Stephen Nichols (SN): Last week when we were together, we had a friend of ours come all the way from Lima, Peru and spend time with us. Pepe Mendoza, you’re back.
Pepe Mendoza (PM): Yes. Thank you very much.
SN: It’s good to have you back, and we’re going to do something now for you. We’re going to send you to a deserted island and just let you read and study.
PM: Okay. Perfect.
SN: And so, if you were to go off to this deserted island, what books would you take with you?
PM: First of all, I will take my Bible. But not any Bible, my Bible that has my notes, and my writing, my history, my testimony. I need my Bible first.
SN: We will certainly make sure you have your Bible with you.
PM: My Bible. And I can take five books?
PM: Okay. I think that Knowing God by J.I. Packer.
SN: Knowing God.
PM: Knowing God. That is very important to discover the character of God, and The Holiness of God, by R. C. Sproul. Because there is a difference between knowing God and the holiness of God.
SN: That’s right.
PM: Because I think that Knowing God showed me the character of God, the majesty of God, the character. But The Holiness of God showed me in front of that God. I say this is more personal. I have a book that I love. It’s God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis. You know it is a book that I want to re-read all the time.
SN: Now, we should probably explain this, because I think when some folks— especially maybe kids who are listening to this— hear the word dock, they think, “well, that’s where a boat goes.” But that’s not what we’re talking about with this book. This is in a courtroom, the dock. So God is in the dock, He’s on trial in this book.
PM: Yes. He’s on trial and He’s trying to defend Himself, or C.S. Lewis is trying to show the reality of God, and I love that book.
SN: And that was one of the things that Lewis did so well and so eloquently. So, I’m sensing a theme here, Pepe. We’ve got God in all three— actually we go back to the Bible. The Bible is God’s book. So we’ve got God in all four of your books so far. What’s next?
PM: There is an old book The Life of Elijah by A.W. Pink.
PM: Yes. This is a book that I read when I was very young, and what impacted me was the character of the prophet in the midst of a lot of rebellion and idolatry. I think that did impact me. And I think I want to be like Elijah and his character. And it’s another book that is very important to me.
SN: And that boldness—
PM: That boldness of being a prophet in times of total opposition.
SN: And even Elijah sometimes was given to a little bit of despondency.
PM: It was very human as well.
SN: He was very human.
PM: Yes. And I remember another book that is part of the history of Latin America is by John A. McKay, a Presbyterian who wrote the book that is in Spanish: The Other Spanish Christ. It’s a book that opened my eyes about the reality of Christianity in Latin America without the Reformation. This The Other Spanish Christ is by John A. McKay. I think that he was the president of Princeton Theological Seminary after he lived in Peru for many years. He was a missionary in Peru.
SN: Well, I think you’ve made a great selection. I think you will enjoy yourself on this island. And so, we will send you off to your deserted island.
PM: Thank you very much. With all my books.
SN: All your books on God. And once you get off your island, we’ll have to have you come back.
PM: Okay. We will talk about it.
SN: We’ve been here at the Ligonier National Conference, and we’ve been spending a few moments with Pepe Mendoza. We’re grateful for your time with us as we’ve talked about these books and the influence they’ve had on you.