I love the book of Proverbs, but the biblical language can be perplexing at times so I consult commentaries--which can be equally perplexing. But, thiI love the book of Proverbs, but the biblical language can be perplexing at times so I consult commentaries--which can be equally perplexing. But, this! Love it! This commentary on Proverbs is actually a collection of sermons. It is devotional and captivating and very accessible. I am reading through it again with my 13 years old son. Dr. Ortlund reveals some technical information like Hebrew roots, etc. but also makes many literary and cultural references that enlighten and connect with the reader.
My favorite aspect of the book is how the author illuminates the gospel message throughout.
He starts from this premise in the first chapter: "The book of Proverbs is a gospel book, because it is part of the Bible. That means the book of Proverbs is good news for bad people. It is about grace for sinners. It is about hope for failures. It is about wisdom for idiots. This book is Jesus himself coming to us as our counselor, as our sage, as our life coach." (p. 16)
This book is deep and dense but immensely rewarding if you make the effort. Willard illuminates the nature of human nature and the well-ordered soul aThis book is deep and dense but immensely rewarding if you make the effort. Willard illuminates the nature of human nature and the well-ordered soul and along with much philosophical musing gives great practical spiritual advice. He never strays from his message of God's immeasurable grace and power in our lives to radically change us from the inside out. This book is already an "old friend" on my bookshelf--one I will return to again and again. ...more
This book was required reading in my daughter's lit class in high school. It was the Romeo and Juliet unit. It is romantic and well-written and will pThis book was required reading in my daughter's lit class in high school. It was the Romeo and Juliet unit. It is romantic and well-written and will provide many young readers with a sympathy that perhaps they yet to have tapped into, but ultimately, I can only recommend it with reservations because I fundamentally disagree with the overarching theme that suffering is meaningless. It did provide wonderful opportunities for discussions of faith. ...more
This is essentially an aging Congregationalist minister's letter to his very young son. He is faced with the reality that he will not be available forThis is essentially an aging Congregationalist minister's letter to his very young son. He is faced with the reality that he will not be available for his son as he passes through his childhood and becomes a man and thus feels compelled to explain the past, put it in context, and pass on his wisdom. I kept forgetting this was a fiction. This rumination of a thoughtful yet flawed human being made me wish I knew him. It made me realize how much I crave mentoring and wisdom from those who have gone before. It's not often you read a book that makes you examine your own life and really think about what you believe and how you would like to convey that to others--and did I mention this is fiction? Just pleasant in every way.
Some of my favorite quotes:
"You can know a thing to death and be for all purposes completely ignorant of it."
"Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life. All it needs from you is that you take care not to trample on it."
"This is an interesting planet. It deserves all the attention you can give it."
"Sometimes the visionary aspect of any particular day comes to you in the memory of it, or it opens to you over time."
"When you encounter another person, when you have dealings with anyone at all, it is as if a question is being put to you. So you must think, What is the Lord asking of me in this moment, in this situation? if you confront insult or antagonism, your first impulse will be to respond in kind. But if you think, as it were, This is an emissary sent from the Lord, and some benefit is intended for me, first of all the occasion to demonstrate my faithfulness, the chance to show that I do in some small degree participate in the grace that saved me, you are free to act otherwise than as circumstances would seem to dictate. You are free to act by your own lights."
Participate in the grace that saved me...beautifully said....more