About Tony Reinke

Hello! I’m Tony, an author living in the Twin Cities. To date I have three solo-authored book projects:

I also write articles, edit books, and host the popular Ask Pastor John podcast. For fun, I manage a little tribute site dedicated to my favorite Dutch theologian: hermanbavinck.org.

Part of my work is acquisitions and author development. Writers seeking publish articles at desiringGod.org can send me idea briefs any time. First, read this, then email me your idea(s). I look forward to hearing from you.

My Status

My personal availability during this season (January to May 2016) is very limited. I find myself in a demanding season of book research and writing, and will not be taking speaking requests, interview requests, or endorsement requests at this time. Thank you for understanding.

My Background

My theological convictions are no secret: Evangelical, Reformed, credo-baptist, complementarian, continuationist, and a Christian Hedonist, the glorious and profound biblical truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. I was happy to sign this document.

Married for eighteen years to the wife of my youth and my best friend (Karalee), we have three precious kids, mostly named after dead preachers.

My career in journalism launched as newsprint was going the way of the Titanic, so I jumped to digital and focused my attention to blogging in 2006 and social media in 2008. My first full-time ministry gig was serving the editorial, research, and travel assistant to C.J. Mahaney, an author and speaker in the D.C. area (2008–2011). I now work for author and speaker John Piper at Desiring God in Minneapolis (2012–). My work mixes theological research, content curating, writing, editing, interviewing, audio broadcasting, graphic design, and all things social media. Today I consider myself an investigative journalist of practical theology, leveraging key resources from the greatest thinkers in church history to address the perplexing questions facing Christians today. I do all my own stunts (no research assistants, no ghostwriters, etc).

My Contacts

I always love hearing from readers. Often I can respond, but sometimes not.

Send me the twitters: @tonyreinke

Send me the emails: crede.ut.intelligas AT mac DOT com

And thanks for reading!



Books Authored:

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112 thoughts on “About Tony Reinke

  1. Hi Tony,

    I just wanted to take a moment to tell you how much I appreciate your website. You are doing a fine job and your articles are always helpful and timely. As a pastor for more than 20 years and a lover of the Doctines of Grace, it is so ecouraging to see young men as yourself loving and promoting the Puritans and solid, experiential Reformed Theology.

    Keep up the good work brother!

    Rob Gates

  2. Wow. Rob, thank you for encouraging me in the work, I do greatly appreciate it. And thank you for your 20 years of pastoral ministry.



  3. Hello Tony!

    I just want to commend you for your website, which is really profitable for all pastors who seek to use “the wealth of Puritan literature in expositional studies.”

    By the way, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary (PRTS)in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has a Puritan Resource Center designed to promote the appreciation of Reformed and Puritan literature.

    Puritan Resourse Center has The Works of William Perkins, a 3-volume set once owned by Charles Spurgeon, bearing his Pastor’s College seal, and later acquired by Arthur W. Pink, whose penciled notations appear throughout. Another volume worthy of mention is a pristine copy of Francis Roberts’s 1750-page magnum opus on the covenants (The Mystery and Marrow of the Bible: viz. God’s Covenants with Man, 1657).

    Those engaged in doctoral studies or on sabbatical leave are welcome to study in the Resource Center. PRTS plans to offer grants to resident scholars, as enabled, for study purposes. An office and several carrels are available for the use of visiting scholars.

    For more information you may want to visit this website: http://www.puritanseminary.org/pages/Resources

    All for God’s glory,

    Brian Golez Najapfour

  4. Tony,

    Rebecca and I were traveling this past weekend and missed your sendoff but we wish you all the best in MN. Please extend our love to your wife and children.


  5. Tony,

    I cannot wait to see how you construct you study bible. Give me call when you get a chance.

  6. Hey, Tony. Our prayers are with you guys duirng your move to Minn. Trust your time in Omaha has instilled in you a love for Husker Football, and that you’ll be a “Cornhusker Transplant” in your new home. :)

    Blessings, and Go Big Red!

    Doctrine Matters

  7. Tony
    Thanks so much for the photos of Princeton cementary. I often visited there while doing research on Warfield in the archives of Spear library during my PhD program at WTS. Later this Spring P&R is scheduled to release a book on Warfield that I edited with contributions by: Mark Noll, Moises Silva, Paul Helseth, Steve Nichols, Brad Gundlach, Barry Waugh, Ray Cannata and David Calhoun. Warfield rightly deserves to be discovered by this generation of Reformed people who seem to be blissfully unaware ( or indifferent ) to Old Princeton.

