Book Picks

catechizing-front-cover-210x317 Terry Johnson, Catechizing Our Children: the Whys and Hows of Teaching the Shorter Catechism Today (Banner of Truth, 2013). Perhaps the greatest inducement to reading this book comes from a letter that the author received from a grieving mother: “To my shame (and detriment) we never taught our children catechism, and I believe this is a huge part of the reason why they are in their wasteland abyss of a life now. Not just learning of doctrinal points, but the time we could have spent with them, and them seeing how important these things were to us. What a sweet time lost… I want to shout it from the mountain tops, ‘Parents, please, please, please teach your children the catechisms.’” (p. 71) Johnson’s book will help you do it.

letters-to-pastor's-wives Catharine J. Stewart, ed., Letters to Pastor’s Wives: When Seminary Ends and Ministry Begins (P&R, 2013). The women who contributed to this volume aren’t well known, on the whole. That’s one of the great things about this book: these pastor’s wives aren’t celebrities with national ministries and book signing sessions and large incomes. They’re women married to men in the trenches of pastoral ministry writing to women married to men who are coming into the trenches of pastoral ministry. These contributors have been faithfully plugging along as helpmeets in ordinary pastorates for decades, and so they’re qualified to write to others who are starting the same thing. Even if you have been in the pastorate for years, you might find encouragement in a letter from another godly woman who understands your situation in the way that few people can. Topics include personal devotions, communication, hospitality, church conflict, ministry mothering, and lots more. Honesty and openness give this book a very personal feel.

what-is-a-family Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family? (Baker, 1975). It’s hard to imagine that the cover was ever a good idea. But if you can get past it, the contents are certainly worth the trouble. Though it came out almost 40 years ago, Schaeffer’s thoughts are helpful to any parent, grandparent, and older child, perhaps especially mothers as the book speaks directly to them at points. Exploring the physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual aspects—and more—of what a biblical family is and does, the book is like an extended conversation with someone who read a lot, understood people, and thought deeply. With used copies going for a penny each on Amazon, we really don’t have an excuse to ignore this wisdom.