What Christian Living Books Are You Reading Right Now?
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I'm looking forward to getting know all of you! I LOVE to read. I have 2 tall stacks on my bedside table and right now I'm reading:
Approaching Jehovah's Witnesses in Love
Every Woman's Battle
The Weigh Down Diet
Prayer that Works
8 Choices That Will Change a Woman's Life
Small Changes for a Better Life
Possessing the Gates of the Enemy
Leading Teens to Freedom in Christ
The Screwtape Letters
His Needs, Her Needs
What are you reading right now?
La Crescent, MN
I'm so glad to hear that "Just Walk Across the Room" is good. I just requested to mooch it at bookmooch.com.
Have you read "Way of the Master", "Hell's Best Kept Secret" or any other books by Ray Comfort? I love his evangelism methods.
I notice you also have "Swindoll's Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes". I've been thinking about getting it. Would you recommend it?
4yadavfamily First Message
I have read something of Ray Comfort, but I just can't remember what it was... It was quite some time ago. Maybe it was just some articles. As for as Swindoll's Ultimate Book of Illustrations... I believe it is a great book. I suppose it would depend on what you want if for. I am always looking for great illustrations for preaching and I have always loved Swindoll's humor and sensitivity to ministry. I also use Logos Bible Software and wish that they would add Swindoll's Illustration book to it since they work closely with Nelson Publishing.
I have read something of Ray Comfort, but I just can't remember what it was... It was quite some time ago. Maybe it was just some articles. As for as Swindoll's Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes ... I believe it is a great book. I suppose it would depend on what you want if for. I am always looking for great illustrations for preaching and I have always loved Swindoll's humor and sensitivity to ministry. I also use Logos Bible Software and wish that they would add Swindoll's Illustration book to it since they work closely with Nelson Publishing.
Does the Christian Living Books area cover mainly devotional type reading or are books on Christian world views and apologetics also something you are reading?
Interesting, I've never heard of "Most Moved Mover, A Theology of God's Openness". How did you hear about it in the first place? I get a lot of my ideas for new books I want from my pastor's sermon notes, amazon.com suggestions, and here on LT.
Yes, the Christian Living Books group includes Christian World View and Apologetics books too. What are some of your favorites there?
I'm so glad you like this topic. I've been intending to read "For Women Only" I'm about to finish a women's Bible Study using "Every Woman's Battle" and it have been SUPER! I also attended a women's Bible student last summer using "Intimate Issues". God has used these studies to work some amazing miracles in my marriage. The church is an ideal place to get sound teaching on sex. :)
PS: I think you should post a picture of your basset hound on your profile!
I just finished The signature of Jesus by Brennan Manning. I loved it! I'm also in the middle of Grace-based parenting by Tim Kimmel. Its main focus is parenting, but I find it addressing many aspects of spiritual life beyond my role as a mom. I highly recommend it. Next, I'm going to read The great omission by Dallas Willard.
I hope you enjoy The great omission as much as I did. Dallas Willard's work has been so good that I ordered this early. And there is so much to his work, I go back and reread. Always more I can learn from him.
"Like friendship, the joy of service also has major implications that extend far beyond being a simple, catchy slogan. It started out as a preventive to burnout but has become an art in itself. It means not relying on guilt or obligation, which are the more commonly used motivators. It also means that when something seems to need doing and no one is busting with enthusiasm to do it, you have to reexamine the need for getting it done. If the need is strong enough, the choice then becomes either making it joyful by finding enough satisfaction in filling that need or creating alternatives for which there is enthusiasm. Sometimes this results in better solutions than you had initially. Almost always, this approach results in more satisfaction and a deepening of involvement."
This is something which I have been thinking about for a long time. Just because the leaders of the church read a book or get inspired to do a project, does not mean the body will be inspired. I think non-involvement does not necessarily mean the body is unspiritual. Sometimes it means the project should not be undertaken yet. If guilt and obligation are the only motivating factors, then I question whether the Spirit is promoting the idea.
