Books of 2018

Since starting a personal blog a couple years ago I have included a list of books read each year. This year I have not included a list of books because of the self-inflicted work load in completing four doctoral level seminars in 2018. It was a rough year academically as the demands of ministry do not slow down because a paper is due. But all my assignments were submitted on time and now I have two months off before my next seminar. Which my wife and I are looking forward to having some extra time as we are planning our fishing excursions, building book shelves in my study (pic), and putting up a fence as we adopted two Siberian Husky pups in January. They are crazy beasts, but we love them.


Instead of listing every book read in 2018, I am listing some books from my studies that impacted me the most along with a short explanation. But first are my thoughts on the new Christian Standard Bible (CSB) that I read last year during my quiet times. Overall, I enjoyed the CSB and have recommended it to new Christians. It is a very readable translation and appreciate the labors involved by those to produce the CSB. And while I enjoyed reading the CSB in 2018, I do not plan to have it replace the ESV that has become my primary translation for personal reading and study. But if I were to rank my preferred translations of Scripture it would be the ESV, NASB, and then the CSB as I favor formal equivalence or dynamic equivalence.


As for the list of books that had the greatest impact on me last year, and in no particular order, are;

  1. A Journey To Hope: Healing the Traumatized Spirit by Michael and Kathy Langston. This book is a personal journey of the Langston’s as Michael, Navy Chaplain during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I highly recommend this book as the Langston’s share very telling stories of their struggles as husband and wife along with the stigmas associated with PTSD. Their work also contains additional references that are important to understanding combat trauma. For example, they cite Dr. Charles Hoge’s work in Once A Warrior Always A Warrior by providing a table of thirty-one combat skills and the responses in combat and at home. The table alone is worth the price of the book because it is very informative. This book is a must if you are interested in the study of PTSD.
  2. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Before deploying to Iraq my unit invited Lt. Col. Grossman to speak about his research, or killology. The book is revealing in the demands of war to have a more lethal force and the steps involved to achieve that. The revised and updated version also tackles the topic of our culture of violence today and the influence of Hollywood and video games has on our youth. The same principles used to prepare soldiers for combat are seen in how youth are being desensitized to violence from entertainment that prizes violent movies and first-person shooter games.
  3. Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness by Matthew S. Stanford. This book touches on the integration debate that many Christians find themselves in when it comes to counseling today. But that is another topic for another day. This is a very technical book while remaining very readable. Stanford explores mental and neurological disorders with biblical examples. But what I appreciated about Stanford’s work in this book is that he is an advocate for the Church’s involvement with other professionals in the care of those suffering from mental illness. He notes how the average local church, or average community of churches in an area, are not equipped to help those suffering from mental illness. And because my doctoral studies are examining the local churches response to military families struggling with combat trauma, I can attest that there is a gap when it comes to churches capable and intentionally working with those suffering from combat trauma. What is sad is that the counseling community recognizes the importance of faith in post-traumatic growth and yet have little to no confidence in local churches being able to care for those that are suffering.
  4. Last one…Philosophy and Education: An Introduction in Christian Perspective by George R. Knight. This book was on the required reading list from my last seminar. It covers philosophic issues in education, traditional and modern philosophies, and a Christian approach to philosophy and education. Christian education also touches on the integration debate because all topics, e.g., math, art, humanity, science, etc, must be understood in a proper relationship with Scripture. For example, Scripture does not speak about brain functions, but does speak about the mind. How then does learning about the brain, as made by God, help us develop educational approaches that contribute to Paul’s call for Christians to renew their minds in Romans 12:2? At the same time, can we recognize postmodern impulses that distort or ignore what is real, what is true, and what is valued as Christians.


While there are other books that could be added to this list for 2018, these are the ones that I have often cited or recommended in my studies and discussions.


2017 Reading List

Here are the book titles, in no particular order, of what was read in 2017 along with a short and informal review. Many books were required for my DEdMin studies.

