Bibliophile: Books and Journals Read

Head Book

I am a bookworm. Yes, I said it. I love reading philosophical and theological books and journals than sleeping or watching TV or Facebook-ing. Since February 2012 my blog posts included bibliography at the end of almost all posts. My aim for doing so is to stir passion for seeking and sharing knowledge by inviting my readers to read further on these issues I enjoy pondering and sharing with the motto “when love comes first, disagreements fall at their right and proper place”.

A  thing I noted after compiling this list is that I read and shared more works of Nietzsche in Philosophy and N. T. Wright’s in Theology  than any other thinkers. It appears that I tend to read and share the works of authors who challenge my thinking on my blog more than those who I agree with.

Here is a growing list of books and journals that I interacted with in my blog posts here at With All I Am since 2012.

Philosophical Books & Journals


Al-Ghazâli (1947) Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale 46 1947: 203) cf Nasr(1993) An introduction to Islamic cosmological doctrines. Trans. Seyyed Hossein Albany : State University of New York Press Continue reading

Wilhelmus Brakel: The Christian’s Reasonable Service

Reasonable Service

The supreme object of God’s servants’ desire and delight is living a life in accordance to the will of God. In order to do so, God’s servants must know God. Systematical knowledge of God and practical application of that knowledge in ordinary Christians’ lives is the heart of Wilhelmus à Brakel’s (1635-1711), one of the less known but most eloquent Reformed minister and theologian, masterwork The Christian’s Reasonable Service.

This masterwork is 17th century’s Didache. Brakel unloaded unmatched practical and systematic theology that would not only lead its readers to delight in God but also to personally apply the biblical truth acquired in their daily conducts.

Brakel is a minister first and a theologian second. He is James first and Paul (in Romans) second. He wrote this tremendously edifying work to lay churchmen and women first and scholars second. Echoing the practicality of the epistle of James, Brakel provided a biblical insight on how ordinary Christians ought to practically conduct themselves in their communities.

The Christian’s Reasonable Service’s contents and the style it was written makes it easy for an ordinary Christians, with only basic Bible knowledge, to understand the core doctrines of Christianity. Repeatedly Brakel introduces each doctrine with short definition and exposition packed with biblical passages’ support. He then raised and addressed possible misunderstanding. Last Brakel provided ways in which Christians can apply that particular doctrine in their daily walk with God and people around them.

Brakel’s masterwork is divided into four volumes. Volume one includes proper theology, anthropology, and Christology. Volume two includes ecclesiology and soteriology.  Soteriology covered the whole volume three and half of volume four.  The other half of this volume four includes eschatology and appendix, which touched some of the issues in ecclesiology that were not covered in volume two.

Logos Bible Software’s features enables you to take Brakel’s systematic and practical theology a step further.  The ability to read cited Bible passages, to view the timeline(see here), and to share notes with other readers is revolutionary.

Thank you Logos Bible Software for a review copy of Wilhelmus à Brakel’s The Christian’s Reasonable Service, given to me for the purposes of review.

Dialogue Between Hope, Christian And Atheist

Pilgrim’s Progress is one of breathe taking 17th century Christian literature which entertained and delighted million of readers for over 300 years. Tim Perrine of Christian Classic Ethereal Literature gave a short description of this book. Pointing out the two parties of this book, He wrote:

“Part I tells of “Christian” and his journey to “Celestial City; Part II tells of the journey of Christian’s wife Christiana and their children to Celestial City. The two parts work together as a unified whole, which describes and depicts the believer’s life and struggles. Indeed, given the easy style of the book, readers of all ages can understand the spiritual significance of the depictions in the story. However, Pilgrim’s Progress does not simply instruct readers with spiritual allegories; it entertains them as well, through Bunyan’s creative story telling. Enjoyable and spiritually instructive, Pilgrim’s Progress is highly recommended.”

