January 15, 2012

Best Books & Doc of 2011

This past year I was able to read several books and the following were the best:

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp
This parenting book really delves into the motives and goals of parenting as it explains how all behavior is an overflow of the condition of the heart. In all of the parent's dealings with the child, the goal is to cause the child to see his or her inability to do a Christ as commanded, his need for forgiveness and atonement, and a changed heart that seeks to do God's will. Every disciplinary session is geared toward correcting the sinful behavior by targeting the heart. This book is highly recommended by David Powlison, John MacArthur, Elisabeth Elliot, and David Welch.

The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo
This parenting book is subtitled, "Practical Help for the Prevention and Cure of Anger in Children." It exposes all the ways that parents provoke their children to anger and gives practical applications as to training up the child in the way he should go. It doesn't only correct wrong behavior and motives in the child, but teaches them to think and do what is right. As I read it, I began to understand not only the ways I provoke my children to anger, but it's even greater source, how my parents provoked me to anger. This is an excellent resource that should be read several times during a parenting journey, in the same way as Shepherding a Child's Heart. I would say that it is a very necessary companion to Tedd Tripp's book.

Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth Dodds
This has been one of the best books on marriage Jeramy and I have ever read. It is not a how-to book for marriage dummies, but a real example of a couple seeking to live for Christ and how they make their marriage glorify Him in the midst of early 1700's difficulties and trials. During this time most families were very self-sufficient. The Edwards owned animals and sheared their own sheep, made their own fabric and thread to sew their own clothes. They chopped their own wood, built their own house, hand washed all their clothes, traveled by walking or horse, cooked daily, cultivated a garden, canned their own garden foods, and home-birthed 11 children of which none died before reaching adulthood. They also endured many pressures from being a family in the spot light of ministry in a small, rural town. Jeramy and I learned a lot from this couple's interaction with each other and their children and how they made all this work together towards an incredible legacy. It is endorsed highly by John & Noel Piper.


IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America by The Gunn Brothers Productions
This documentary came out last year but I didn't get to view it until recently. It is incredible. It seeks to answer several very important questions, but the two prominent ones are: what is the history and progression of the public, government school system? (In other words, what are they really teaching these kids?) And can Christians be salt & light in this environment? Colin Gunn drives his family of 9 across country in a retired yellow school bus answering these questions by as he interviews several Christian teachers, administrators, parents and students who have been in the government school system for years.
If you remember Voddie Baucham's DVD sermon lectures entitled, Children of Caesar, you will recall that he addresses the issues of origin and whether Christians can truly be salt & light in this government school context. Gunn is able to spend 100 minutes delving into these questions that leave the born-again Christian parent with no other alternative but to forsake the government schooling and take responsibility for their child's education. Here is a memorable quote by RC Sproul, Jr., "If we're sending evangelists into the mission field and they return as atheists, then we need to consider that something is terribly wrong." (Something to that effect.)

I highly commend these to you. I've written some content and fresh reviews on this blog previously, simply do a search and those entries will arrive at your fingertips.

Currently I'm reading Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl and The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto. Gatto's book is particularly enraging as I learn about the goals and purpose of the government school system and how much of my time and vitality it wasted. Debi Pearl's book has a good content, but is a little too gimmicky for my taste. Many women have read it and told me to take it with a grain of salt.

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