On My Bookshelf…

From time to time I get asked to recommend books, or what I’m reading. Here are three books that I’m in the process of reading (slowly) and find that they are all very good.

  • Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll. My first impression with this book is like others…I look at the recommendations. There are very solid theologians who recommended this book and, having read Driscoll before, I knew that it would be (for me) a must read. As in the reasoning for our study in the gospel of John, Driscoll affirms that the person of Christ is wildly misrepresented and misinterpreted today. As well, the need for stronger Christology in the local church is pronounced. For those of you wanting to get some theology without it being overly academic, you’ll want to read Driscoll. However, I must caution, Driscoll’s “in your face” approach is very effective, but NOT G-rated. Here’s a quote from the book:

“Sadly, it is too common for churches not to speak of Jesus, which is a tragedy akin to a wife rarely uttering the name of her own husband. In our day when there are innumerable contradictory beliefs about who God is, Christians must be clear that their God is Jesus Christ alone so as to communicate the same central truth that Scripture does. No matter how many verses are used, the Bible has not been rightly understood or proclaimed unless Jesus is the central focus and hero.”

  • The Returning King by Vern Poythress. This is a very accessible and theologically sound approach to the book of Revelation. Poythress states that Revelation is read, far to often, as a “puzzle book” rather than a “picture book.” He even claims that children could often understand Revelation better than adults because their natural view of picture books, where adults seem to make something a bit too complicated. I agree. I look forward to reading this book through.
  • Christ Our Mediator by C.J. Mahaney. Focusing on the work of Christ on the Cross, and viewing it from God’s perspective, is the key to sustaining joy in the believers’ life. This is Mahaney’s premise and focus in this small (96 page) book. I keep this in my car for those canceled meetings or lunches. Mahaney has been a long-time favorite of mine at conferences and his books are just as accessible. If I were to buy this for someone else, I would purchase Living the Cross-Centered Life, which is a combination of Christ our Mediator and The Cross-Centered Life. This book is one of those you should be able to read quickly and process slowly. Then, read it again at least yearly.

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