Here’s a rundown of the 11 books I read in November. The high book count was aided by airplane flights and a few days in a cabin for Thanksgiving. This brings my 2022 total to 93 books. Happy reading!
(I must always clarify that I read many books with which I disagree. I learn the most by reading things that do not represent my position.)
Surrender: 40 Songs, one Story by Bono
This is a work from the pen of Bono. It contains no marks of a ghostwriter. In parts it is beautiful, poetic language and in parts it is long winded ramblings of a man telling his favorite stories. Last month I read The Lyrics by Paul McCartney. The subtitle of Bono’s work might lead one to believe that this is a similar volume – a rundown of the stories behind the songs. That is not the case. Bono uses song titles to introduce a specific scene in his life. This is all Bono.
Turnaround: The Remarkable Story of an Institutional Transformation and the 10 Essential Principles and Practices that Made It Happen by Jason Allen
I appreciate Jason Allen for his weekly podcast, Preaching and Preachers. Since I consume and enjoy his free content, I thought I’d purchase a book! This book does not provide earth shattering breakthroughs but it does tells the story of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. I am always ready for a good seminary story. Allen accomplishes the difficult task of telling of transformation without boasting of his accomplishments.
Sing Loud, Die Happy: An Exploration of How God’s Gift of Song is Meant to Change Us by Jim Thompson
A downright lovely and useful book. I have long been fascinated with the songs in Scripture and the command to sing. I have no voice but I love a good lyric. The command to sing is frequently found on the pages of both the Old and New Testament. Why? For what purpose? To what end?
The Thrill of Orthodoxy: Rediscovering the Adventure of Christian Faith by Trevin Wax
Wax fights against the notion that orthodox Christian teaching is narrow and outdated. The book returns to the creeds and dives into the necessity of orthodoxy as a guardrail for the church. A much needed book. I’m following up this volume with Roger Olson’s “Against Liberal Theology.” You’ll see it on the log next month.
The Dawning of Redemption: The Story of the Pentateuch and the Hope of the Gospel by Ian Vaillancourt
This is a wonderful introduction to the first five books of the Old Testament and provides a powerful understanding of how the Old Testament points our eyes toward Jesus. While it does heavy lifting, the book is an introductory volume. Theological and technical words are explained and Vaillancourt is always mindful of his reader. He is a great tour guide through the major theme of redemption in the Bible.
God Shines Forth: How the Nature of God Shapes and Drives the Mission of the Church by Daniel Hames and Michael Reeves
Yet another addition to the Union series. I have loved each volume. I could not recommend them more. While this book rolls to a slow start, it finishes downhill. It provides a biblical and theological understanding of the church’s mission. It is unlike many books on missiology. It is short on stories. It is short on dramatic calls to the ends of the earth. It is heavy on exegesis and theology.
Adorning the Dark: Thoughts on Community, Calling, and the Mystery of Making by Andrew Peterson
Yep. I read this one again. I love returning to favorite books. I read this one again while curled up next to a fire during the Thanksgiving break. I also recently enjoyed Andrew Peterson’s Behold the Lamb of God on his tour stop in Plano, Texas. It only deepened my love for his work. I’m still attempting to get my kids to read his Wingfeathear Saga.
On the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons by John Broadus
This was my first time reading this classic work by a Baptist legend. It might now stand among my favorite works on the topic and craft of preaching. The book contains no thrills, just the nuts and bolts of the Biblical reasoning for preaching and practical structure on how to accomplish the task at hand. I received this book in a gracious gift from Jane Wilson’s library. She’s a sweet friend and gifted minister.
Studies in the Text of the New Testament by AT Robertson
I really enjoy AT Robertson. He writes with pointed clarity. This volume covers everything from autographs of the New Testament, the textus receptus, textual criticism, early English Bibles, and chapter and verse divisions. Another volume from Jane Wilson’s library.
Grace at Work: Redeeming the Grind and the Glory of Your Job by Bryan Chapell
I’ve read the work of Chapell since I attended a preaching workshop he delivered at Truett Seminary years ago. He’s always clear and always helpful. This volume attempts to move people from seeing their job merely as the daily grind to an opportunity display God’s character and care. He handles a large number of practical topics.
Preaching for God’s Glory by Alistair Begg
This is a very small and thin volume – a brisk 60 pages. Begg is one of the few preachers I listen to on a regular basis. Chapters cover the following topics: the eclipse of the positive. expository preaching, what happened to expository preaching?, The nature of expository preaching, the benefits of expository preaching, practical pointers, and “Who is equal to such a task?” The book mimics Begg’s clear, crisp preaching.