The part, I wish to share is when Hope and Christian met Atheist:

Hope: I see him; let us take heed to ourselves now, lest he should prove a Flatterer also. So he drew nearer and nearer, and at last came up to them. His name was Atheist, and he asked them whither they were going.
CHR. We are going to Mount Zion.
Then Atheist fell into a very great laughter.
CHR. What’s the meaning of your laughter?
ATHEIST. I laugh to see what ignorant persons you are, to take upon you so tedious a journey, and yet are like to have nothing but your travel for your pains.
CHR. Why, man, do you think we shall not be received?
ATHEIST. Received! There is not such a place as you dream of in all this world.
CHR. But there is in the world to come.
ATHEIST. When I was at home in mine own country I heard as you now affirm, and from that hearing went out to see, and have been seeking this city these twenty years, but find no more of it than I did the first day I set out. Eccles. 10:15; Jer. 17:15.
CHR. We have both heard, and believe, that there is such a place to be found.
ATHEIST. Had not I, when at home, believed, I had not come thus far to seek; but finding none, (and yet I should, had there been such a place to be found, for I have gone to seek it farther than you,) I am going back again, and will seek to refresh myself with the things that I then cast away for hopes of that which I now see is not.
CHR. Then said Christian to Hopeful his companion, Is it true which this man hath said?
HOPE. Take heed, he is one of the Flatterers. Remember what it cost us once already for our hearkening to such kind of fellows. What! no Mount Zion? Did we not see from the Delectable Mountains the gate of the city? Also, are we not now to walk by faith? 2 Cor. 5:7.
Let us go on, lest the man with the whip overtake us again. You should have taught me that lesson, which I will sound you in the ears withal: “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” Prov. 19:27. I say, my brother, cease to hear him, and let us believe to the saving of the soul.

Bunyan, J. (1995). The pilgrim’s progress : From this world to that which is to come. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.(bold added on names)

You can download it, read it and share it for free: Christian Classic Ethereal Literature

Christ’s Cross: The Drama Of Debtors, Enemies and Criminals

R. C. Sproul’s The Truth Of The Cross was my 3rd advent present from my dearly and lovely wife Lea. As was with  C. J. Mahaney’s book: Living The Cross Centered Life, Keeping the Gospel the Main Thing, I would share one of the most remarkable part in this book.

In this book, Sproul examined how Christ Jesus death on the cross redeemed those who are in Christ. Dr. R.C. aimed to show that it was God who provided the Lamb to be slaughtered as the manner to which the salvation of those in Christ was obtained.

Dr. Thomas R. Schreiner, a Professor at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote:

“The cross stands at the very center of our Christian lives. Still, many Christians are confused about the heart of the gospel, for many deviant views are in the air. R.C. Sproul blows the fog away in this wonderfully clear, theologically profound, and pastorally rich work. Learn afresh or anew what God has accomplished in the cross, so that you will boast only in the cross of Jesus Christ.”

One of the most remarkable part in this Sproul’s book, for me, was chapter 3. The Debtors, Enemies and Criminals. He began explaining the quote he came across in Barlett’s Familiar Quotations: “Sin is cosmic treason”. He wrote:

We rarely take the time to think though the ramifications of our sin. We fail to realize that in even the slightest sins we commit, such as little white lies and other peccadilloes, we are violating the law of the Creator of the universe. In the smallest sin we defy God’s right to rule and to reign over His creation.

Sproul then went on to show that every sin is “ truly an act of treason against the cosmic King”. He went on:

When God issues a law, when He legislates a kind of behavior, it is our duty as His creature to do as He says. A Moral obligation to conform to that law is imposed on us justly from His hand. When we don’t conform, we are breaking that law, which means we are committing crime in the sight of God. When a crime is committed, His justice has been violated and we are worthy of sanctions.

God function as a Judge, says Sproul, has an obligation to bring judgment of us. His justice demands that sin be punished. A debt that demands a payment.

Sproul showed how the drama of the cross is played as he answered, “How satisfaction was be achieved” How a cosmic criminal set free. How God’s justice satisfied. How those in Christ debt paid.

R.C pointed out that Christ Jesus played a crucial role in the drama as he “summarize the roles of each of the actors in this way”:

Sin as …










Violated One






Sproul showed that when sin is depicted as a debt, the New Testament calls Christ our Surety (Heb. 7:22). That’s an economic term, just as debt is an economic term, when sin is expressed as enmity to God’s holiness, Christ plays the role of Mediator reconciling God and Man (2 Cor. 5:19b) and when sin is characterized as crime, Christ is the One Who actually comes under judgment in atonement in our place. Our substitute.

