In Honor of All Great Wordsmiths

It's funny how we like to come up with new, cool ways to describe something that has been a part of our lives, well basically forever, in order to make the subject hip and fresh.  That's how I look at the word "wordsmith".  A wordsmith is basically a writer, but what I love about the term is that the artistic nature of writing is celebrated in its visual imagery.

My grandfather was a Blacksmith and could create all sorts of things out of forging metal.  Most of the time they were very practical things and served a particular purpose, like forming horseshoes which he would then shod their feet with, as well as repairing equipment while employed with the railroad. 

But, I'm guessing that sometimes he was able to indulge in simply playing with his medium and was able to express his deepest thoughts and struggles by creating something that he could mold and shape to his liking.  At least I hope he did.

That's what I love so much about writers.  They are able to both present facts, tell stories, describe events, and give specific instruction, while also letting something of themselves slip through the barrier.  Some have a thicker barrier than others, but we all have one and writers become wordsmiths when they are able to mold and shape their words to their liking, revealing a bit of themselves as well.  We all benefit when this happens; as they share their deepest thoughts and struggles.

The Bible is the greatest example of this because not only do we receive instructions on how to best live our lives, but we also get to see God; to know Him and to discover His deepest thoughts, greatest disappointments, and His hope for something much better for all of us.  

Although I think it best to spend most of our time and effort in reading the inspired Word of God, I also know that He has gifted many others to share their insights on various aspects of daily life.  Most of all, their biggest goal is, or at least should be, to teach us how to apply the truths found in Scripture that will help us to glorify God since that should be our greatest desire.

In my last post, I talked about a book called "No Little Women" by Aimee Byrd which challenged my process in choosing the books I would invest my time and energy in.  She made a great point on how we can often be led astray by false ideologies without being aware that we are following a rogue doctrine.  We are easily enticed by philosophies that seem pretty, peaceful, and cause us to see the world and God Himself through the distortion that we feel most comfortable with.

I've had to take a look at the books I'm reading, as well as what and whom I am listening to, and have been comparing the information they are teaching me with what God Himself teaches me in His Word.  It's been both humbling and eye-opening. I have found that I have often gotten caught up in the beautiful "wordsmithing" of some writers and have accepted leaking vessels of content (see Jeremiah 2:13).  

There are thousands of great, sound books in the Christian marketplace so it's really difficult to sort through it all.  But, I have put together a list of resources that I have either read or trust through recommendation through sources that I trust to hold true to Scripture. 

The list is not even close to exhaustive and doesn't even contain some of my own favorites, but I found it impossible to list them all.  There are a few authors that I would list all of their books and that didn't seem feasible.  So I thought I would list them as well.  

If you have any that you would recommend, please contact me.  But remember, that the words we need to be exposing ourselves to should align with the Bible.  There are exceptions of course when we want to study opposing viewpoints which is also valuable, but we need to take great care to not get led astray. 

Also please remember, that just because a book is being sold in a Christian bookstore does not mean that it has Biblically sound theology.  The Christian marketplace is a crazy place and the business and economics involved can be a bit much.  Marketing Jesus, our Savior and Lord, by putting Him on t-shirts, plates, handbags, wall hangings, etc. can be both disrespectful and blasphemous so we need to be careful to use the discernment available through the Holy Spirit as to which products we should be purchasing.

Before I share my list with you, I want to share a portion of a book written by my college Pastor, Doug Wilson called "Worsmithy" since he is one of the most talented wordsmiths I know.  Here is his advice:  "Read constantly.  Read the kind of stuff you wish you could write.  Read until your brain creaks.  Tolkien said that his ideas sprang up from the leaf mold of his mind: your readings are the trees where your fallen leaves would come from.  Mind mulch.  Cognitive compost."

