I sent out to this tweet a few weeks ago...
If you could only read 3-5 books of theology for the rest of your life, what would they be? Must be worth reading deep and rereading.— Steve McCoy (@stevekmccoy) December 20, 2013
I got great responses. A number of folks asked me to compile a list of all the responses. Here they are as one long list in the order they were received. I added a "*" for every extra mention. If you don't like something on the list, don't blame me. It's not my list. :) I will start, though, with my list which I didn't give on Twitter. Thanks to all who responded.
ALSO, I tried to offer links to WTS, Amazon, & Kindle. Buying by clicking the links though Amazon and WTS cost you nothing extra, but it helps me a lot as I need to buy my books as a pastor through these two companies. Appreciate it, if you are buying anyway, if you would consider using my links. Always a blessing.
N.D. Wilson, author of non-fiction like Death By Living ($3.99 for Kindle) and young adult fiction like the 100 Cupboards series (Kindle) and Ashtown Burials series (Kindle), has a great piece up at Christianity Today. In "The Dark-Tinted, Truth-Filled Reading List We Owe Our Kids" Wilson explains why kids need dark stories. This article is geared for parents making fiction decisions for kids, but it's just as helpful for anyone thinking about how to tell the truth through stories. Here are a couple of lines from an article rich with quotes...
"God's artistic choices should govern our own."
"Shelter your children. Yes. Absolutely. But use a picnic shelter, not a lightless bomb bunker, and not virtual reality goggles looping bubblegum clouds."
"Faithful artists should provide sabbaths, not escapes."
"To tell the truth about what it means to be heroic, we must spin a fiction full of danger."
I've left most of the best stuff for you to discover. Please go read the whole piece at CT.
I encourage you to pick up a Kindle for yourself. Since I got mine I've gotten to the place where I'm using it most days. My recommendation is the Kindle Paperwhite or the Paperwhite 3G (which I have), but they are all great. You can even get one for $69 now.
It's Poetry At Work Day. Check out my latest article where I discuss why we need poetry. And then go find poetry in your workplace. Check out the graphic below for information and inspiration for the rest of your day...
In Jerry Bridges' beloved little book, The Pursuit of Holiness (Kindle), he describes in his chapter on the place of personal discipline three questions to ask as you read, study, or meditate on the Scriptures and then explains why being specific is so important.
The most important part of this process is the specific application of the Scripture to specific life situations. We are prone to vagueness at this point because commitment to specific actions makes us uncomfortable. But we must avoid general commitments to obedience and instead aim for specific obedience in specific instances. We deceive our souls when we grown in knowledge of the truth without specifically responding to it (James 1:22).
The Pursuit of Holiness (1978) by Jerry Bridges, pg 104. Bold is mine.
The Gloaming: The Gloaming | These guys were not on my radar until today. It's a supergroup of sorts with three Irishmen and two Americans. It has a singer, two fiddles, a piano and a guitar. PLEASE try this one and give it a few songs.
Damien Jurado: Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son | Really digging this one. Still another week before release. Too long.
Warpaint: Warpaint | Listened to a few songs this morning and really liked what I heard. Will be listening more.
Inside Llewyn Davis Soundtrack ($5.99) -- Playing this one a lot right now. After seeing the movie on Saturday, it will get more play. Would love your take on the movie if you've seen it. You will enjoy this album whether you've seen the movie or not.
Check out last week's list of cheap albums as many are still on sale.
As we meet today with our local churches, may we remember the redemptive mission God has called us to, and may we refuse to settle for the "spiritual ghetto" when the everyday places of this world need the Christian faith lived out everywhere.
"Being the body of Christ calls up another image, namely, that believers are called to be a kingdom of priests (1 Peter 2:9). They are called to redemptive mission in the world. They are called to be channels of God's blessing to a fallen and needy society. Findley Edge explains how this comes about.
There is...a basic difference in the priesthood of the Old Testament and the priesthood of the New Testament. In the Old Testament the priest offered the sacrifice. In the New Testament the priest is the sacrifice! He offers his life to God in behalf of the world which God is seeking to redeem.
This call to redemptive mission is to every believer and is a ministry which extends beyond the church building and into the marketplace. Churches must move their members out of the "spiritual ghetto" into stores, factories, offices, and homes. They must be trained and exhorted to practice their Christian faith wherever they happen to find themselves."
All God's People by David L. Smith, pg 413. Bold is mine. (Interested in the book, click the link and look at used prices. Get this one dirt cheap.)
Quite possibly the best picture of John ever created. He's known as the first follower of Jesus to work as a Cooler in a Roadhouse.
In Tim Keller's book, Center Church, he discusses four ministry fronts...
Center Church, pg 293
In the same section Keller explains three goals of ministry and their comprehensive scope as taught by Edmund Clowney...
In his biblical-theological work on the church, Clowney speaks of the biblical "goals of ministry" as threefold: (1) we are called to minister and serve God through worship (Rom 15:8-16; 1 Pet 2:9); (2) we are to minister and serve one another through Christian nurture (Eph 4:12-26); and (3) we are to minister and serve the world through witness (Matt 28:18-20; Luke 24:28; Acts 5:32).
Center Church, pg 294
I reproduce these here simply because they are ringing in my ears as I rework some of the groundwork of my church. Keller does such an excellent job keeping things simple, and yet puts them in one of the great new books on the complexities of church and ministry in our day. This is Keller's great service to the church. If you don't have Center Church, get it (WTS | Amazon | Kindle).
If you have a nice, short list like some Keller gives to explain the church, I'd love to see some in the comments. Or feel free to blog about it and share a link here.
Also, please check out my Tim Keller Resources page.