Book Reviews and Recommendations

Of the Reading of Big Books There is No Hope…Or is There?

At the end of the book of Ecclesiastes we find these words:

The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh. read more

Inheritance of Tears: Four Reasons to be Grateful for a Book About Miscarriage

“Our baby’s life had slipped from my body, and the grief was overwhelming.”


That is a sentence from the opening pages of Jessalyn Hutto’s book Inheritance of Tears: Trusting the Lord of Life When Death Visits the Womb. Beginning courageously with her personal story, she continues with the gentleness of a sufferer and the powerful hope of the gospel to provide a needed resource for those weeping from miscarriage, and for those of us who should weep with them. There are four particular reasons for why I believe we should be grateful for this book about miscarriage. read more

A Look Through the Library

Last Sunday Pastor Sean, Caleb, and John & Heather Okrafka pulled a bunch of books from our church library and recommended them to the young adults of our church. We wanted to highlight a number of excellent reads that sit on the shelves of our library. Our library boasts an excellent collection of books: theologically sound and thematically robust!

Take a look at the volumes that were recommended and consider stopping by the church library. Here are only 28 books that you might be interested in; the library is filled with many more!

Mere Christianity – CS Lewis

Surprised By Joy – CS Lewis

Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn – Tim Challies

Spurgeon – Arnold Dallimore

John McArthur – Iain Murray

Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount – Martyn Lloyd-Jones*

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones: The First Forty Years (Vol 1) – Iain Murray

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones: The Fight of Faith (Vol 2) – Iain Murray

Rescuing the Gospel – Erwin Lutzer

The Cross of Christ – John Stott

The Message of the Old Testament – Mark Dever

What is the Gospel? – Greg Gilbert

Servanthood as Worship: The Privilege of Life in a Local Church – Nate Palmer

A Call to Spiritual Reformation – Don Carson**

Echoes of Eden – Jerram Barrs

Church Membership – Jonathan Leeman

The Gospel at Work – Sebastian Traeger and Greg Gilbert

What is the Mission of the Church – Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

What is the Meaning of Sex – Denny Burk

The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Can Man Live Without God – Ravi Zacharias

Respectable Sins – Jerry Bridges

How Now Shall We Live – Charles Colson

Ecclesiastes – Douglas Sean O’Donnell***

The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind – Mark Noll

The Genesis Flood: Biblical Record and Its Scientific Implications – Whitcomb and Morris

Art For God’s Sake – Philip Graham Ryken

*Highly recommended by Pastor Caleb
**Highly recommended by Pastor Sean
***Highly recommended by Heather Okrafka

Reformation Reading Challenge

As 2017 marks 500 years since the Reformation (Luther nailing the 95 Theses on the Castle Church door at Wittenberg; October 31, 1517) read more

The most important pursuit is…

If you have never picked up one of John Piper’s little books in the Swans are Not Silent series you’re missing out. Each one contains three vignettes on different individuals throughout the history of the church, from which you can learn about the life of another in an extremely accessible way. They would make for good summer reading and would bring you up to speed on names you may have heard but know nothing about, such as William Wilberforce, Charles Spurgeon, Augustine, Hudson Taylor, William Cowper, John Newton, and others. read more

A Trip to the Armoury

Photo credit: dan,


So I’m continuing to work my way little by little through Gurnall’s book. I first wrote about this experience here. You can read the second instalment here. Independently of one another Caleb also decided to read a book on Ephesians 6 by Lloyd-Jones. He blogged about that here. You might want to get comfortable as we’re probably in for the long haul on this topic. read more

Take Up and Read!

If you’re looking for a good book to sink your teeth into this summer (hopefully you are!) this is probably the most creative, and theologically solid, book list I’ve ever countered.  The format may be different than you’re used to but you probably know by now that I (Sean) have a taste for some God-glorifying, edifying hip-hop.

You might need to listen a couple of times, or check out the lyrics here to catch the play on words with authors and book titles.  However, if you listen to the end, there’s a more accessible reading list.


Top Reads of 2014 – Caleb

These are Caleb’s picks for 2014.  He’s partially more cultured than me (Sean) as I’ve never read anything by Dickens…I say partially because he’s not quite finished yet, but at least he’s working on it. read more

Top Reads in 2014 – Sean

Here’s the list of the books I enjoyed reading most in 2014. I feel like a didn’t read as much this year as I normally would (a new baby and surgery will do that…) The last three are books that I have started but haven’t finished yet.  They still make the cut and I hope to finish them eventually.  That’s what happens when you have too many on the go at once… read more

Top Reads in 2012 – Pastor Sean

Last but not least, here are Pastor Sean’s best five reads in 2012:

read more