Recently Read Books

The JESUS CREED by Scot McKnight
Jesus during his ministry exhibited his life as a Hebrew by his knowledge of the Shema, the creed of Israel. Jesus however lived it out with an additional clause, so that it read like this:
“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.”

As a believer, do you make this your creed? If not, read this book. If you do, then read this book. Scot shares how Jesus took the Old testament Hebrew life, and with the addition of a few words changed it forever and illustrates how we are to live loving God, and also loving Man.
Narrative Art in the Bible by Shimon Bar-Efrat
The ART of BIBLICAL POETRY by Robert Alter

These two books formed a set for a functional Hebrew translation course.
Shimon (Narrative Art in the Bible) presented chapters covering
The Narrator, The Characters, The Plot, Time and Space, and Style.
Robert (The Art of Biblical Poetry) presented key chapters coveromg
The dynamics of Parallelism, From line to story, The Structure of Intensification, Forms of Faith in the Psalms, Prophecy & Poetry.

Having completed Hebrew and these two books, I will never read the Old Testament the same. It is by far fuller, and richer than ever.
May, 2012
Why Johny Can't Preach by T. David Gordon

Discusion to be released shortly
March 2011
A Survey on Developing Ministries of Mercy
Evangelism, Doing Justice and Preaching Grace by Harvie M. Conn
With Justice for All, A Strategy for Community Development by John Perkins
Ministries of Mercy, The call of the Jericho Road by Timothy J. Keller

For a brief discussion of each book, , clik here

July 2010
A Survey of Spiritual Warfare

These books represent a survey of three major models for Spritual Warfare. These are the Gospel Encounter, the Power Encounter, and the Truth Encounter.

For a book by book annotated bibliography , clik here

April 2009
The Blue Parakeet by Scot McKnight.

Scot has written an easy to read book, although one that leads you to seriously consider how do you read the Bible. Some he shows claim to read it all "literally" but ignore key verses on either side of their favorites. Others read a command but discount it because "that was then and this is now."

A good read of this book will help you see the Bible as God's word written to us, and to better understand how to interpret it in light of what it says. Scot concludes his text by looking at the issue "woman in ministry". He looks at tradition, and then turns to what the Bible says.

Read this book, and consider where you should be a Blue Parakeet.
Reformed and Always Reforming by Roger E. Olson.

Review Pending
Church History in Plain Language by Bruce L. Shelley.

Review Pending
How to Care for your Pastor by Kent Philpott.

Review Pending
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Jake Colsen. (Note Jake Colsen is a pseudonym for this combined work of Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman)

This book is the story of Jake, and his movement from the struggle to perform in church, and all the problems with that struggle and his journey to enjoy the relationship of God in him. This book is based on feelings, and has an underlying assumption - the church is an instutution and institutions are bad because they always leave you "working" and not "relating". Additionally, this book does not direct itself using the Bible ase the center of right and wrong - It is all wrapped up in faith and feeling. This book will be dangerous for those that are looking for an excuse to not go to church.
Fasting for Spiritual Break Through by Elmer L. Towns.

I have always thought of fasting as being about food. Well, this book has opened my view and I now see fasting may be about food, but it may also include high tech gadgets, travel, time, or any other activity that a person does that when given up allow them to spend more time in fellowship with God.
Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels.

If you are a pastor in ministry, then you probobly have the same characteristic that I have, and this book addresses. We are active in sharing the gospel as part of our ministry but we never get into situations where we are not surrounded by Christians. Bill proposes that as a believer, we are to actively facilitate exposure time, and cultivate relationships that may later give you the opportunity to share. Till that time though use each day to earn the right to share with the individuals you are deliberatedly working to be credible with. I started reading this book at about the same time as Piper's Desireing God book and they fit together so well, you might think it was a God thing ;-) I hope that these two books can be a blessing to you and encourage you in your Christian walk and enjoyment of God.
Desiring God, Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper.

John Piper presents the old confession, "The chief end of man is to glorify God AND enjoy Him forever". He then goes on to point out the short comings in this confession and proposes that a more acceptable wording, accomplished by changing one word is, "The chief end of man is to glorify God BY enjoying Him forever".

John makes extensive use of scripture in supporting his book's title, and I have to admit that I am convinced. I am to be a Christian hedonist. I am praying to that end, and that my natural hedonistic tendancies will be over powered by "enjoying Him forever".
The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey

Like Philip I grew up in churches that portrayed a very warm, gentile and sometimes weak Jesus. After reading Philip Yancey's book "The Jesus I never knew" I see a different Jesus - a Biblicaly based Jesus that is strong, but loving, Caring but firm, and never weak. He holds us up to high standards but then gives us grace as we fail to achieve the high standards.
Reforming Pastoral Ministry by John H. Armstrong

Armstrong collects 14 authors to produce a text that challenges ministry in these postmodern times where much of our ministry has devolved away from Biblical norms and towards modern and post modern practices. This book was challenging to me, both personally, for my ministry, and for my church. I encourage everyone to read this book, and to seriously consider it's model for ministry as given in the Old and New Testament.
UPRISING a revelution of the soul by Edwin Raphael McManus
I found this book easy to read, challenging, and applicable in many ways. I was however disapointed in the usage of scripture and specific application of Biblical text that is very broadly streched out of context or questionable in essence.

If you want a good self help book this book may be it. It presents many Christian ideals, but it strays further from the Bible than I would like. This book claims "this book is a quest for life ... a quest to regain what was lost in the fall ... To have God's character formed in us". I do not think our quest is to regain what was lost in the fall, rather it is to respond to what God has done for us.
The Blessing of Moses to the tribe of Benjamin by Bill Mills and Peter Luisi-Mills
Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him
For He shields him all day long.
And the one the Lord loves
Rests between His shoulders.

"The blessing of Benjamin is a devotional BIble study... It is based on Moses' words of encouragement to the Tribe of Benjamin as they entered the promised land."
"The blessing of Benjamin helps us to see ourselves through the eyes of God and therefore enables us to live in the power of His approval."
As we learn to live in the power of our Father's blessing, we are helped to pass that blessing on to our children, an act that can transform their lives.