I really like Grove Books. Their booklets are almost always well-written and provide readily available and accessible ways into a subject. You get an overview, a bibliography and a well-written introduction into whatever subject you care to imagine. Frankly I think they are an invaluable and under-rated resource for leaders & preachers.
I’ve been thinking about Counterfeit Gods for the series I’m preaching and this Sunday, it’s the issue of success. Simon Coupland’s exploration is very good. It demolishes prosperity teaching and the false equation of earthly and Godly success, yet shows how God wants us to succeed in life (just not the way everyone else thinks we should succeed). It takes a brief look at success in the OT (bit of a mix) and then the life of Jesus (another mix of success or failure or was his failure actually his success?) and then looks at how Jesus redefines success in relation to wealth and greatness, and to growth and victory.
Ironically, as I’m writing this, I’ve just received an email about an author whose best known book promises ‘the secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living’. I wonder if it involves being servant to all, persecution, humility, becoming less so he might become more and storing treasures in heaven?
Measured evaluation but uncompromising in asserting that the success God is interested in is Gospel faithfulness to the teachings and person of Christ.