Thursday Book Review – The Life and Diary of David Brainerd

#davidbrainerd #puritans #jonathanedwards

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Beloved the day is finally here, I get to review one of the most impactful books I’ve read since becoming a believer. The Life and Diary of David Brainerd (published in 1749 by Jonathan Edwards) is one of those books that stays with you. After reading it myself I’m now reading it with Kayliegh, and have ordered copies as gifts for Christmas.

Brainerd (1718-1747) was a Puritan missionary to the Native Americans. He kept a daily journal of his spiritual progress. Many of his entries are heart wrenching, as he describes the struggles we have day to day in our walk with Christ. Brainerd often expresses his desire to be with the Lord. A beautiful prayer God answered, as he went home at the young age of 29.

His writing is very honest, and he is upfront with his struggles in prayer. I’m often tempted to be more enthusiastic in my description of my walk for the encouragement of others. It actually can just heap burdens on brothers and sisters, when we are dishonest about our own trials. It gives them the idea that perfect is possible, just not for them. Often times the most encouraging thing we can do is be truthful. I found Brainerd’s truthfulness very encouraging, as I read his words that reflected my own thoughts I wouldn’t dare voice. Some days my prayer is dull and lifeless, and it does feel like God has left me. Other days my prayer can be filled with sweetness.

I heard Puritans once described as the Redwood trees of the Christian forest. I think that’s a fair assessment, as they often stand tall in their love, obedience and devotion to God. Brainerd is most certainly one of those Redwood trees. We have visited the Redwood forest in our travels, as we walked through a trail of trees so tall you couldn’t see the tops, everything was silent and still. That was one place where Gods creation doesn’t whisper, it sings of His majesty. In the same way, Brainerd’s diary and all he accomplished in his life doesn’t whisper of Gods power to change mans cold heart of stone, it sings of a new creature in Christ, glory to God!

The Life and Diary of David Brainerd is a book I would recommend to every believer, young and old, particularly those who have a love for Puritan writings. I would also suggest this as a gift this Christmas for anyone you know who is considering going into the missions field, is already in the missions field, is an elder, or a pastor. This book is in the public domain, although there does not seem to be a free audio version just yet, you can download the free pdf. Or you can get a Kindle version for less than a dollar. And of course the paperback or hardback copies are available.

I pray this book will bless you, friends. There are so many books that have short daily encouragements or commentaries, however I think an entry or two of this book would be far more helpful. As always, beloved brethren, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – LibriVox

In keeping with the grounding theme of this week, today I want to talk a little about why I do a Thursday Book Review. There’s really two reasons, the first is that I think we’re losing some of the best books from hundreds, and sometimes a thousand or so, years ago. Men gave their lives for Gods Word, we have the amazing blessing of reading about them, sometimes in their own words, with the capability we have today with technology. Over the last week I listened to two audio books written in the second century by believers who were personally trained by the Apostles. That’s amazing!

The second reason this is important is that there are major falsehoods being peddled today in mass, through modern book publishers and stores. When you can put a pagan book and a Joyce Meyers book side by side and have them be nearly identical, we’ve got some literary issues. It’s hard to keep up with all the wolves making merchandise off our brothers and sisters. Pointing them to good books with accurate theology can be a great place to start. Often times a non believer won’t hear the Gospel from you, especially if it’s a family member. Theologically sound books are an excellent way to bridge that gap as well.

As I mentioned, I was able to listen to a couple of audio books last week, and while I’m going to have to once again push back the review of David Brainerd’s Journal, I do want to recommend LibriVox. Beloved, this website is chalk full of free audio books that are in the public domain. This means many of our favorites, like Spurgeon, Calvin, Luther, Owens, Edwards, and Bunyan are available. You can download them and listen to them without internet, which certainly comes in handy during long trips to families houses for the holidays!