  • 1560 Geneva Bible. Okay, you’re probably wondering why I put the Bible on my reading list as Christians read the Bible every year. But I put it here because it is a facsimile edition of the 1560 Geneva Bible that includes all the margin notes from reformers like John Calvin and John Knox. It also provides the history of Geneva Bible that is fascinating. Yet, when it came to reading the facsimile edition the initial challenge was to understand the Old English type set used to produce it. Some letters look like a ‘f’ but is pronounced as a ‘s’ while an ‘I’ could either pronounced with a ‘J’ or ‘I’ sound. After a while it becomes a little easier but other challenges remain that include the use of a Hebrew word phonetically spelled out rather than using the meaning. This was noticed in Genesis 3:20 with the use of Heuáh rather than Eve. But don’t let that discourage you from taking the opportunity to read the Geneva Bible. It is an amazing work during an important time in history. The margin notes makes it the first study Bible for the common person in addition to being the Bible that the pilgrims carried to the new lands seeking religious liberty.
  • Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Simply a fantastic devotion and, in my opinion, a great updated version. From time to time I would access the digital version of Spurgeon’s devotion on Logos to read the differences between Spurgeon’s work and this work. I appreciate Alistair Begg’s careful revision of the devotional quality only the Prince of Preachers could deliver.
  • What I Believe: A Combat Chaplain’s Guide to God by Chaplain (Captain) W. Michael Oliver. This book was recommended while visiting a book store in Nashville. As a Veteran, I am looking for books written by Military that have a theological foundation to give to Military as part of our Military ministry where I currently serve. What caught my attention with this book was the table of contents. The author lays out the Biblical Storyline then moves into the Ordo Salutis and the Solas of the reformation. Who uses Ordo Salutis for their chapter naming convention? So I had to read it. Each chapter is short, but we’ll balanced in presenting an overview of the order of salvation easily understood. And if you are interested in reading the reformed view of the Ordo Salutis without a lot of big words, this is the book. And yes, there are various views when it comes to the order of salvation that will impact one’s understanding of the extent of the atonement, predestination, and the effects of sin. Theology matters.


