At T4G last week, I was actually restrained in the zero dollar bookstore. Yes, even in the bookstore where every book was free, I didn’t “buy” everything, because for the time being I’m seeking to reduce input in order to increase output (a strategy I’m testing — it’s not always good, but I’m trying to let my mind catch up with a bunch of reading from the last few years).
But then a few days later I checked out the bookstore at Southern Seminary and saw some amazing new (and old) books. Between T4G and my trip to Souther, I narrowed it down to about five that I’m most looking forward to read right now.
These aren’t necessarily the best books out of all those I encountered. But they are those that are most strategic for some things I’m thinking through, especially the strategy of global missions (which I think needs to be improved).
Here are the top five:
1. Theology and Practice of Mission: God, the Church, and the Nations, edited by Bruce Riley Ashford
I don’t even know who Bruce Ashford is, but what I’ve dipped into has been helpful and it has endorsements by Al Mohler, Chris Wright, Ed Stetzer, and Russ Moore. What grabbed me is the topic: the theology and practice of mission. I think we need to do much better with this, and so I’m looking forward to this book.
2. Reading Scripture with the Reformers by Timothy George
I love the Reformers, and Timothy George’s Theology of the Reformersis excellent.
3. Who Am I?: Identity in Christ by Jerry Bridges
This is Jerry Bridges’ latest book, published with Cruciform Press and very short — it can be read in about an hour or less. Jerry Bridges is one of the best gospel-centered thinkers out there and what he writes is always worth reading.
4. Am I Called?: The Summons to Pastoral Ministry by Dave Harvey
Dave Harvey’s new book. Looks fantastic. The table of contents is already helpful. Note part two, diagnosing the call:
- Are you godly?
- How’s your home
- Can you preach?
- Can you shepherd?
- Do you love the lost?
- Who agrees?
Already, you start to get a good feel of how to discern whether you are called to the pastorate.
5. Challenging Church, by Mark Dever
This looks good because it’s on 1 Corinthians 1-9 and it’s by Mark Dever. The table of contents gives a good summary of the first 9 chapters of 1 Corinthians:
- Count your blessings (1 Corinthians 1:1-9)
- Unite in “foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:10 – 2:16)
- Unite as God’s community (1 Corinthians 3)
- Recognize Real Ministers (1 Corinthians 4)
- Don’t go soft on sin (1 Corinthians 5-6)
- Let your calling count (1 Corinthians 7)
- Use your rights (1 Corinthians 8-9)
Challies’ site is down at my time of writing this for some reason, but I think he recently posted a review which would be worth checking out.