Here are some books I had the privilege of reading this past month and some brief thoughts about each one.
#1 – Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture by John Piper (published by Crossway 2017). If you have read one Piper book, you have read them all. “God is most glorified in us when we are satisfied in Him” is the thesis of this book, as it is in every one of his books. This book will show you how that motto applies to Bible study and reading. You won’t learn study techniques (other than arcing in the appendix), but you will be inspired to know God deeper in the Word He revealed. BOOK RATING: 9 out of 10 stars.
#2 – Gospel DNA: 21 Ministry Values for Growing Churches by Richard Coekin (published by The Good Book Company, 2017). It’s cliché to say that churches should be Gospel-centered. This book shows you how that can become a reality. Whether you are a pastor or laymen, there is very insightful and provocative suggestions for how to encourage the effectiveness of Gospel ministry in your church. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#3 – A Biblical Answer for Racial Unity with contributions from H.B. Charles Jr., Danny Akin, Juan Sanchez, Richard Caldwell, Jim Hamilton, Owen Strachan, Carl Hargrove, and Christian George (published by Kress Biblical Resources, 2017). What you will most discover in this resource are expositions of passages that address the sin of racism and the means to build unity in the local and universal church. This collection of chapters are the edited messages from the Speaking the Truth in Love Conference in 2017. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#4 – Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow (published by Nelson Books, 2005). I decided to read this book due to the provocative title and also, I am a pastor who is always thinking of ways to develop men. If you are looking for a book with raw data about male church attendance, involvement, etc., this is a tremendous tool, even though the data may be over 10 years old. If you are looking for a book with biblical solutions on how to address the need for men to be more involved in the church, this book comes short of that need. It may be a source for illustrations in a sermon or seminar, but not necessarily one that will give you non-psychologized ideas for developing men. BOOK RATING: 8 out of 10 stars.
#5 – The Next Generation Leader: 5 Essentials for Those Who Will Shape the Future by Andy Stanley (published by Multnomah Publishers, 2003). As most of Andy’s books are, you will find him land somewhere between Joel Osteen and John Maxwell on the subject of leadership…and I don’t mean that as an endorsement. You won’t discover any outright heresy but a fair amount of pop-psychology on the issue of leadership. Nowhere does he deal with leaders in the Bible, and many examples of leadership in the book are secular. You could use this book to speak to the issue of secular leadership, but I would not commend this book to be used in the church to be used to develop male leaders. There are too many better resources on that subject than this one. BOOK RATING: 5 out of 10 stars.
#6 – John G. Paton: Missionary to the Cannibals of the South Seas (The Banner of Truth Trust, 2018). This was my 2nd biography I have read of Paton. This book differs from the previous one in that it covers his life more thematically than it does chronologically. And while I would prefer the chronological approach, this bio on a missionary that endured tremendous hardships in the missionary life (e.g., death threats, family deaths) will inspire and motivate any reader to be more faithful to spread the Gospel. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.
#7 – From Crip to Christ: Change from the Inside Out (Thatch Tree Publications, 2013). A friend of mine at church gave me this book to read about one of his mentors. The story is one of the power of the Gospel and its ability to reach a young man from a gang-saturated, drug and alcohol-filled areas of Los Angeles and mold him into a servant of churches and missionaries in Wichita, KS. If you read this book, you will find yourself rejoicing in the sweet provisions of God and His faithfulness to provide for those who love Him. BOOK RATING: 10 out of 10 stars.