  • The Gospel & Racial Reconciliation from The Gospel for Life Series edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker. For a short read, this series of books are theologically engaging with passionate wisdom of rightly caring for and loving our neighbors. The gift of each contributor to the topic of racial reconciliation makes this book, this series, a must read.
  • The Gospel & Same-Sex Marriage from The Gospel for Life Series edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker. Again, a strong assembly of contributors makes this book another blessing in the discussion of same-sex marriage today. While one chapter came across as lacking, compared to the other contributors, I would still highly recommend this book and series.
  • The Gospel & Religious Liberty from The Gospel for Life Series edited by Russell Moore and Andrew T. Walker. This book was read toward the close of 2016, but I included here as I have been reading additional books in this series. Let me just say this first…this book is fantastic! The topic of religious liberty is one that is often set aside for other ‘pressing’ issues. But religious liberty is a pressing issue and this small book is enlightening. Although small, it will help the reader gain a quick understanding to the issues surrounding this topic and why religious liberty is so very important.
  • Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven about the Death of a Child by John MacArthur. The topic of a child’s death is very challenging, but John MacArthur does an outstanding job in walking the reader through Scripture. While it is easy, and common to proof-text one’s position here, John MacArthur does not take a simplistic, superficial, or provide some super-spiritual response common today, but examines the full council of God’s Word to form a biblical response. Which Dr. MacArthur’s response is along the same lines as Drs. Albert Mohler and Daniel Akin who also tackle this topic.
  • Ministry in The New Marriage Culture edited by Jeff Iorg. The list of contributors quickly places this book as a must read as they have first-hand experiences ministering in the new marriage culture. It quickly became a book recommendation for the staff so they too can be familiarized with this subject. It has contributed to several discussions among the staff on how we prayerfully engage in this discussion.
  • Wounded Spirit: A Biblical Approach to Dealing with the Effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by Douglas J. Carragher. Since the book was written by a retired Service Member for Service Members I was immediately drawn to it, especially since the topic is on PTSD. While I appreciate Dr. Carragher’s work here in bringing awareness to PTSD, I expected more with the title “Biblical Approach.” Although small in size this book continued to deliver small nuggets of insight that led us to purchase two cases to give away as part of our ministry to the Military. Both cases were gone very quickly, which was very revealing of the silent need within our congregation and community. This little book can easily be picked up and tucked in a pocket for later reading.
  • Scripture and Counseling: God’s Word For Life in a Broken World edited by Bob Kellemen and Jeff Forrey. Last year I read A Theology of Biblical Counseling by Heath Lambert and this book by Bob Kellemen and Jeff Forrey is along the same lines, however. Scripture and Counseling has several biblical counselors contributing to the contents including Heath Lambert. It was a great addition to my library as I also purchased the kindle edition.
  • No Quick Fix: Where Higher Life Theology Came From, What It Is, and Why It’s Harmful by Andrew David Naselli. I have heard many of these comments identified by Andrew Naselli, but did not realize the background of where it came from. Andrew Naselli, as the book title indicates, explores how Keswick Theology, or High Life Theology, was formed and who were the leading proponents. I am grateful for Naselli’s study into this topic because I agree that it is harmful. I have had a professing believer once inform me that he was a ‘carnal’ Christian as he tried to convince me to leave the Southern Baptist Convention because he considered it a denomination that emphasizes works-based faith. He embraced his ‘carnal’ Christian position, which was very sad and one that I challenged. This book prepares one to biblically refute this false system.
  • Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Revised and Updated, by Donald S. Whitney. This is the third time I read through Donald Whitney’s book and everything time it brings conviction, learning, and growth. This book is so packed with biblical references and insight that it became our primary textbook for our Spiritual Disciplines class at church. Donald Whitney’s work is thorough and why I read his work (see 2016 Reading List).
  • Habits for Our Holiness: How The Spiritual Disciplines Grow Us Up, Draw Us Together, and Send Us Out by Philip Nation. This book is outstanding and a great addition in the study of Spiritual Disciplines because Philip Nation captures an important point many miss…the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. Spiritual disciplines do impact our personal growth, but that personal growth should also impact others. This book was important enough to have both print and kindle editions.
  • Discerning Your Call To Ministry: How to Know For Sure And What To Do About It by Jason K. Allen. I wish this book was around when I experienced my own calling to the ministry. Simply insightful. Today I purchase this book and provide it to men who share that they are sensing a call to the ministry themselves. This book has been tremendously helpful as it guides our conversations on calling and labors in the ministry. Jason Allen’s breakdown of three potential callings in the ministry (i.e., called to minister, called to ministry, and called to the ministry) is very helpful as many view calling in a very narrow sense. I can’t speak highly enough of Dr. Allen’s book and highly recommend a copy be included in every minister’s library.
  • Rediscovering Discipleship: Making Jesus’ Final Words Our First Work by Robby Gallaty. I enjoy listening to Dr. Gallaty’s passion on discipleship. This book reflects his labors to call the Church back to her Great Commission mandate to make disciples. Dr. Gallaty not only contrasts the differences between Eastern and Western approaches to education, but also provides a historical overview of discipleship. The title Rediscovering Discipleship is exactly what this book is about. But Dr. Gallaty doesn’t just call the Church back to discipleship, he also provides a simple approach to discipleship using the acronym MARCS (Missional, Accountable, Reproducible, Communal, and Spiritual) as a way forward in rediscovering discipleship.

Required and select reading for DEdMin seminars in 2017.

