As is often the case, many bloggers shared lists of books they had read throughout the year during the final days of December. I am beginning to wonder if this is just one of those things you do to fill in your regular blog posts during a busy time of year – but that’s probably a thought for another day. The thing is all those lists of excellent reading material got me to thinking, why should I wait until the end of the year to provide a book list. After all, many of the posts I contributed during 2014 were book reviews! So what I want to do today is tell you what’s on my 2015 reading list, then at the end of the year I’ll let you know how I did.
Before we get to the meaty stuff I feel it necessary to fill you in on a few of my “ground rules” for choosing books to go on my list.
- There should be at least one Theological work.
- There should be at least one biographical work (autobiographies count).
- There should be at least one book on preaching – I am a preacher after all.
- There should be at least one book from an author who lived prior to the 20th century I want to know what Christians who have preceded me have to say.
- There should be at least one work from a point of view I disagree with in order to understand an opposing position from one who holds it. I don’t want to disagree with “straw-men!”
- There should be no more than two books I have read before.
- There should be at least two fictional works to read “just for fun.”
Now, with these requirements in mind I want to give the grand reveal on what I plan on reading this year:
In the category of “theological work” I will be reading From Heaven He came and Sought Her edited by David Gibson and Jonathan Gibson. This is a book John MacArthur mentioned favorably in a Q&A during my Grace Advance cohort back in 2013. I figure if John MacArthur liked it I should probably read it – after all he is the President of the Seminary I attended.
The biography on my list is a book which has set upon the shelf of my library for a number of years, Peter Dynamite – Twice Born Russian: The Captivating Story of Peter Deyneka Sr. by Norman Rohrer and Peter Dyneka Jr. I received this book as one of the many books in the gift bag given at The Shepherds’ Conference and now have time to read it.
I will actually be endeavoring to read two books on preaching this year. The first will be by my former professor Alex Montoya, Preaching with Passion. The second will be The Passion driven Sermon written by Jim Shaddix. I chose these two works because not only have these men served as seminary professors they are both pastors of local churches charged with preaching God’s word each week to God’s people.
Mathew Henry’s A Method For Prayer will be filling the requirement I have for reading an earlier Christian author. The edition I will be using was edited by Ligon Duncan.
A book I very much look forward to reading this year is written by Roger Olson of George Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas. His book Against Calvinism is, as you may have guessed, the one from a point of view I do not hold. But to be transparent in my intentions I am also reading a companion work For Calvinism authored by Michael Horton of Westminster Seminary California. I was drawn to these particular books by the fact that each author writes the foreword for the opposing view. I figured if these two men who hold such divergent views can work together so that Christians can better understand one another’s views the least I could do is read their books.
In selecting books I have read before, I will come clean and tell you outright – I cheated a bit here. When I was going through all the books staring back at me from the shelves lining my basement office I just couldn’t resist the cries of these next works to be taken down and enjoyed again. Included in this category are The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur, The Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter, The Ministry by Charles J. Brown, and all three of the “Glory Books” by Greg Harris.
I am also currently enjoying and being edified by The Gospel Call & True Conversion authored by Paul Washer. I am actually unsure of how this book made its way into my library but it has proved extremely useful in my preparation to lead the adult Sunday School class at my local church through a series on evangelism.
Before I get to what I am going to read “just for fun,” I wanted to mention that I also intend to read When I Don’t Desire God and A Hunger for God by John Piper. I haven’t really had opportunity in the past to read many things he has written; however, everything I have read by him has been edifying. I mention this because I am sure many folks reading Parking Space 23 are active in social media and may be a little concerned about things they see there attributed to Piper. I just want to take the time to see what the man has had to say in more than 140 characters.
When it comes to reading “just for fun” I am going to be working my way through the Sherlock Holmes novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have actually never read any of the novels in this popular series, but I enjoy mystery and adventure so I am sure I will enjoy each one as I have the time.
Throughout this year I will provide reviews of some of these books as well as updates as to how I am progressing through the list. I will also try to keep you informed of any additions or deletions which occur along the way. So until December when I write the “Books I Read in 2015” post – Happy Reading!