  8. Tony

    Good to read your blog, process and become even more enlightened through the scriptures being shared. Some are aware and remain in their positions because of being an agent of change and a reformer in young lives who are truly understanding what it means to follow Jesus and not just a believer…
    I hope all is well up North!

  9. Hello Kip,

    Sorry I’m still catching up form a busy week. The comments are not posted until I get a chance to moderated them. I get a lot of spam like comments like “great blog” and then the link actually goes to a retail website that sells something. So I end up with about 5:1 spam:legit comments. Takes some time to weed out. Just another reminder of the fallen world we live in.

    Things are going great in MN, very busy but the Lord is teaching me much here. Never in my life have seen a church like this one. Amazingly blessed by God!

    What does it mean to be a follower and not just a believer? There is no difference. The bible says there are believers/followers and unbelievers/non-followers. True believers can backslide for a time, but they will be restored from this temporary slide into sin. But there is no difference between, say, disciples and Christians. Those terms are synonymous (Acts 11:26). Churches have in the past (and present) tried hard to not be forced to talk of believers/unbelievers so there has been a lot of semantic shifts to replace the word “unbeliever” with “pre-Christian” or “seeker” but these are not the biblical terms. So there is always a tendency away from the word “unbeliever.” Even in the context of a church meeting, Paul calls unbelievers “unbelievers” (1 Cor. 6:6; 7:12-13, 10:27, 14:22-24, etc.). Any church that no longer uses the term “unbeliever” seems to be making a semantics shift from the biblical terminology. This I think is why you also see a supposed distinction between a “follower” and a “believer.”

    Christians are disciples. Non-disciples are non-Christians/unbelievers.

    Let me know if this answers your question or not.



  10. To speak of it more broadly this brings in a debate over Lordship vs. Easy-Believism. Jesus is clear that if you claim to be a believer but your life does not evidence the fruit of being a believer that person is a hypocrite (Matt. 15:7-9). These are hard words but consistent with Tozer who writes,

    “The Lord will not save those whom He cannot command.
    He will not divide His offices. You cannot believe on a half-Christ. We take Him for what He is — the anointed Saviour and Lord who is King of kings and Lord of all lords! He would not be Who He is if He saved us and called us and chose us without the understanding that He can also guide and control our lives.” [from the book, I Call it Heresy, pp. 18-19]

    If one does not live like a Christian they are not Christians. To believe is to pick up ones Cross and follow the hard (but fulfilling) yoke of Jesus. The best books on this subject are by John MacArthur titled “The Gospel According to Jesus” and “The Gospel According to the Apostles.” I highly recommend these to you as MacArthur’s greatest contribution to contemporary Evangelicalism!

    Likewise chapter 31 out of John Piper’s new book “What Jesus Demands from the World” speaks very clearly to the subject (as does the entire book). I highly recommend it. In a church culture that wants to know what God has for us its great to ask “What does God expect from me?”



  11. And on the difference between a genuine believer and a hypocrite, Jonathan Edwards famous book (The Religious Affections) is probably the best treatment of the difficult topic. If there is no life change towards godliness, no matter what kind of religious experience one has had, they are not believers … Very humbling! In Edward’s own words,

    “Therefore if there be no great and remarkable abiding change in persons that think they have experienced a work of conversion, vain are all their imaginations and pretenses, however they have been affected. Conversion is a great and universal change of the man, turning him from sin to God. A man may be restrained from sin before he is converted; but when he is converted, he is not only restrained from sin, his very heart and nature is turned from it unto holiness: so that thenceforward he becomes a holy person, and an enemy to sin. If, therefore, after a person’s high affections at his supposed first conversion, it comes to that in a little time, that there is no very sensible, or remarkable alteration in him, as to those bad qualities, and evil habits, which before were visible in him, and he is ordinarily under the prevalence of the same kind of dispositions that he used to be, and the same thing seems to belong to his character; he appears as selfish, carnal, as stupid, and perverse, as unchristian and unsavory as ever; it is greater evidence against him, than the brightest story of experiences that ever was told, is for him. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision, neither high profession, nor low profession, neither a fair story, nor a broken one, avails any thing; but a new creature” [see Galatians 6:14].


  12. Tony

    Great thoughts as I believe we are stating the same distinctions between the two. I would add from the book of James where the writer states “do not be merely hearers of the word, do what it says.” (James 1:22-25) My distinction would be the Lordship or what the new testament calls a “Reprobate”, one who knows but is not transformed or deceived into thinking they are followers of Jesus. I believe in most churches across this country we have many who think and hear, but are not transformed by the Spirit of God’s prevenient grace from the inside out. We have many who gaze and forget their image…

    In regards to “Seeker”, “Follower” terminology…we are all seekers regardless of where we land on our spiritual journey…I am a seeker of the King, a follower of Jesus, which Christ himself states over through proximity of “Following” Him (Mark 2:14).

