Thursday, August 6, 2009

Weekly Recommendation - "Restore My Soul"

About a year ago, Amanda and I traveled to Chicago in order to attend Harvest Bible Chapel whose senior pastor is Dr. James MacDonald. I first came across Dr. MacDonald after listening to his radio program Walk in the Word. MacDonald was preaching a sermon on Luke 2 and the story of Simeon. I was immediately hooked. Since that moment during my senior year in high school, I have had a number of opportunities to hear and meet Dr. MacDonald in person. To this day, he remains a huge influence in my life.

While at Harvest Bible Chapel, I picked up one of his books, "Restore My Soul: A Fresh Look at Psalm 23." Before we left Chicago, I had read the entire book!

The book, as the title suggests, covers Psalm 23, verse-by-verse. But James has an interesting style. As a pastor, he cares as much as about the original meaning of the text as he does how it applies to one's life. So while he spends time dealing with textual issues, background, and the meaning of the text, he immediately applies it to our lives. MacDonald has an amazing ability to write as if he was writing to me. MacDonald is ready to both exhort the reader to repentance and to encourage the reader to persevere.

Although the book may be hard to find, I strongly encourage you to find it. Among the many books I read each week as we continue to walk through Psalm 23, this is one of my favorites. Keller gives great insight into what it is like to be a shepherd. Lucado gives great illustrations for the text. But MacDonald provides great instruction that springs from the text.

I strongly recommend this book and I encourage everyone to not limit their study of Psalm 23 to just Sunday mornings as we walk through this infamous Psalms. But continue to study, apply, and live this Psalm and we will live in peace in the midst of a chaotic world.

For more:
Official Website
Straight Up Blog
Book Review - "Gripped By The Greatness of God" (probably my favorite book by MacDonald)
"Why James MacDonald Is Not Emerging"
McDonald: I Want the Whole Gospel

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