  • How To Read A Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
  • Life In the Spirit: Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective edited by Jeffery P. Greenman and George Kalantzis. I would recommend this book, but with a caveat that the reader approach it critically when the contributors present chapters on historical approaches to spiritual formation.
  • Who Stole My Church? What to Do When the Church You Live in Tries to Enter the Twenty-first Century by Gordon McDonald. Story is told through a fictional church and characters, but feels very much as a non-fiction.
  • The Elements of Style, 4th Edition, by William Stunk Jr. and E.B. White. This book sits besides my desk as I strive to improve on my writing abilities.
  • Being Bright Is Not Enough: The Unwritten Rules of Doctoral Study, 3rd Edition, by Peggy Hawley.
  • Spiritual Leadership, Revised and Expanded, by Henry Blackaby and Richard Blackaby. The church I serve provides copies of this book to our newly ordained deacons. So when it was on the reading list I was excited to dive into it. The Blackaby’s provide a solid book on spiritual leadership and highly recommended. While I may not align with some of their positions, theologically, this book is excellent and desperately needed today as leadership in the church is often associated with power and control.
  • StandOut 2.0 by Marcus Buckingham. Secular, but good. It is worth reading and taking the assessment.
  • Leading from the Second Chair: Serving Your Church, Fulfilling Your Role, and Realizing Your Dreams by Mike Borem and Roger Patterson. This is a topic that I struggle with as one who is serving in a junior position…more like the tenth or eleventh chair! It was a topic that I was interested in when I heard Dr. Rick Holland speak on this topic during a break-out session during the 2014 For The Church Conference. Highly recommended for those serving in either first or second chairs.
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 4th Edition, by William and Susan Bridges. Secular, but very good especially as churches seek to revitalize or replant. Many expect people to quickly accept the needed changes, but then wonder why there are problems when the congregation experiences the agreed upon changes. This book looks at the emotional challenges in making a transition and very applicable today.
  • Building Leaders: Blueprints For Developing Leadership at Every Level of Your Church by Aubrey Malphurs Will Mancini. Excellent book on a very important topic for the church today. Excellent books and highly recommended. This book lays out a systematic blueprint for developing leaders. Leaders who do not know how to develop leaders or have a staffed pipeline to develop leaders, this book is for you. Many principles can be applied to any congregation size.
  • Leading Congregational Change: A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey by Jim Herrington, Mike Bonem, and James Furr. Highly recommended book. It covers the progress of a association of churches in Texas that sought needed changes to reach the community where they serve.
  • Ministering to Problem People in Your Church: What to Do With Well-Intentioned Dragons by Marshall Shelley. Unfortunately, the topic is a reality in all churches. But don’t let the title of calling congregational members dragons discourage you from reading this book. You will benefit from it.
  • Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need To Succeed in Life by Paul Stanley and Robert Clinton. Excellent book as Stanley and Clinton explore the need for mentoring and the different aspects of mentoring. Highly recommend this book if you are serious about discipleship because there are some relationships that will focus on one being a spiritual mentor rather than a teaching mentor. This books outlines those differences and provides guidance for each.
  • Managing Conflict in the Church by David W. Kale. Good book, but did not glean much from it compared to the others.
  • Catastrophic Crisis: Ministry Leadership in the Midst of Trial and Trajedy by Steve Echols and Allen England. This book was eye opening in that it dealt with topics many churches do not even consider, although they are unfortunately becoming more frequent (e.g., active shooter in the church). This book not only reviews different catastrophic events, but also presents leadership discussion points and reflections. This book made such an impact on me that I have both paper and kindle editions.
  • Antagonists in the Church by Kenneth Haugk. This book was purchased during the seminar based on conversations and recommendations with the professor. A highly recommended book as it covers a topic that many ignore or try not to believe about potential members in their congregation. Unfortunately, this is a frequent occurrence based on conversations I have had this year. While there is still more research needed in the area of what separates an antagonist from a church bully, this book is very helpful in learning how to identify and deal with antagonists in the church.
  • The Teaching Ministry of the Church, 2nd Edition, edited by William R. Yount. Good book and worth reading. The book contains many contributors covering a variety of topics from teaching each age group to selecting and evaluating curriculum for your church.
  • The Reciprocating Self: Human Development in Theological Perspective, 2nd Edition, by Jack O. Balswick, Pamela Ebstyne King, and Kevin S. Reimer. This is a very in-depth examination of human development. While the authors provide expanded research on human development not discussed in the other books, the authors take liberty in developing their theological perspective based on a position not held historically. Critical reading is a must with this book.
  • Nuture that is Christian: Developmental Perspectives on Christian Education edited by James C. Wilhoit and John M. Dettoni. What I appreciate about this book, more than than the others, is presenting individual chapters on the works of Piaget, Kohlberg, Fowler, Erickson, Vygotsky, Perry and Belenky. Anyone interested in their work and how it contributes to Christian education, spiritual development, will benefit from this book.
  • Christian Formation: Integrating Theology and Human Development edited by James R. Estep and Jonathan H. Kim. Another good book to add to one’s library. While I disagree on their paradigmatic approach to integration, this is a very helpful book in the area of Christian formation.
  • Think Biblically: Recovering a Christian Worldview edited by John MacArthur. This book was purchased due to it being referenced to refute the One-Book position written by Taylor B. Jones.
  • Exploring The History and Philosophy of Christian Education by Michael J. Anthony and Warren S. Benson. This book was purchased for additional reading to learn of Church’s historical position when it comes to the integration debate (i.e., No-Book, One-Book, or Two-Book positions). Anthony and Benson cover key figures and their philosophies when it comes to Christian education and integration. Excellent book and highly recommended as they as provide “So What” lessons on why this matters today.

