Friday, March 25, 2011

Being a good reader's gonna help me get a good office job.

It was suggested to me that I share what I'm reading. So, in spite of the risk of appearing (even more) narcissistic, here's what I'm reading, what I've read, and what I intend to read in the near future, Deo volente.

(Incidentally, I'd be interested in your lists as well, especially if you've read something you'd highly recommend.)

Presently Reading:
  1. Holiness of God, Sproul* (Christian Audio's March free download of the month)
  2. The Castle in the Forest, Mailer
  3. When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search, Brauns
  4. Old Testament Theology, Waltke
  5. The Dragon's Treasure: A Dreamer's Guide to Inner Discovery through Dream Interpretation, Cole
  6. Less Clutter. Less Noise, Meyer
  7. A Theology of the New Testament, Ladd
  8. De Inventione, Cicero

Recently Read:
  1. God's Big Picture: Tracing the Storyline of the Bible, Roberts - It's my favorite Bible overview book, tracing the theme of the King and His kingdom throughout Scripture: "God's people in God's place under God's rule and blessing." It's accessible to the rookie as well as advantageous to the veteran, reinforcing the unity of the Scriptures and motivating one to deeper research therein.

  2. Truth War: Fighting for Certainty in an Age of Deception, MacArthur - It's hard to go wrong with Johnny Mac, and here he gets it very right regarding the trenches and what's at stake. In his sights we see Postmodernism and its subsequent rampant skepticism. I do slightly take issue with the subtitle. I think the pursuit is of truth, not certainty, though the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. It's a nice attempt to exegete Jude 3-4 with an exhortation to follow through against our contemporary threats to apprehending truth.

  3. Stop Dating the Church!: Fall in Love with the Family of God, Harris* - If there was one extra-biblical reading I could require of (prospective) church members, this would be it. Most church members commit to a congregation until something better comes along or until feelings are hurt, etc. Serial monogamy is not the pattern for couples or churches. Harris challenges the reader to elevate the church in life's pecking order and to ultimately value it as Christ does, His bride for which He bled. What more can I say? Superlatives have been drained of their meaning through overuse, but this book really is all that and a bag of chips.

  4. Keep Your Greek: Strategies for Busy People, Constantine - I wish I'd had this during or before seminary. It's a quick read, but is jammed packed with practical insights. I most appreciated his thoughts on the benefits of Greek study beyond showing it off in the sermon, all the while encouraging us not to be afraid to share things relevant from the Greek. He also reminds readers it's easier to resurrect Greek already learned than to get it the first time, an encouragement to backsliders to get back on the horse.

  5. Ten Stupid Things that Keep Churches from Growing: How Leaders Can Overcome Costly Mistakes, Surratt - Clearly, there are more than 10, but some of these befall even those churches committed to the biblical authority in the church and a pursuit of God's glory above all else. My 3 favorite chapters were on "Promoting Talent over Integrity," "Letting Committees Steer the Ship," and "Copying Another Successful Church," and the author doesn't even suggest imitation of his church. I liked the interview component concluding each chapter wherein he shares insights of those with firsthand experience of the 10. There is much with which I disagree, but I do feel at least a little more prepared to avoid that which is stupid, though I make no guarantees.

  6. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Taraborrelli - I discerned an attempt to debunk some of the myths concerning Marilyn's life, particularly regarding her childhood and fostercare. I most enjoyed the accounts of her friendship/relationship with Frank Sinatra. The book was easier on the Kennedys than I think is prudent.

  7. Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples, Rainer & Geiger - It's a nice reminder to major in the majors, not caving to pressure to equate quantity of activity with the quality of ministry. The oft unrealized the consequence of such deviation is the minimization of the mission among lesser competitors. There are many questions the book doesn't answer, which could disappoint many, but I tend to prefer the questions to be raised with the onus on the reader to cogitate further.

Future Reading (D.V.):
  1. The Messianic Hope: Is the Hebrew Bible Really Messianic?, Rydelnik
  2. The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916, Horne
  3. A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow, Chappell
  4. The Shack, Young
  5. The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front, Hart
  6. Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Bradberry & Greaves
  7. Tell the Truth: The Whole Gospel to the Whole Person by Whole People, Metzger*
  8. Lonely Are the Shadows, Reece
  9. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived, Bell
  10. Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America, Norris
  11. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Foer
  12. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, Piper*
  13. Children of Fire: A History of African Americans, Holt
  14. Shepherding a Child's Heart, Tripp*
  15. Four Voices of Preaching, The: Connecting Purpose and Identity behind the Pulpit, Reid
  16. Just Do Something: How to Make a Decision Without Dreams, Visions, Fleeces, Open Doors, Random Bible Verses, Casting Lots, Liver Shivers, Writing in the Sky, etc., DeYoung
*Read before, but (re)reading for Providence Church book club.



At 25 March, 2011 12:12, Anonymous Steve Railsback said...

One to consider:
A Praying Life, by Paul Allen

At 25 March, 2011 18:48, Blogger Rev. said...

Recently read:
* War as I Knew It, George S. Patton
* On Killing, Dave Grossman
* The Unforgiving Minute, Craig Mullaney
* If God Is Good, Rand Alcorn
* The Divine Embrace, Robert Webber
* Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortensen
* Extreme Denial, David Morrell

Currently reading:
* In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce, G. A. Henty
* Ancient-Future Faith, Robert Webber

At 29 March, 2011 17:00, Blogger GUNNY said...

Thanks for the feedback!

Steve, the strangest thing happened. While reading your suggestion, the clock at the bottom right of my computer screen stopped. Yikes!

Rev, those look like some good ones. I'm gonna add them to my "To Do" list.


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