Each Wednesday we share some recent links that we found informative, insightful, or helpful. These are often related to Crossway books, Bibles, or authors—but not always. We hope this list is an interesting and encouraging break for the middle of your week.
Set against the clutter and chaos that is modern parenting, Gloria Furman's new book, Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms, is refreshingly single-minded. In a series of 11 loosely connected meditations on the gospel and motherhood, Furman sets aside the daily details in order to help mothers more clearly see their goal. "At the end of every day—chaotic and mundane alike—" she writes, "motherhood is about the adoration and enjoyment of our great God."
Furman's point is simple. Frazzled mothers don't need more time, or better strategies, or even renewed resolve. They need more of the gospel—the good news that God sent his Son to die for sinners so that their sin might be forgiven, their guilt atoned for, and their souls reconciled to God.
Most people who think of Calvin think of him as a (grumpy?) theologian who cares more about what you think about God than how you live in relation to God. Is that wrong?
It’s wrong. You just have to open the Institutes to the first page to see that he thinks of our knowledge of God and of ourselves as inseparably intertwined. His commentaries, sermons, and private letters show a man who was obsessed with God’s Word and its saving and edifying impact in every area of life. Grumpy? No.
We now live in a therapeutic culture, one in which forgiveness is not needed, but treatment is. The treatment might come in those little capsules beloved of modernists, or it might come from varying doses of magnesium, randomly administered by people who want Facebook for a doctor. We want fixes, not forgiveness, and so Wells uses the phrase holy-love to discuss what God is like. When we separate holiness from love, all we get are legalisms. When we separate love from holiness, we get the therapeutic dealer offering us the joy pills.
About that extra-biblical material. There's a ton of it in Noah. If you go into it, saying "That stuff is not in the Bible!" you are going to be a very grumpy camper when you leave the theater. But of course we all realize that Genesis 6-10 actually underdetermines much granularity in terms of the precise details of a story. I remember as a child, my mother used to read me Bible stories from a book with black and white Gustave Doré illustrations. They were terrifying, especially right before bed. My imagination ran wild. Apparently, so was Aronoksky and Handel's in the writing of this film.
This book is for ladies, but I read it because I love and lead my wife and three little daughters. This is going to become an increasingly big deal as my daughters get older, and I want to shepherd them well.