• Mental health awareness month ended May 31st. Throughout the month, those in the United States and around the world struggle to answer the deep questions of life, especially questions relating to causes of pain and suffering. In his book Changed into His Likeness: A Biblical Theology of Personal Transformation, J. Gary Millar, the Principal of Queensland Theological College in Australia, seeks to drive nails into the coffin of this debate. Through the thorough study of the Scriptures, he traces the theme of transformation from Genesis to Revelation. I must say it was a delightful read. I was gripped from beginning to end and struggled to put it down. His biblical theology has enforced, more concretely, the necessity of union with Christ, the centrality of the Word, and belief in the gospel for true personal transformation. In a world where secular psychology is infiltrating the church's understanding of human problems and proposing temporary fixes as the solutions to those problems, he points faithfully to the sufficiency of Scripture for true transformation in Christ.
    1. I have Tourettes syndrome. As a 29-year-old, it doesn't really affect me in the same way it did as a child. However, it took its toll on me. I had a variety of ticks. (I know you are thinking it, no, I never cussed anyone out). One tick worth noting was a terrible blink. I would blink so hard, so long, and so often that I would lose my place reading. I would re-read a page a dozen times before giving up. I was in a special reading class for children who struggled to read. My mom would have to read my homework because I couldn’t make it through the assignment in time for class the next day. Because of this, I hated reading. Video games, movies, and various other forms of entertainment were my preference. In Recovering the Lost Art of Reading, Ryken and Mathes state that most adults have 24-hour access to information. But on average, no one spends more than an hour a day reading literature. Contrast that with the average 5.9 hours a day spent looking at a digital screen. Along with brain changes, Ryken and Mathes survey massive losses that come from the decline of reading. Including a lack of meaningful leisure, self-transcendence, beauty, essential human experience, edification, and an enlarged vision of the world and life. "Too many people drift aimlessly in a rowboat without oars when they could be sailing on a fully-equipped cruise ship, feasting on delicious food, visiting fascinating ports of call, lounging on white beaches, and diving into an amazing underwater world. Sadly, they may not even realize what they're missing" (37). Drifting aimlessly. That was me just out of high school. I had big thoughts of myself, my uninformed opinion, and small thoughts of the world. But then when the Lord gripped my heart, the hatred of words was transformed and replaced by a love for His Word. From there a passion to know God through the study of theology began and continued to evolve. At this time, I read only for information and to know God. I used to scoff at the idea of reading a novel. Not to mention my reading speed was that of a three-legged turtle. Why would I waste 20 hours reading for entertainment when I could watch a movie in two hours? Well after my wife and I read a great novel together for date night and picking up this book, this too has begun to change. This book has cultivated an appreciation of literature as art. I now see how important literature is not only for the mind but also the soul. I love reading. Looking back, I am reminded again of the goodness and graciousness of God.
      1. Great read! Danny and Ben do a great job of laying a sturdy foundation, to prepare future/prospective seminary students. They help you to know what to expect when entering into the seminary world. They give practical advise on how to balance seminary with your family, work, and church life. Along with tips on staying healthy, getting the right tools, and preparing for a lot of reading and writing. This book is an absolute prerequisite to entering seminary!