The Blog of Pastor Jude St. John

In The Trenches

One of the things I love about football is its applicability to life. So much of what happens on the football field corresponds to our experience of living. And in particular, one can draw many parallels between the game of football and our life of faith in Jesus Christ. Most of my years playing football were played “in the trenches.” That is, I was an offensive lineman who plied my trade on the line of scrimmage. That no-man’s-land of much physical violence between opposing forces which derives its name from the battle situations of the World Wars. That place which seems, as often as not, to be an experience much like our lives. I hope to communicate with you a few things that will hopefully be of some help as you fight the good fight of faith. And since I am in this battle too, you might consider that I write these thoughts as I live my life for God in the trenches. 

Books I've Read in 2019

    • John Newton by Jonathan Aitken
    • Supernatural Power for Everyday People by Jared Wilson
    • The Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards
    • The World-Tilting Gospel by Dan Philips
    • Biblical Theology by Nick Roark and Robert Cline
    • Understanding the Lord's Supper by Bobby Jamieson
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 1 by John Newton
    • Understanding the Congregation's Authority by Jonathan Leeman
    • Pierced for Our Transgressions by Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, and Andrew Sach
    • The Common Rule by Justin Whitmel Earley
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 2 by John Newton
    • Heart to Heart: Octavius Winslow's Experimental Preaching by Tanner G. Turley
    • The Inquirer Directed to an Experimental and Practical View of the Atonement by Octavius Winslow
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 3 by John Newton
    • Missions by Andy Johnson
    • The Gospel-Driven Church by Jared Wilson
    • Date Your Wife by Justin Buzzard
    • The Works of John Newton: Volume 4 by John Newton
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  • Jan11Fri

    A Plan for Reading in 2019

    January 11, 2019 by Jude St. John

    I find it helpful to make some plans about reading at the start of each New Year. I have been practicing this for a few years and find it to be motivating to get into books and stick with it throughout the year. I have three goals I will pursue in 2019.


    First, I plan to start the year off with something from Jonathan Edwards. I believe that I have a fairly good chance of reading his complete works if I live until I’m 70 and follow this program. This year I’ve already started Edwards’ Freedom of the Will. The full title, in true Puritan fashion, is An Inquiry into the Modern Prevailing Notions of the Freedom of the Will which is Supposed to be Essential to Moral Agency, Virtue and Vice, Reward and Punishment, Praise and Blame . You’ve got to love Puritans. I once read of Edwards that he never encountered a comma or semicolon he didn’t love!


    My second goal for 2019 is to read the complete works of John Newton. Newton was an English Anglican clergyman who was born in 1725 and died in 1807. Newton started his career at sea at a young age, and worked on slave ships in the slave trade for several years. After experiencing a period of Christian conversion Newton eventually renounced his trade and became a prominent supporter of abolitionism, living to see Britain's abolition of the African slave trade in 1807, just before his death. I received the Works of John Newton from the personal library of Ted Long who passed away last year. In 2017 I read through the works of John Flavel and found it very rewarding and so I’m looking forward to reading Newton.


    Finally, I want to put a good dent in my “To Read” pile which stares down at me menacingly from the bookshelves behind my desk. I moved those books to a shelf facing my desk so I could keep my eyes on them and be motivated to knocking some of them off the list. Here is a picture of said list.


    I’d be interested to hear if you have reading plans for 2019. Are there any forthcoming books you’re particularly interested in reading? Is there a classic that you’ve been intending to read and this is the year you will do it? Let me know in the comments.


    On Sunday, August 11, 2019, Rob Sadler said:

    Working my way through Jonathan Edwards-Always in God's Hands-a daily devotional (commentary by Owen Strachan.) Also a small book by Major W. Ian Thomas (founder of Capernwray Missionary Fellowship). Title is: The indwelling life of Christ. Also just picked up - 7 Truths that changed the world (Discovering Christianity's most dangerous ideas) by Kenneth Richard Samples. Should keep me going well into the winter months. Enjoying WLA.

    Rob Sadler


    On Saturday, January 12, 2019, Janet Power said:

    Thank you Jude for letting us in on your reading plan for 2019. I am also an avid reader reading between 30 - 50 books a year. Last year I went the other way and read alot more non christian books than christian. this year I hope to read a mix of the two, There are a few John Piper books on my list, as well as Max Lucado and a book by Randy Alcorn called Happiness, that was give to me that I had started but have not completed. Time to go back to the beginning and start again. Looking forward to having my nose in a new book again.


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