What I’m Reading

Nov
2013
19

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You know, it was brought to my attention recently that I am incredibly blessed to have a constant resource of great books at my disposal. Because my husband is a pastor, I don’t even really need to look for great theological and spiritual books to read. They just appear in our house on a regular basis. And if I express interest in reading one that I’ve heard about, chances are he already has it in his giant library at church.

For instance, I recently read this review of Timothy Keller’s new book on suffering (Walking with God through Pain and Suffering) by Joni Erickson Tada. And I texted the link to Josh and said, “Hon, I really want to read this book,” and he was like, “Yeah, I already ordered it.”

And on top of all that, we regularly go to conferences where giant bookstores are set up with every book on every topic imaginable. Now I love to read, so this is heavenly to me. I love to wander around and look through books. I get lost in it. I miss talks at the conference because of it.

But even if you don’t love to read, which is fine, I think that reading books that encourage and build the faith is a great habit for every Christian to develop. John Piper said this, and Josh and I both found it incredibly encouraging:

“Suppose you read about 250 words a minute and that you resolve to devote just 15 minutes a day to serious theological reading to deepen your grasp of biblical truth. In one year (365 days) you would read for 5,475 minutes. Multiply that times 250 words per minute and you get 1,368,750 words per year. Now most books have between 300 and 400 words per page. So if we take 350 words per page and divide that into 1,368,750 words per year, we get 3,910 pages per year. This means that at 250 words a minute, 15 minutes a day, you could read about 20 average sized books a year!” (you can see the full post here).

Anyone, even a non-reader, can do that!

Anyhow, since I have such regular access to great books, I thought I’d share with you what I’m reading on a semi-regular basis. First, my hope would be that it would give you some ideas of books you may enjoy, and encourage you to pursue reading. Second, it will probably keep me reading as well. If I tell you I’m reading a book, I’ll be embarrassed if you ask me about it 4 months later and I still haven’t finished it. See! We all benefit!

So here’s what I’m reading now…

I just finished The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. Our pastors at Four Oaks encouraged us all to read this as they preached a short sermon series on the story of the Prodigal Son from Luke 15 (fantastic sermons that you can find here). You guys, this book is so good. It’s about 130 pages, an easy read, but so packed with great truth. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“The father could not just forgive the younger son, somebody had to pay! The father could not reinstate him except at the expense of the elder brother. There was no other way. But Jesus does not put a true elder brother in the story, one who is willing to pay any cost to seek and save that which is lost. It is heartbreaking. The younger son gets a Pharisee for a brother instead.

But we do not.

By putting a flawed elder brother in the story, Jesus is inviting us to imagine and yearn for a true one…our true elder brother paid our debt, on the cross, in our place” (84-85).

This book is gospel-saturated, the best kind of book. Totally worth your time. If you go to Four Oaks and haven’t read it yet, I’m pretty sure there are still some copies available.

Now that I finished that, I’ve just started reading Through His Eyes: God’s Perspective on Women in the Bible, by Jerram Barrs. I picked this up in April at The Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando, but haven’t gotten around to reading it until now. Barrs sums up the purpose of the book nicely in his introduction:

“I have been deeply troubled in our churches by the way much teaching on women begins with the restrictive passages in 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 and 1 Timothy 2 and often ends there. It is not that those passages are insignificant, but I have been eager to ask a more foundational question: How does the Lord see women…what does God think about women, and how does He treat them?” (9).

Each chapter in the book focuses on a specific woman in Scripture and examines what the text reveals about that woman and God’s view of her (Eve, Sarah, Tamar, Rahab, etc.). I’m only a few chapters in but I’m excited to read a book that takes a different look at women than any I’ve read before.  I’ll let y’all know what I’ve learned when I finish it!

Some other books I’ve read in the last year and have really benefited from:

Future Grace by John Piper

Humility by Andrew Murray

The God Who is There by D.A. Carson

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp (yes, I KNOW, I hated on this book before I fully read it and am now a convert. Maybe I’ll devote an entire post to how that happened someday)

Be Still My Soul: Embracing God’s Purpose and Provision in Suffering (25 Classic and Contemporary Readings on the Problem of Pain) edited by Nancy Guthrie

Hope these suggestions are helpful to you! I’d love to hear what other people are reading and learning from as well. I’m always looking for great books to read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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