On the Shelf: What I want to read next
The Good and Beautiful Life:
James Bryan Smith
James Bryan Smith
Kingdom Come: Reggie McNeal
Searching For Sunday: Rachel Held Evans
(2016) This was a great read that focused on the things that church hold most dear and challenging them to be something that truly connects us to God rather than just being a check-off list.
Overwhelmed: Perry Noble
Kingdom Conspiracy: Scot McKnight(2015)
Junia Is Not Alone: Scot McKnight
Doubling Groups 2.0: Josh Hunt
Not Off Limits: Ross Cochran
Crazy Stories Sane God: John Allan Turner
Simply Good News: N.T. Wright
Scary Close: Donald Miller
Bringing Heaven To Earth: Ross and Storment
The Good and Beautiful Community: James Bryan Smith
Preaching: Timothy Keller
Accidental Saints: Nadia Bolz-Webber(2015)
Gray Mountain: John Grisham
Along the Way: Pemberton and Bruner
Life Together: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Sycamore Row: John Grisham
(2014) I love Grisham books. And I try to read at least one for fun each year. This was a great story taking us back to Jake Brigance following the Hailey trial. Great movement in the story. I loved it!
Enemies of the Heart: Andy Stanley
(2014) I really enjoyed this book as it unveils some of the emotions that can control our hearts and then gives four counter ways to live that can free us. Andy Stanley does an amazing job of taking the four emotions of Guilt, Anger, Greed, and Jealousy and breaking them down for us to understand how they affect us personally. I would encourage anyone to read this book and find freedom for your heart.
Jesus Now: Frank Viola
(2014) Frank Viola has a great concept in his book Jesus Now. It is not often I think about how what Jesus did in scripture also describes what Jesus is doing right now. This is a helpful thought that will lead us to discovering how we can join God in what He is doing now. There are some great insights in this book and recommend it to those who want to live in Jesus, not simply remember his historic or past value.
Be Real: Rick Bezet
(2014) Rick is a local pastor where I am a minister. Though I have never met him, I have seen the fruit of his ministry and this book matches the fruit produced from New Life Church. I love the balanced look at the gospel and the call to be who God made us and quit acting like we are something that we really aren't.
Nudge: Leonard Sweet
(2014) I started this book more than a year ago. I finally put in back in my lap and began to read. I couldn't stop underlining different ideas and phrases. Sweet does a tremendous job of taking a necessary, but tired idea and bringing it life. My favorite thought of the book is that we are not bringing God to the godless, but nudging the hearts of people awakening the God that is already in them. Just a marvelous read.
To Live is Christ To Die is Gain: Matt Chandler
(2014) I really enjoyed listening to Matt in college as he led a weekly Bible study/worship time for the small Texas town where we both went to college. Matt is a great speaker and a great pastor and now a great author. I really enjoyed what he brought out of the text of Philippians in his book. It is a great read that uses personal story, useful illustrations, and textual exegesis to make one central point. Living for Christ allows us to die on this earth will full gain.
How To Start A Riot: Jonathan Storment
(2014) Jonathan is a friend and former co-worker of mine. He has a great heart for ministry and people who need to hear the word of God. I am so thankful to read his book. I also had the advantage of hearing him preach these sermons live. I love the theme he shares that presents itself throughout the book of Acts and the challenge for God's people to start a revolution...a local revolution. Not so we can start arguments and fights, but so we can find our passion for God and His Kingdom message once again. Our churches in America need a fresh vision for what it means to worship and serve God and still have God be the point. The question I walk away with after reading Jonathan's book is this: Will I participate in something greater than myself for the glory of God?
No More Dragons: Jim Burgen
(2014) This book needs to be read by all that are still hanging on to sin and guilt from their past. Jim takes you through the great adventure of not allowing your sin (your dragons) to rule your life anymore. This book is full of grace and mercy and yet still expects us to have responsibility for our actions and lives.
Jesus Is _____. : Judah Smith
(2014) Great book that takes you through who Jesus is and the stories in scripture that support these ideas. It is a great read that allows for us to see what God is up to in the world Jesus lived and in our world today.
Unfinished: Richard Stearns
(2014) Stearns does a great job sharing a balanced message on missions. One of the best things I took away from this book came from the latter chapters where he shares Jesus' approach of kingdom work through proclamation, compassion, and justice and how the church should do the same. I really enjoyed the insights from this book. May favorite quote: "A dead body has all of the same parts as a living one. God brings life and purpose to the church through his Holy Spirit..." (p.156). There are things to be learned from Unfinished, if we will ponder it and listen to God's call for us today.
