I love reading. I read a few books deeply and slowly (#1 and #3 below). I read others quickly (#9 and #10). Regardless, I seek to remain open for God to speak to me in unexpected ways. The following are my top 10 picks for the second half of 2017 that you may want to add to your list for the coming year: 1. Matthew: A Commentary: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28 – Frederick Dale Bruner. On most days, as part of my Morning Office, I set apart an extended time to meditate on the Gospel of Matthew. I do inductive Bible study with a double-spaced manuscript of Matthew, marking it up with different colored pens. I then study each text by slowly reading Bruner’s commentary. I have been in Matthew now for almost two years. Bruner is, in my opinion, one of the most insightful, scholarly and devotional theologians alive today. I can’t recommend this. Read more.
I like to read more broadly than usual in the summer months to stretch me and to open up doors for God to speak in unexpected ways. The following are my top 10 picks for the first half of 2016: 1. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age – Sheryl Turkle I consider this the most important leadership book I’ve read so far this year because of the implications of her research on how digital technology is impacting our culture. I find myself returning to her insights in discussions on building community, discipleship, preaching, and developing next generation leaders. Click here to read the blog I wrote on this book. 2. When Breath Becomes Air – Paul Kalanithi At the age of 36, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. A brilliant neurosurgeon and excellent writer, he records for us, with penetrating insight and clarity, his process of. Read more.
I was asked recently the following question: “What, besides the Bible, have been the top 10 books that have influenced your formation in Christ and leadership?” The following is my answer. They are not in order of importance or rank. 1. Let Your Life Speak. Parker Palmer. Filled with powerful insights integrating faithfulness to God to faithfulness to your true self. 2. New Seeds of Contemplation. Thomas Merton. Written out of years of solitude and silence. Many of his short chapters need to be prayed in a lectio divina fashion, not simply read. 3. Under the Unpredictable Plant. Eugene Peterson. Brilliant exegesis and application of Jonah to pastoral leadership and the reality of serving Christ with sinners in Nineveh rather than live in the “ecclesiastical pornography” of illusions. 4. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Written in the 1850’s, it remains one of the most powerful accounts to understand racism and slavery in America. Transformed my. Read more.