#1 – Adventuring Through the Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to the Entire Bible by Ray C. Stedman (published by Discovery House Publishers, 1997). This is an adequate survey of the entire Bible. Where Stedman is strong in this book is painting with a broad brush of historical background of each book in the Bible, but sometimes you are left with too many questions after reading a chapter. He is not particularly helpful in weaving themes of the book through each chapter. BOOK RATING: 6 out of 10 stars.
#2 – Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines by David Mathis (published by Crossways Books, 2016). This book addresses topics like communication, Bible study, meditation, memorization, learning, prayer, fasting, journaling, resting, fellowship, corporate worship, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, listening to preaching, rebuke, using money and time, etc. While the topics are broad and the writing is good, there are other books on spiritual disciplines that are better…in my opinion (e.g., Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life). At times, I found myself wanting him to say more and give more practical help than he does. At times, his conclusions were more theoretical than helpful. BOOK RATING: 7 out of 10 stars.
#3 – Who Am I? New Testament Pictures of the Christian Life by Warren W. Wiersbe (published by Discovery House Publishers, 2007). This is the 3rd book I have read in the last year on the Christian’s identity in Christ, and I would rank it before the other 2. This is vintage Wiersbe: concise, biblical, clear and convicting. Every chapter addresses a term that Christians are referred to in the Scripture (e.g., child, sheep, pilgrim, member, priest, stone, debtor, soldier, runner, ambassador, bread, seeds, and new creation), and each chapter is well developed. I can see this being an encouraging resource to give a new believer needed to be grounded in what it means to be “in Christ” or an individual struggling with finding sufficiency or pleasure in worldly things. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#4 – Beat God to the Punch: Because Jesus Demands Your Life by Eric Mason (published by B&H Publishing Group, 2014). You can read my thoughts about this book here. BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.
#5 – Studies in the Sermon on the Mount by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1976). In all fairness, I did not read this book in the month of August but completed its reading, which began in January. Everyone who has preached through the Gospel of Matthew told me, “Buy Lloyd-Jones” and I am glad I did. The author rightly captures the concern Jesus preached about – inward hypocrisy and the importance of addressing the heart. I would read this book even if I weren’t preaching or studying the Gospel of Matthew. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.