Love Like Jesus: Judah Smith
(2014) This was a quick read. This book from Judah Smith is from his earlier career and really would be good for student readers. He uses great testimonies to make this one point: Jesus loves you and we need to love him back by loving others.
Simply Jesus: N.T. Wright
(2014) This is a powerful look at who Jesus is and what his gospel truly was about. Wright gets to the focus of what Jesus' kingdom was and how we can too be a part of it. I look forward to reading this book again.
Through Painted Deserts: Donald Miller
The Cost of Discipleship: Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(2014) Bonhoeffer is great in this piece as usual. I will need to read this book several more times to glean everything there is in its pages. He draws on a great definition of what it means to be a disciple. He looks at that under the microscope, then uses the Sermon on the Mount as a text to engage with regarding discipleship, and then ends with some more of Matthew's gospel to help us focus on the idea of truly following Jesus. I had to trudge through some of this, but he is a great theologian and what he says in this book is worth stopping and soaking in over a period of time. This book will challenge you in your own life.
Pursued: Jud Wilhite
(2014) Jud uses the story of Hosea as his backdrop to show how God pursues us unconditionally. If God can command the prophet Hosea to marry a prostitute and continue to take her back every time she leaves him and cheats on him, then God can continue to pursue his people when they do the same. What I love about Jud (besides that he is from Texas) is that he uses funny and interesting stories from his childhood and his current ministry to engage the reader and make his point. One point that Jud Wilhite makes throughout the book is that there is great brokenness in our world and we do some terrible things to run away from God, but in the end He never stops pursuing a relationship with us. He will never stop pursuing us, just so we can receive His grace.
ALL IN: Mark Batterson
(2014) I have heard Mark two different times at conferences and have always appreciated his passion for spreading the message of the Kingdom and helping his church live it out. Reading All In was no different. HIs passion came through on the pages and pulled you in to a life imagined where we ourselves can give our all to Jesus. Batterson is inviting his readers to lay down superficial following and take up the idea that we cannot be "somewhat" Christian, we must be totally in with Christ and His Kingdom. It is a good fast read and will help inspire you to live out your life for the Kingdom in front of others.
Deep and Wide: Andy Stanley
(2013) This is an excellent practical book on how to create a church for those who are not interested in the church life. It is very challenging to read this book as one who is part of denomination with many traditions. It challenges the practicality and purpose of what a church does and how it presents itself. The message of this book is extremely useful to any church and really challenges the purpose of why we gather. It's a must read for any church leader.
Scarred Faith: Josh Ross
(2013) I have had certain difficult times in my life and grief has always been a process that is uneasy, but necessary. Josh does a great service to the Kingdom through his book on faith, loss, grief, and God's heart. Using the story of his older sister who dies at too young of an age and leaves behind a husband and child, we see how God doesn't want for us to suffer pain, but also will not leave us when the brokenness of this world breaks into our own lives. Not only does Josh do us a great service with his conversation about grief, but also directs our focus back to what God desires for His people when he calls us to walk alongside those that live in the margins. This is something that every pastor should read and read again. Thanks Josh, you expanded the Kingdom with this book.
Next Generation Leader: Andy Stanley
(2013) I'm beginning to really appreciate Andy Stanley. There is just simply good principles here for leadership. Sometimes there are born leaders. Sometimes there are leaders because they have found themselves in that position. This book is a great reminder for born leaders and great direction for situational leaders. Either way these principles are true. I loved reading this book.
King Jesus Gospel: Scot McKnight
2013: Mcknight gives a fuller view and explanation of the entire gospel. We have taken the passion story and made that the gospel, when in effect the entirety of Jesus is the gospel. As McKnight puts it, the gospel is the story that Jesus is completing the story of Israel. I really appreciate his final chapters giving a challenge for Christians to live out this kind of gospel and how this expansion of thought should influence they way we live. I wrote a blog about this book and topic here.
Starting Something that Matters: Blake MyCoskie
2013: My wife ordered a pair of TOMS for Christmas (2012) and this book came with the purchase. I began to read it and couldn't put it down. You mean you can make a profit and help in the name of Christ? Yes. It is a great story and challenge for us to do more with our secular lives, the way God has intended.
Revise Us Again: Frank Viola
2013: This is a great read that helps us get back to the heart of what we should be about in our Christian life. Frank Viola does a good job at taking things that we say and do in the Christian life and re-routing them, revising them, back to the heart and core of what they should be for us.