The newest book that I would suggest everyone pick up a copy of is Prayer by Philip Yancey. Fantastic.
Semaj666 (interesting handle, by the way), What do you think of Pinnock's book? I bought The Openness of God that he contributed to, but I haven't gotten to it yet. It is a subject rarely broached so I was very interested in how it comes across.
Regarding Mark's question on Clark Pinnock, I haven't read The Openness of God but agree that the subject is one not often mentioned from the pulpit. I have, but haven't started yet, Sanders book The God Who Risks and plan on doing some more reading in this area. I find myself drawn to the idea of love being the over arching trait of God with freedom of choice being a means to that end by God. I would be interested in you thoughts, Mark, on any reading you have done in this area.
I jusst pulled out one of Wheeler's books on Chrismas to use some of the stories in a chapel service I'm involved in at the local federal prison. These guys really feel the isolation at this time of year. There are some real serious Bible students behind bars.
Some of Philip Yancey's books creep over into the area of what you might call "The Experience of God". What goes through the mind of God? How does He experience reality? Does it affect Him?
A lot of theology has held that basically experience does not affect God at all. Falling back on the statement, "I am the Lord, I change not", we have read a "Spock"-like God who is emotionless, unaffected by the happenings here on earth, by the prayers of His people. I personally think some of this is hold-overs from Deism and Stoicism.
Of course, all of these discussions are very controversial. And even though I have only sampled The Openness of God in the bookstore, it seems to approach this subject that has been closed due to the pressure of being labeled "heretical". I think Rob Bell put it best in Velvet Elvis: "God has spoken. The rest is just commentary." If we would just admit that a lot of this stuff we are just trying to figure out and it is all just working theories, except for the very foundational basics. After all, which of us really has an idea of what it is like to be God?
The subject of the history of the theology of the nature of God is a very fascinating subject to me, since I recently studied it in my Christian history class. The theologians of the first few hundred years of Christianity were far more influenced by sophisticated Greek concepts of God, exactly as Mark describes here, than by the warm, loving, angry, pained, passionate God of Judaism and Jesus. Much of it was pure speculation, and I like Mark's comment that a lot of it we can't know. I wonder how much we'll find out we were wrong and how much we were right about things we argue a lot about in theology.
I just read some very interesting stuff along these lines. Thomas Cahill's Mysteries of the Middle Ages opens with discussion of how Christian theology began to break free from the influence of Greek and Roman thought and develop a life of its own. I don't always agree with his conclusions, but it certainly an interesting way of thinking about the transition. Most of it was based on the theology of Jesus. "If you have seen Me, then you have seen the Father." I am not sure that we have plumbed the depths of that statement.
Eugene Peterson brings up some interesting stuff in Working The Angles about the division between Greek religion and Christianity/Judaism. He says that Greek religious practice was centered around visuality, i.e. statues and plays that were to be watched. However, Judaism, and later Christianity, intentionally made no images or plays (depite the presence of Greek theaters built by Herod the Great as an attempt to Hellenize the obstinate Jews). Instead its focus was on the Word, something that enters and is to be obeyed rather than watched and judged. He brings up the point that the scriptures were basically auditory for thousands of years, until Guttenberg changed things. Not that copies didn't exist, but people didn't have them in their houses. They heard them read at synagogue or during church. Not sure that I have digested how that applies to my life fully, but it is very interesting to think about.
I've read Wright's, The Lord and his prayer, a short (89 p) book with a chapter for each verse. It did increase my understanding of the prayer.
I saw that there are also several messages on the Christianity>Current Reading discussion who mentioned reading Wright.
Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson
Homeschooling with a Meek and Mild Spirit by Teri Maxwell
Blessing your Husband by Debra Evans
I hope to start them this week
Just a warning though: I'd be very, very cautious about books by Clark Pinnock, and others on the "openness" of God. Pinnock's view of God's knowledge about the future and his sovereign control is grossly unbiblical. If you want more background on the danger of this theology, I recommend the book Beyond the Bounds: Open Theism and the Undermining of Biblical Christianity, which includes chapters by John Piper.
