2016, So Far—In Books

I read—a lot; when my mind isn’t engaging with new ideas, I’m not at my best. Here’s what I’ve been reading since the year started (and a few I read right as 2015 reached an end).

Bible and Theology

Most books on theology and Scripture are used as I prepare a sermon series—either so I can understand a key theme in the book I’m working through, or for my own personal engagement. 

Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin by Cornelius Plantinga Jr.

Look to the Rock: An Old Testament Background to Our Understanding of Christ by Alec Motyer

The New International Version Application Commentary: Exodus by Peter Enns

The Five Books of Moses: A Translation and Commentary by Robert Alter

I first read Robert Alter’s text on Old Testament narrative in college; his translation and commentary of the first five books of the Old Testament 41l3S5L5FJL._AC_UL320_SR208,320_.jpgare great fun to read, and his notes on the text are immensely helpful for understanding how Hebrew narrative works. 

Mark (N. T. Wright for Everyone Bible Study Guides) by N.T. Wright

I used N.T. Wright’s guide for my own personal study and benefitted greatly. I’m now working my way through his study on Revelation. 

Ministry and Leadership

Lately I’ve focused less on books on leadership and more on books on discipleship, preaching, and culture. Here’s some highlights. 

Building a Discipling Culture by Mike Breen

This is the book that gives language to discipleship—the book I’ve been looking for. 

515XatoWK1L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgPreaching: Communicating Faith in an Age of Skepticism by Tim Keller

It’s been a really long time since I read a book on preaching, but boy am I glad I read this one. I devoured this volume in a weekend and it’s been tremendously helpful to my preaching in the last few months. It’s quick, helpful, and like all Keller books, filled with thoughts you just didn’t see coming.

Fool’s Talk: Recovering the Art of Christian Persuasion by Os Guinness

One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm

This is the tool I’ve been looking for in making disciples for a long time. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

I’ve been reading sci-fi and fantasy novels since The Lord of the Rings captured my imagination in middle school. I usually read these novels before bed, to get out of my head and relax. 

Morning Star: Book III of The Red Rising Trilogy by Pierce Brown

Where the second book in a trilogy is usually the weakest, Morning Star was the hardest book to slog through in this series. 

The Autumn Republic: Powder Mage Series Book 3 by Brian McClellan

The Crimson Campaign: Powder Mage Series Book 2 by Brian McClellan

Caliban’s War: The Expanse Book 2 by James S.A. Corey

The Expanse is now a television drama on the SyFy channel; the first book in this series was tremendous, and each successive volume has been a great read. 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Gatefather: A Novel of the Mither Mages by Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card has been a favorite author since high school, when I read Ender’s Game. The Mither Mages series is been classic card: imaginative, fun, with memorable characters. 

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