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The End of Many Books

Antifragile

by Nassim Taleb

I heard about this book from Doug Wilson’s recommendation, and I recommend that recommendation. As for the book itself, I loved it. I might say I needed it even. 

The categories of Fragile, Robust, and Antifragile are a worldview trifecta. Life on earth is volatile. Volatility is unavoidable and often unpredictable, especially when it comes to worst cases. Either a man will fear, prepare to survive, or look forward to the volatility (up to a point, of course) in order to get better. 

“You want to be the fire and wish for the wind.” 

There are some technical formulas I didn’t follow, and maybe Taleb likes charts a bit much for my taste. He also believes in, and resents the brutality of, evolution. Evolution doesn’t bother me, at least on the macro level, because I don’t think it’s true. Taleb also gets snarky at times. That doesnt’ bother me either because, well, I like snark. 

But the “nonsissy concept of antifragility” is wisdom gold. It applies to emotions, health/medicine/exercise/food, money/economics, education/schools, politics/government, technology, suffering, discipleship/pastoral ministry and counseling. I’ve already started a second read of the book with the elders at our church.

5 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

Writers to Read

by Douglas Wilson

This book made me want to read more, write more, buy more books, and be more of a man with more of a life. For realz.

Wilson quotes Chesterton as saying, “in anything that does cover the whole of your life—in your philosophy and your religion—you must have mirth. If you do not have mirth you will certainly have madness.”

Read this book and escape the madness.

5 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

The Things of Earth

by Joe Rigney

If you already saw my book review on Goodreads, I’d still say go ahead and reread my plug for the book below anyway. For emphasis. But first, the following paragraph introduces the book on its back cover.

The world is full of good things…Ice-cold lemonade. The laughter of children. College football. Scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. But what happens to these earthly pleasures when Jesus shows up? Do the things of earth grow strangely dim? Or does he shine in all that’s fair?

I wish I had read this book twenty years ago. That would have been impossible, though, because the copyright is 2015. So I wish I had read another book like it anytime in the last twenty years. But if there is one, I don’t know about it. I wish the truths of this book were in the bones of my Christian discipleship, but since they haven’t been, I’m even more thankful for this book now.

Rigney tackles helmet-on-helmet how Christians must not love the world in one way and how those same Christians—Christian hedonists even—must love the world in another way. He does great work showing the Trinity’s story on earth and how we should think theologically and poetically and eat cake all the while. The categories of comparative love and integrated love alone are worth triple the price of the book.

I restarted reading as soon as I finished. I am telling everyone I know about it. I’ve already bought a copy and given it away.

I do wish the endnotes were footnotes, not only because endnotes are gross, but also because many of the endnotes deserve more prominent page space. I also think the book could have used some Kuyper alongside of Edwards, Lewis, Chesterton, but whatever. If you want to honor God with your heart and your hands then get The Things of Earth and READ it right away.

5 of 5 stars!

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The End of Many Books

The Art of Neighboring

by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon

According to Jesus, the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” This book plainly and practically challenges Christian disciples not to take the command metaphorically but actually to, you know, love our neighbors. I’m thankful for that summons alone. I don’t agree with every piece of their suggested approach, but I do appreciate that at least they are urging obedience.

4 of 5 stars

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The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

by Rosaria Butterfield

An autobiography of, in Butterfield’s own words, “the train wreck that I experienced in coming face-to-face with the Living God.” Her testimony is to the praise of God’s glorious grace.

4 of 5 stars

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Rooted and Grounded

by Abraham Kuyper

Kuyper’s inaugural message upon his installation as pastor at the Reformed Church in Amsterdam. It is the sort of sermon that raises the hackles of some and the hopes of others. A profitable meditation on the church as both living body and constructed building.

4 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

Loving the Little Years

by Rachel Jankovic

Loving the Little Years – Motherhood in the Trenches is the best book on parenting I’ve ever read. I’ll admit that I haven’t read as many books on parenting as I probably should have and I’m sure I’ve forgotten too much of what I have read. That said, every Christian mother and father should own this book, inside and out.

A certain sort of parent will not enjoy this book at all. Parents who view authority as a control mechanism rather than a means to fellowship, who prefer dispensing law rather than following it, and who expect change in their kids before change in their own souls should stay away from this book. On the other hand, parents who want to know and live the standard themselves and who want their kids to know and love the standard will develop much stronger muscles from this workout.

Rachel performs a tricky task, helping us toward the happy conviction that we fail so miserably by reminding us that the gospel of grace works. Death fills happy homes as dads and moms die to bring life, and she makes gospel dying look good. She illustrates that laughter is both a seed and fruit, a great blessing and at times an impossible mission. She observes the beauty of messes and the products of wastefulness. She humorously assaults petty, panicky, and proud parents. It hurts. And it helps, a lot.

I hope all the parents I know will read this book, repent (as necessary), and salt their childrearing with truckloads of God-fearing fun. That goes most for me and I plan to open this book again and again when I need to get a look above the trenches.

5 of 5 stars

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The End of Many Books

The Trellis and the Vine

by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne

Very good. I hope it becomes a standard reading and EVALUATING tool for all disciple-making centers/churches and disciple-making trainers/pastors.


I’m rereading this, especially since TEC is wanting this imagery to stay central.

4 of 5 stars