Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Book Learnin'

I have updated my reading list in the sidebar to reflect what's actually on my plate.

A few have asked about my impressions of The Shack. You might have noticed it has disappeared from the reading list. Truth is, I don't have much to report. I started it about the same time I started Don DeLillo's End Game, got about two chapters into Shack when Game's more captivating prose captured my attention, and then my wife wanted to take The Shack on her business trip, so I gave it up.
I've got it back now but my interest in reading it has waned. I'll probably give it another go sometime.

Based only on the first couple of chapters, I think I can say that the enormous success of this book is just proof evangelicals don't really know literature. Is it poorly written? No. Is it masterful and life-changing? Well, maybe it is for those who only read what they sell at Christian bookstores or supermarkets.

But maybe I'll change my mind after I eventually finish it.
I have no opinion on whatever good or bad theology it may or may not reflect.

So . . . what are you reading?


Mark Heath said...

Here's the three I have on the go at the moment...

Genesis (Expositor's Bible Commentary Revised Edition) - John Sailhamer. Have only just started this one, but it has some interesting fresh perspectives, and does a good job of showing how the beginning of Genesis sets up themes that will be explored further later in the Pentatuech.

Epistemology - W. Jay Wood An epistemology primer that takes an interesting "intellectual virtues" approach, and explores the relationship between epistemic justification and religious belief.

The Mission of God - Christopher Wright - the pick of the bunch. This is an awesome study of the theme of the mission of God that runs right through the Bible. Wright shows that "mission" is not just a New Testament concern, but is at the heart of the Old Testament story and theology. The chapter on idolatry alone is worth the price of the book.

Jared said...

Mark, I've heard good things about that Wright book. Scot McKnight is blogging through it right now too and has whet my appetite. Will have to check it out soon.

bif said...

I'm currently reading E.M. Bounds on Prayer. It is a collection of seven of his books about aspects of prayer. Ironically, I've rarely felt more dried up than I do right now. Perhaps I should pray instead of reading about prayer.

Michael Spencer said...

Love it or Hate it, The Shack is a no go until you get past chapter 4.

John Colwell, Promise and Presence (A Baptist Sacramental Theology)

Bill Kinnon said...

Hmm. Well. Right now, I'm reading your blog. :-) Perhaps if you wrote a little less, I'd actually pick up a book.

Seriously, I'm reading NT Wright's two book series on Acts and have about eight books to finish by the side of my bed - including Shirky's Here Comes Everybody, Wright's Surprised by Hope and a couple of books the Ooze kindly sent me to peruse.

Joshua said...

Power Healing by John Wimber & Kevin Springer - Enjoying this book. Praying for Healing is not something I grew up with, other than to say that when someone was sick/hurt/whatever, we might ask God to "heal" them. But, as far as actually learning about the healing that Jesus did, and directed his disciples to do... not so much. Now, I go to a Vineyard, and it is good to have this aspect of ministry taught.

White: Book three of the Circle Trilogy by Ted Dekker - Holy cow! these books are amazing. What an incredible story teller Dekker is. Almost finished with this trilogy, and I have really enjoyed it. It's just a cool, very well thought out story. God's love for us written out by Dekker as "The Great Romance". Way cool. Have I said that already?

Anonymous said...

I have a tendency to be reading on 4 or 5 books at a time. And right now, those books are:
Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell
As disappointed as some of my reformed friends would be, I'm liking this one a lot so far. Although his trampoline analogy isn't perfect, it is refreshing.

Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright
This book is great. Thats all i gots to say.

Dear Church: Letters from a Disillusioned Generation by Sarah Cunningham
My guess is that Sarah Cunningham is a blogger who got a book deal, but, so far, this is a good book. Basically she points out some of the areas in which twenty-somethings are either dissatisfied or disgusted at the church.

Evil and the Justice of God N.T. Wright
I haven't gotten too far into this one, I picked it up at a store to read while I was waiting on my wife to get her hair did.

grace said...

Just finished - The Tangible Kingdom, Hugh Halter - loved it!

Re-reading - Reimagining Church, Frank Viola - very good.

About to start - The New Conspirators, Tom Sine

At the top of my wish list:
Mission of God - Christopher Wright
God's Epic Adventure - Winn Griffin
Announcing the Kingdom - Arthur Glasser
Surprised by Hope - NT Wright

Joshua, I agree the Circle Trilogy by Dekker is amazing!

Anonymous said...

A Heart for God by Sinclair Ferguson- typically great, short read
Unexpected Grace: How God Brings Meaning out of Our Failures by Dave Wyrtzen. It's okay, working through Jacob's family to show how grace trumps our failures. Sorta therapy
Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin- been distracted and haven't read much lately.
The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones: with the little girl of my life

On my upcoming vacation I hope to read Carson's Model for Maturity, some Van Til and maybe Ferguson's Faithful God (brief commentary on Ruth)