2014 Books: 2Q

Seems as if the blogging well has run dry lately. But even if I move, start a new job, welcome a new baby, and embark on a house hunt, the quarterly book list still must be posted! I read the following books from April through June. My next quarterly reading list is available by clicking here. Running yearly count: 19.

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes: Christians and Popular Culture – Ken Myers (1989); Print // This was my third (fourth?) time reading this gem, as I read it with friends for a discussion group. Dated, but the general principles and applications are sound and challenging. Myers has said that he can’t simply revise this work because it require an entire new book. Well, Ken, we’re waiting.

Caffeinated: How Our Daily Habit Helps, Hurts, and Hooks Us – Murray Carpenter (2014); Print // Well written journalistic look at the world’s most used and (one of the) most addictive drugs. Carpenter travels from China to Columbia and everywhere in between in his journey to discover more about this ancient, mysterious white powder present in chocolate, coffee, tea, and energy bars. Fun and interesting.

God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World – David F. Wells (2014); Print // Wells’ magnificent heavily-researched trilogy and subsequent mainstream overview were absolutely fantastic. I did not find this latest work nearly as engaging, helpful, or tightly argued. The final two chapters on the necessity of recovering God-centered worship and Christian service were very good, but the first seven chapters were a non-cohesive fluctuation between biblical theology, cultural criticism, and general introduction.

The Hidden Life of Prayer: The Life-blood of the Christian – David McIntyre (1913); Audio // A pleasure to listen to, due to the robust vocabulary and writing style employed by an early-20th century Scot. I just wish it was read by a Scot. Also a pleasure to listen to a practical, biblical, and encouraging challenge to develop a robust prayer life.

Jesus, the Final Days: What Really Happened – Craig Evans & N.T. Wright (2009); Print // Short, accessible, and convincing introduction to the history and reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus. If you don’t have time for Wright’s magisterial The Resurrection of the Son of God (I sure don’t), this is like a very short Cliff’s Notes version (though I’d recommend the larger Cliff’s Notes version Surprised By Hope more).

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens (1838); Print // Before reading Great Expectations in 2012, I never thought I would ever admit to being a Dickens fan. Now that I’ve read and enjoyed two of his novels, I can safely say that I am on the road to fandom. An excellent work of fiction.

The Truth of the Cross – R.C. Sproul (2007); Kindle // Sproul at his best: explaining and illuminating theological truths concisely, accessibly, precisely, and passionately. This book focuses on the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the eternal covenant and plan of God, and the necessity of the atonement.

War of Words: Getting to the Heart of Your Communication Struggles – Paul David Tripp (2007); Print // Really helpful book about how the gospel can and should transform our talk and communication. After laying the theological foundation, Tripp turns to the practical side in the later chapters. He repeatedly hammers home the point that without gospel transformation and application, one’s communication problems (indeed, all relational problems) cannot be solved. One to revisit through the years.

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