Book Blurbs is a segment on the blog where I list books I’m reading along with a brief blurb about each book. The aim is to help you identify new authors and potential books of interest. Maybe I didn’t read every word of every page, but I read enough to mention them. I don’t list every book I read. You can find some of the books I read in May-August of 2022 below. You can find all the Book Blurbs posts here.
I love reading how-to books on preaching, and I’m enjoying Kim’s book on the subject.
This is the more concise version of The Rise and Triumph of Modern Self. Carl Trueman has become a leading voice on the intersection of Christian faith and Western cultural issues. I enjoyed this one and it gave me a helpful framework to understand our present moment with the culture.
3. The Trellis and the Vine: The Ministry Mind-Shift That Changes Everything by Colin Marshall and Tony Payne
A helpful book on the nature of local church ministry.
In addition to my Master of Divinity degree, I have two undergraduate degrees in business, so I have both an aptitude and interest in the administrative side of church ministry. I enjoyed this volume and was refreshed by the faithful exegesis, particularly the emphasis on being faithful. Dunlop rightly argues that the church budget is a spiritual thing and pastors need to be involved with it.
Speaking of business, I’m reading this one for fun. It’s excellent. If you are thinking of starting a business or are in the thick of it, I encourage you to check this one out.
6. Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus by J.T. English
An extremely helpful book on local church discipleship. I particularly appreciate the author giving room for Christian Education, whether that’s a Sunday School lesson on the attributes of God or a Wednesday night teaching series on Proverbs. Yes, the author makes room for small group ministry, but we also need a context for deep learning, which educational classes provide.
7. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky
If you like productivity, consider giving this one a read. It’s a book on making ideas happen, particularly with an emphasis on creatives. The writing is sophisticated. The author uses the phrase “a bias toward action” which I just love. I think about it a lot. Systems, structures, and organization matter in productivity, but the best system won’t mean anything unless you actually move and get something done. Keep making progress even if it’s messy. Don’t wait until you have all the information before getting started; just get started and tweak as you go.
8. Lead: 12 Gospel Principles for Leadership in the Church by Paul David Tripp
I need Paul David Tripp in my life because he is a wise guide who teaches leadership in the way of Jesus. In a day with so many domineering pastors and many cases of leadership gone awry in the local church, Tripp is a wise guide, especially for younger pastors like myself.
9. Union with Christ: The Way to Know and Enjoy God by Rankin Wilbourne
I love the doctrine of union with Christ. It’s so important, and yet, many (if not most Christians) don’t know much about it. They say this is the best lay-level book on the subject. Although I picked up this book in a previous year, it wasn’t until this year that I started and am trying to read it all the way through. Union with Christ needs more attention in the church, and books like these are a great help.
10. Living Life Backward: How Ecclesiastes Teaches Us to Live in Light of the End by David Gibson
I’m doing a Wednesday night teaching series on Ecclesiastes. This book is already gripping me. If you want to dig deeper into Ecclesiastes, give this one a look. As of this writing, it has over 600 reviews on Amazon.