I haven't always loved to read. It wasn't until I started reading things that actually interested me that a love of reading was birthed. To be effective as a pastor, I spend quite a bit of time reading, growing, and learning from others. With a quarter of 2014 already finished, here's a list of books that I've read this year [or that I'm in the process of reading]:
- THREE VIEWS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT'S USE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
We just finished this today at the State Street book club. The counterpoint series are helpful to create dialogue and to organize various debates within certain camps. This was probably my least favorite book to read this year.
- ACTS: INTERPRETATION by Will Willimon
I started 2014 with a series on Acts 9-14. Willimon's commentary was a great help in understanding the text.
- THE CREED by Luke Timothy Johnson
One of the books that has helped me sort out and understand the Apostles' Creed in context. Johnson is a superb scholar.
- THE APOSTLES' CREED FOR TODAY by Justo Gonzalez
Gonzalez has become one of my favorite theologians and church historians. I like Johnson's work on the Creed, but I've enjoyed Gonzalez' even more.
- LET'S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS by David Sedaris
I find Sedaris to be an engaging and witty essayist. One of my favorite lines, "Now it seems cruel, abusive even, but this all happened before the invention of self-esteem, which, frankly, I think is a little overrated."
- THE GIPPER by Jack Cavanaugh
I love the University of Notre Dame and history. This book leveraged both of these infatuations.
- THE ORTHODOX WAY by Kallistos Ware
There are times when I'm reading books that I just know that certain content will stay with me for the rest of my life. Much of this book has been that way. I really love Ware's writing and ideas [or, perhaps Orthodoxy in general.]
- THE PLACE OF THE HEART by Elisabeth Behr-Segel
This book is an introduction to orthodox spirituality. It's less a consistent narrative as it is select essays about topics important to Orthodoxy. I enjoyed reading it.
- UNAPOLOGETIC by Francis Spufford
This has been one of my favorite reads this year. Spufford isn't a theologian, but he does decent theology. He's also funny, if a bit crude at times. The book is an an apologetic for Christianity to make emotional sense.
- A LETTER TO MY CONGREGATION by Ken Wilson
Wilson is a Vineyard pastor in Ann Arbor, MI. He writes well, honestly, and authentically. If you're a Christian and you don't know what to make of homosexuality and the Church, this may be a good book to read. I'm not finished with it yet, but I've enjoyed it so far.
- AN UNSETTLED GOD by Walter Brueggemann
Brueggemann could retype the Newark phone book in all caps and I'd still read it. I'm not finished with this yet, but it's good. He brings alive the Hebrew Bible in ways that I find beautiful, redemptive, and true.
That's all. I have a few more books that are on my Kindle that I haven't read yet, but I won't list them here. What books have you read in 2014? Favorite? Least favorite?
If you're wanting to read books with other people, you are more than welcome to join the State Street book club that meets at 6:30am on Thursday mornings in LaPorte. We'll be starting a new book next week.