Over the past four weeks, I have been laid up with a broken leg. Besides the pointless hours I have spent watching television and reviewing three seasons of House and three seasons of the Office, I have also spent some great time reading. One of the sad parts of this injury (other than all the hard work Melody has had to endure) is that all my books are boxed up for the move. Luckily, I had a few books that I had left out of the packing to read and this gave me the perfect opportunity. Here are the books and a few thoughts about what I have learned.
- Bible – Melody and I are reading through the Bible this year. Reading both the OT and NT at the same time is helping me to see the bigger picture. It has been amazing how many times my reading in Genesis and Matthew have the same themes.
- Why We Love the Church by DeYoung and Kluck – This book has been a great reminder that most people aren’t frustrated with the church, but they are frustrated with God. Sure the church is full of crazies, but in most cases people are frustrated with the way God is just to those people or in reality to me. They also argue from the perspective that the resurgence to the home church is not necessarily as biblical as some would like to prove. The book is fair not to bash the home church movement, but to biblically evaluate that it isn’t the only way. I would recommend this book to any who are frustrated with church.
by Total Church and Timmis – This book is a slam at our American church view of evangelism. Although they write from a modified home church model, their view of the mission of the church is right on. Before we sign up for another evangelism program, I challenge everyone to see evangelism not as a program that we do part-time, but the mission that God has give to the church to live out 24/7. Chester
- The Didache by the Apostles – I have never taken the time to go back and read some the early church writings. Many times we rely on our favorite theologians to quote from these documents, rather than simply reading them ourselves. What I found to be interesting is that this document gave me such a new view of what the early church was like. At one point I found them clearly making a statement about an issue that we as elders spent several hours discussing (if only I would have read this earlier).
- Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris – Every time I recommend a book by Harris to people, they say, “Isn’t that the I Kissed Dating Goodbye guy?” Yes it is! But he also has a great gift from God to write on issues of the church in such a way to interest any reader. This book is the best book he has written. Thank you Josh for giving us this great tool for the church. The two chapters on the Holy Spirit and the Church are alone worth the cost of this book, if not more. He ends this book with a chapter called “Humble Orthodoxy.” Summing up this book, Harris emphasized doctrine (as this is what the book is about) must not be forgotten, but lived out humbly. I will recommend and use this book in future ministry.