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Looking for a new book to read this year? January 3, 2011

Posted by Jeremy in books, Lessons from Life.

This past year I had a desire to increase the number of books I read through. I didn’t set any goals, number of books or number of pages, just committed to reading more.  I thought I would share the books I read and highlight 3.  I particularly enjoyed.  The books I read through are, The Trellis and the Vine, Radical, What is the Gospel?, Unquenchable Flame, Marks of the messenger, Contemplative Pastor, Beginning Well, The Way of the Heart, College Ministry 101.

While I enjoyed all the books I read through here are the one I especially enjoyed.

  • The Trellis and the Vine (Colin Marshall & Tony Payne):  I’ve read several books on the church and how it should look, what it should do, etc.  By far this has been my favorite of the bunch.  The plain call of this book is for the church to come back to being disciple-making disciples – that this is and should be it’s primary mode of operation.  The authors are calling the readers and churches to ask the many questions about their ministries, a few being, “why are we doing what we are doing?”, “Is the gospel central?”.  They are biblically focused and very wisely walk you through this process.  This is a book I look forward to rereading.
  • Contemplative Pastor (by Eugene Peterson):  In this book Peterson’s desire it to redefine what the definition of a Pastor is and uses three adjectives to describe them – unbusy, subversive, and apocalyptic.  He shares many stories from his life about being a pastor, lessons he has learned, and how the Lord has grown him.  He breaks the book into two sections, Redefinition and Between Sundays.  Over all, I loved the book.  I felt very encouraged by it and also challenged in my own life and ministry.  I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading his other book in the series. I particularly enjoyed his writing about understanding language and grammar in the chapter, Is Growth a Decision?. In it he says this,

“I enter into the action begun by another, my creating and saving Lord, and find myself participating in the results of the action.  I neither do it, not have it done to me; I will to participate in what is willed” (pg.104)

  • Radical (by David Platt):  I read this book because my pastor bought it for me as a present, and had heard great things from friends, and thought I should read it as well.  David Platt does a brilliant job pitting the Gospel up against the American Dream and exploring what Jesus called his disciples to do.  He shares many stories from around the world and is open and honest about his journey and struggles with letting go of the American Dream and laying hold of a radical gospel.  I read this book right after The Trellis and the Vine and thought it was a great compliment to it.  They are both calling us back to understanding what the Great Commission was/is about.  I continually challenged in my own life on almost every page.  This book has sparked many great conversations with my wife, Tracy and changes we want to pray through and explore in our own lives.

What are you top 3 books you read in the past year?



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