What’s on my bookshelf?

No one asked me what I was reading but I thought I would share it anyway.  The method I have developed for reading involves 3 categories.

1. Professional Development–this category is for books that I think will help me grow as a pastor.

2. Personal Development–this category is for books that I think will help my faith grow or encourage character growth,etc. Really, one could argue that category 1 and 2 are two sides of the same coin.

3. Pleasure Reading–this category is for books that I read simply for pleasure.


1. I am currently reading D.A. Carson’s A Call to Spiritual Reformation. In this book, Carson takes a careful look at the prayers of Paul in the New Testament to encourage us in our own prayer life. Carson is one of my favorite Bible teachers; I just started this but I am certain it will be of great benefit to my vocation.

2. Last night I just started James B. Jordan’s commentary on Judges called (humorously) God’s War on Humanism. I have only read the introduction but I am excited to get further into this one.

3. For pleasure, I am reading the final book in the Expanse Trilogy: Abaddon’s Gate by James S.A. Corey. These books are a lot of fun. One of the more interesting things I’ve noticed about these books is either at a crucial moment or simply as an important character, the authors (James S.A. Corey is a fake name for two men) bring in Christian clergy. In the first book it was a Methodist missionary. In the second book it was a military chaplain and in Abaddon’s Gate it is a Methodist minister. I’m not Methodist and I don’t like how liberal they have made the clergy but it is encouraging to see that a secular, sci-fi work, recognizes how important religion is to society and the authors seem to feel authentic world building in the far future will still involve established religion. One of the more interesting things about this book is the main character made a comment last night that, once again, reminded me that biblical illiteracy makes it much harder to appreciate literature. The character, Holden, was trying to avoid going to a certain destination and doing everything he could to avoid going. But the harder he tried to flee, the more likely it was that he would end up there. Finally, Holden gave up and realized he was going to have to go to the place he wanted to avoid and said, “Alright. I guess I’ll go to Nineveh.” A small allusion to the book of Jonah that really provides a tremendous depth into how hopeless the character Holden must have felt at that moment. Something that a reader unfamiliar with the Bible, and in this case the book of Jonah, would miss completely.

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