What I've Read: January-June 2010

My friend Ryan Rotman posted the books he had read at his blog last night so I thought I would jump in and share my own reading list from the last six months myself.  I keep a monthly "book log" and add a little paragraph about the content and quality, as I see it, of each book I have read.  So I'm just going to copy the whole list.  Note that these are books I read cover-to-cover.  I have probably another dozen that I am half-way through somewhere on my shelves.  Hopefully they will see the light of day.  


January 2010

Life of Pi by Yann Martel - Fiction.  Interesting take on religion and worldviews (universalism) against atheism and skepticism.   Story is framed in the midst of a shipwreck. 

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy - Fiction. Submarine, Cold War suspense thriller.

Term Limits by Vince Flynn - Fiction.  Political, espionoge suspense thriller. 

Is Christianity Good For the World? by Christopher Hitchens and Douglas Wilson - Apologetics.  Short back and forth debate between Hitchens and Wilson on the titled question. Issue revoloves what standard Hitchens can appeal to to be able to condemn Christianity. 


February 2010

Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl by N.D. Wilson - Apologetics.  Witty book that places life and our role in the Drama of God in place.  Wilson deals with the biggest philosophers and provides a solid apologetic for the Christian faith. 

The God Who Smokes by Timothy Stoner - Christian Life and Practice.  Stoner writes like an seasoned missionary would, lots of stories, some wisdom and truth (although oddly stated).  Overall the book argues for an exclusive, God-centered God who is glorious and lovely.  Good read.  End chapters were boring and too artsy-fartsy for my taste.  

Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller - Christian Life and Practice.   Keller takes us to task against the prevelant personal and cultural idols of our day.  From romance to money to power everything our culture values is put on display as an idol.  In each chapter the Gospel is clearly brought forward.  Excellent book.


March 2010

Leaders Who Last by Dave Kraft - Church Leadership.  The book is not a manifesto on Christian leadership or anything like that but it is helpful in some of the more practical counsel in establishing leaders and helping leaders grow.  Probably very helpful for young men who are developing into leaders.

Fantasyland by Sam Walker - Baseball.   A sports writer enters the world of fantasy rotiserrie baseball and the nerds that inhabit it.  Funny book about trying to win a fake league with real players.  A bit too much foul language but fun to read.

Confessions of a Reformisson Rev by Mark Driscoll - Church Leadership.  A biography of sorts of the history of Mars Hill church through growth.  Much help here for a starting planter in terms of methodology and ecclesiology. 

Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus by D.A. Carson - Biblical Studies.  A series of five lectures given at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington on the cross and resurrection of Christ.  Carson unpacks Matthew 27:27-51, Romans 3:21-26; Revelation 12; John 11:1-53; and John 20:24-31 in this book.  Excellent teaching on the Scripture and heart-penetrating application for my life.

Doctrine by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears - Theology.  Driscoll and Breshars cover thirteen chapters of the major Biblical themes and teaching.  A helpful resource for training new Christians in the teaching of the church.  


April 2010

The Baseball Codes: Beanballs, Sign Stealing, and Bench-Clearing Brawls: The Unwritten Rules of America's Pastime by Jason Turbow - Baseball.   Deals with the unwritten but yet pertinent traditions in Major League Baseball on how players, managers and owners behave.  Fun book of good stories. 


May 2010

Always Ready: Directions for Defending the Faith by Greg Bahnsen - Apologetics.  Bahnsen’s book is a capture of many lectures he gave dealing primarily with the methodology of apologetics.  His basic premise is to strip away all the philosophy of apologetics and all the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to convict and convert unbelievers.  Book read for seminary course on Apologetics.


Five Views of Apologetics edited by Steven Cowan - Apologetics.  This book dealt with the five “traditional” views of the methodology of apologetics and the essay authors had opportunity to critique one another.  None of the veiws were well presented, most relied on philosophy or strange mathematical equasions to justify the probable existence of God.  None of the views were anchored on the Word of God.  No help here.  Book read for seminary course on Apologetics. 


June 2010

The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose - World War II History.  Following the HBO miniseries by the same title this book traced the events in the Pacific Theater of war through the eyes of five Marines.  It gave a good sense of the battles and the endeavors of these five soliders and fit well as a companion to the TV miniseries.  


Church Planting is for Wimps by Mike McKinley - Church Leadership.  A short autobiographical book on the revitalizing of a dying church in northern Virginia.  McKinley has no revolutionary formulas or devices for church planters other than what the Bible teaches; preach the Word, train elders, evangelize the lost, be a healthy church.  Fun to read and helpful to remember the “mundane” work of ministry. 


Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper - Christian Life and Practice.  A call to escape the trap of the American Dream and spend my one life on maximiziing and broadcasting the glory and grace of God in Jesus Christ.  This book will never stop being a dagger to my soul and a call to real, passionate living for the glory of God.  A must-read for every Christian.