Bring My Books

Posted by Scott Palmer on 19 December 2016 | Comments

Bring My Books

I love reading the close of the Pauline epistles.  Usually you have a picture of the close intimate relationships that Paul had with brothers and sisters in Christ who were a part of the early church.  You can sense their heart for the Lord, for each other and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In II Timothy Paul writes what most believe is his last epistle shortly before his own death at the hands of the Roman emperor Nero. At the close he says to Timothy, “When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.”  II Timothy 4:13 (NLT).  In the context of this passage many of the brothers and sisters in Christ have left and are in ministry in other places and Paul is in a Roman prison and only Luke is with him.  He encourages Timothy to bring him his books. 

I picture in my mind Paul alone in this Roman prison not only reading the Old Testament but his books for encouragement.  While nothing compares to the God-breathed, inerrant word of God that we have in the Old and New Testament, Christians still need encouragement from a good book.  I am convinced that reading quality, Biblically-driven theology and worldview material is essential to be an effective follower of Christ in our culture. 

That is why a couple of times a year I want to give you some suggestions for books that you might check out.  These are books that I think will challenge and encourage you in your walk with Christ given the secular culture in which we live.  Here are some suggestions.


“Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S Whitney. This is a really good book that lays out some of the classical spiritual disciplines that are essential for spiritual growth.  This is the bookthat we recommend for step one in “The Path” at OBC.

“Leading on Empty” by Wayne Cordeiro.  This is the story of Cordeiro going from spiritual burnout to balance.  The book not only emphasizes the importance of balance and spiritual health but it also provides some very practical insights into a meaningful walk with God.


“If You Can Keep It” by Eric Metaxas.  This is a great book that deals with how American liberty is tied to religious liberty.  It is a well written history of how religious liberty is essential to who we are as Americans.  The challenge is for Christians to fight for religious freedom for all.  Even those with whom we disagree.

“It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and It’s Enemies” by Mary Eberstadt.  This deals with the many different ways in which our culture and even the courts are oppressing religious liberty.  It is a wake-up call for Christians to be aware that it can actually be dangerous in culture to live out your faith in Christ.


“The Beauty of Intolerance: Setting a Generation Free to Know Truth and Love” by Josh and Sean McDowell.  The authors show that the influence of cultural tolerance is leading a generation of people to believe that each person creates his/her own moral truth, there is no universal moral truth and we are intolerant if we do not endorse the behavior and lifestyle choices of others.  This book gives practical insight into how to communicate the truth about the God who created moral truth and how to live out a Biblical view of tolerance to people with whom you disagree.  This is a good book for Christian parents and teenagers.

“The Intolerance of Tolerance” by D.A. Carson.  This is an excellent book that defines a Biblical view of tolerance as opposed to how our culture has given a new definition to the term.  He also deals with the how a believer can respond to a culture that in the name of tolerance has become incredibly intolerant to those with whom they disagree.  He gives some valuable insight as to how to live out our faith in a world that would believe that a Biblical worldview is intolerant. 

“The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” and “Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ” by Rosaria Butterfield.  Rosaria tells her journey from being a tenured English professor at Syracuse University and an outspoken supporter of the LGBT in a same sex relationship to Christ and then the wife of a Reformed Presbyterian Minister with children.  Both of these books are very well written.  Rosaria has the ability to speak compassionately to the cultural confusion about sexuality and sexual identity from a Biblical perspective.

Happy reading!!

Pastor Scott