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What I’m Reading

19 November 2011

1. Good Guilt, Bad Guilt: And What To Do With Each by Becca Cowan Johnson.

Excerpt from back cover:

Do you feel guilty? Have you forgotten what your New Year’s resolutions even were? Are you envious of your neighbor’s car? Has it been two weeks since you mopped the kitchen floor? Were you rude to a coworker? Are you throwing away things you should be recycling? Have you neglected time with your children? Did you stray from your fat-free diet? When was your last quiet time?

Most people feel guilty in these areas — and many more. Some of the guilt we experience is part of having a healthy conscience. Our guilt, properly understood, can show us the sin in our lives and lead us to repentance. Bad guilt, however, undermines our emotional and spiritual growth. It is destructive and even immobilizing.

The difficulty is that it is hard to tell the difference. But this book will help us unmask bad guilt and get rid of it. Once we learn to identify this unnecessary guilt, God will begin to work powerfully in our lives. And we’ll discover how good guilt can challenge us to glorify God in all we do.

2. Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ by Madame Guyon.

Excerpt from back cover:

One of the most influential spiritual books ever penned, even secular historians acknowledge the great impact Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ has had in Christian history. Madame Guyon is generally credited, even by her enemies, as being one of the best-known women in church history. Will Durant, in his 11-volume Story of Civilization, recounts the impact of Jeanne Guyon’s life and writings on French history.

At one time this book was publicly burned in France and yet it has also been received by seeking Christians as one of the most helpful Christian books ever written. In truth, you are holding in your hands one of the most influential and one of the most powerful Christian books ever written. Penned by one of Christianity’s most famous saints, Jeanne Guyon, it has played a major part in the lives of more famous Christians than perhaps any other Christian book.

3. Confessions by Saint Augustine

A few people I greatly admire mentioned this work as one of the most influential in their lives. I’d attempted to read it before but, frankly, just couldn’t get into it — until now. Although Augustine was born in 354, his autobiography is eerily modern and relevant. He writes as if he were talking to God, so the work is a beautiful, transparent prayer and you almost feel guilty for eavesdropping. The book, originally written in Latin, covers Augustine’s adolescent struggles, his slow upward climb of the echelons of society, and finally his renouncing of all the glory and fame for his faith when he converted to Christianity. It’s a classical work of literature that everyone, especially every Christian, should read at least once in life.  I’m finding it strangely moving and insightful — and a bit hard to read (I’ve been at it since July!!). Definitely worth the effort, though.


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