I’m going through my in box after letting things collect for a while I attended to some major projects. Here are four books I’ve recently obtained that I’m looking forward to reading:
Jim Collins’ new book.
I know Jim Collins only writes about one book every ten years or so, but I can barely keep up because they are so packed with incredible insight. Good to Great and Built to Last (his best, in my view) were so helpful I spent 12 hours taking notes over each of them (and then more time reviewing the notes and writing out further thoughts).
Jim Collin’s books are among the best, bar none, that you can read on how to lead your organization effectively (or, if you aren’t in top leadership, create a pocket of greatness wherever you are).
Get all of Jim Collin’s books if you haven’t, read them, take notes, then read them again.
I hope I can do that with Great by Choice in a timely manner!
Tim Keller’s new book.
I need to read more on both marriage and parenting. I am so far behind on my parenting reading that I didn’t finish Making the Terrible Twos Terrific until our oldest was 6. Fortunately, our third just turned two, so there’s still hope with that book. And, I think I can get to this book in much less time than it took me to get to that book on the Terrible Twos.
Tullian Tchividjian’s new book, on the sufficiency of Christ. Excellent subject, excellent title. Sounds like he discusses this in the context of the most challenging year of his ministry, and so it will be combined with lots of personal stories and insights that he gained through a period of suffering. Looking forward to this a lot.
John Dickson’s recent book. I heard John speak at the Global Leadership Summit this August, and his presentation was the best message on humility I have ever heard. I love, love, love his definition of humility and think it is right on: humility is holding power in the service of others.
I’m hoping to get to these soon. I have about 20 books on social action and ending global poverty lined up to read as soon as I can, then I hope to get through a bunch of books on parenting, and in the midst of that I hope to fit in these and a bunch of others.
Tony Reinke, in his excellent book Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books:
What types of books should Christians read? Scripture is the most important book, and the highest priority for our reading. Christian books can teach us valuable lessons about God, the world, our sin, and our Savior.
But in this chapter I want to focus on the value of non-Christian books. By that term, I mean any book not authored by a converted Christian or written from an explicitly Christian motive. What should we do with all these books? Should we burn them? Should we treasure them? Should we read them in secret under the bedsheets with a flashlight?
My conviction is that non-Christian literature — at least the best of it — is a gift from God to be read by Christians. These books are, in the words of Spurgeon, gold leaf compared to the gold bars of Scripture, but they are gold, and they do have value.
He then discusses seven benefits to reading non-Christian books. I’d love to reproduce the whole discussion, as it is an excellent outline on how to think about the relationship between common grace and saving grace, but to see that you’ll have to get the book! But here are the seven benefits he goes in to:
- Non-Christian literature can describe the world, how it functions, and how to subdue it
- Non-Christian books highlight common life experiences
- Non-Christian books can expose the human heart
- Non-Christian books can teach us wisdom and valuable moral lessons
- Non-Christian books can capture beauty
- Non-Christian literature raises questions that can only be resolved in Christ
- Non-Christian books can echo spiritual truth and edify the soul
If you read (which is everyone), I would highly recommend my friend Tony Reinke’s new book, Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books. It is well written, enjoyable, incredibly practical, and on a subject (reading) that it is very interesting and helpful to read more about. So often we just read, without thinking much about how we do it. Tony’s book helps us correct that, so we can read better and know better what reading really is.
Here’s what Randy Alcorn had to say:
“I read many books, but seldom do I enjoy one more than I did Tony Reinke’s Lit!. Many of my greatest childhood adventures, and much of my growth after I was converted as a teenager, came through reading imagination-expanding and life-changing books. Tony’s writing is thoughtful, perceptive, concise, and God-honoring. He upholds biblical authority, and offers helpful guidance, while allowing for a range of tastes. Lit! rings true to my own lifetime of reading experience. As a reader and writer of both nonfiction and fiction, I appreciate the breadth of Tony’s treatment, which includes a variety of genres. For book lovers, this is a treasure and delight. For those who aren’t book lovers, it makes a great case for becoming one.”
In part one, Tony gives a theology of books and reading, and in part 2 he gives practical advice on books and reading. He covers how a biblical worldview equips us to benefit from books, seven benefits of reading non-Christian books, six priorities for deciding what to read (and what not to read), 20 tips and tricks for reading nonfiction books, six ways to find the time you need to read, and much more.
So if you read, I highly recommend getting Tony’s book!