  13. Kip, Yes, I totally believe that one’s actions (life) must be consistent with one’s doctrine (beliefs). I would be interested in your distinction between a “believer” and a “disciple.” Tony

  14. We would agree on terminology just different wording. Let me ask you a question…
    Why is a sunday service so important? No hidden agenda here, just enjoy reading people’s response.

  15. Good question, Kip,

    Sunday is usually the day Christians meet together because we are told it’s the Lord’s Day. The church met on the first day of the week to “break bread” (Acts 20:7). That’s another way of saying the believers gathered together to proclaim what was of first importance – the Cross (1 Cor. 15:3 and 11:27). Our tendency is to forget the centrality of the Cross (or at least begin forgetting things about the Cross) and so the weekly church meeting seems to focus believers back to this one foundation. Due to the communion requirements, it’s clear these meetings around communion were not designed for unbelievers (1 Cor. 11:26-30). Focusing the believers back to the Cross through communion was top priority. Sundays were not used for evangelism or service projects but the building of the body.

    But the church meeting is also a special place where various spiritual gifts are engaged for the upbuilding of the whole body. I think 1 Corinthians 14 is especially helpful here.

    “What then, brothers? When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up” (1 Cor. 14:26). Church gatherings are a place for several spiritual gifts to be used in the building up of Christians. There is a corporate expectation that the Spirit will provide gifts through several (all) people at the meetings. Church is much more than a song a sermon and a prayer. “Each one” has some gifting to be used to build others up. This is amazingly foreign to my concept of church.

    When reading through 1 Corinthians and how the church was functioning, I find it especially interesting that the emphasis was on building up the believers. We need to be ready for unbelievers to come in the door (and especially to call them to repentance from their sin – 14:24). But I am struck on the emphasis of the church being built up through the use of gifts to edify the believers.

    On a more personal level, Sunday mornings will be a place that I apply the Apostolic example that pastors are to preach the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). There are very few duties that humble me more. How will I preach through Leviticus? Proverbs? Job? Psalms? Revelation? These are heavy tasks that will require life-long devotion and many weeks of preaching opportunities to a congregation of believers.

    So these are some thoughts. The church gathers to re-calibrate its heart around the Cross, to provide a place for all believers to use their spiritual gifts and where the pastor can fulfill his calling to preach the whole counsel of God’s Word. It’s clearly a place for building up first and evangelistically only by consequence of unbelievers seeing Christians building one another up.

    These are important concerns in a church culture that seeks to build church methods around non-believers or around the gifts of one man (multi-campus, multi-casting). These show serious ecclesiastical misunderstandings.

    Hope this makes sense. Blessings,


  16. Tony,

    Just wanted to say “Thanks” for reintroducing me to the Puritans. I have really enjoyed your blog and reading the Puritans. I’ve been extremely blessed by the copy of “Overcoming Sin and Temptation” I received for Christmas and have also been enjoying Thomas Boston’s sermons that I found in the university library. Their work has really convicted and stirred my heart to glorify God in all that I do.



  17. Ben, I thank you for the gracious words. It is an honor to be used of God in some small way in the growth of others. Boston is a TREASURE! Thanks again! – Tony

  18. Hi Tony, been reading your blog a lot, was curious if you knew anything about Federal Vision.
    my blog has a post on it and just wondered if you could look at it and comment, maybe give me a break down in easy speak.
    thanks, kristina

  19. Hey Tony!

    Love your blog! Must admit I hate to miss a day without strolling by. Your posts
    have helped me sooooo much in my walk.

    I did a search on your blog and noticed you had no topics discussing scripture
    memorization. I would love to hear your input towards this and and advice you
    can give someone who is serious to do so.

    Thanks a bunch Tony!!!!

    Matt Blair

  20. Just found your blog and intend to read and comment often. I am a huge fan of Sovereign Grace Ministries and CJ Mahaney’s work. How has the experience been for you in your time in the internship program with SGM?

