Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What I'm Reading...

I believe it was Erasmus who said, "When I get a little money, I buy books. If I have some left over, I buy food and clothing." Apart from the occasional firearms purchase, I can fully relate to that brother. I dearly love books and never seem to have enough time to read. And as is typical, I've got several going at the same time. Here's what on the stack and newly added to the Kindle that I'm chomping through:
  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I'm 2/3 of the way through Mockingjay, the last book in the series. It's pretty dark, taking place in a dystopian future, but as someone who doesn't read much fiction, I'm enjoying the author's exploration of warfare, morality, freedom and government through its pages. Also it's a ripping good tale!
  • Don't Call It A Comeback by Kevin DeYoung, Colin Smith and friends. Offers Reformation influenced theology in modern, accessible language. Great stuff for high school and college students.
  • Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell. I finished this some time ago, but as I'm leading the Elders at our church through a discussion on preaching this weekend, it was worth picking up again for a review of the first couple chapters. This is a very practical book, not only for those seeking to develop their preaching gift, but for those of us who are trying to preach Christ from all the Scriptures.
  • Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders. This is my 4th or 5th trip through this little book, but I keep coming back to it every time I need to meet with men who want to be leaders. This book, probably more than any other I've read, comes closest to describing what it means to actually live and embody the qualities of spiritual leadership.
  • The NIV Application Commentary: Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephenaih. I'm currently preaching a series on Habakkuk. This is what I'm using to make sure what I think and say is in line with what the text actually means. Good stuff that's not overly technical, written so that well-informed laymen can get their arms around it.
  • Geneis in Space and Time by Francis Schaeffer. Not started yet, but I was taught, once upon a time, by one of Schaeffer's students and this book greatly influenced his thinking on some things, so I'm looking forward to it. Summer is coming, so perhaps then.
  • The Genesis Flood by John C. Whitcomb and Henry Morris and The Genesis Record by Henry Morris. I'm a historic creationist. That is, I believe in an old earth, prepared for a young humanity in six literal days at a point in time less than 30,000 years ago. But these books were given to me by a dear brother who is a young earth creationist. I intend to read them, as they seem to be the most comprehensive of the young earth books out there. Perhaps I will change my mind. Perhaps not, but it's always healthy to read others' best arguments as you shape your position.
  • Creation and Blessing by Allen P. Ross. I'm finishing up Genesis (chapter 25-50) this year and this should help, as it comes highly recommended by my old friend and mentor, Steve Benton.
  • God with Us: Divine Condescension and the Attributes of God by K. Scott Oliphant. This is one I haven't started through yet, but is about how Jesus is the complete revelation of God and God's complete explanation of his character and relationship with us.
  • The Bible Story Handbook by John H. Walton and Kim E. Walton. This is a book about how to teach kids each one of 175 Bible stories, not just as a story, but giving each story's focus, theme, application, place in the Bible, and mistakes to avoid. Since a lot of kids in Sunday School learn the Bible's stories as episodic incidents, divorced from both context and all but the most moralistic application, I'm hoping this gives me some good ideas toward a different approach I can use with my own kids and perhaps recommend reading to the Children's Ministry Team here at CBC.
  • The Cross of Christ by John Stott. I've never had the opportunity to read this, but since I'm starting a new series on the Cross next week, I'm going to be reading it to sharpen my own thinking and enrich my own preaching of the Cross.
This will probably keep me busy for a few months. But then on to others, still unread. Maybe if I get a sabbatical in a few years, I can read (and write!) as much as I want to. Till then, I fit these in as I am able. Maybe there's a few of you, dear readers, who might like to chomp through one of these with me and offer me your thoughts?

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