I do not wish to thank a publisher for sending me this book, because none did, and I would not have wanted one to have done so. Though I do appreciate when publishers send review copies to me for blogging and I am sure that the publisher of this book would have done so had I requested, I am glad that I purchased this book. In fact, I would have gladly paid for this book 10 times over than to have received it for free. Let that be a testimony to the quality of this book.
No book written by man has so warmed my heart during the last decade as has this one. I put this book on Andrew Murray Humility level, which has been my favorite read for the past decade.
This book is paradigmatic for thinking about both the gospel and preaching. This book reminds us that we are all called and we are all called to hear the gospel. Even more, we are all called to remind ourselves daily and continuously the gospel.
Through the process of 3 parts consisting of 48 chapters, Joe Thorn gives the reader chapter after chapter (each about 2 pp. long) of devotional thoughts opening with, “Dear self.” He systematically reaches in to our hearts and minds and exposes all of our presuppositions, false-principles, and pridefulness, and then winsomely refreshes us with gospel truth that we can take to the bank. His correction is so welcoming and winsome that one cannot help but know that this book is a product of his own personal reflection throughout an untold amount of time.
Helpful reminders include:
“When you find your deepest satisfaction in Jesus, you are protected from bitterness in times of want and pride in times of abundance.” (Thorn, 49)
“The more robust, the more detailed your theology, the more humble you should become. Why? Because you did not figure God out; he revealed himself to you.” (Thorn, 54)
“Those who hate sin and love righteousness wait with eagerness for the second coming. You misunderstand it if you think of it as an interruption to your plans.” (Thorn, 60)
“In all your longing to love as Christ loved, you sometimes forget that true love for one thing will, or at least should, produce a hatred for whatever stands against it.” (Thorn, 95)
“Sin and temptation lead you away from the gospel by telling you that you can find greater fulfillment and satisfaction in something other than Jesus.” (Thorn, 104)
“It’s pretty clear that sometimes you think about gathered worship in the wrong way. So let’s just clear up what it isn’t. Gathering with the church for Word, sacrament, prayer, and song was not commanded by God to put “gas in your tank” for the rest of the week. You know it is not a show meant to entertain you, but it’s also much more than a refresher. It is deeper than momentary inspiration, and it is bigger than simply “being fed.”” (Thorn, 115)
“It is good to admire others who walk with God, serve as an example, and encourage you in the faith. But neither the world nor the church needs any more fan boys (and you can be a bit of a fan boy). What people need is humble, worshiping theologians who are more passionate for God and gospel than they are for personalities.” (Thorn, 123)
Let’s just say this, if gospel truth is gold then this book is akin to one of the best gold veins in one of the largest gold mines in California during the gold rush.
I could not recommend this book more or give it a higher level of review. This little book makes a wonderful devotional, but if you’re like me, you won’t be able to digest it in bits, you will eat up the whole thing, and then come back for more and more over time.
If you have been famished and have a hunger for gospel truth, order this book today. You can get Note to Self by Joe Thorn from the Amazon Kindle store.
View more reviews by Joey Cochran here.