  21. Hello Darrell! Each Sovereign Grace church handles the internship/training positions a bit differently. I’m not in a formal internship. What I love about Sovereign Grace Fellowship here in MN is the discernment they have with the particular gifts and calling of each man. This is a really special place to be. If you ever want more info, please email me! Tony

    tony AT tonyreinke DOT com

  22. Hey Tony, I’ve enjoyed your blog for over a year now. Thanks so much for your convictions and desires rooted in the Gospel! I have a question about audio podcasting that you may/may not be able to answer. You always list what is currently on your iPod in individual audio players. I am trying to upload our church’s sermons each week and want to imbed them into our blog. What service do you use to upload those songs, sermons, and more? I’ve tried searching for sites and have found “mypodcast” and “hipcast”, but they are either too expensive or too limited in use. Just curious as to what you use or how you upload your audio files on Shepherd’s Scrapbook. Any help you can offer would be great,

    In Christ,

  23. I would like to discuss Making War in the Name of God with Christopher Catherwood. Any chance of communicating with Christopher?

  24. Tony,
    Thanks for posting such regularly encouraging and Cross centered entries, including your streamed audio files. I would like to learn more about how you go about posting audio files to a blog. When you post a recorded song, do you have to obtain permission from the copyright holder? Since I knew that you posted recorded songs, I thought you’d be a good person to ask.
    Many thanks,

  25. Champ, thanks for the encouragement. This is very meaningful. For these mp3s I either asked permission or they are posted online elsewhere. Actually a number of the files streaming through this blog are posted on the artist’s website. So although it looks like I posted it, I’m simply directing what’s made free from the artist themselves. Make sense? Hope this helps. Blessings, Tony

  26. Hi Tony,

    I’m a little frenchy, so excuse my english.
    Your cross-centered blog is a great blessing for me. You’re doing a great job following CJ Mahaney. I tried to find email addresses to write to you about it, but i haven’t found it, so i’ll write a suggestion here.

    Don’t you think it could be interesting to have a CJ post on personal bible study for dummies ? I’m nothing of a theologian but i desire to improve my knowledge and my understanding of the Word of God. My goal is not to be smart but to be obedient.

    When I see puritans who where immersed in the word of God, i think we have much things to learn.

    I don’t know if i have been clear, i hope so.

    Thank you for all what you do,


  27. Tony,
    I’m not sure where to write this but I wanted to bring this up to you. My blog looks very similar to your. You would probably agree. The layout works for me (the theme) because of the set up. I know it looks real close. I don’t want it to offend you or anything so if you want me to change anything ask. I didn’t want to copy you with the “a Cross-centered blog,” so I didn’t, but I wanted to make it clear that this blog is about the Cross. I thought about Christ Centered but it was too close to yours, so I saw the subtitle of Ferguson’s book In Christ Alone: Living the Gospel Centered Life, so I chose “A Gospel Centered Blog.” I wanted to make the subtitle of my blog known as well as it being a Christ/Cross/Gospel Centered Blog and the Theme does that for me through changing the name of the about page. I ask that you would please tell me if you want me to change anything on my blog.I don’t want to seem like “I’m copying you” so please tell me. I guess you can delete this comment if you want. Thanks for reading and I hope you do this for me.

    Your Brother in Christ

    P.S. I’m saying this out of a serving attitude.

  28. Hello Mark. Yes, I would recommend you change your blog. Simply put, I want you to improve upon this blo. So be careful in emulating that you don’t limit yourself. So, for example, the blog template I chose accommodates my audio files on the right column. But if you dont need the 3-column look I would recommend going with a much more attractive theme (and there are many others more attractive than this one).

    And perhaps your blog name could more carefully reflect scripture. I’ve always wanted to integrate Galatians 6:14 into the title. But you can use it. Create a title like “Cross Boasting” or “One Boast.”

    Know that you are free to copy whatever format you like on this blog, but know that I would encourage you to improve upon what you see here, too. But yo are free to take.

    What do we have–blog titles and formats–that have not been given (1Cor 4:7)?


  29. Hey Tony!
    I was thinking it was about time I started following your blog. Fair enough?

    How you been old friend?


  30. Tony,
    I just stumbled on your blog through Jeff Medders EatBible blog, have to say its very impressive! Its wonderful to see someone so dedicated to Christ and the reading you do is incredible. I noticed on your playlist you had some shai linne, have you ever listened to Timothy Brindle? He is equally excellent. The Humility of Christ will give you goosebumps! Keep the faith!

    Rebecca Allen

  31. Dear Tony,

    First, thank you for your website: it has been a blessing to me. Second, I just got an e-mail from Lois E. Bailey at Customer Care for Yale University Press saying that a reprint of Volume 2 Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards is in the works and should be out in a couple of weeks.



