Books Finished in 2015

In 2015, I’ve finished the following 93 books:

Paper Books

  1.  Van Til, Defender of the Faith: An Authorized Biography by William White
  2. The God Who Draws Near: An Introduction to Biblical Spirituality by Michael Haykin
  3. Hiding In Plain Sight by Nuruddin Farah
  4. They Call Me Sparky by Sparky Anderson and Dan Ewald
  5. The Happy Christian: Ten Ways to Be a Joyful Believer in a Gloomy World by David Murray
  6. Common Grace and the Gospel by Cornelius Van Til
  7. The Indian Tribes of Canada by Eileen Jenness
  8. Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller
  9. A Discussion of the Seventeenth Century Particular Baptist Confession of Faith by Richard Belcher and Anthony Mattia
  10. Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja by John Resig and Bear Bibeault
  11. Orr: My Story by Bobby Orr
  12. Seeing Beauty and Saying Beautifully: The Power of Poetic Effort in the Work of George Herbert, George Whitefield, and C. S. Lewis by John Piper
  13. The Stricken Deer: Or, the Life of Cowper by David Cecil
  14. How to Study History by Norman Cantor and Richard Schneider
  15. Fair of Speech: The Uses of Euphemisms ed. by D. J. Enright
  16. In Search of a Heart by Henrietta O’Neil
  17. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
  18. A Reforming People: Puritanism and the Transformation of Public Life in New England by David D. Hall
  19. William Cowper by Hugh l’Anson Fausset
  20. Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle by Slavoj Zizek
  21. Alligator Baby by Robert Munsch
  22. Give Me Back My Dad! by Robert Munsch
  23. William Cowper: The Man of God’s Stamp: A Bicentenary Evaluation, Vindication, and Appreciation by George M. Ella
  24. Pyjama Day! by Robert Munsch
  25. The Gospel in Genesis: From Fig Leaves to Faith by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  26. Searching for the Sound: My Life With The Grateful Dead by Phil Lesh
  27. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
  28. Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray
  29. Orthodox, Puritan, Baptist: Hercules Collins (1647-1702) and Particular Baptist Identity in Early Modern England by G. Stephen Weaver
  30. The Ethics of Jesus: The Believer as Salt and Light ed. by Daniel G. Lundy
  31. Crossing Lines: Poets Who Came to Canada in the Vietnam War Era ed. by  Allan Briesmaster and Steven Michael Berzensky
  32. The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent
  33. John Owen: The Man and His Theology ed. by Robert W. Oliver
  34. Praying Always by Frans Bakker
  35. Point Pelee: Canada’s Deep South by Darryl Stewart

Electronic Books

  1. If I Had Lunch with C. S. Lewis: Exploring the Ideas of C. S. Lewis on the Meaning of Life by  Alister McGrath
  2. Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, Streams, and functional-style programming by Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft
  3. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel
  4. Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism (Reformed Historical-Theological Studies) by Willem J. Van Asselt
  5. Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World by Stephen J. Nichols
  6. Luther on the Christian Life: Cross and Freedom by Carl R. Trueman
  7. National symptoms. A discourse preached in the First Baptist church, New Haven, on the day of the annual state fast, April 18, 1862 by S. Dryden Phelps
  8. Holy Land: With Glimpses of Europe and Egypt by S. Dryden Phelps
  9. Rest days in a journey to Bible lands and other journeys abroad; sermons preached in the four quarters of the globe by S. Dryden Phelps
  10. Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor: The Life and Reflections of Tom Carson by D. A. Carson
  11. A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein by Roger Scruton
  12. Memoir of the Rev. James H. Linsley by Sophia Emilia Lyon Linsley Phelps
  13. Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ by Tony Reinke
  14. Packer on the Christian Life: Knowing God in Christ, Walking by the Spirit by Sam Storms
  15. The River: A Memoir of Life in the Border Cities by Paul Vasey
  16. Writers to Read: Nine Names That Belong on Your Bookshelf by Douglas Wilson
  17. Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement by Anthony Chute, Nathan Finn, and Michael Haykin

