#1 – Authentic Fire by Michael Brown. Due to my impending series in I Corinthians 12-14, this was a book on my reading list. If you don’t know, this is the continuationist response to John MacArthur’s Strange Fire book and Strange Fire Conference. Other than some legitimate concerns expressed by Brown regarding the Strange Fire movement sweeping every Charismatic ”under the rug” I found this book to be lacking the necessary exegesis and textual defense of a continuationist position. There are other books that do a better job of defending that position biblically. This book seemed to be more of a “venting” than a carefully, written response. BOOK RATING: 6 out of 10 stars.
#2 – How to Lead Small Groups by Neal F. McBride. My biggest criticism of this book was the lack of a Scriptural defense of the “why of small groups.” When verses were mentioned, they were simply referred to “in passing.” There was not enough biblical defense of the small group ministry dynamic for the local church. Other than that, it was a very helpful book that gave direction on a number of topics for a small group leader: how to handle conflict, how to evaluate your small group, the dynamics of a small group, learning to ask good questions, etc. BOOK RATING: 6 out of 10 stars.
#3 – Family Worship: In the Bible, in History, and in Your Home by Donald S. Whitney. The topic of “family worship” has also been a tricky one for me. It has been tricky, not because I disbelieve that fathers and mothers should be investing the Word of God into the lives of their children, but because the usual case for the practice of family worship seems a little too soft. I believe that fathers especially should fine find to formally and informally make sure they are spiritually provided for their kids (Deut 6:4-9), but Whitney’s case for “family worship” was lacking, in my opinion. BOOK RATING: 6 out of 10 stars.
#4 – The Disciple-Making Pastor by Bill Hull. I hoped to get some good help in this book on how to help foster a disciple-making culture in your church. But in this book, what truly soured my desire to recommend it was when the author’s conclusion that the best analogy that describes the responsibilities and opportunities of a pastor is an athletic coach. Apparently, the author has never read Psalm 23 or John 10. The shepherds is the best and biblical analogy for pastoring. Stick with the Bible! BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.
#5 – Home Cell Group Explosion by Joel Comiskey. I hesitate to even list this among the books I read since I only made it through 36 pages of this 174-page book. Rarely do I not complete reading a book. For that to happen, a book has to be boring, poorly reasoned, illogical, lacking biblical arguments (applying to Christian books), etc. And this book meets all those qualifications. BOOK RATING: 1 out of 10 stars.