2016 Reading List

Here are the books read in 2016, in no particular order, along with a short informal review.


  •   Jesus Among Friends and Enemies edited by Chris Keith and Larry W. Hurtado.  This was a recommendation by my online New Testament Professor Dr. Chipman, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a very good book.  It explores the historical setting and sociological implications of the various groups and persons discussed by the authors.  The authors utilize a variety of references to present their views for each group which is very insightful.  But, one must have some understanding of critical scholarship so to not throw it down and scream ‘Heresy.’


  •   Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free by F.F. Bruce.  This was another book recommended by my online New Testament professor and an excellent work.  It is a collection of lectures given by F.F. Bruce and worth having in your library.  While an excellent book it was not my primary resource when writing but equally visited.


  •   Paul and His Letters by John B. Polhill.  This book was read in 2015 in preparation for New Testament Survey II but I included it here for several reasons.  One is that I really enjoyed this book as it has become a primary resource for Paul’s letters.  Second is Polhill’s view of Pauline authorship along with an outline for each letter. Lastly is the references contained in the notes section.  The reference section alone is worth having this book in your library!  But you will enjoy having it as a reliable resource.


  •   A Theology of Biblical Counseling: The Doctrinal Foundations of Counseling Ministry by Heath Lambert.  My approach to counseling while in the Army has been very simple…the direct approach.  But this doesn’t translate well into the civilian population so I have been working on how to interact with those not from my tribe.  This book by Dr. Lambert is excellent as I appreciate how he opens with the swirling debate between secular, integrated approaches, and the need to depend on the sufficiency of God’s Word for counseling.  Plus each chapter is laid out systematically building upon the next as one would expect when the title is ‘A Theology of.’


  •   Christ, Muhammad and I by Mohammad Al Ghazoli.  Wow!  There was times when I wanted to throw this book down rather than continue reading it.  It is shocking to learn that the Muslim prophet Muhammad had 23 wives and one of them, Aisha bint Abu Bakr, was only six years old when he married her!  And then when Aisha was nine years old the Muslim prophet Muhammad had sex with her!  And somehow the god Muhammad followed approved this?  Let me be clear here that the Muslim god is not the holy God of the Bible my friend!  They are not the same!  This book is very revealing as it was originally written in Arabic with the intention of reaching Muslims with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you want to know more about Islam that Muslim scholars are aware of but ignore…get this book.  Just remember that it was originally written in Arabic and then translated into English.


