One of the things I have learned in the past 20 years is when I encounter a problem. A good book usually helps me understand or point me in the right direction. I like reading books in the summer because It makes me feel better about lying lazily in the summer sun. Where I live in New York you have to pay for Vitamin D nine months out of the year. So when it’s free you jump on it. I thought I would share the books I am hoping to finish this summer.
Preaching by Keller – Few people have opened my eyes to the beauty of the Gospel like Dr. Keller. Few people can boldly lay out the truth in a way both sides see it clearly like Tim Keller. If you ever want to despair as a preacher. Preach a message then listen to Tim Keller preach the same passage. Looking forward to Dr. Keller’s thoughts on preaching.
Hand in Hand – Randy Alcorn tackles a very complex topic of Devine Sovereignty and meaningful human choice with clarity, grace and biblical responsibility. Have heard a ton of good things from both side of the argument.
The Deep things of God. – How the trinity changes everything. I am becoming more and more aware that the difficulty we have in faith and in our day to day lives comes from a flawed view of the trinity. Looking forward to reading Fred Sanders book for his practical take on a very complex issue.
What Books I’m Reading
Culture Making by Andy Crouch
What Blog Posts I’m Reading now
Pastors keep a close watch on your life and illustrations by Jared Wilson – Love Jared’s candor and his desire for preaching to be both practical and trans-formative. If you preach to any age group check out this post.
Teaching kids about Prayer and Fasting by Dale Hudson – Great post on the practical ways you can help kids connect with God and be apart of a church wide time of prayer and fasting.
Mom’s Need Theology Too by Christina Fox – While books with practical tips are useful for some things, the hope they provide can be short-lived. In truth, it is in theology, in our study of who God is and what he has done, that gives us the real hope, real wisdom, and real peace that we need in our lives — the kind that lasts. It’s theology — knowing God — that anchors us in the chaos of motherhood.
God Doesn’t Need Your Help by Jared Wilson – Love this quote – “I fear that thousands of younger persons enter Christian service from no higher motive than to help deliver God from the embarrassing situation His love has gotten Him into and His limited abilities seem unable to get Him out of.” Boom.
Freely: High Quality Free Christian Photos by Church Mag – A new Source for free high quality photos need I say more.
Pablo: Create engaging social media images in 30 seconds or less by Church Mag – love this.
What books I am reading right now
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower
What blogs I am reading right now
Your Brain on Stories – Great post on the power of story and how it affects you. Thanks for the find @jonathancliff
If you develop tension in the story you will sustain attention.
If you sustain attention then it is more likely that the people
hearing the story will start to share the emotions of the main
characters in the story.
If people share the emotions of the main characters then they are
likely to mimic the feelings and behaviors of the characters when the
story is over.
Listening to a character story like this can cause oxytocin to be released.
And if oxytocin is released then it is more likely that people will
trust the situation and the storyteller and more likely that they will
take whatever action the storyteller asks them to take.
Grace and Race – Tim Keller nails it again such a great very short post on race.
“Thus Christians have a special test for racism. If racial differences are more important to you than differences in belief, you are acting as a racist.”
How To Raise An Adult – @mattPerman tweeted out this book link – looks promising
In How to Raise an Adult, she draws on research, conversations
with educators and employers, and her own insights as a mother and
student dean to highlight the ways in which over-parenting harms
children and their stressed-out parents.
No, Tablets Aren’t Necessarily Rotting Kids’ Brains – Interesting take on the debate over screen time by the people at Lifehacker.
What books I am reading right now
Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull
Out Of The Silent Planet By C.S. Lewis
What blogs I am reading right now
Islamic State selling, crucifying, burying children alive in Iraq – Completely heartbreaking. We must not avert our eyes from the suffering being inflicted on these innocents.
Hey Kids, the Frame of Your Soul Isn’t Meant for Fame – Beautifully written and profoundly true. Ann Voskamp dissects the crave for fame that is killing our kids.
Putting Sex in Perspective – Respect Kevin DeYoung’s perspective really looking forward to his new book on Homosexuality.
A Teenager’s View on Social Media – Interesting read I found from my friend Kenny Conley’s Blog.
Here are the top ten books I read in 2014 and the reasons why.
