Monday, September 03, 2007

August 2007

1. Listening to the Word: Studies in Honor of Fred Craddock by Gail R. O'Day and Thomas G. Long. This is an interesting thome on narrative preaching. I think I'd rather have read Craddock's own words, however, rather than hearing someone else attempt to interpret him.

2. Fundamentalism and American Culture By George Marsden. This thick history of fundamentalism in America was insightful, and at times troubling. Many of our current issues of the day are simply "re-hashings" of the same old problems. I found the link between Fundamentalism and the old holiness movement quite intriguing.

3. Cadences of Home: Preaching Among Exiles, By Walter Brueggemann. A good book that delves into the exile passages in the Old Testament as a foundation for preaching today.

4. The Simeon Chamber by crime novelist, Steve Martini. Not Martini's best, but an entertaining read, nevertheless.

5. Finding and Following the True Jesus audio lectures by N. T. Wright. I find the good Bishop easier to hear than to read. He is one of most thought-full people I've ever encountered, although some of his conclusions disturb me.

Monday, August 27, 2007


1. Experiencing God's Presence by Matthew Henry, the 18th Century English theolgian. A heartwarming, devotional read.

2. The Buzzards are Circling, But God's Not Finished With Me Yet by Stan Toler. A delightful perspective on persevering through adversity.

3. The Sanctified South: John Laken Brasher and the Holiness Movement by J. Lawrence Brasher. A recollection of the late 19th, early 20th century old fashioned campmeeting preachers

4. Hope in a Hopeless World, an audio series by N. T. Wright These lectures, delivered at Regent College, by the good Anglican bishop addresses the resurrection and our future hope. Inspiring, conflicting and mind-stretching, to say the least!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

June 2007

1. Saving Faith a crime novel by David Baldacci. Captivating, but a bit unlikely.

2. Heart Talks to Ministers and Christian Workers by E. E. Shelhammer
This older text from the early 20th Century provides valuable insight for those in the pastoral ministry -- mostly about heart issues, but also has some "how to" advice which is pertinent for today. A great read.

3. Poems of the Spirit by A. B. Simpson
This is a collection of poems by the founder of the Christian Missionary Alliance. I love his heart for prayer and evangelism. After reading a few of his verses, I wanted to go out and bless the whole world.

4. 2002 Romantic Ideas by Cyndi Haynes and Dale Edwards
My dear friend, Steve Gerich, loaned me this little goldmine of romance. Some of the ideas are corny. Some are too expensive. Some are splendid -- and some sparked even better ideas!

5. Holy Land, Whose Land? by Dorothy Drummond
A fascinating history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. The feud goes back a looooong way.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

April/May 2007

1. The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama
An inspiring read, and I love his spirit. If I wasn't such a Republican, I'd be tempted to vote for him.

2. Rascal by Sterling North
I read this delightful tale aloud to the kids, and they were absolutely enthralled. We topped off the reading by a visit to the Sterling North childhood home in Edgerton, Wisconsin.

3. Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
Another fabulous read that the kids and I shared together. We had the privilege of visiting the site where Caddie was raised in the mid-19th century. We explored the entire area, and collected some agates to boot.

4. Forgotten Saints by Anna Talbot McPherson
Short biographies of several unsung heroes of the faith. Some were interesting -- some were not.

5. Everybody's Buddie by Ruby Robinson Wise
The biography of the famous early 20th century Nazarene evangelist, Buddie Robinson. He kept his humor to the end -- even when his wife switched churches and became Pilgrim Holiness against his will (that little tidbit wasn't in the book, but I think it's worth a mention anyway.)

6. O Shepherd, Where Art Thou? by Calvin Miller
A delightful little book which reminds us of the importance of pastoral care in a world of CEO ministers. It's a funny parable with a powerful message, including a haunting by Richard Baxter's ghost.

7. Morning Poems by Robert Bly
Wrote a poem each morning for a while, and then published them. Some are very good. Others are puzzling and downright bizarre. I wonder if maybe he should have had a cup of coffee first to clear out the cobwebs.

8. The Secret Message of Jesus by Brian McLaren
A refreshing look at what Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is Here!" Vintage McLaren.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


1. An Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham
This is the true story of a man who was sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit. Not classic Grisham. I prefer his novels, but his message in this book is important.

2. From Millstone to Milestone by Bob Murette (I think that's how to spell his last name. I can't read my own handwriting!!)
A practical book about money management using three basic principles: Giving, Debt Elimination, and Contentment.

3. Where the River is Wide: Pahquahwong and the Chippewa Flowage by Charlie Otto Rasmusson.
The sad tale of how an Ojibway village, Pahquahwong (Post), was flooded to create a recreation area. The Chippewa Flowage, now one of the largest lakes in Wisconsin, provides some of the best fishing in the nation -- but it came at a high price for the citizens of this little Native American community.

4. The Church Jesus Builds by Joseph Coleson (editor)
This is a pretty good collection of essays about the nature and mission of the church.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


1. Heretic's Guide to Eternity by Spencer Burke.

This book was a real stretch, concerning the wideness of God's mercy. "Almost a universalist" -- Burke says that people are in and have to "opt out" of heaven to go to hell , rather than being out and having to "opt in" to heaven.

2. Life of Charles Finney by A. M. Hillis

On the opposite side of the spectrum, when Finney preached, you could feel the fire and smell the smoke! It got a little hotter every word he spoke! An amazing story about the greatest evangelist in the first half of the 19th century. The best Finney biography, I think.

3. Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

Told in story form, this book gives excellent insights into how a staff leader can build a positive and dynamic team that works together for the common good with enthusiasm.

4. Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Peterson

I read this aloud to the kids before we went to the movie. Peterson is a colorful and compelling writer. She knows how to turn a phrase -- and that's not captured in the movie. Heartwarming story with a very sad ending. If I ever read it aloud to the kids again, I won't do it right before bed.

5. When Not To Build by Ray Bowman

This book, written by a church architect, guides churches in facility expansion decision. The title is misleading -- as it should say, "Before You Build." I needed to read this. Every pastor considered any future facility expansion ought to take this book to heart.

6. H.A. Ironside: Ordained of the Lord by E. Schuyler English

The writing was terrible in this biography. It's hard for me to imagine why the publishing company didn't send it back to the author for "massive editing." However, Ironside's life was so interesting that it makes up for crummy authoring.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

January 2007

1. The Reluctant Saint by Patrick Streiff

This is a theological biography of my hero, John Fletcher., the early Methodist, and friend of John Wesley. I found this work informative, but a bit cumbersome with too many details.

2. Helps to Holiness by Samuel Brengle

A powerful little book about the deeper walk. Sometimes dated and old fashioned, but the message comes through crystal clear.

3. Escape from Iraq by Thomas Hamill

Hamill was a civilian truck driver who was taken hostage by the Iraqi insurgents. I couldn't put the book down, as it detailed this courageous man's experiences during his weeks of captivity. It is an inspiring read, and helpful in seeing the war from a broader perspective.

4. The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis

This was the final book in the Chronicles of Narnia that I read aloud to my sons, Luke and Wes. All three of us were sad to see it end.

I started a myriad of other books during January, but these are the only ones I finished.

5. The Cry of the World by Oswald Smith

This book, written almost a century ago, is an impassioned plea for churches to see the whole world as their mission field. Smith, who pastored the People's Church in Toronto, is one of my favorite writers. Whenever I talk about him, my pastor friends often correct me and say, "No, you mean Oswald Chambers."