August is almost here and I’m keen to focus on several books which will refresh and strengthen me for ministry as we head into the Autumn. So, in case you’re interested…
My friends at church tease me that I read a lot of books by dead people. That’s true, sometimes the deader the better! If a book has lasted for 400 years it very often pays to find out why, and then to be able to measure contemporary reads alongside it. Still, I’m going to mix in some still-breathing authors…
I’ll be preaching my way through Ephesians from September, so will be looking at the letter in my daily Bile reading, and will be using John Stott’s BST commentary and Peter O’Brien’s work. I want to keep John Calvin’s excellent Sermons on Ephesians close at hand, too. I’ll also be loading up the i-pod with some Ephesians sermons to get me into the groove as I think about preaching the letter to our congregation.
Jerry Bridges’ Respectable Sins looks like an important book, and I think it will help me take a fresh look at myself in the light of God’s holiness. I’ll also take the opportunity of holidays to read John Piper’s Finally Alive.
My ThM studies are getting very busy just now, so I’ll be prioritising time for reading in two areas: firstly, some historical perspectives on the Atonement, looking at Richard Baxter’s Aphorisms and brushing up on John Owen’s The Death of Death, the first ‘proper’ work of Theology I read in my early twenties. Then I’ll continue reading various works by Francis Schaeffer and Van Til for some apologetics studies I’m doing. Van Till – if you’ve ever tried him – is hard going, so that’s definitely one for after our holiday in France!
Finally, I’ll look for a biography and a novel to get into. I found Marilyn Robinson’s Gilead (in my humble opinion) terribly overrated, but maybe that reveals more about me than the book, so I’ll give her next book, Home, a try.
Lastly, there’s the small matter of my translating Cellarius. I’ve not resolved whether I’ll be putting him in the holiday packing, but with deadlines pressing he may have no choice but to come along with us.
So that’s me. An ambitious plan, I know, but this is just a very busy time of the year, so part of this is a case of needs must. Anyway, when I’ve popped in the ear-plugs or the i-pod it’s surprising how much I can get read, and how refreshing it is to get stuck into a good book. Where’s your reading taking you this summer?