Total truth was a brilliant call “to awakening evangelical Christians to the need for a Christian “worldview,” which Pearcey defines as “a biblical informed perspective on all reality. I found this book to be foundational in how we see the world through the lens of the gospel. This book is a must read for every kid heading off to college and any youth pastor who works with high school or college age kids. The final section on the flaws in the evangelical church I found both helpful and intriguing.
I have long been a fan of PeterDrucker. I have read “The Effective Executive” Numerous times. One things I felt was lacking from Drucker’s work and others like him. That was the purpose for productive living and working.Perman does an amazing job connecting practical ways to get things done to an underlying theological framework. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and plan on reading it again soon.
I have read a couple of books by Jones and have enjoyed them. I was intrigued by Proof before I read it because from the index you could tell they were tackling the 5 points of Calvinism from a standpoint of grace rather than a forced acronym. Thoroughly enjoyed the book as they portrayed the Grace of God in such a profound way I found myself worshiping and filled with wonder as I read the pages of this book. This book is a must read for anyone who leans toward Calvinism. I don’t often cry when I read a book but there is a story Jones tells of his daughter that moved me to tears. Such a powerful picture of us belonging to God. It’s worth the purchase of the book for that story alone.
This is one of those books that every Christan needs to read as they will encounter pain and loss at some point in their journey. Kellers treatment of suffering does all of us a favor as he so poignantly deals with suffering in such a way that it keeps us from being either trite or melodramatic when addressing the others in pain. Kellers brilliance lies in pointing to our ultimate hope which is Christ. Each chapter ends with areal life story of suffering that I found very hard to read as each one caused my heart to both wrench and rejoice at God’s goodness even if unseen. This book and “A grief observed by Lewis are the best books I have read thus far on the problem of human suffering.
If you have been a follower of my blog for any period of time you will know that I am a huge fan of Catechism. The Good News We Almost Forgot is a weekly devotional that I read as a book because each chapter was so good I couldn’t wait a week. DeYoung brilliantly,pastorally, and devotionally dives into each of the Lord’s Days as laid out by the Heidelberg Catechism. I found myself convicted regularly and sitting there after reading a chapter in an attitude of worship.The relevance of the theology in a 400 year old document is astounding.
Bad Religion was a paradox because it was difficult to read and hard to put down. Douthat argues that “America’s problem isn’t too much religion, as a growing chorus of atheists have argued; nor is it an intolerant secularism, as
many on the Christian right believe. Rather, it’s bad religion: the slow-motion collapse of traditional faith and the rise of a variety of pseudo-Christianities that stroke our egos, indulge our follies, and encourage our worst impulses.” I found it insightful enjoyed the fact that Douthat as a catholic had a great perspective on evangelical and catholic follies alike.
I first read this book over 20 years ago in bible college. I read it again this year. Reading the same book 20 years later is interesting. Of all the books I read this year this book hit me hardest. I have been a “full-time shepherd” for nearly 18 years I find that I have become a pretty good Shepherd and at the same time a not so good sheep. As pastors we must not forget that we are sheep first shepherds second. This book does just that. Loved the insight the devotional feel and the loving truths that this book contains.
As a christian if you have not been asked what you believe about the issue of homosexuals and homosexual marriage yet, you will. What are you going to say? When someone you love invites you to a same-sex marriage ceremony what are you going to do? When you as a christian leader are interviewed by a reporter they will ask what you think. What are you going to say. Barr and Citleu offer an amazingly practical and pastoral book that will help you speak the truth in love. As christian we need to be loving but we can’t allow our desireto be loving to derail us from truth.
J.I. Packer is brilliant. I love his high view of both God and Scripture. In his classic he talks about God’s role in salvation and how we cooperate with God in preaching the gospel. It is a classic on evangelism and should be read by all.
I love Pipers passion. I enjoyed this book because he tapped into a passion of mine. That passion is for Pastors to be Pastors rather than savvy CEO’s. The business culture that has crept into the church has helped pastors be better leaders which has some value to be sure. But at what cost? That cost I would say is the erosion of the care of people, the dependence on Holy Spirit. In the United States we have turned the office of pastor into a profession rather than a calling. We need strong leaders in the pastorate but the price the church is paying for that leadership is far too steep and doesn’t honor God. I loved how Piper passionately calls pastors and leaders to the things that matter most. If you are a pastor I beg you to read this book. I pray that it will convict you as much as it convicted me.