Books in the Stocking & Under the Christmas TreeAuthor: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Books, Christmas, Ministry, Preaching
Well it is that time of year again. The mountains are brown. The saguaros are thinner. The coyotes and mountain lions are prowling. And the palm tree in lights has reappeared in Corona commercials. Yep, it can only be Christmas time in the desert. Every year people ask about a couple good books for the minister, elders, or just the reading disciple … and for themselves. It stands to reason that most books are simply junk. Millions of titles are published and promoted every year. The world could probably have been spared most of them. On the other hand there are some worthy titles to emerge every year. The list that follows will be an ensemble of various areas that intersect with life beneath the cross:
1) Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God: Unlocking the Bible’s Grand Narrative. I believe this book deserves the accolade of “book of the year.”
2) Ron Clark, Emerging Elders: Developing Shepherds in God’s Image. Clark’s new book is very good and written from one on the front line of ministry. Full of sound theology and pastoral insight. (Follow the link and click on the “ministry” button)
3) Oskar Skarsaune, In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. Its been a long time since I’ve read a book as rich about the early church as this engaging work.
4) Jack R. Reese, The Broken Body: Embracing the Peace of Christ in a Fragmented Church. For those who long for the gift of Shalom in our church families.
5) N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope. Title says it all.
6) James K. A. Smith, Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism? Taking Derrida, Lyotard and Foucault to Church. It is true … our world has undergone a huge worldview shift. I have not read a better book on PM than Smith’s. Do not be put off by the title for the book is short (a mere 156 pages) and Smith is an outstanding and anything but boring writer. Who’s afraid? No one …
7) John Goldingay, The Psalms. Goldingay’s 3 volume commentary on the Psalms is nothing short of exciting for a serious bible student. Not only are these the most extensive commentaries in English they are actually an exercise in “spiritual” reading.
8) Philip Jenkins, The Lost History of Christianity. Short and eye opening book.
9) Scott McKnight, A Community Called Atonement. Often the church calls for “sound teaching” but often fails to live it. McKnight is one of my favorite biblical scholars … he just happens to be able to write a good sentence too.
10)Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What? Miller has a unique writing style. If you make it past the first chapter you are in for a real treat. Loved this book.
I have left off my books with John Mark Hicks (Kingdom Come and A Gathered People) but they make good presents too, 😉
Well here are a few titles that have challenged and blessed my life. Perhaps if you get one or two of them for some one special they will be a blessing to them as well.