Thursday, January 1, 2009

Books for December / Year-end

I only finished two books in December, and one of them was one I read to the kids...
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (re-read). I read this one out loud to Jack and Molly-- Molly wasn’t quite with us the whole time, but she seemed to like it anyway. Jack loved it, and we’re already working on Prince Caspian now. It’s easy to love these books, especially as they were written to be presented: read aloud to children. (9)
  • The Heart of Prayer by Jerram Barrs. This was a great book that looks at a few of Jesus’ teachings and examples of prayer, considering what we might learn about our prayers from them. Jerram is going to be coming to HWPC later in 2009, and speaking on this topic-- so it’s great to hear from him again on the subject. (I also took a class from Jerram on the Theology of Prayer at Covenant Seminary.) If you’re not familiar with Jerram, think of the most gentle, kind, and gracious person you can imagine, and then think of the most thoughtful, intelligent, and wise person you know-- then put them together, and that’s Jerram. He is beloved as much for his pastoral spirit as anything else, and that spirit comes through clearly in this book. I’d stop short of calling this a “must-read” but if you want a good book on prayer, this is as good a place to look as any. (9+)

Also, I thought I would offer a one-post summary of my reading for the year. (The links in the month names will take you to the original posts, where there is a mini-review about each book.) I ended up with 42 books, which isn’t a clean average of “4 per month” or whatever, but some readers will affirm that 42 is a good literary number anyway. Here’s my reading list for 2008:

  • None

  • How Your Church Family Works by Peter L. Steinke (9)
  • The Challenge of Jesus by N. T. Wright (skim) (A qualified 7+/8)
  • Benedictions by Robert Vasholz (9)
  • The Shadow of the Cross by Walter Chantry (re-read) (9+/10)

  • The Importance of the Local Church by Daniel Wray (re-read) (9+)
  • When Bad Christians Happen to Good People by Dave Burchett (8)
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson (8)
  • Proper Confidence by Lesslie Newbigin (9+)

  • Surviving Your First Year as Pastor by Angie Best-Boss (5)
  • If It Could Happen Here... by Jeff Patton (8+)
  • The House that Jesus Built by Dale Ralph Davis (10)
  • Eucharistic Bread-Baking as Ministry by Tony Begonja (8+)

  • The Work of the Pastor by William Still (re-read) (10)
  • Wiring a House by Rex Cauldwell (9)
  • With Reverence and Awe by D.G. Hart and John R. Muether (5)
  • Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero (re-read) (8+)
  • Ruling Elder by Leonard Van Horn (8)
  • Framing Floors, Walls, and Ceilings by the editors of Fine Homebuilding(4)

  • Effective Small Churches in the Twenty-First Century by Carl S. Dudley (8+)
  • “The Vision Thing” by Don K. Clements (8)

  • None

  • Evangelism in the Small Membership Church by Royal Speidel (3)
  • Waterbrook Press Children’s Extravaganza (children’s books)-- God Gave Us Heaven by Lisa Tawn Bergren, When God Created My Toes and God Loves Me More Than That by Dandi Daley Mackall
  • Making a Meal of It: Rethinking the theology of the Lord’s Supper by Ben Witherington, III (7)
  • How to Pick a Peach: the search for flavor from farm to table by Russ Parsons (10)
  • The Lord’s Supper: Eternal Word in broken bread by Robert Letham (re-read) (9)
  • A Handful of Pebbles: theological liberalism and the church by Peter Barnes (7+)
  • The Faith of Barack Obama by Stephen Mansfield (8+)
  • Serving in Church Visitation by Jerry M. Stubblefield (9+)

  • Beyond Bells and Smells by Mark Galli (8)
  • The Power of Speaking God’s Word: How to Preach Memorable Sermons by Wilbur Ellsworth (re-read) (8+)
  • A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion by Trevor Hudson (8)
  • Calls to Worship: a pocket resource by Robert Vasholz (9+)
  • The Encore Effect: How to Achieve Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do by Mark Sanborn (6-)

  • Churched by Matthew Paul Turner (9+)
  • Preaching to a Post-Everything World by Zack Eswine (10)
  • How Would Jesus Vote? by D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe (5)

  • Living Streams: Journeys of a Life Well-Lived by Stuart Briscoe (9+)
  • The Crucifixion of Ministry by Andrew Purves (8+)

  • See above.

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