Aug 16, 2012

Five Books I Will Be Reading Soon

If you know me, you know that I read a lot. I am an crazy book collector and try to read most of them.  I am constantly having to redo my bookshelves because of the new books I just bought or the ones I get free from conference.  I collect more books than I read, but I still read a lot.  I think reading is the key to learning and growing.  One of my new fascinations is that I have found several web sites that allow you to get books for free from them if you agree to read them and write a blog about them.  This is dangerous for me because giving me websites for free books is like giving me a box of hot Krispy Kremes and telling me to hold them till you get back.  Here are five books I have picked up recently that are on my most immediate "to-read" list.

1.  The President's Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy - I love biographies and learning fascinating trivia about presidents.  I ordered this book before my vacation and started reading it in July.  It's 600+ pages!  It traces the relationships of sitting presidents with some of their living predecessors.  Great background into this unique fraternity of great leaders.

2.  Deep and Wide by Andy Stanley - This book is coming out in a couple of months for national release.  Andy is a great leader and teacher on leadership.  He is one of the clearest and best communicators I have ever heard.  While there are times that I wish Andy would go deeper into some of the richness of gospel truths in his sermons, there is still much I learn from his leadership example.  This book is the story of how Andy and his team started North Point and what are the guiding principles that helped them to reach so many people.  Andy has taken a lot of criticism from some in the "gospel" camp, but whether you agree with him and the ministry of North Point or not, I believe there is a lot we can learn and take away from his story.

3.  Gospel Deeps by Jared Wilson - I have recently become a big Jared Wilson fan.  This is my book to counter the Andy Stanley reading.  Jared has a vision and passion for the gospel that is infectious.  He is a very talented writer who inspires me to know God better and to know his word deeper.  Jared is the antithesis of the "big-church" pastor.  He is content to live and preach the gospel in a small community church in rural New England where the work is hard but rewarding.  If you haven't read Jared's book Gospel Wakefulness, you must put it in your query right now.

4.  Men of Sunday by Curtis Eichelberger - This is one of the books I ordered from one of the book blogger websites.  I chose this one because I am a huge sports fan and love to read the stories of athletes who love Christ.  This book will help give me some stories to share with men about jocks who love Jesus.

5.  Killing Calvinism by Greg Dutcher - Calvinism is the hot topic today, especially in the SBC.  It's vastly caricatured by those on the non-Calvinist side and hotly embraced by those on the Calvinist side. I have very good friends and mentors on both sides of the debate.  I avoid the labels because of the divisiveness it causes.  However, as I read some people's online endorsement of this book and the description of it in Amazon, it sounded like a book that needed to be published a long time ago.  I think many in the Calvinist movement turn people off their theology not because of the truth of it, but because of their approach and presentation of it.  There are a small minority that feed the caricature of the non-Calvinists while many Bible-believing, gospel-centered, missionally-driven adherents are ignored or marginalized. I hope that reading this book will help me to be able to continue to build bridges between both parties.