We asked each other four questions. What are you reading? What has the book taught you? Would you recommend it? How (if possible) is this book good for the ministry?
Here are our answers.
I recently finished The Question of Canon by Michael J. Kruger. What this book has taught me is the importance of keeping up with the current scholarship on issues of biblical textual integrity, transmission and canonicity. As the form of the attacks on scripture shift so must our response. I would recommend this book, and see it as very helpful in ministry equipping you to defend and to equip others to defend the canon of scripture against several attacks that are currently in vogue (and regular features of the “experts” arguments on TV).
I am also currently reading On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church by Deepak Reju. This book is a great reminder that a right response to an incident at the church is a response that comes too late, and that evil men (and women) will specifically target churches to commit vile acts. Every pastor, elder and youth worker should read this book (as unpleasant as it may be). Thus far this book has been full of actionable, practical advice as well as helpful reminders and admonitions that may help safe guard kids in your church.
I am currently reading (“marinating in” feels more appropriate) Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald S. Whitney.This book has been a true blessing in my life and helped address some real weaknesses of mine. It has used Scripture and biblical wisdom to do so. I would highly recommend it, but only if you’ve got time to really take it in. This is not a book to be skimmed quickly and put back on the shelf. It’s a resource to be read slowly, considered deeply, and revisited from time to time. It will benefit the baby Christian and veteran saint, challenging you to learn and grow in your faithful pursuit of holiness.
I am currently reading a classic, The Glory of Christ by John Owen. Owen successfully enlightens us of the character and work of Christ. His writing style is verbose, even for his era, but worth reading. We do well to know Jesus Christ intimately and think on Him often. This book draws us to our great Savior. Dwelling on Jesus will never be lost time. If you’re looking for a more modern book covering similar material than look to Rick Holland’s Uneclipsing the Son or Robert Bowman and Ed Komoszewskis’ Putting Jesus in His Place. If you’re interested in looking at Christ’s humanity, I recommend Bruce Ware’s The Man Christ Jesus.
I am currently reading The Daring Mission of William Tyndale by Steven J. Lawson. I have greater appreciation for my English Bible. Tyndale was so driven to make sure everyone in the English language could read the powerful, life-changing words of the Bible. Tyndale was a man of God who labored over the original languages, constantly in danger, so that we, in the west, could have a Bible to read, understand, and know God and His salvation in Jesus Christ. Application for me: proclaim this Word boldly, study it with intensity, and love that I can read it in my own language. Highly recommended. It’s only 165pgs. If you are starting into church history, Lawson’s other books, like this one, are excellent.
It’s a peculiar post-seminary feeling… choosing books to read as apposed to having them assigned. In my opinion, many of those books were some of the best Christianity has to offer, but as I continued throughout my studies, I also had an ever-increasing stock pile of books on my “want to read list.” One of those books I just completed was Your Child’s Profession of Faith. Very simply, there are not many books available that have a truly biblical approach to a parent’s response when their child (or children) claim salvation, or express the desire to be baptized, celebrate communion, etc. Surely every godly parent longs to hear the words, “Mommy, Daddy! I just got saved!” But every godly parent also knows the dangers of easy-believism. They don’t want to administer false assurance, but at the same time, they don’t want to discourage their child’s profession of faith either! What’s the balance? Dennis Gunderson answers that question in this book. In my opinion, this is a must read for every parent, children’s worker, grandparent, or for every person in the church who knows someone with young children. In other words, I think everyone should read this book! 🙂