Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Books I read in October

I'm really behind on my blogging of late. Leaf raking, bowhunting, a friend's funeral and the rest of life have consumed a lot of time of late. So by way of catching up, here's the skinny on what I finished reading lately:

King Me by Steve Farrar. I became a fan of Farrar's back in the early '90s, the "men's movement" was just getting started and he published Point Man: How A Man Can Lead His Family. This book is an attempt to use the accounts of the Hebrew kings (the failures as well as the rare successes) to talk about how fathers train their sons to be men of God. I found it practical, helpful, and hard all at once. Bottom line: it's a good book on parenting that isn't written for women. That alone makes it a treasure in this man's estimation.

Ten Question to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health by Donald Whitney. This is the book we just finished in our Band of Brothers men's study group. The chapters are short, but the questions are hard, and force you to take a hard look at where you are growing in Christ and where you aren't. For example, "Are you a quicker forgiver?" "Do you delight in the bride of Christ?" The questions seems simple on the surface, but they are deceptively so. In reality, there is a penetrating quality to each chapter which will leave you wondering, at times, where the fruit of your Christian life is after all this time. If you really want to grow, this book will open the doors of your heart to conviction and change.

Under the Unpredictable Plant: An Exploration in Vocational Holiness
by Eugene Peterson.
This is a book for pastors. It's actually the 2nd time I've read it. The first time was back in my Spiritual Formation group at DTS though, so it didn't have the same impact ("When the student is ready..."). In it, Peterson uses Jonah as a springboard for talking about being a faithful pastor in Nineveh when all of us want to heed the siren call to go to Tarshish, fleeing both our calling and the presence of the Lord, trading in being a pastor for being "successful" like Aaron in Exodus 32. If there is a book written by a pastor that commends fellow pastors to be content with obscurity and faithfulness to Christ over methodology and marketing Jesus, this is probably it.

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