Other books which provide helpful insights (which I haven't read entirely, just seen quoted), include: Bound only once : the failure of open theism by Doug Wilson, and Their God is too small : open theism and the undermining of confidence in God by Bruce Ware.
re: Clark Pinnock. The perception that his theology is "grossly unbiblical" is precisely why I want to read the book. As a person who has been long involved in the "theological wars", both as transgressor and victim, I simply want to know God in my later years. I understand that Pinnock's views (along with so many others that I have read over the years) are unorthodox (in the non-church oriented use of the word). But he too shall quote scripture and disagree with the conclusions of others (Hopefully in a loving manner). I simply want to be able to think those thoughts for myself, seek the Lord for myself, and hopefully know Him in a much better way that I may serve Him more effectually. Thank you for the book recommendations. I shall pick up at least one of those and think those thoughts also.
I came from a very controversial theological background (the Word and Faith movement). It just happened to be the church that I went to as a kid, the theology under which I acknowledged the Lordship of Jesus and became born-again. I wouldn't hold tons of common opinions with them much any more, but I still respect my fathers in the faith and what they taught me about God.
My heart has been broken over the years as I have bashed others for believing differently from me and have been labeled everything from "unorthodox" to a heretic. And, in my journey, I have seen Christians call each other terrible things. It is easy to call Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland heretical, because their theologies are so far outside of traditional Christianity, but I have also read of the heretical teachings of others such as Bill Hybels, C.S. Lewis, John Piper, and even Billy Graham. And the funny thing is, from the writer's point of view, they were correct.
I want to make two points and then one request.
1. Everyone on this message board believes differently. Each of us could find the theological leanings of another here abhorrent. But by believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord, God has accepted each of us, bad theology and all. We shall all spend eternity together. Let us treat each other and our ideas with respect so that we won't have a lot of making up to do when we get there. I am already about 1000 years behind the 8-ball. It will be a millennium before I get through apologizing.
2. It is sad to me that humans, we who declare ourselves to be finite in the face of an infinite God, write "Complete Theological Dictionaries" as if we had already discovered and cataloged every thing that there is to know about God. God is still a mystery to me after 23 years as a believer. I believe that I shall still be discovering His wisdom and glory millions of years into the future. While bad theology is dangerous, pride is deadly. Let us never think that we have a complete handle on the truth.
The request: I have been much disappointed in the amount of traffic on this board. Perhaps everyone is simply busy. I know that I am. But I long to be able to talk to other believers who have actually read the Book and other books and haven't just swallowed the notions of their minister and declare it dogma. May the Lord give me companions who have wrestled with the truth. Perhaps one of the reasons we have been reticent to post is the fear of disagreement.
I know that I have made quite a point of begging for brotherly love, but conversation without disagreement is inane. And I don't want to reduce the conversation to complete silliness. Let us hold to a convention of labeling and contrasting theologies rather than labeling other believers.
For instance, in the Pinnock case, we could say, "Pinnock espouses open theology which holds that God doesn't have complete knowledge of future events. Calvinism, on the other hand, holds that God has foreknowledge of every event. For some books that tell the other side of the story, you might try A, B, or C."
tgee, I apologize if I have offended you by this. A quick glance through my library would confirm that I am the least qualified to speak to these matters. Yet I desperately want to hear what you have to say and after being on some of these boards for a while, I believe that we need some system of honor to keep the ideas flowing. Please forgive me. annettethompson, please forgive me if I have spoken out of place. If you feel it is right, I will remove this message from the board.
#36 misskate: How about Joni Eareckson Tada, she has a wonderful story to tell of the value of faith, life and hanging in there.
I can't think of the name right now, but there was recently a missionary to the Philippines whose husband was martyred, help someone?
Also one of the wives of a victim of Flight 93 wrote a book, however, again, my memory stalls.