  32. […] Tony Reinke, over at his Miscellanies blog, tells about a recent conversation he and C. J. Mahaney had with the godfather of modern biblical counseling, Dr. David Powlison.  Reinke had sat in on a class Dr. Powlison taught earlier in the day and, in response to something he heard him say, used this conversation as an opportunity to ask Dr. Powlison about, “The value of literature for pastors as they seek to discover and better understand the chaos and messiness of the human experience.” Here’s part of what was said: Theology, Powlison says, is the compass that points to true north as the storm of life swirls around us. Studying theology is essential, but we cannot neglect studying the realities of human experience of this world. You can tell Powlison has a burden for pastors to become familiar with the storm of everyday life for the purpose of informing pastoral labors and helping connect biblical promises to the contours of life. Scripture makes sense of the chaos. […]

  33. Hi Tony,
    Any time for one more book review?

    I learned about your blog (and bandofbloggers) from Mike Hall at InQuest ministries (Raleigh, NC) at the reThink ’09 Conference. I was there to promote a new approach to apologetics via my book, MEET THE SKEPTIC. Go to the site for an overview and excerpts (http://www.meettheskeptic.com/)

    Very briefly, it teaches believers how to have meaningful exchanges with skeptics by understanding 4 worldview categories and 4 “root ideas” rather than memorizing a bunch of unrelated factoids or falling back on ‘churchisms’.

    I appreciate your book reviews and recommendations and I would be thrilled if you had an opportunity to take a look at MEET THE SKEPTIC. I’m sure you have more than enough to read and review, so no pressure. However, if you would like to look at the book (144 pages – a quick but meaty read), I will be happy to send you a free copy.

    Bill Foster

  34. Hello. I found the Calvin text cross on a “free images download” site and it led me to your website. I hope you don’t have rights to this image. I am using it on my Facebook group, “Tweet the Gospel”.. would love to have you join us.
    Then I noticed that this is the site where I found out how to rebind a bible with extra pages by cutting off the binding with a power saw! Small world!! I never got to the power saw (or the rebinding of the beautiful bindings) but did get a Reformation Study Bible earlier this year as my own birthday present.
    Please visit my blog, and our facebook group.
    God bless!

  35. Tony, I can’t express how thankful I am for this website. I had a random/quick question for you. I’m really interested in purchasing the works of John Bunyan, however, I’m not sure if I should get the Banner of Truth edition or the set published by Sovereign Grace Publishers. I heard that the SGP set has more content than the set by Banner of Truth, is that true? The table of contents in the SGP edition seems to show more stuff than whats in the BannerofTruth set. I saw the contents of the Banner of Truth set on monergismbooks.com, but maybe they didn’t list “every” chapter. It could be that they have the same content. What are your thoughts. Thanks brother.

  36. Thoroughly enjoyed the photos of Princeton Cemetary. I’m a student here in Princeton and often find myself wandering the all too forgotten evangelical theologians of Princeton’s past at the cemetary. Warfield’s has to be my favorite, with the ornate design, if that’s not odd enough. Glad I wandered upon your blog this morning.

  37. Tony,
    I met your father today and he passed on your card. I am a church planter who has moved to Omaha for a year to do a residency program for Acts 29 with Core and Coram Deo.

    I love your blog, and just wanted to say hello.

    Justin Dean

  38. Hi Tony

    I can’t believe you can made a such good website, marvelous and many resources. I really appreciate, please keepup the good work.Your website brings blessing to many people,especially pastors. I am a pastor serving in Hong Kong. Hope you could visit Hong Kong some day. I could give you a good tour. Many thanks and appreciation


  39. Hi Tony

    I have been following your blog for a few years now and have been blessed immeasurably.

    I was wondering whether you had had a chance to look at the new HCBS Study Bible that is about to be released, and wondered whether you knew if the study notes were based on their old Disciple’s Study Bible that they published in the 1980’s?

    Many thanks

  40. I stumbled on this website when looking for some info about Bavinck. Here’s my question. Someone once told me that it was Bavinck who said that the Christian life required two conversion (not one)–first, to Christ, and second, back to the world.

    I’m wondering if the source is Bavinck–and if it is, where I might find it.


  41. For those of us who are not as good with a table saw… is there a place to purchase a blank Bible? Preferable an ESV!?

  42. Hi Tony

    I talked to you when we moved to Nebraska and you gave some church suggestions. The Nebraska job ended with the housing bust and we are back in Minnesota. It has been very hard and very good! There are lessons that can only be learned through suffering, so thanks be to God for all!

