon – Ray Rhodes

Ray Rhodes Jr, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon (Chicago: Moody Press, 2018), 294 pp.

Behind every great man is a great woman – or so the saying goes. The same could be said about the mighty men of God: “Behind every godly man is a godly woman.” Such is the case of the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. In his book, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, Ray Rhodes Jr. introduces Spurgeon’s wife and reveals how this godly woman stood behind the famous Baptist pastor.

Very little has been written about Susannah Spurgeon. This makes Rhodes’ book somewhat of a landmark book that will educate and encourage students of Spurgeon. The book is an inside look at the Spurgeon’s marriage and ministry and helps readers understand how they navigated their way through trials, including physical suffering and persecution.

The book reveals the stalwart faith of Susannah Spurgeon and highlights her rock-solid support of her husband. It also shows how she ministered to poor pastors in London and around the world through her Book Fund and was instrumental in planting a church in the memory of her beloved husband.

This work is best summed up in Susie’s timeless words, “Look to Jesus.” “This message,” writes the author, “she offered to non-Christians and Christians alike. She would say to every Christian grieving over, fighting against, and hating their sin, or suffering through physical or emotional pain to look to Christ for help.”

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon is a deeply moving book – one that is sure to inspire many and encourage anyone who is enduring the loss of a loved one. Susannah Spurgeon is a model of Christian maturity who lived Coram Deo, ”before the face of God.”

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.


My Personal Picks: The Best Books of 2018

2018 was a spectacular year for books. My personal reading interests are varied, which include theology, apologetics, biography, history, philosophy, politics, and spy thrillers. My selections focus on books that made a direct impact on my life, sparked additional research, and enriched my pastoral ministry.

# 10 From Death to Life: How Salvation Works – Allen S. Nelson IV

This short book addresses the question, “What is a Christian?” I was struck with the depth and ability of Nelson to crystalize the soteriological framework in a way that is faithful to Scripture and engaging. The author traces the path of salvation from darkness to light and challenges readers to embrace a Reformed understanding of Scripture.

Link to my Review

# 9 The Kremlin Conspiracy – Joel Rosenberg

Joel Rosenberg does not disappoint with his newest thriller. The Kremlin Conspiracy is a well-researched political powder keg of a book. Joel Rosenberg writes with a deep understanding of Russian culture and has a good working knowledge of the intelligentsia – both American and Russian.

Link to my Review

# 8 Holy Sexuality and the Gospel – Christopher Yuan

Rosaria Butterfield calls Christopher Yuan’s book, Holy Sexuality and the Gospel “the most important humanly composed book about biblical sexuality and godly living for our times.” I predict that this book will be a standard textbook in Bible Colleges and Seminaries for many years to come.

Link to my Review

# 7 Three Days in Moscow: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of the Soviet Empire – Brett Baier

The fortieth president of the United States marked our nation and led us through some troubling times. Brett Baier’s excellent work reminds us why Ronald Reagan was one of our most inspiring and effective presidents.

Link to my Review

#6 Always in God’s Hands: Day by Day in the Company of Jonathan Edwards – Owen Strachan

The influence of Jonathan Edwards’s writing and ministry has helped shape my worldview and theological framework more than any other. Dr. Strachan’s devotional book, which features the Puritan divine shows why.

Link to my Review

#5 Christian Ethics: An Introduction to Biblical Moral Reasoning – Wayne Grudem

Ethics is a topic that Christians tend to avoid. Wayne Grudem illustrates why this should never be the case in his thought-provoking book.

Link to my Review

# 4 Reformed Preaching – Joel Beeke

Joel R. Beeke addresses the matter of preaching in his latest volume. Reformed Preaching: Proclaiming God’s Word from the Heart of the Preacher to the Heart of the People underscores the importance of the preaching task and inspires every expositor who is set on obeying the biblical mandate.

Link to my Review

# 3 Expository Exultation – John Piper

Expository Exultation, by John Piper should be read by rookie and veteran preachers alike. It should be read and re-read. Every Bible College and Seminary professor should immediately add this work to their list of required reading for preaching courses.

Link to my Review

# 2 Suffering – Paul David Tripp

C.S. wrote, “If I knew a way of escape I would crawl through the sewers to escape the pain.” Whether a person agrees with Lewis’s radical conclusion or not is a matter of personal opinion. However, the problem of suffering is a universal dilemma that every person must face. How we respond to suffering reveals the strength of our Christian resolve and character. Paul David Tripp cuts through the fog in his most recent book, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.

Link to my Review

#1 The Preacher’s Catechism – Lewis Allen

The Preacher’s Catechism by Lewis Allen is my number 1 pick for 2018. Here’s why —

Link to my Review