Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Log: September 2009

1. Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck. Why We Love the Church. 224 pages. Moody Press. I really enjoy these authors, especially DeYoung, and this book continued to impress. While it is kind of written against the emergent church, it has a lot of reasons to be grateful for your local church. Many people (including many young people) don't value church like they should. It isn't an add-on to your spiritual life and it isn't optional--Jesus died for the church. This book helped me to love the bride of Jesus more.

2 R. Kent Hughes. Disciplines of a Godly Man. 304 pages. Crossway Books. Drew and I went through this book together every Friday morning. I learned from the book, but learned more in talking with Drew about the book. The book goes through several areas men specifically need to grow in: relationships, soul, character, and ministry. Within these areas are several individual disciplines to study and develop. End result: I want to work on the disciplines of prayer, the mind, and the tongue.

3. Craig Blomberg. Jesus and the Gospels. 440 pages. B and H Academic. The next four books on the list I read for school. This was a fairly heady book, covering a broad scope of issues related to the gospel. Blomberg discusses five main areas: (1)a history of the inter-testamental period (between the OT and NT) (2) ways scholars study the gospels (3) an overview of each gospel (4) a summary of the life of Jesus and (5) a synthesis of the major issues surrounding Jesus. Well-written, but mainly a seminary-type book.

4. R. Kent Hughes. Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome. 208 pages. Crossway Books. A helpful book about why its important to "do" ministry for God and not for people. It can be easy, when serving in the church, to become discouraged--especially if the number of people attending the church/youth group/Sunday School class is shrinking. Success in ministry, Hughes argues, can't be measured by numerical growth or increasing offering totals. Instead, it is found in faithfulness to God.

5. Jeanine Bozeman. Interpersonal Relationship Skills for Ministers. 253 pages. Pelican Publishing. This book covered multiple areas to help pastors better relate to the people in their congregations. There was a psychology/self-love/you-are-ok slant to the book that I disagreed with, but there were some redeeming moments. Much was covered--from how to be a better listener to proper table manners when eating at someone's house to how to handle difficult people. Some chapters I liked, some I didn't.

6. Richard Swenson. Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives. 240 pages. NavPress. The title is so long I think it says it all. Basically, we are too busy and we need to have space (or margin) in our busyness. The book was ok, but missed the key to the Christian life: the gospel. Instead of talking about how the gospel allows us to live whole and complete lives, Swenson gave us tips on how to live life with less stress. Though more narrow in scope, Mahaney's Biblical Productivity series is much better.

So, if I were recommending a book, I'd recommend one of the first two. DeYoung is always good and Hughes is very practical.

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