Book Review

Best lines of 2011

While most bloggers are putting out lists of their favorite books of the year I decided instead to choose a couple of the best lines from books I have read in 2011.


The first one comes from Matt Mikalatos’ Night of the Living Dead Christian. “I stared at him dumbly. “You mean Marc Cortez, my seminary professor? I’m pretty sure he’s a Christian.”’ Context is key and for that you need to read the book but this line has me laughing for an evening. It was one of those that you think of right before sleep and forces you to giggle. It is masterful, as is most of Matt’s writing, and while most people don’t have a clue who this Cortez guy is he should feel honored to be given ink in the book!



The second quote is more serious and has become a mantra of sorts for me in ministry. It comes from Jared Wilson’s Gospel Wakefulness. I have mentioned the book here before and I still encourage you to read it and face the question of you astonishment with the gospel. The quote is not even Jared’s but it sums up the book; “stare at the glory of God until you see it.” This is attributed to Ray Ortlund but this is what Gospel Wakefulness is all about. Wilson’s writing has been used by the Holy Spirit to nourish me and challenge me since Your Jesus is too Safe and the early days of his not so web savvy blogger site. A new study by Wilson is promoted with this: “takes a gospel transformation, rather than behavioral modification, approach to our sin.” I want my ministry to be described the same way!


Gospel Wakefulness

I recently read Jared Wilson’s latest book, Gospel Wakefulness,  and I think it is a must read for any Christian – that we might long to revel in or obtain that wakefulness as we move through sanctification. That we might be so astonished by the truth of Christ’s work on the cross that we are routinely and thoroughly “tickled.”

Last week I was having a conversation with a leader in our church and he asked me how I would answer a question about righteous living, essentially why should we and how can we live holy lives. I answered “through the gospel,” and his now familiar expression of exasperation showed on his face as he retorted “but we need to give them more than salvation, they need practical steps.” Now I am not completely against being practical with our faith, but I truly believe by dwelling on the truth of the gospel our lives will shift and we will live righteously in response to the news of Christ. It is powerful for salvation and for living. This interaction not only made it clear to me the mindset I interact with daily but the hope I have that I can share my wonder of the gospel with those I lead or serve with. I pray for a gospel wakefulness epidemic!

Wilson unpacks a lot of what this means in a recent interview with Desiring God. If you have the time, watch it and think about your own “wakefulness.”