(Updated) A pile of books, oldies and I hope goodies!

Update at bottom

A year ago, our pastor resigned/was fired for having discovered that he'd spent years in serial plagiarism. The deacons and staff were cleaning out his office this week (because it looks like God may just now have sent the man He wishes us to have lead us) and there was a stack of books left over on the old pastor's shelves. The staff put them on the bench with a "free" sign. One of the men saved aside a book for me. I was bowled over with delight. Here it is:

This book was published in 1892 just after Charles Haddon Spurgeon, AKA "The Prince of Preachers" had died in Menton France.

I've read about 50 pages so far and it is charming, well-written, and of course, glowing (being in the height of grief over the loss of the word's foremost preacher at the time).

Other books that were set aside for me include some I'm very much looking forward to reading, such as--

W. Eugene Sallee: Christ's Ambassador, a biography written by Sallee's wife. They both were missionaries in China in the very early 1900s. I have high hopes for this book- it should prove very interesting. I hope I'm not let down... It is the book I'll read next.

Life and Sayings of Sam P. Jones: A Minister of the Gospel, a famous Georgia preacher of some note who preached in the late 1800s. Wikipedia says Jones "was one of the most celebrated revivalists of his day, at the close of the 19th century. Famous for his wry wit and masterful story-telling, he is credited as a principal influence on Will Rogers."

Home of the Bible: What I Saw and Heard in Palestine (1895), by Marion Harland, AKA Virginia Terhune, a prolific American writer. She lived from 1830 to 1922, and was still writing at age 90 even though she had gone blind. This book was her travelogue, having made an expedition to determine for herself to see what God was doing in the original Christian lands with the peoples there.

Up Among the Ice-floes (1890) by James MacDonald Oxley. I always love me a good old Arctic expedition book.

I also received biblical non-fiction and reference books-

The Second Coming of Christ by Len Broughton, (1902)

Jewish Tales by Leopold Von Sacher Masoch (1894)

The Revelation: Verse by verse study by Oliver B. Green (1963)

Exposition of Ecclesiastes by H. C. Leupold (1952)

Arnold's Practical Sunday School Lesson Commentary (1926)

The Church of God at Corinth: verse by verse commentary on 1 & 2 by Corinthians John R. Rice (1973)

These three came together in a little case: they seem kind of elementary but will be useful as a quick guide, and also of course to give away to someone who needs something a little elementary when the time comes to give it away!
  • Who's Who in the Bible by Dietrich Gruen (2011)
  • Bible Almanac Anna Trimiew
  • Bible Facts: People, Places, Events David M Howard Jr.
The Discipling Pastor beat me to the commentaries but I'm thrilled he got some good ones. He offered to let me see what he got, already tucked away in the back of his car, but I declined because I knew it would lead to the sin of me coveting!!

I was just saying to myself, "Self, you've given away a good many books lately, I wish I had some more. The shelves are looking mighty thin." So thank you Lord, for your provision. I'm delighted to have been graciously re-stocked, and just in time for school ending next week. I will actually have time and energy to read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Read....

Sometimes there are simple things that tell the story. For example, the old pastor had books like the life of Spurgeon and other solid books from AW Pink, John R. Rice, and the like, but also alongside those old venerable standards were Purpose Driven stuff from Rick Warren, Max Lucado, Bill Hybels, and Henry Blackaby on 'how to hear God's voice'. The solid and practical and expositional had over time, been relegated to the back of his book shelf and at the forefront were books illustrating his heart and his penchant for the mystical, emotional, purpose driven leaven that eventually clouded his judgment and polluted his heart. It was shortly after that his massive sin was uncovered: serial lies from the pulpit in the holy name of Christ. And his bookshelf was a graphic display of his sad decline into apostasy.

If a bookshelf told your story, what story would it tell?


A couple of days after this essay was published, Pastor John MacArthur tweeted out a link to a three minute chat called "The Christian Bokshelf". In it, Pastor MacArthur mentions the kinds of books he likes to read (Commentaries, theology, biogrpahies, with occasional other historical books thrown in, like The Athenian Navy, Salt, and the Great Influenza).

He goes on to explain what publisher to look for ("Banner of Truth) and urges CHristians to buy books and fill their bookshelves with solid kinds of books like these. Enjoy

Truth for Today | The Christian Library from Grace Community Church on Vimeo.


  1. Another great post especially that last line. What we allow into our minds has such a massive effect on our character and our lives. This is not limited to just books either but the TV, the movies we watch, the friends we choose and the music we listen to. All should be weighed as to whether they are edifying and building us up in the grace and knowledge of the Lord or dragging us back to the world for they surely are doing one or the other.

    1. Well said Kem. I hate the devil getting in via tv, movies, books, etc. The Holy Spirit is in me, why do I allow the devil to come in, too? Not that I'm always successful in resisting him, so I am glad for your reminder.

  2. Wow! That spurgeon book is amazing! How nice that they thought of you!

  3. I would also like to mention, sometimes pastors and lay people have those books (purpose driven etc) on their shelves because people give them to them to read, or they read them to be reafy and able to refute them when asked their opinion. I have clearly labeled in sharpie on the outside of my copies of jesus caloing, etc things like "extra biblical therefore unreliable", "mystic", etc so that after the rapture people who come across my stuff won't be mislead.

    1. Great point Jennifer. Thanks for the good word.


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