Way back in January I posted on ‘My Reading List for 2015.’ Considering we are nearing the middle of the year I thought it only fair to provide an update on how I am doing. Frankly, I am doing terribly at actually reading the books I proposed way back then. However, it’s not because I haven’t been reading because I most certainly have. So what I want to do is provide a brief explanation for why my list has been derailed and then point you to a couple of books I have enjoyed that aren’t on the original list.
In January I thought I had my whole year figured out, boy was I wrong. The first zig when I should have zagged moment came when my daughter got engaged. Fortunately, both my wife and I love the young man very much and look forward to their wedding later this summer. As if that wasn’t enough to keep me busy I decided to return to school for additional theological education. I am currently pursuing a Master of Arts Theological Studies at the undergraduate alma mater of our blog founder, Matt Tarr. And then on top of all of it all the Lord has graciously provided for my wife and me to purchase our first home – EVER! So I hope you can see I haven’t just blown off pursing a goal I set before I understood the Lord’s plan for my year.
The cool thing is I have had a chance to read/reread a couple of great books this year and I want to take a little space here at Parking Space 23 to point them out to you.
The Gospel Call and True Conversion by Paul Washer, I was in the midst of reading this book in January and had opportunity to complete it. This short book is chock full of great info brought forward from Washer’s preaching ministry. He takes time to develop the nature of the irresistible call to the Gospel message as well as the life changes which ought to be expected in the converted. This book is both passionate and compassionate, for this reason I would commend it to anyone who has questions about the area of doctrine we call soteriology.
The Moody Handbook of Theology (25th Anniversary Edition) by Paul Enns, this book was assigned reading for one of my classes and I am thankful for it. This book is not a light read, mostly because it is 808 pages long (including indexes). On the other hand if you or someone else in your church has a desire to understand various areas of theology this book is a great place to start. In this tome Enns takes the reader through five major theological disciplines; biblical, systematic, historical, dogmatic, and contemporary. If you have a few bucks to spare adding this book to your library would not be a mistake.
I also want to point you to a book I have read three times, each for a different class over the course of my academic career; The World and the Word; An Introduction to the Old Testament by Eugene Merrill, Mark Rooker, and Michael Grisanti. Even though I have read this book multiple times I can assure you, I have never been bored with its contents. If you want to grow in your understanding of the Old Testament – and you should – then this book is a must read.
Additionally, I have had the opportunity to read the first of two volumes containing all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes novels which has proved quite entertaining.
Finally, I would like to point out a series I have been enjoying from IX Marks ministries called Building Healthy Churches. The series is edited by Mark Dever and Jonathan Leeman and is made up of short book length treatments of each of the nine marks Dever identifies in his work Nine Marks of a Healthy Church. On the surface I know this may sound like an exercise in futility considering the quality of Dever’s original work, but I have yet to be disappointed by the five books I have read so far.
I think this brings all up to date on my reading for the year (so far). If you have read something you think is worthy of sharing please take a minute to post a comment telling us the name of the book and how you have benefited by reading. And as a singular rule, we will assume the BIBLE is at the top of everyone’s list.