Two chapters later came the most awesome and strong observation.

Expiation [taking away of guilty through the payment] is the act that results in the change of God’s disposition towards us. It is what Christ did on the cross, and the result of Christ’s work of expiation is propitiation [bring change from “against” to “for”] – God’s anger is turned away. The distinction is the same as that between the ransom that is paid and the attitude of the one who receives the ransom. (p.76-77)

The Truth of The Cross  is a 167 paged and easy read book that I would recommend my fellow Christians and curious non-Christian to read.

You Better Run Prof. Richard Dawkins

A popular new atheist, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, refused to stand trial, to debate  defending the truthfulness of his own book at Oxford’s Sheldonian Theatre on Tuesday 26th October, with one of the best and leading Christian philosopher and apologist William Lane Craig.

Richard Dawkins

Prof. Dawkins maintained his head in the rabbit hole, saying :

“I have no intention of assisting Craig in his relentless drive for self-promotion”

Is this true? Craig has debated with the best thinkers including late Antony Flew, Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Lewis Wolpert, A.C. Grayling, Bart Ehrman, Paul Kurtz, Walter Sinnott Armstrong, Victor Stegner, Lawrence Krauss, among the few. How then is Dawkins thinking Craig is driven for self-promotion?

I think the reason behind Prof. Dawkins’s refusal to debate with Craig, is the truth of  Sam Harris’ saying in his opening speech , 7th April 2011 “Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural? or Does Good Come from God?” debate with William Lane Craig:

[William Lane Craig is]“the one Christian apologist who seems to have put the fear of God into many of my fellow atheists”

The Telegraph headline, by Tim Ross, reads Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God: Ross, Telegraph’s religious affairs editor writes:

William Lane Craig

Some of Prof Dawkins’s contemporaries are not impressed. Dr Daniel Came, a philosophy lecturer and fellow atheist, from Worcester College, Oxford, wrote to him urging him to reconsider his refusal to debate the existence of God with Prof Craig.

In a letter to Prof Dawkins, Dr Came said: “The absence of a debate with the foremost apologist for Christian theism is a glaring omission on your CV and is of course apt to be interpreted as cowardice on your part.

“I notice that, by contrast, you are happy to discuss theological matters with television and radio presenters and other intellectual heavyweights like Pastor Ted Haggard of the National Association of Evangelicals and Pastor Keenan Roberts of the Colorado Hell House.”

Is Richard Dawkins ,one of Sam Harris’ fellow atheists who Craig seems to have put the fear of God into? I wonder, I wonder.

The Drunkard’s Logic

One of the world short, classical and philosophical children and adult book worth reading and rereading is Antoine De Sain Exupéry’s The Little Prince(1943).

Little Prince sets off on a journey across planets encountering different characters with attributes of which we can identify ourselves with(“we adults”). The absolute monarch: “power”, the conceited individual: “fame”, the drunkard: “lost”, and the businessman: “money”.

In Chapter 12, Little Prince meets the drunkard. Enjoy the Drunkard’s Logic 🙂

The Little Prince(1943)

The next planet was inhabited by a tippler. This was a very short visit, but it plunged the little prince into deep dejection.

“What are you doing there?” he said to the tippler, whom he found settled down in silence before a collection of empty bottles and also a collection of full bottles.
“I am drinking,” replied the tippler, with a lugubrious air.
“Why are you drinking?” demanded the little prince.
“So that I may forget,” replied the tippler.
“Forget what?” inquired the little prince, who already was sorry for him.
“Forget that I am ashamed,” the tippler confessed, hanging his head.
“Ashamed of what?” insisted the little prince, who wanted to help him.
“Ashamed of drinking!” The tipler brought his speech to an end, and shut himself up in an impregnable silence.
And the little prince went away, puzzled.
“The grown-ups are certainly very, very odd,” he said to himself, as he continued on his journey.

Intelligent Reading

How To Read A Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading

Improve your reading by following these stages as you read books, blogs, newspapers and on.

I. The First Stage of Analytical Reading:

Rules for Finding What a Book Is About

  1. Classify the book according to kind and subject.
  2. State what the whole book is about with the utmost brevity
  3. Enumerate its major parts in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outline the whole.
  4. Define the problem or problems the author has tried to solve Continue reading