Monday, May 5, 2008

Reading List

Here is the list of books I've been reading in the last few months, using food metaphors to describe them. The percentage in [] is how much of the book I've read, but is not a statement of how much I like it.

When it comes to books, this is how I roll: I start a lot of books and only finish the ones I really like, or the ones I have to (i.e. taking or teaching a class). Here we go (in no particular order)...

Unity of the Bible by Daniel Fuller [95%]- Shredded Wheat...dry but nourishing
- The theological Mariana Trench

Searching for God Knows What by Donald Miller [15%]- Frosted Shredded Wheat
- Fun thoughts on how our faith is not boiled down to a formula. As you can see from my book list, this book provides the much needed levity and fresh thoughts about life with God.

Why God became man by St. Anselm [100%]- Brussel Sprouts.
- We owe much to Anselm. This book has shaped modern views of the atonement. It's a very tough read (Anselm is referred to as the "Father of Scholasticism." At one point he argues how the number of elect will equal the fallen angels... classic scholastic controversy.

On Christian Freedom by Martin Luther [100%]- Sweet Potato
- Sometimes the first person to make an argument (i.e. justification by faith alone) doesn't always make the best one. But, we are obviously grateful for Luther. I don't think he originally intended such a sharp break from the Catholic Church.

Biblical Preaching by Haddon Robinson [20%]- Carrots
- More stuff primarily for people who have the responsibility of teaching the Bible.

Kingdom Triangle by J.P. Moreland [1%]- Persimmons Fruit
- I'm only a couple pages into Dallas Willard's preface, which in itself is a formidable task. Persimmons fruit is great, but I've only had a small taste once. I'm excited to dive into this book that our elder team is all reading together to help us think through issues related to the supernatural.

Young, Restless and Reformed by Collin Hansen [35%]- Banana
- Thanks, Chris for buying this book for me! This book reads like a long magazine article, though not my favorite, is tolerable. The content is accurate and it is a sort of portrait of myself. I have many paragraphs underlined with "me" written in the margin. Although I spend more time trying to defend the Bible than TULIP, I definitely have reformed leanings. I was bit by the Piper bug (glory of God) at the very first Passion Conference in 1997. In 1998 I became very judgmental about it. I've grown a lot since then, hopefully enough to bless the kingdom on all sides of this issue. Go preterism!


Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on any of John Eldredge's books? They stir my heart, but I'm not savvy enough or smart enough to know if there's any true meat to it or if it's just Christian pop psych.

Metropuritan Mark said...

I don't comment a lot- but I think this is an excellent question. I think we should read everything in the spirit of 1 Thessalonians 5:19-ff, "test everything, hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil." The idea is not to look for the bad, rather, just to let it go. Search for the good.

I think Eldredge has a lot of great things to say. I've only read Sacred Romance and Wild at Heart, but both stirred my soul in different (positive) ways.

Using the food metaphor, I would eat a wide variety of food. If all you read is Edredge, Max Lucado, and Donald Miller, you might not get all the nutrition you'll need. Mix in some vegetables.

Most importantly- I wouldn't be too concerned if your soul is being nourished by daily reading and meditation on the Scriptures.

If you keep Bible flowing through your soul, you might never become savvy or smart, but you'll get wisdom.

And that's all that matters.

"The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple."

Ed Noble said...

Great Reading List bro! Have you read "the Shack"? I'm going to write on it soon. Wow!