HERE ARE SOME BOOKS that I have read in recent months. They are about adventurers, military heroes, thinking critically, and crucial doctrines, but they all share several things in common. First, they are interesting. Second, they are well-written, and third, they provide glimpses of either God’s dealings with nations and individuals or his magnificent character.
Oliver Cromwell by Antonia Fraser.
Cromwell is one of my favorite historical figures. Like Calvin and Edwards, he was a passionate Christian, living at an epochal time in history, forced into roles and situations he did not desire, and because of his Christian motivations, greatly misunderstood. Nevertheless, he served unselfishly. A self-taught military genius, he was never defeated in battle. This is a man you need to know. You can’t really understand the history of the modern world without Cromwell. One way to evaluate a man is by what his enemies think of him. “It was Sir John Reresby, a Royalist,” reports Fraser, “who called [Cromwell] ‘one of the greatest and bravest men (had his cause been good) that the world ever produced.”
Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey.
Finding Truth is a sequel to Pearcey’s previous book Total Truth. It provides the reader with five principles for unmasking atheism, secularism, and other God-substitutes. using clear, simple prose, Pearcy demolishes the presuppositions of Christianity’s leading competitors. I only wish I had read this before I started college. For all who believe in the importance of clear Christian thinking, I can’t recommend this book enough.
Farther Than Any Man by Martin Dugard.
Martin Dugard is best known for the “Killing” books he has turned out for news anchor, Bill O’Reilly. Dugard is a great writer of history and a first-class storyteller. In this book, he tells the 18th-century story of Captain James Cook, British explorer, and world traveler. It is the tragic story of a great man who sailed and explored farther than any man before him. The rank of Captian in the royal navy was reserved for nobility only. But Cook, a commoner, was elevated to the rank of Captain by nothing but skill, pluck, hard work, and determination. Tragically, his successes motivated pride which eventually destroyed him. A great read with a moral lesson.
Faith Alone by Tom Schreiner
Luther was right: the church rises and falls on its adherence to Justification by faith alone, and there have been centuries-long periods when the church lost sight of this crucial doctrine. For me, the most fascinating thing about this book was the history of this foundational doctrine. It has not always been clear or accepted by the church. I was surprised by some leading theologians that either rejected or distorted it. This short book teaches with language that is not overly technical about a crucial subject. I highly recommend it to all.