The Pastor’s Kid (Barnabas Piper) – I learned of this in an interview with the author, the son of John Piper, on a podcast, Steve Brown, Etc. While some of what he had to convey was clearly a product of his unique upbringing, the fact is that I married a “PK” and we have three of our own. And this gave me a bit more insight into their experiences.
The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings) – This novel grabbed me at several levels, especially with the love between a boy and his pet and then the loss of our childhood. It’s a great work of American literature and I’m glad Andrew Peterson introduced me to it through his songs on Light for the Lost Boy.
Understanding the Land of the Bible: A Biblical-Theological Guide (O. Palmer Robertson) – I’ve had this on my shelf for years but picked it up only recently in preparation for a trip to Israel next month. Robertson creatively gives the reader a guided tour of “the Holy Land” and its physical features. Part One is an overview of the land and its regions. Part Two gets into specifics – geographical features, climate and vegetation, towns and cities during successive periods. Part Three examines the contrasting perspectives on the land as represented through church history.
Shatner Rules: Your Guide to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large (William Shatner) – I’m not sure if the “rules” in the title is meant to be a noun or a verb. Given the whimsical boasting throughout, it could go either way. Likely, only fans of Star Trek (or possibly Boston Legal) would spend much time perusing this. But I was recovering from surgery this past summer and found it to be a suitable diversion on occasion.
The Case for a Creator (Lee Strobel) – Does science rule out the possibility of a Creator? Or have recent discoveries made the existence of a divine being all the more likely? Strobel’s talent as a journalist is evident here in the narrative sections that capture conversations with the likes of Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland. Fairly accessible but somewhat technical in some areas. That said, it would do the reader well to be well versed in those technical discussions.
When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty (Joni Eareckson Tada and Steve Estes) – What’s the difference between permitting something and ordaining it? When bad things happen, who’s behind them – God or the devil? Those are serious questions demanding thoughtful answers. Tada and Estes make for a good team – Tada having spent several decades in a wheelchair and Estes having been her lifelong friend – both biblically grounded and gifted writers.
A Severe Mercy (Sheldon Vanauken) – A deeply moving account of the author’s marriage, the couple’s search for faith, a lasting friendship with C. S. Lewis, and a spiritual journey through loss and pain. I wasn’t familiar with this work until this fall but would heartily recommend it.
Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of Christianity (J. Warner Wallace) – This is one of those rare cases where I read the book before I ever read or heard the author interviewed. Think of the claims of the New Testament Gospels as a “cold case”. That is, events from the distant past for which there is little forensic evidence and no living witnesses. How might it be considered from the vantage point of a detective skilled in homicide investigations? An insightful read.
Serious Times (James Emery White) – A 2005 Evangelical Christian Publishing Association Gold Medallion finalist. How can we make our lives matter? We must know the times. And lay hold of the means of grace in the unique times in which we live. There’s a lot there in those less-than-200-pages. And worth it.
Well, that’s basically it. Another eclectic reading list compiled over the course of a twelve month period. I’d stay and say some more about that but I already have a quite the “to read” list for 2015. So I’d better grab a book and settle into a chair.