    John Piper made a side comment at his pastor’s conference on getting books from the internet and being able to search the text. I wanted to share with you my experiences on this. I have over 8000 books on a Nook and could have more, but I did not put in the larger micro SD chip. With larger memory one might be able to get up to 20,000 books on the reader. I wanted to share with you in case you would ever want to share about using these new devices with re-flowable text on your site.

    I get most free books from google or Internet archive in the open Epub format. There is everything from reformers, puritans, and later reformed like Warfield and Hodge. I also have John Pipers free pdf’s from his website. Text pdf’s, but NOT the image files that some people sell, can be read directly on the Nook. The kindle has its own closed format and is a storefront for Amazon. It seems that many people do not understand the difference between the Kindle and the Nook in this area. For people up on computer software there are programs that can convert between the formats for these devices. AGE’s Software installs with text pdf files that can also be copied and read directly on the Nook, (but that is not their intention).

    I was doing some reading on the Trinity and could search Warfield to quickly find the page I wanted. Then I quickly found sermons in several Puritans on the Trinity. It was a wonderful was to prepare for teaching a class! I also get articles off the Internet and have make my own private books. I have an 8000 page book on Calvinism that came from various places on the Internet. I would hate to read it on the computer but love using the Nook. Almost anything that is on the Internet can be put on the Nook, if you are handy. I put all of Calvin’s commentaries on it with little effort. All the church Fathers were also on the Internet in HTML and became high quality books on for the Nook. The books I make have great text. The free books form google and Internet Archive are made from OCR of a pdf image file, so there are some wrong words, but I have never had a problem with the few misspelled words.

    If I am reading and getting sleepy, I just make the font larger. I am reading half a dozen books at once right now, and read many places I would not read at if I had to carry a stack of books. I like real books, but I like this device more then I ever dreamed. I feel like one of the leper’s that has found the food and should share with the starving. I would be happy to talk more anytime if you want, Email me if you want to? Or if you are too busy and this is of little interest I will understand also.

    Blessings In Christ
    Michel L.

  43. Hey Tony,

    I got to have brkfst the other morning with JT, and the fact that my book was given out at the Sovereign Grace Pastor’s Conference came up. Justin said, “That was Tony Reinke’s doing.”

    Thank you, brother, for the tremendous encouragement that was to me.

    May the Lord use it powerfully for his glory and the good of his people,


  44. Hi Tony,

    I just wanted to thank you and tell you how much I enjoy your blog! I have always loved to read but you have produced in me a love for the Puritans and Reformers in depth writing. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it!

    I also wanted to thank you for your recent post on the Rob Bell debate. Your Reader’s Digest version on CJ’s blog was so helpful, especially to be able to read everything in one place. Thanks so much for that!

  45. Lauren thank you for your very kind comments. I am honored and humbled by your encouragement. It is really an honor to serve Jesus in a very small way.

  46. I stumbled upon your blog today after searching out a salve for being “laughed at”. I’m not very good at putting my feelings in to words.
    Your words touched me deeply. I am greatful that I ran across your site.
    Praise God.

  47. I am humbled that you would arrive here and read my blog. Those words by Spurgeon are wise and healing. In Christ there is nothing to fear, certainly not the scorn of men. I pray that you rest in him, in his death on the cross to redeem us from our sins. Blessings! Tony

  48. Hi Tony,
    It’s Danny’s wife Laura from Resolved. We both really enjoyed talking with you this weekend, and since you’re clearly an expert on books I thought I’d pick your brain a little =). I see that you have Lord of the Rings as one of your featured books. Our son (just turned 7) is dying to have me read it to him, but I haven’t read it myself in decades and don’t recall how easy it is to understand. I know your kids are about the same age as ours so I wondered if you’ve given it a shot with them. Any insight would be great. Thanks!


  49. Hello Laura! It’s great to hear from you and it was great hanging out with you and Danny at the conference. You are both filled with joy. … Your question arrives at the perfect time. We are reading LOTR at the dinner table each evening. We just finished book 1 (of 6 of this beautiful edition). The younger kids need 15–20 extra minutes to finish eating so we’ve filled the time with Tolkien and a calorie-free helping of adventurous prose dessert. But LOTR has also proven to be a challenge and especially for the youngest two (and for me the reader!). The names and locations and language can get tangled and complicated and reading them verbally is an exercise in tongue-twisting acrobatics. Although we are going to press on, my regret now is that I did not begin with The Hobbit. If I had given it more thought that is where I would have started. The Hobbit is much less complicated, it is shorter in general, and I think it would have been a better entry door into Middle Earth for younger kids. I hope my regret can be your guide. Blessings in Christ! Tony

  50. Tony,

    Think you could update your Puritan Library series… a lot of the essential Puritan volumes you mention are now available (or in development) on Logos Bible Software. I’d love to hear your thoughts now on the library series and if there’s anything you would recommend pursuing or adding since you first started talking about this in 2006. Thanks!