  •   The Gospel for Muslims by Thabiti Anyabwile.  A very quick and excellent read.  A couple of points that I appreciate with this book is Thabiti’s reminder that the Gospel for Muslims is the same Gospel for everyone!  Excellent point.  The Gospel does not change as it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe [Rom 1:16].  The second thing I like about this book is the chapter on witnessing to African-American Muslims.  He identifies many of the differences between African-American Muslims and Arab Muslims which are very important in my opinion.


  •   On Pastoring by H.B. Charles Jr.  If you have not heard H.B. Charles Jr. speak you are missing out on a humble and gifted pastor, preacher and servant.  And while his book is a reflection of his years in the ministry, you will soon realize the wisdom he passes on to the reader.  The chapters are short but very captivating.  He closes the book with short sayings he has assembled over the years that are often cited on Twitter!  Excellent book to have and revisit.


  •   From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor by Steven M. Cahn.  This book was a Twitter recommendation by someone that I follow.  And while I am not interested in becoming a professor I am interested in pursuing doctoral studies.  The first three chapters were the ones that I was interested in as the author writes about the common problems many doctoral students encounter and some steps to be better prepared.  These chapters will be revisited after my application for doctoral studies is approved.  Yes, I am that positive about it!


  •   Missional House Churches: Reaching Our Communities with the Gospel by J.D. Payne.  This is a very good book that examines both arguments for and against house churches.  This book came about after several books were used for research in 2014 in developing a church strategy to reach the community through missional communities.  There are many voices that argue against house churches as they are in favor of the traditional approach, but Dr. Payne presents a well-structured and well-balanced book examining house churches.  If you are thinking about house churches as part of a strategy to reach the various communities in your city…you will want to read this book.


  •   A Different Kind of Tribe: Embracing the New Small-Group Dynamic by Rick Howerton.  Rick was invited to speak during a church staff meeting to observe and help guide our discussions.  After sharing about the work on a new missional strategy he recommended this book as it speaks directly to what we were planning.  It was like reading elements of our strategy, but ten times better!  So again, if you are considering missional strategies to reach the communities of your city….get this book.  But let me warn you now that it is difficult to find.


  •   Connecting in Communities: Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups by Eddie Mosley.  This book was a recommendation by Rick Howerton and worth every penny.  I like to tab important pages intended to be a reference and this book ate up a lot of Post-it tabs!  The information is well organized and user-friendly.  Again, if you are interested in small groups why reinvent the wheel when there are so many wheels already out there?  This is a solid wheel!


  •   Praetorian Project: Multiplying the Gospel Through Military Church Planting edited by Clint Clifton.  This short book was given to me by my Pastor as we read various books by Military personnel for our Military Ministry.  It is part of our goal to transition from being a Military Friendly Church to a Military Focused Church (but that is another blog for another day).  This book is very short and was read in one sitting…about four hours.  It does present some great thoughts on Military planting churches near Military bases, but it also presented a topic on membership that made me pause.  Maybe it was just how it was phrased that initiated filling the margins with rhetorical comments!


  •   The Mighty Weakness of John Knox by Douglas Bond.  I enjoy the series A Long Line of Godly Men and have several others.  But who can resist reading about a Reformer who carried a sword!  What can I say…I am a fan of John Knox.  During my time on campus visiting Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Christian George, Curator of the Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, encouraged people to find a dead guy [theologian] to fall in love with and learn about.  John Knox just might be that one.  He was bold in defending the Gospel and a reformer!  The book is a short read and very well written for its brevity.  No complaints as I already mentioned earlier that I have the others in this series.