Obviously the most important thing we can read is the #1 best seller of all times, the Bible. Currently my list of books based on importance would go: Bible, Pilgrims Progress, David Brainerd’s Journal (which is why I’m so excited to review it!) then Foxes Book of Martyrs. I would love to hear what some of your favorites are, dear brethren. Many of your book reviews have been a tremendous blessing to me. I pray that you will all continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As always, beloved friends, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

Thursday Book Review – Preview

Beloved, I did not finish the book I wanted to review today. It’s too good of a book not to do it justice so, instead, I’m going to get you all amped up with a preview. Next Thursday I’ll give you my opinion on this book, but for this week here is a little treat for you all! The preface for The Life and Diary of David Brainerd, written by Jonathan Edwards himself.

Thursday Book Review – First Apology by Justin Martyr

Today I’m going to review the First Apology by Justin Martyr. Justin was born in Samaria in 100 AD and was martyred in Rome in 165 AD. This means it’s highly likely Justin new personally, or at least new of, Polycarp. Polycarp was personally disciples by John, so you can see the line of faithful men carrying the Gospel from generation to generation. Justin studied philosophy but was unfulfilled by what he learned, until he heard the Gospel. 


His works, like his first and second apology, were aimed at forming a legal defense to stop the extreme persecution of his Christian brothers and sisters. The First Apology of Justin Martyr, written to the Emperor of Rome, is as important for the church to read as the Pilgrims Progress, in my opinion. Not just for the apologetic aspect, but the historical content. It’s not just a blessing to read how our spiritual fathers lived, and died for Christ, but it also gives us a glimpse into the early church practices. 

In other words, beloved, I recommend this book to everyone! It’s almost 1900 years old, so it’s in the public domain. This means you can download a free PDF version, listen to a free audio version, or purchase an inexpensive Kindle version. I hope you’ll be edified by this book, dear brethren, and as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.

The First Apology of Justin Martyr PDF
The First Apology of Justin Martyr Kindle Version

Thursday Book Review – Love Wins

This month, in honor of the Reformations 500th Anniversary, I’ve been discussing books to stay away from on Thursday’s. Taking down every high and lofty thought that sets itself up against the Truth is just as needed today as it was 500 years ago.


I had a history teacher in Junior year that insisted on teaching through Forest Gump. Everyday before he would hit play on the movie he would play ‘we didn’t start the fire’ by Billy Joel. After a month or two the words will never leave my brain, I don’t remember anything else from that class but by golly I remember that song.

“We didn’t start the fire, it was always burning since the worlds been turning. We didn’t start the fire, no we didn’t light it but we tried to fight it.”

When we learn about the Reformation we realize that Luther, Knox, and Calvin didn’t begin the fight against false doctrine, they continued the work of previous generations. In fact, if you spend some time learning about ancient heresies you’ll see that the same fires they faught to put out in the 1500’s were around in the second century, and are still here today, although they often have their names changed.


Universalism is no different, Satan never comes up with anything new he just regurgitates what worked with previous generations. It may seem like I’ve picked Universalism this month on purpose, but actually it just seems like these are the most popular heretical, blasphemous books around today. Like ‘Love Wins’ by Rob Bell. This book was a best seller a few years ago, and we’re just now starting to see the fruit of the heresies he’s selling. Which is why it’s as important as ever that we warn our brothers and sisters about this wolf in sheeps clothing. 


Below is a few videos going into greater detail as to why this book is so dangerous. One of the reasons our fathers in the faith were so successful during the Reformation is because they were ready to give a defense for the faith they had. Beloved, we’re not going to win awards, no ones going to cheer for us, we’ll never have statues build in our honor, for warning about popular books and famous teachers. That’s ok. The things of this world will pass away. What use is acclaim, if my brothers and sisters are being led astray? Let us be bold in our love for one another, and our desire to see each grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


There are many lost who read, and adore, these books as well. Our stand against these unbiblical heresies are not only for our brethren, but also for those living in darkness. This is why we must continue to exercise discernment, many grevious wolves have entered the flock! Beloved friends, be good Berean’s therefore, and study to show yourselves approved.