Audio Books

  1. A Family of Noblemen by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
  2. Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland
  3. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
  4. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
  5. Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal by Nick Bilton
  6. Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul by Howard Schultz
  7. The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens
  8. Family Inc.: Office-Inspired Solutions to Reduce the Chaos in Your Home (and Save Your Sanity!) by Caitlin Friedman
  9. Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
  10. Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five by John Medina
  11. Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
  12. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
  13. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin
  14. The Man With Two Left Feet by P. G. Wodehouse
  15. The Day of Sir Wilfred Laurier: A Chronicle of Our Own Times by Oscar D. Skelton
  16. Paperweight by Stephen Fry
  17. The Negro Problem ed. by Booker T. Washington
  18. Being a Dad Who Leads by John MacArthur
  19. The Growth of Love by Robert Bridges
  20. A Slave in the White House: Paul Jennings and the Madisons  by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
  21. Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion by Janet Reitman
  22. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  23. Jonah by Aldous Huxley
  24. Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
  25. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance
  26. The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert: An English Professor’s Journey Into Christian Faith by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
  27. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
  28. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance by Atul Gawande
  29. Wicked Bugs: The Louse That Conquered Napoleon’s Army & Other Diabolical Insects by Amy Stewart
  30. BiblioTech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google by John Palfrey
  31. The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time by Jonathan Weiner
  32. One Summer: America, 1927 by Bill Bryson
  33. Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams, and Drugs with the Grateful Dead by Bill Kreutzmann
  34. Frozen Assets by P. G. Wodehouse
  35. Money for Nothing by P. G. Wodehouse
  36. The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner
  37. Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley by Timothy White
  38. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
  39. Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
  40. A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver
  41. This Is All A Dream We Dreamed by David Gans and Blair Jackson

Books Finished in December 2015

(3 paper books, 1 ebook, 5 audio books)

A Review of Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney

9781433547843Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney

The premise of this book is simple, and its contents are easy to digest. Don Whitney seeks to instill in his readers a highly practical method to avoid repetitive prayers and make praying enjoyable. In other words, Don’s mission is to help us avoid saying “the same old things” about “the same old things.” Don acknowledges that you will be unable to avoid praying about the same old things, but hopes to help the reader find fresh ways to approach the recurring prayer topics. He challenges the reader to question whether his or her frustration with prayer is not necessarily a sign of an internal spiritual flaw, but perhaps merely a flaw in the methods used. We so often use flawed methods and never scrutinize them. Perhaps “the problem is not you, Christians, but your method.”

Essentially, Don presents a technique that doesn’t depend on a sophisticated plan, expensive material, or complicated steps. It is something we all have at our fingertips. “[W]hen you pray, pray through a passage of Scripture, particularly a psalm.” This may seem disappointingly non-dramatic.

It should be noted that Don does not mean praying FROM scripture, but rather praying THROUGH scripture. He is not necessarily suggest that our prayers come straight from the scriptures nor that our prayers are necessarily always direct interpretations of the scriptures, but rather that we read a section of scripture and pray what comes to mind as process what is read—undoubtedly some things will come up which are not, strictly speaking, interpretations of the text. “So basically what you are doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God.”

Don gives a good practical example with Psalm 23, where he shows how we can expand it out to pray for the people we “shepherd” so to speak, and pray for the feeding of the flock, the activities of those who are teaching of the Word of God. He also gives great guidance in praying through other parts of the Bible besides the Psalms, even narratives. He shares examples of this practice from the Bible and church history, including George Muller, Jesus on the cross, and the Christians in the book of Acts.

Don is known, through his other books and his seminary teaching, for being inventive and painstakingly practical. This book is a consistent outworking of these tendencies. There is much good practical guidance here and I have personally found it a refreshing and invigorating tool in my own life. I highly recommend this to any Christian who seriously desires to pray and is willing to read a short book of 112 pages to receive some helpful direction towards that end.

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