I received a free copy of Joe Thorn’s Note To Self: The Discipline of Preaching To Yourself at a training event here in St. Louis, last August, where Joe Thorn himself was the featured speaker.
Note To Self is divided into three parts (Pt. 1: The Gospel and God. Pt. 2: The Gospel and Others. Pt. 3: The Gospel and You), covering forty-eight notes to self. There is also a noteworthy Foreword by Sam Storms, author of the recent Kingdom Come: The Amillennial Alternative.
Note To Self is an effort to keep before the Church the oft neglected and overlooked marriage between law and gospel, if you will. To put it another way, it is the spiritual discipline of preaching to ourselves. Regarding this spiritual discipline Joe Thorn writes, “Preaching to ourselves is the personal act of applying the law and gospel to our own lives with the aim of experiencing the transforming grace of God leading to ongoing faith, repentance, and greater godliness.”
My approach to Note To Self was something of a devotional. I would read a Note here and there, which I did over a few months. Each Note begins with a relevant Scripture quote and the address, Dear Self.
Before I end this reflection, Joe Thorn, who also blogs at JoeThorn.net, takes that common three-part function of the law: (1) The Law Show Us What’s Right. (2) The Law Shows Us What’s Wrong. And (3) The Law Show us What’s Needed.
In other words, Note To Self is a work in practical theology.