  51. Tony, I just watched your interview with Justin Taylor over at his blog and you mentioned there were a few works by Leland Ryken that helped you with the fiction side of things (my paraphrase). What were those works? I am interested in checking them out.


  52. Tony.
    When the veil is ripped away, the brilliant, pure, true, white light of all reality blasts through the lens of God’s Word to the minds eye.

    Like drinking from a fire hose brother…

    Our God is an awesome God!

  53. Hi Tony, I just came to your blog through the desiring God site. I saw your story, how you moved to MN, then MD, and now back to MN! My husband and I also moved our family from NJ to become members of Bethlehem Baptist in 2008! Since then, through God’s providence, we’ve ended up in Northern VA! We miss Minnesota, the twin cities, and most of all, Pastor John’s preaching and the wonderful people of BBC. I’ll be praying for you and your family as you make this next transition.
    May the Lord be pleased to establish the work of your hands there and bring forth great fruit in your lives, the life of the church there, and across the globe!
    Say hello to Minneapolis for us!

  54. Thanks for the comment Megan! I will certainly say hello to Minneapolis, assuming my mouth does not freeze shut before I can get the words out! Blessings, Tony

  55. Tony I just reviewes your book on Amazon for their Amazon Vine Program and copied it to my blog. You can see it here: http://moonwishesreads.blogspot.com/ I really enjoyed your book and actually would have like to sit down and discuss it, something I’m not always in the mood to do when finished with a book! I think I’ve read somewhere in the range of 20-30,000 books in my lifetime. I tried documenting my reading one year and ended up forgetting to write the book I had just finished down in my excitement to start the next one. It is a glorious miracle that I can read at all as I have some problems with dyslexia. Thanks for writing a great book!

  56. Hi Tony,

    I just finished reading Lit and thoroughly enjoyed it. I did want to make a comment about books that we encounter that end up being over our head. This happened to me when I first tried to read David wells, No Place For Truth. I understood almost nothing in the book on my first attempt and gave up after reading only part of it. Ten or twelve years later I fearfully picked it up again and wondered if I was reading the same book. I not only understood it, but enjoyed it very much. This was a huge encouragement to me, but also reinforced the principle that wisdom, understanding and maturity do not happen over night. There is a labor to it but it is a labor of love for the truth.

    So it may not be a bad idea to go back again for another attempt at books that are beyond us. I need to do this also with Jonathan Edwards, Freedom of the Will.

    Best regards,
    Larry Sees

  57. Hi Tony, I love your book! Best thing I have read in awhile. Are you willing to share your blank Excel template you use to record the keepers you find in your reading? I’ve been using a homemade Access one that is not very efficient.

  58. Dear Tony
    Thank you for your 20 quotes from the Dutcher book. By giving us his own words you serve him and us well, and have gently helped to deflate the bubble of suspicion that had arisen in my mind when I saw the book’s title.
    The quotes were well chosen and the book looks helpful.
    I am on a frontier, planting a church in a muslim context in East London and am nourished by reformed teaching (my ten-year-old son is Theodore Piper Virgo) but when I occasionally come across the blog world it is clear that the kind of thing that you quote Dutcher as saying is necessary.
    Very best
    Ben Virgo

  59. Just read “Lit!” and loved every page. Spoke right to my literature-loving heart. Please, please tell me how to set up a database for quotes and book excerpts. I have notebooks full but need to make them accessible and organized. dinahbiddick@yahoo.com

  60. Just finished “Lit” & found it very challenging & encouraged me to read more. I was especially interested in Starting a Reading Group, as you mention on page 159. My question is, what are some ideas for how to facilitate the conversation when you get together so that you don’t just have a ‘free for all’?

  61. Tony,

    I just finished Lit! recently and have this question. I’ve read your older blog posts on organizing your library via the Excel database, which were very helpful. However, I wondered, could you share your list of primary topics/categories? I’m struggling to have a list that is not hopelessly complex but still is detailed enough to be functional.

    Thank you!