Suggested Resources

Books for Women

Women of the Word—Jen Wilkin

None Like Him—Jen Wilkin

No Little Women—Aimee Byrd

Housewife Theologian—Aimee Byrd

Women and God—Kathleen Nielson

True Feelings:  God’s Gracious Glorious Purpose for Our Emotions—Carolyn Mahoney and Nicole Mahoney Whitacre

Alive in Him:  How Being Embraced by the Love of Christ Changes Everything—Gloria Fuhrman

The Gospel Comes With a House Key—Rosaria Butterfield

Are Women Human?—Dorothy Sayers

Because He Loves Me—How Christ Transforms our Daily Life—Elyse Fitspatrick

Steadfast Love—Lauren Chandler

The Scars That Shaped Me:  How God Meets Us in Suffering—Vaneetha Rendall Risner

Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God—Sheila Walsh

Books on the Family

God’s Very Good Idea:  A True Story of God’s Delightfully Different Family—Trillia Newbell and Catalina Echeverri

This Changes Everything—How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years—Jacquelle Crowe

The Tech-Wise Family:  Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in It’s Proper Place—Andy Crouch

The Radical Book for Kids:  Exploring the Roots and Shoots of Faith—Champ Thorton

Parenting:  The 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family—Paul Tripp

Missional Motherhood—Gloria Fuhrman

Books on Marriage

Sacred Marriage—Gary Thomas

You and Me Forever—Francis and Lisa Chan

The Meaning of Marriage—Tim Keller

The Mingling of Souls—Matt and Laura Chandler

Books About Current Culture

Counter Cultural—David Platt

Erasing Hell—Chan and Sprinkle

Let the Nations Be Glad—John Piper

Making All Things New:  Restoring Joy to the Sexually Broken—David Powlison

Recapturing the Wonder:  Transcendent Faith in a Disenchanted World—Mike Casper

This Is Our Time: Everyday Myths in Light of the Gospel—Trevin Wax

No God But One:  Allah or Jesus?  A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity—Nabeel Qureshi

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert—Rosaria Butterfield

Openness Unhindered—Rosaria Butterfield

Tactics:  A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions—Greg Koukl

Prosperity?  Seeking the True Gospel—Mbugua, Maura, Mbewe, Grudem, Piper

The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World—John Piper

Not a Fan—Kyle Idleman

Devotionals

A Call to Die:  A 40 Day Journey of Fasting From the World and Feasting on God

God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life:  A Year of Daily Devotions in the Book of Proverbs—Tim & Kathy Keller

Walking With God—Martyn Lloyd Jones

God Is:  A Devotional Gide to the Attributes of God—Mark Jones

Books for Spiritual Growth

Follow Me—David Platt

Simply Christian—N.T. Wright

Mere Christianity—C.S. Lewis

The Discipline of Grace—Jerry Bridges

The Knowledge of the Holy—A.W. Tozer

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness—Tim Keller

The Reason for God—Tim Keller

The Invisible War—Chip Ingrim

Desiring God—John Piper

What Jesus Demands from the World—John Piper

The Imperfective Disciple:  Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together—Jared Wilson

Practicing the Power:  Welcoming the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in Your Life—Sam Storms

Reading the bible Supernaturally—John Piper

Union With Christ:  The Way to Know and Enjoy God—Rankin Wilbourne

You Are What You Love:  The Spiritual Power of Habit—James K.A. Smith

Habits of Grace—David Mathis

Happiness—Randy Alcorn

The Things of Earth:  Treasuring God by Enjoying His Gifts—Joe Rigney

Awe:  Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do—Paul Tripp

Knowing Chris—Mark Jones

Writers to Read:  Nine Names That Belong on Your Book Shelf—Doug Wilson

Scandalous:  The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus—Don Carson

Christian Beliefs—Wayne Grudem

Crazy Love—Francis Chan

Jesus on Every Page—David Murray

Transforming Grace—Jerry Bridges

The Forgotten God—Francis Chan

Blogs to Follow

Risen Motherhood—Amy Gannett

Desiring God

The Gospel Coalition

Relevant Magazine

Revive our Hearts: True Women—Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Podcasts

Culture Matters

Desiring God

Timothy Keller Sermons

The Porch (Young Adults Ministry of Watermark Church)

The Village Church—Matt Chandler

Walk in the Word—James McDonald

Let My People Think—Ravi Zacharias

Walk in the Word—Chip Ingrim

Flower Mound Women’s Bible Study-Jen Wilkin

Propel Women

Magazines

Deeply Rooted (Beautiful Magazine!)

Christianity Today

Relevant

Favorite Authors

D.A Carson

John Piper

C.S. Lewis

Tim Keller

Francis Chan

Jen Wilkin

Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth

David Platt

Jerry Bridges

Beth Moore