Learning to Be a Man


#2 – Learning God’s Word

November 1, 2003


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I get excited when I look at all the great books and resources there are to help us learn God’s Word, and my only regret is that I don’t have (or make) the time to read more of them.  A pastor friend once lamented that the men in his church were not “comfortable readers.”  I’ll be frank with you, I don’t know how we as men can learn God’s Word without reading.  We need to become readers.  And if we are not “comfortable” doing so, we need to put ourselves on an exercise program to build up our reading muscles.  One pastor shared how he had to teach himself to become a reader by reading western novels at first, and then moving to fare that is more substantial.

I’ve found a couple of on-line articles that emphasize the importance of being readers.  You can check them out down below.

Many of the resources listed here, will agree with the central truths agreed on by all Christians.  However, you cannot get too deep into God’s Word before you start finding some areas where honest Christians disagree.  Be sure to talk with your Pastor and ask him for his recommendations.







One Year Bible


It probably goes without saying that the only way to become a man of God’s Word is to read God’s Word.  Although there are many “read through the Bible in a year” programs out there, I found using the One Year Bible made the difference for me.   Actually having the day’s reading right in front of me (instead of having to look up verses in my Bible) made it much easier for me to stay current.  I’m currently on my 3rd time through and am today only 1-1/2 days behind (hope to be all caught up tonight!)  In addition to becoming more familiar with God’s Word, I have found that each morning (and some evenings) I have to make the conscious choice to read God’s Word instead of watching TV or checking my e-mail.  Making this choice to make God and His Word the priority for my time, has done wonders in itself in drawing me closer to Him.  In addition, I find myself beginning to enjoy God’s presence even in the books of Job and Jeremiah!












Logos/Libronix Bible Software


Perhaps one of the best Bible software packages out there, with hundreds of resources that can be added to your digital library, all integrated together.

You can even get a free copy of this excellent software with King James Bible and several reference works at www.FreeBibleSoftware.com





Laridian Bible Software for Handheld and Palmtop Computers

Laridian Bible Software for Handhelds


I’ve been using Laridian’s MyBible for Palm handhelds for a couple years now and I wouldn’t be without it.  I currently have 6 versions (ESV, KJV, NASB, NIV, NKJV and TNIV) on my Palm as well as their Daily Reader program, which allows me to turn any of the six versions into a pocket version of my One Year Bible.  If you have a handheld with available memory, I recommend you get this.  You will never be without your Bible again.





Web Sites








This web site is part of the larger Christian Counterculture Project.  They have a great collection of good books to help develop your mind for the glory of Christ.  And not only that, but I’ve found their prices to be the best on the net!  You can spend many profitable moments browsing through their book lists (arranged by categories), and you can sign up for their free monthly e-mail newsletter (“The Right Books”) which highlights new releases and special features.  This is where Haycock bought the copies of Doug Wilson’s Future Men, which were given out at camp.  You will not find every Christian book here (no fictional romance or Left Behind series), but what you will find is an excellent collection of some of the best Christian books available today.





Christian CounterCulture



Christian CounterCulture is a Christian thought-provoking e-mail newsletter.  Each issue focuses on a particular subject and usually includes three or four articles.  The articles are often entire chapters, complete in themselves, of larger works.  So not only do you get a thorough treatment of any given subject, if you like what you read, you can easily find more by ordering the book itself.  Christian CounterCulture is a sister website of The Discerning Reader.  All past issues are viewable on the web, a wealth of encouraging reading!







This is a list of books, which The Discerning Reader recommends for getting you started on your journey for becoming a man of the Word.  Although I have not read them all myself, you cannot go too wrong with any of the books DR recommends.  Not much fluff here!








Here is their list of books for gaining a basic grasp of the Bible’s teaching on the major issues of the faith.  You’ll find some of the finest Christian literature available, both modern and classic, represented on this list.








Here is their list of solid food for the mature.  Not for the faint of heart.  This list will keep many a man busy for a lifetime.












Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin


This is the standard two-volume translation of the Institutes.  This is the work that set the stage for the protestant church’s understanding of God’s Word for centuries.  Originally written for new believers, its depth can still challenge seminarians.





Institutes of the Christian Religion (Abridged Edition) by John Calvin


“If you have always wanted to read Calvin's Institutes, but find those two large volumes rather daunting, take note of this new abridgment. Calvin scholar Donald McKim has done an outstanding job "condensing" the original without taking away from its original flow. In fact, most readers will benefit far more from the present volume than reading the original. An essential work to read, as Calvin is the outstanding representative of historic, Protestant theology.” – The Discerning Reader





Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof


The classic twentieth-century work in Reformed Theology. A "staple" which lays the proper foundations for a lifelong pursuit of rich, theological study. Be sure and have this one...
-- The Discerning Reader.






Manual of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof


This edition is a simpler edition of his volume above written for High School and College students.





Summary of Christian Doctrine by Louis Berkhof


A further simplification.  Would that mean that this is written for Jr. High students?  It is interesting to note that this was the edition that a pastor friend bought for his wife, and on his recommendation, I have bought for my wife to read.





Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem


Although I do not have this book, it is listed as the first book on The Discerning Reader’s Advanced Training booklist, and it was just recommended by my Sunday School teacher this morning.  So I figured I’d go ahead and list it.

Grudem’s work is a first-rate introduction to the more technical world of Systematic Theology.  An excellent place for advanced studies to begin. – The Discerning Reader.











sept/oct 2003 MR

Modern Reformation


Good, thoughtful articles.  Has encouraged me to re-think my position in many areas.  Comes out 6 times a year giving you plenty of time to work through all the articles.  Their website includes study guides for each issue to help you work through the articles alone or with another man.  The study guide might be good for going through the articles with your wife as well.











“Leaders are Readers”


“Any man who is serious about becoming the spiritual leader God calls him to be will be a reader. If nothing else, he will be a reader of the Book of Books, the Bible. But if he wants to be fully biblical in his use of the Bible he will also be a reader of other books. Books are a natural and inevitable fruit of the Bible itself.”






Flex the brain” by Gene Edward Veith


I just came across this article as I was writing the introduction to this letter.  The words, “Reading books the right way will keep a mind in shape the way exercising keeps a body in shape” really caught my eye.  The article begins: Christianity depends on reading. Therefore, Christians have to read.”  Should be a good read.





New Releases






Family Man, Family Leader by Philip Lancaster


Written by the editor of Patriarch Magazine, this book is slated to arrive from the printers this month.  The second chapter entitled, “Whatever Happened to Families?” was published in Patriarch Magazine several months ago.  It is one of the best articles I’ve read.  Phil has graciously allowed me to post it on my website for any of you to read or download.  You can find it at: www.PeaceHillFarm.com/LearningToBeAMan/WhateverHappenedToFamilies.pdf





Next month I’ll be sharing some of the many resources available to help us teach our families God’s Word.  May God be glorified as we learn together to be men of God’s Word.


Your fellow learner,

Terry Carnes








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