I’m on a roll. Sometimes you run into a period of so-so books, but other times you stumble across one excellent book after another. That’s where I’ve been lately. Just warning you.
The Discipline of Grace
by Jerry Bridges
I’ve yet to meet a Jerry Bridges’ book I don’t like. I’m reading this one with the Reading Classics Together group on Challies’ schedule (sort of—we’re on chapter four this week, but shhhh . . . I’m really on chapter six; I couldn’t help but read ahead).
It’s about our pursuit of holiness, yet our dependence on God’s grace to do it. My chapter summaries here.
Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
by Emily P. Freeman
Finally. This has been on my list for months (longer?). I’m on page 60 and have already highlighted many statements, such as,
“But I didn’t understand the middle-of-a-Tuesday Jesus. I only knew him as a when-I-get-to-heaven Jesus. Salvation was my ticket to heaven and not much else.”
“I knew how to listen to the spirit of fear. I had not yet learned the voice of the Spirit of God.”
The Death of the Custodian: The Case of the Missing Tutor
by W. Carl Ketcherside
“The law was our custodian until Christ came,
that we might be justified by faith.
But now that faith has come,
we are no longer under a custodian.”
—Galatians 3:24, 25 (RSV).
It’s based on those scriptures, yet more. For one thing, Ketcherside is great at clarifying between the old/new “covenants” as opposed to the old/new “testaments.” I hope I’ll be more intentional how I use those words from now on.
52 Lies Heard in Church Every Sunday: And Why the Truth Is So Much Better
by Steve McVey
It’s so good I’m still intentionally reading it slowly (you understand that logic, right?). I’m on Lie # 48: Sunday Is the Christian Sabbath. The last lie will be # 52: Grace Is a Very Important Doctrine.
Living Jesus: Doing What Jesus Says in the Sermon on the Mount
by Randy Harris
Randy makes a case that we actually are meant to live out Jesus’ hard teachings. Not just read them; not just debate them; DO THEM. There are accompanying DVDs with the book; having heard Randy preach on several occasions, I’m sure they’re good (and challenging) as well.
By Grace Alone: How the Grace of God Amazes Me
by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Oh, this is a very good book! If you only have time to read one book on grace (not counting the original book—always read the Bible first), read this one.
Blur: The Hilarious True Story of a Man Who Woke Up Dizzy
by Andrew Carruthers
Because my husband Jeff has had three attacks of vertigo this year, I found this little book interesting and amusingly-told. And Carruthers is British, which gives his story an extra little oomph. What I didn’t like is the book ends before he tells if his treatment was effective. (Jeff might need to know!)
Hell: A Final Word
by Edward Fudge
This is an easier-to-read summary of Fudge’s The Fire that Consumes, which I read years ago. I agreed with him then; I agree with him now. It’s not a traditional view on hell, but I believe it’s a biblical one. Read with an open mind.
Through Painted Deserts
by Donald Miller
Oh, Don. (You feel like you know him after you read his books.) You write with such openness and vulnerability about just a trip out west. Only you could have kept me reading this travelogue (of sorts). This was one of your earlier books; your writing gets better and better from here on out.
Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus
by Ed Cyzewski, Derek Cooper
A brand new book by author and blogger Ed at In a Mirror Dimly, with his co-author and friend Derek. This book plants you eye-to-eye with your courage (or lack thereof) to follow Jesus wherever he may take you. Jesus
may will take you places you didn’t expect to go. Follow anyway. I’m trying to.
The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
by Scot McKnight
Just finished last night. Oh, oh. This is one of those books that’s too big to put into words. Just when I think I’m thinking outside the box, I’m challenged to think again.
Excellent to help you discern why you read the Bible like you do, and what, if anything, you should change about that to better conform to God’s intentions and truths.
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Have you read a good book lately?
Please leave the title in the comments below (because I might want to read it, too!).