Here is a rundown of the 4 books that I read in September. It was a slow reading month due to my doctoral seminar. Yet, October will be HUGE because I’m in the middle of a large number of books. Happy reading.
Too Great A Temptation: The Seductive Power of America’s Super Church by Joel Gregory
This is an all-time favorite book and one I reread often. It is in my Top 5 Books List. It needs to be required reading for those in pastoral ministry.
Too Great A Temptation is a memoir of Gregory’s two years as pastor of First Baptist Dallas. On September 30, 1992 he stunned the church world by resigning his position and fading out of the spotlight. You’ll have to read the story for yourself.
The book is a cautionary tale of the seductive influence of power and position. Beyond that – it is down right humorous and insightful.
The Case for the Psalms: Why They Are Essential by NT Wright
This is a great volume proclaiming the need for the psalms in the life of the church and the life of the follower of Christ.
I truly enjoyed Wright’s argument from scholarship and his argument from his personal devotional life. I’ve read a number of Wright’s books and this one feels personal. You can read his passion on the page.
He provides great scholarship of the nature of Psalms by providing information and then providing plenty of examples from the Psalm themselves. He also includes a couple of chapters that focus on his personal use of the Psalms and the influence they’ve had on him.
Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis by Jimmy Carter
When I heard the news of President Carter’s cancer I decided to reread one of his books. I’ve made it known before that I’m a big fan of Carter’s books and theological perspective on key issues. This book a great example of why I enjoy and admire Carter.
He discusses everything from the growing conflicts among religious people to the distortion of american foreign policy. He even includes a chapter that asks the question, “Would Jesus Approve Abortions and the Death Penalty?” That is a type of question more followers of Christ need to be asking about important issues. It is amazing to me that a former president has the insight and gall to answer such a question in print for the world to see.
Hidden in Christ: Living As God’s Beloved by James Bryan Smith
This thin volume takes a devotional look at Colossians 3. The book of Colossians has been foundational for me in regards to theology and devotion. Thus, this book peaked my interest.
It is designed for devotional reading – each chapter to be read in a single sitting. Each chapter focuses on a single word from the chapter. It is full of insights and anecdotes. I enjoy Smith’s writing and I seriously recommend the Apprentice Series: A Good and Beautiful God, A Good and Beautiful Life, and A Good and Beautiful Community. They are great reading and a great resource for small group material.