Recommended Resources: January 25, 2021
Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ” by Andy Naselli and J.D. Crowley
Recommendation by Pastor Francis Chow
Pastor Gavin preached a couple Sundays ago about our need to pursue unity in Christ despite the many differences that might exist within the church. But what about when those differences have to do with moral issues? The good news is that Scripture speaks to those situations when believers don’t see eye to eye concerning matters of conscience (1 Cor 8, 10; Rom 14-15). The bad news is that many of us have only a cursory understanding of some of these important biblical ideas such as the human conscience, causing another brother/sister to “stumble,” and Christian liberties.
This is where Naselli and Crowley’s book, “Conscience: What It Is, How to Train It, and Loving Those Who Differ,” comes in. They present a much-needed, thorough, yet clear and easy to understand treatment of what the Bible teaches us about our conscience. Their definition of the conscience is pithy and concise: “The conscience is your consciousness of what you believe is right and wrong.”
The organization of the chapters works well. They survey all of the relevant passages to explain what the conscience is, they help us think through how we ought to respond to and calibrate it, and then they expand the discussion to how to love others well who might have differing opinions.
The book’s clarity of thought comes out in a number of ways. For example, the authors utilize effective illustration for understanding certain ideas (e.g. the conscience is like an on-off switch rather than a dimmer). There are several lists (e.g. 12 principles on how to disagree with other Christians) and charts/figures that I’ve returned to as resources (e.g. there is a chart that summarizes the multiple perspectives in Romans 14-15.)
Finally, as I read through this book for myself and learned more about what the Bible had to say about the conscience and Christian liberties, it helped me to appreciate the servant heart of Christ. Christian freedom is not license to do whatever you want, but the freedom to give up your own privileges and benefits for the good of others (1 Cor 9:19).
“Some subjects in Christianity are so fertile, so abundantly promising and useful on so many different levels, that studying them reaps a harvest far beyond expectations. It’s like buy one, get ten free. Conscience is one of those subjects. It touches on salvation, progressive sanctification, church unity, evangelism, missions, and apologetics. Yet hardly is a topic more neglected in the Christian church.
In light of the message we heard this past Sunday, this is a good way to participate in the community of the church. Let us be considerate on how to build up the body of Christ with our words, prayers, and acts of love.
This article expands upon how we can really abide in the Bible. We can do more than merely read the Scriptures, we can also pray, listen, write, memorize, and meditate on the Bible.
To continue a counseling series, Mike Emlet gives us insight on how to encourage a distressed believer. There’s much we can glean and incorporate in how we minister to one another.
While it may be painful to admit and confess, do we understand knowledge of our sin is still grace? It is part of the process of turning from our self and growing in Christlikeness.
This is a helpful way to understand our battle with sin. Depending on our particular struggles, certain vices may take longer to overcome or be much harder, but we can trust God is growing us.
Perhaps part of our discontentment in life comes from misconceptions about contentment. Here are four potential correctives to enable us to better understand what contentment truly looks like.
And on the positive side, here are four suggestions on how we can cultivate and practice contentment.
Whether you are pleased or bothered by the current state of affairs, we ultimately trust and hope in God. Our citizenship is in heaven and we should examine if politics has taken a greater hold on our hearts than it should.
Here’s one for the children. These songs were written as a great way for families to rehearse and memorize the truths of Scripture.
A new song by Sovereign Grace, the lyrics draw their inspiration from Psalm 91 and how Christ is our refuge in times of trouble.
With outdoor services now available, these words resonate with the joy of being able to gather together. Whether you’re online or in-person, it is good to worship as a church.
If you were blessed and challenged by Pastor Eric’s TFTT on Augustine, here’s extra motivation on the benefit of learning about church history.
For those who want an overview on time management, here’s a conference message that addresses the topic. The key is not only to maximize productivity or keep the right priorities, but to enlarge a greater capacity to love God and others.
This short video highlights how information overload can affect our heart. Be on guard and seek godly wisdom.