  •   John Knox and the Reformation by D.M. Lloyd-Jones and Iain H. Murray.  Reading the book by Douglas Bond influenced me to purchase this book and it is remarkably excellent for how short it is.  But again, I am a fan of John Knox.  He carried a sword!  But I will share my recommendation with caution because this little book wets your appetite for more.  So I ended up purchasing The History of the Reformation in Scotland by John Knox and the book titled John Knox by Jasper Ridley.  I have not read these last ones but plan to get reacquainted with my dead friend in the near future!


  •   The Uneasy Conscience of Modern Fundamentalism by Carl F.H. Henry.  Let me first just say that this book is no easy read!  The first reading gets you acquainted with Henry’s writing style, language, and topic.  And I am not ashamed to write that I had to re-read several chapters!  And while this book was written 1947 it continues to address the need for Christians today to faithfully engage the culture with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


  •   Onward: Engaging The Culture Without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore.  Excellent book as I enjoy Dr. Moore’s candor, wisdom, and humility.  I also appreciate Dr. Moore’s leadership at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission as he leads the engagement among the many important topics today.  And he is not afraid to address the cultural Christianity that has invaded many Southern churches.  If Dr. Moore lived around the time of John Knox he too would probably have carried a sword!


  •   Born This Way? Homosexuality, Science, and the Scriptures by J. Alan Branch.  A very well written and enlightening book on a subject many Christians are weak in.  So weak that many are quick to accept the growing opinion of society that homosexuals are Born This Way.  This is a must have book that explores the evolution, research, and desire of sexual immoral lifestyles, the inconclusive science many want to ignore, and the current debates surrounding this topic.


  •   Transforming Sexuality: What the Bible Says About Sexual Orientation and Change by Denny Burk and Heath Lambert.  Another excellent and insightful book on a relevant cultural topic of our day.  What sets this book apart for me was chapter two, Is Same Sex Attraction Sinful, where the authors explore the topic if desire is sinful.  They meticulously unpack Scripture that was very insightful and shaping to what I understood about desire.  Thank you!


  •   What does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality by Kevin DeYoung.  Simply Biblical.  Kevin DeYoung first moves through the Bible to present the biblical argument and then takes on the questions.  Another book to have as a reference as this discussion about homosexuality and the church will continue, especially with major denominations now embracing liberalism.


  •   Family Worship by Donald S. Whitney.  For a small book this is wonderfully packed and highlights the need for family worship.  I see this book as an appendix to Dr. Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life because of how crucial it is in discipleship.  He leaves no room for the Christian to ignore family worship as he teaches how basic and uncomplicated family worship is.  You do not have to be a theologian or a music major to lead your family in worship!  Buy it…read it!


  •   Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney.  While another quick reading book it still packs a theological punch.  This book was read in one sitting, or about four hours.  It moves very quickly and was very informative.  I particularly enjoyed how he illustrated how to pray the Bible.  Not difficult at all.  But what I enjoyed was learning that I was already praying the Bible so the validation was exciting.  Now to only continue praying the Bible!


  •   My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  This was one of my morning devotional books for 2016 along with reading Scripture.  I was given this book not long after coming to faith in Christ in September 2007.  It has been a wonderful influence in my walk with the Lord and will remain a reoccurring devotion throughout my life.


  •   The One Year Christian History: A Daily Glimpse Into God’s Powerful Work by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten.  This was a second morning devotion book for 2016 incorporated into my morning readings.  What I enjoyed about incorporating this book as part of my morning devotion was how my prayers often included portions of what happened that day in history and my own walk with the Lord.  Good book but I question some of the dates used when citing passages from Nehemiah.  But that is me!


* I started Paul & The Gift by John M.G. Barclay, another recommendation from my New Testament professor, but did not finish reading it.  The material is very interesting as it starts off with the anthropological perspective and the historical examination of ‘gift’ as used across cultures.  It is a deep and theologically rich textbook, yes I used textbook purposely, and will take me a little more time digesting than the common reader.  So it is on my list for 2017…after more books on counseling, discipleship, hope and healing for our Veterans, and more books on reaching Muslims.

Look for my reading list in January 2018!