In case you’d like to read a very clear, and accurate rebuttal of this book Pastor Jim did an excellent job here… https://veritasdomain.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/critique-of-rob-bells-theological-method-behind-his-soteriology/

Thursday Book Review – Discernment Needed

Beloved, this month, during the Reformations 500th anniversary, I’ve been talking about different books not to read. I’m going to do that in a different way today. I’m going to suggest a couple writers with whom I would highly suggest you stay away from.


A little leaven, leavens the whole lump. A glass filled with pure beautifully clean water, with a tiny drop of poison will still kill you. These two people may be encouraging, or uplifting, but they’re both preaching a different gospel then the one which saves. There are other ways to get encouraged and uplifted than handing our money over to those who propagate a damning message leading millions of confused and blinded sinners to hell.


Joel Osteen, and Joyce Meyers. I pick these two because they really represent two groups of main stream liberalism in the church. New Age WoF and Universalism.

Joyce Meyers, whether you realize it or not, has mixed a massive amount of New Age theology into her beliefs. The idea that we can ‘Change our mind to change our life’ is not a Biblically based belief. That is New Age, it’s mystisism, not Christianity. Your thoughts do not send out messages to the cosmos, positive thinking might be better for your health, but the universe doesn’t react to it. I know this is hard, I was actually a really big fan of hers before becoming saved. I had a lot of her books, and loved to watch her program on TBN. She is a false teacher, her gospel is not the Gospel of the Bible.


Joel Osteen is probably more obvious, he has literally denied Christ on national television several times. We need to avoid his books, beloved, like the plague. The only time we should give him is to pray for him, and his wife. Just like Meyers, I was also a huge fan of Osteen before getting saved. I praise God for the discernment He gives, and for the respectable men He has raised up today to speak out against these false prophets.


I added a few video clips at the bottom in case you want to hear more on this matter. I pray God will give us all a greater portion of discernment, beloved. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved. 

Thursday Book Review – Jesus Calling

In continuing this month of Book Review warnings, I want to talk to you all today about Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling. This is a warning mostly to the women readers, but also to husbands who, as leaders of their families, need to be protecting their wives spiritual growth from heresy.


I’ve added a link to brother Justin Peters review of this book, as he is one of the most discerning, and well informed, brothers on heretical views. There’s not much I can add to what he has said, he covers the book, the writer, the background, and why it’s dangerous. I want to add just one thing, and it’s not the most popular viewpoint, but it is an accurate one. Wives need their husbands to be spiritually discerning.


The culture has so infected the church that men have taken a seat, they’re told not to lead, they’re told not to take a stand, and thus so many have listened to culture rather than Gods Word. The result is that heretical books like Jesus Calling can make it into your wives bookshelves without you being any more the wiser. This is deeply concerning, as men will be held accountable by God for how they shepherd the flock He has given them.

There, now that I’ve offended both men and women, I can get to the review. Jesus Calling, as brother Peter’s explains, is a book written in the first person as if Christ Himself is speaking. I like to use a chicken to explain why this is so dangerous. Let’s say you met a new friend and his name was Bob, Bob tells you he is a worshiper of Jesus. You get excited, you’ve met a fellow worker, a brother in Christ! Until he takes you home to introduce you to Jesus, his pet chicken which he worships.


That’s a silly example, but I hope it sticks with your beloved. There is only one Jesus which saves, and it’s not the one Sarah Young has made in her own image. It’s the Jesus Christ of Gods holy inspired Word, He is the only Jesus to ever take our sins upon Himself, bear our judgment, and wash us clean of our iniquities. If you place your trust in the Jesus of Sarah Young, or any other false doctrine including that of Bob’s chicken, then you will be found guilty on judgment day.

Please, dear brethren, pray for discernment before you pick up a new book to read. Pray for Sarah Young and all those who have been deceived by her into following a false Christ. As always, be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.