Monday, May 11, 2009

Books for April 2009

These are the books I read in April:
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A. Carson. This book is a very helpful guide on prayer by a hero of our times. It looks at Paul’s letters and gleans what we might learn about how to pray in a more biblical manner-- something we all could benefit from. I love Carson’s style and biblical insight, and I always find his engagement with such practical material to be worth my time. This one took some time-- I soaked it up over about six weeks, putting it down for a bit to consider a chapter or so. It isn’t light reading; still, I highly recommend it. (10)
  • Why Johnny Can’t Preach by T. David Gordon. Here’a an insightful little book that considers how our media-saturated culture has changed the likelihood of the average pastor being a decent or even acceptable preacher. Gordon offers a great analysis-- and what is even better, he offers a very good chapter on how to change it. Good stuff, and should probably be required reading for college and seminary students (the earlier the better). (8+/9)
  • 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe by Larry Osborne. This is a clever little book that considers 10 of what the author calls “spiritual urban legends.” I’ll be reviewing this one in more detail soon. (8)
  • Preaching on Your Feet by Fred R. Lybrand. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the methods described in this book were essentially the methods I’ve come to use week-by-week, with just a little bit of modification. This made the book less groundbreaking than confirming and refining for me, though it might be groundbreaking (and quite freeing) for many-- especially if you are the type of preacher who feels compelled to complete a full manuscript and try to preach from it. At times, he takes a bit too firm a stance of defense for his methodology, which I suppose is understandable, though it distracts from the important stuff (I’m already reading your book, Fred, so you don’t have to try to sell it to me again). (8+)

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