Focus on the Family publishes a magazine for teen girls called Brio. My daughter enjoyed it. The topics range all over the place though, from make-up to martyrdom. Though they do usually feature a young Christian woman and her faith.
I'll have to do some research on some good books for girls. I haven't looked at this group or any others much recently due to lack of access to the Internet just now (I've gone home to Montana for Christmas), but hopefully conversation will pick up after the holidays.
I've got no objection to a plain statement that a particular author is unbiblical, as long as it is a statement that can be backed up. There's nothing wrong with giving opinions and statements of truth, as long as it is not done in a way that's harsh or unloving. But it's so difficult to convey intention and tone of voice in writing. If we agree not to assume that someone's being harsh in a statement of opinion, it might be easier.
40moorereason First Message
See what I'm reading at any time by checking my "reading" tag.
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
The Barbarian Way by Erwin McManus (again)
At the same time I bought Velvet Elvis I also bought another Erwin McManus book entitled "Soul Cravings" so I plan on reading that one too.
Other, non-religious-type books I am reading right now are two Harry Browne books; The Libertarian Offer and Why Government Doesn't Work.
Also, THE HEIR by Paul Robertson (see: http://villagecafe.blogspot.com/2007/03/review-heir.html ). It's his first novel, and I gave it a 4/5. It's Christian fiction/suspense.
I've been reading Jerry Bridge's Is God Really in Control? and am thoroughly enjoying it--enough to read it in little bites. One of the best books I've read on dealing with fear is Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest by Edward T. Welch. I read a lot on this topic as I have a blog called Fearless.
I'm currently reading the Screwtape Letters and consequently, the Letters of CS Lewis by his brother, WH Lewis. Screwtape Letters is intriguing and I wanted to know more about the man who was able to come up with such a book. It was written 70 years ago, but I'm surprised to see that it is just as current today as it was back then.
to me, that is the litmus test for a classic, its timelessness.
Happy to see this group here.
I agree. That is the test of a true classic.
>40 moorereason: Overcoming Sin and Temptation is a wonderful book, but so is anything else that I have read by John Owen.
I am new here and this is my first post. So here goes. I am currently reading:
Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere - I think she is an awesome author and speaker and this book is one of her most encouraging and has came into my hands at the right time. It's all about the call for the lioness (the women) to rise up in strength and change/make a difference in this world.
The sin No One Talks About (Jealousy) by R. T. Kendall - again I have read many of his books and heard him speak. Inspirational and full of biblical truths with such a knack of relating everyday life scenarios to scriptures. Very good, especially when covering such a difficult topic which no one talks about!!!
That's all for now :)
No offense to modern writers at all, I seem to easily be able to read their opening paragraph of each chapter followed by simply skimming the 1-2 opening sentences of the following paragraphs to capture their intent for their book. For Bonhoeffer, he makes me pause and think while I am reading.
I am amazed how his writing from the early 20th century STILL resonates with applicable spiritual insight today. Definitely a great read!
I found this at my church library and it's actually very good. I'm not a great reader so I was apprehensive about Augustine. It seems to be an obscure translation, possibly because it's incomplete (only the first ten books) and in the intro, Wirt says he edits out some references that wouldn't make sense to today's audience.
Also reading One Thousand Gifts by Voskamp for a book club. So sorry to all the people who love this book, but I really don't think it's for me. While I like the idea of ongoing thankfulness, etc. etc., the writing style just ....... I tried coupling it with C.S. Lewis' Surprised by Joy, which turned out to be a very different book than I expected, but I liked it and finished so quickly that now I'm just sort of squeezing in the required reading right before book club and focusing on other books that I'd rather read the rest of the time.
Also reading Hiding Place by Ten Boom now. I actually haven't read a lot Christian biographies before so I've been trying to read from a list of missionary, etc. biographies, which includes this one. Primarily people I never heard of while studying history as God's role or even presence has been largely erased in public education.