Posts in Category: Books and Reading

Some Books from 2020

I don’t want to label this a top ten list and make it sound like I read enough books to have a realistic top ten list. So these are just some books that I read in the past twelve months that I enjoyed, I learned from, or I was challenged by.

  1. Letters to the Church by Francis Chan –I marked this book’s pages more than any other I’ve read this year or in a long time. His critique of what has become “church” for most of us was a jolt to my convictions that I needed to read.
  2. The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax –I’m a parent, so I try to learn about being a better parent. This book was challenging. It confronts the friend approach that many parents take in our modern-day and age. It spoke to that truth I know in my heart: that my job is not to entitle my children but to train them to be adults that can survive and be successful in this world.
  3. Born Again This Way by Rachel Gilson –Rachel Gilson talks about Rachel’s journey of being a same-sex attracted woman while living by the Bible’s principles. This is one of the clearest treatises on this topic I have ever read. But this book went beyond addressing just one group’s “sin” I was confronted in my sin also and encouraged by the hope we can all have through the power of Jesus!
  4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates –This book is one that many could argue with as they read. I chose to set cultural and racial defensiveness aside and learn from another’s perspective. I’m glad I did. (*language).
  5. Creating Community by Andy Stanley –During COVID, I became convicted that, as Ellen White said, small groups are a method that “cannot fail.” So I did some small group reading. Of the small group “method” books out there, this is one of the better ones I’ve read.
  6. Re:Vision by Aubrey Malphurs and Gordon Penfold –I’m about two years in and two chapters into my doctoral degree, and this was one of the books assigned to me in my core curriculum. I loved it. But you should know almost everyone else in my class hated it. I can’t tell you why; it just rubbed them wrong. It smacked me and encouraged me to take more ownership of where and how I’m leading the people God has called me to lead. By the way, my doctorate is examining leadership in relationship to church revitalization, so this book is about church revitalization.
  7. Running the Dream by Matt Fitzgerald –I just love reading about distance running! (*language)

And here are a few titles I’ve started in 2020 and will hopefully finish in 2021:

  • James Madison: A Life Reconsidered by Lynne Cheney
  • Paul: A Biography by N.T. Wright
  • Myth of Christian Nation by Gregory Boyd
  • Confronting Christianity by Rebecca McLaughlin
  • The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon
  • Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times by H.W. Brands

What have you read in 2020 and what are you reading in 2021?

Build Your Library Part 1

So over the last two+ years, I have been pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis on church revitalization at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY. Inevitably such a pursuit requires a lot of reading, and because I have a moment of quiet and it is better than Netflix and Chill, I decided to share with you the books I have enjoyed reading for my DMin thus far. There are numerous books I have not appreciated, so I won’t recommend those to you. Now please note most of these are not casual reading books, so unless reading church and theology books are your jam, don’t run out and buy all of these.

Sojourners and Strangers:  The Doctrine of the Church, by Gregg Allison

The Church and the Surprising Offense of God’s Love, by Jonathan Leeman

Reclaiming Glory: Revitalizing Dying Churches, by Mark Clifton

Our Iceberg is Melting, by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

There’s Hope for Your Church, by Gary McIntosh

Repentance:  The First Word of the Gospel, by Richard Owen Roberts

Comeback Churches, by Ed Stetzer and Mike Dodson

Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches, by John Hammett

Can These Bones Live? A Practice Guide to Church Revitalization, by Bill Henard

Prayer: Experiencing the Awe and Intimacy with God, by Timothy Keller

Re:Vision: The Key to Transforming Your Church, by Aubrey Malphurs and Gordon Penfold

On Being a Pastor: Understanding Our Call and Work, by Derek Prime and Alistair Begg

We Cannot Be Silent, by Albert Mohler

 Preaching with Bold Assurance: A Solid and Enduring Approach to Engaging Exposition, by Hershael York and Bert Decker

What is the Mission of the Church?, by Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

Breakout Churches, by Thom Rainer

I’ve read some other great books during this time as well, but these are the books from my DMin program I enjoyed thus far.

If you pick one of them up I hope you enjoy them too.

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