Reading J.I. Packer’s 18 Words today, and I came across this regarding The Devil:
Satan has at one point at least lost his grip on reality. There is a maggot in his mind, a softening of his brain we might say, which compels him to deny that he is a captive and beaten foe and to believe that if he fights hard enought against God and God’s true children he will overthrow them in the end.
Satan is God’s tool. In allowing Satan as much power as He does, God is using him to execute divine judgment on a rebel world. Just as a man can make use of sa savage dog which hates him, to drive trespassers off his estate, so God makes use of Satan to punish those who have sinned… Satan likes to think, and likes others to think, that he is this world’s real ruler. The truth is that he cannot exert any power beyond the limits that God sets him. God keeps him on a chain: it may be a long chain, but it is a real one.
Here is a list of the books I finished in October/November and would recommend to you.
J. I. Packer: A Quest for Godliness, The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life. Reclaiming and proclaiming the authenitic piety of the Puritans, Packer presents the Puritan Life and Theology in a refreshing way. A heady book replete with quotes and original writings from Puritans like Owens, Baxter, and Edwards, this is well worth the read.
Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith. In his own unique way, Keller opens the parable of the Prodigal Son with new eyes and fresh understanding. For Christians who have heard the parable countless times, Keller helps us find our own place in the parable, hearing Jesus’ words of challenge to our critical and complacent lives.
Related to this, I recently came across an illustration of the Prodigal Son by Ed Riojas – click here to see a copy of it. It is an amazing picture.
Francis Chan: Forgotten God: Reversing our Tragic Neclect of the Holy Spirit. Not quite as powerful as Crazy Love, but not a bad read, still. Chan has a tendency to oversimplify things that are of great importance, but when he comes back to his main thesis (our willful disobedience and neglect of God and our absolute dependence upon His Spirit) Chan really brings it home.
D.A. Carson, The God Who Is There: Finding Your Place in God’s Story. It took me a couple of chapters to really get into this. Carson is presenting God, as God has presented Himself, through Scripture. It’s a short book, only 224 pages, so Carson can’t cover everything, but its hard to think of things he left out. A very good introduction to Scripture and the Evangelical/Reformed Faith.