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What are you Reading?

Repeatedly, throughout my 30 years of ministry I have been encouraged and challenged to read.  This begins, of course, with my regular and systematic reading of the Scriptures.  It was Paul that directed Timothy in I Timothy 4:13 – Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.  This year, I am once again reading the Bible through from Genesis to Revelation.  It is a tremendous experience!  If you have never read the Bible from cover to cover, I would strongly encourage you to do so.
In addition, I would challenge you to read other Christian books that will educate you mind and stimulate your heart for God.  Someone has said, “Leaders are readers.”  That is a convicting statement.  The vast majority of individuals that lead, both in the Christian as well as the secular world, are voracious readers.   Although, I wouldn’t say that I have an insatiable desire to read, I read several books a month which help to keep my on track both spiritually as well as ministerally.  Here are a few books that I have read that I would highly recommend.  I have also included the brief review that is found on Amazon.com.

The Case for Christ

Retracing his own spiritual journey from atheism to faith, Lee Strobel, former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, cross-examines a dozen experts with doctorates from schools like Cambridge, Princeton, and Brandeis who are recognized authorities in their own fields. Strobel challenges them with questions like: How reliable is the New Testament? Does evidence for Jesus exist outside the Bible? Is there any reason to believe the resurrection was an actual event?

Jesus + Nothing + Everything

It’s so easy to forget what the Christian faith is all about. We struggle so much, work so hard, and fail so often that we frequently sense something in the equation of life must be missing.  Tullian Tchividjian argues that what we are missing is the gospel—a fuller, more powerful understanding of Jesus and what his finished work means for everyday life.

During a year of great turmoil, Pastor Tchividjian discovered the power of the gospel in his own life. Sharing his story of how Jesus became more real to him, Tchividjian delves deeply into the fundamentals of the faith, explaining the implications of Christ’s sufficiency—a revelation that sets us free and keeps us anchored through life’s storms.

Today’s All-star Missions Churches
Near the close of the century, Tom Telford was criss-crossing the country researching the best ways to do and support missions. He found that the top missions churches have active, healthy, innovative programs. With the help of missiologists and church missions pastors, he compiled Today’s All-Star Missions Churches.
Telford’s book uses case studies from churches representing a variety of denominations, sizes, and locations. From the detailed descriptions of the churches’ missions history, vision, and programming, readers will glean practical ideas for starting or strengthening missions programs in local churches. Each chapter focuses on the unique qualities of a church that has succeeded, ranging from excellence in missionary care to involving children in missions.
Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem

How do we know the Bible is God’s Word? What is sin and where did it come from? How is Jesus fully God and fully man? What are spiritual gifts? When and how will Christ return? If you’ve asked questions like these, then ‘systematic theology’ is no abstract term. It’s an approach to finding answers every Christian needs to know. Bible Doctrine takes a highly commended upper-level textbook on systematic theology and makes it accessible to the average reader. Abridged from Wayne Grudem’s award-winning Systematic Theology, Bible Doctrine covers the same essentials of the faith, giving you a firm grasp on seven key topics: The Doctrine of the Word of God The Doctrine of God The Doctrine of Man The Doctrine of Christ The Doctrine of the Application of Redemption The Doctrine of the Church The Doctrine of the Future Like Systematic Theology, this book is marked by its clarity, its strong scriptural emphasis, its thoroughness in scope and detail, and its treatment of such timely topics as spiritual warfare and the gifts of the Spirit. But you don’t need to have had several years of Bible school to reap the full benefits of Bible Doctrine. It’s easy to understand–and it’s packed with solid, biblical answers to your most important questions.

Other recommended books:

The King’s Cross – Tim Keller
Heaven – Randy Alcorn
Every Man’s Battle – Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker
Becoming a Contagious Christian – Bill Hybels
His Needs, Her Needs – Willard F. Harley, Jr.

 

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