  62. Tony, I wanted to tell you that I am very grateful for your book Lit! I just finished Seminary and set up a reading list to make sure I keep reading and studying on my own time. I came across Lit! as I was making my list and put it at the top. It is almost like I am reading for the first time! I fill out a sticky note and place it on the inside cover of the book that answers why I am reading it, how I should read it, and what my goals are from the book. Reading is no longer something I do just to finish a certain number of books out of duty, it is a joy and pleasure that takes work but a pleasure nonetheless. Thanks so much for your simple words of wisdom. God bless!

  63. Dan, thank you very much for your encouraging words. You have no idea how grateful I am for your note as I labor over book #2 in a coffeehouse here in Minneapolis. I needed this. Thanks man! Tony

  64. Tony, thanks for posting the ‘Steven Pinker on Good Writing’ link. Just finished it. Good stuff. I didn’t see a way to post the comment there.

    But also, I see you are posting more lately (finish a writing project?), and that you have given your blog a face-lift. Both great things.

    Thanks, Benjamin.

  65. Hello Sir, I found your podcast several months ago and have listened through almost the entire backlog. It has been good for both my soul and my dog (I listen to the podcasts while I walk my dog and will frequently tarry at the task for the sake of a few more minutes on the subject at hand).

    Anyway, I wanted to say thank you for what you do and compliment you specifically on the way that you are so gracious with your guests. You are always well-prepared with informed questions and you ask them politely and never make the show about yourself. I pray that God will continue to bless you with skills requisite with the task of evangelizing the (digital) airwaves.

    Thank you again, sir. And praise God for Christians using the new technologies in dignified, studious ways!

  66. hello tony,

    I’m fredson. I’m Fortaleza-Ceará-Brazil. I am a student of theology and surfing the internet recently I learned of the publication of his book “Lit! A guide to reading books” in 2011 and am getting an E-book to read.

    As my English is still not at an acceptable level (Blessed Google Translate!!!) certainly will take a long time to finish reading this valuable, so I would like to know if there is a project to publish this book in other languages as well the Portuguese.

    I think your work would be brilliant grid value for future theologians like me and would certainly place reserved in the seminar libraries around the world.


  67. Hello Fredson. Thank you for the kind note. Lit! has been translated into Korean and Dutch, but no other languages as of yet. A publisher in Portugal would need to make that decision and fund the project. Great idea. I would encourage you to contact local publishers to contact Crossway about doing this. Tony

  68. Hello,

    I am the church librarian at Creekside Church in Waterloo, ON Canada and also a member of the Church Library Association of Ontario.

    My daughter, who is a huge fan of the Desiring God website, sent me your blog about the Top 14 Books of 2014 because she knows I am always looking for books to purchase for our church library.

    I was wondering if you would give permission for us to put your list of books with some of your comments into our Church Library Association newsletter?

    I loved reading your book recommendations (and was happy to see I had just purchased four of them!)I am sure other church librarians in Ontario would like to read your recommendations too.

    Our newsletter is called Library Lines.

    Thank you for considering my request.
    Christine Regier

  69. Dear Tony

    I thank you for writing ‘Lit’. I am a Christian, who use to attend drama school, so poetry, Shakespeare, all have a big influence on me.

    I am also battling with certain sins, sins of the imagination, but GOD has used your chapter on Revelations to strengthen my battle against idolatry, by filling my imagination with the images of Revelations.

    Please pray for me, that I will read Revelations aloud everyday, and love GOD, and continue to obey him.

    Grace to you

  70. Praying for you right now Kam. Keep your eyes focused on Jesus Christ, the slain Lamb and returning Lion of Revelation. In HIM is our hope of freedom from sin now. It’s our sight of him that will remove all sin from our lives in the future. Blessings in the battle! Tony

  71. please can i get youre email because the one on top of page is not working..i wrote a letter about the Joy Project but it can`t be sent. i am from holland so my name (Joke) is not a joke..

  72. Greetings Tony,

    Hope all is well with you. My name is Brian Hanshaw and I am finishing up my B.A. in Biblical Studies at Regent University. I am actually enjoying your book “Lit” for one of my courses. In like fashion as yourself the Lord has instilled within me a passion for theological writing and research as well as literature reviews and blogging. My question is how would you personally advise an aspiring writer like myself on getting started within the spheres of both theological authorship and book reviewing?



  73. Hello Brian! Thanks for the encouraging word about Lit! My counsel is pretty simple: I would encourage you to start a blog of your own. Once it’s up and running and you have some articles under your belt then begin reaching out to publicity departments of particular publishers and receive review copies of books. At some point you can connect with TGC or an online source outside of your own platform to publish, but start on your blog. Do everything you’d like to write but do it on your own platform for a while. If you do a good job, you will get noticed. Blessings on your labors! Tony

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