Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christian = Reader (or Should At Least)

Several years ago, my husband began a Pastor's Book Club at our church. We have just ordered our 50th book, Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl. The previous 49 books have enlightened, entertained, challenged and, most importantly, educated the book club members.

In our 1st book, A House For My Name, we read an overview of the Old Testament that looked at infallible Scripture as divinely-inspired literature replete with imagery, repeated themes and revealing composition styles. It made me excited to open the pages of the Old Testament.

Our 4th book, When People Are Big and God Is Small, made us examine for whom we were living. Is ours an "Audience of One" where our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever or do we bow to others through peer pressure, codependency and fear? Far from a baptized psychobabble book, the author shows we are created with certain needs and desires that others' approval or self-actualization will not satisfy -they are God-shaped and only He can fulfill them.

Along the way, we have dealt with tough issues people living in the real world face every day through such books as When Good Kids Make Bad Choices, Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity, How to Be Free From Bitterness, Depression: A Stubborn Darkness and Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave.

We've read fun books that defend snarky satire (Serrated Edge by Douglas Wilson), strolled through history (33 Questions About American History You're Not Supposed to Ask by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. and the Politically Incorrect Guide to the Sixties by Jonathan Leaf), and we now know that real men do read Jane Austen (Miniatures & Morals by Peter Leithart).

And there have been a few books that have stretched our minds and perspectives in wondrous ways - A Table in the Mist by Jeffrey Meyers and Saving Leonardo: A Call To Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning by Nancy Pearcey just to name two.

If you are a Christian, you should be a reader! As Nancy Pearcey brilliantly shows in Saving Leonardo, we can only be salt and light to the world when we interact with that world! The Proverbs tell us, "The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him." How do we examine a secular "ism" or belief system when we are ignorant of it? To transform our world, we must obey the words of Timothy to "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." To help you get started, here are some suggestions:

A House for My Name - Peter Leithart
Thinking Straight in a Crooked World - Gary DeMar
Hospitality Commands - Alexander Strauch
When People Are Big and God Is Small - Ed Welch
Biblical Healing for Modern Man - Frank Payne
God at Work - Gene Edward Veith
Serrated Edge - Douglas Wilson
The Battle Belongs to the Lord - K. Scott Oliphint
Market-Driven Church - Udo Middleman
My Life for Yours - Douglas Wilson
Blame it on the Brain 0 Richard Winter
The Lord's Service - Jeffrey Meyers
Still Bored in a Culture of Entertainment - Gene Edward Veith
Everyday Talk - John Younts
A Journey in Grace - Richard P. Belcher
humility: the forgotten virtue - Wayne & Joshua Mack
When Good Kids Make Bad Choices - Elyse Fitzpatrick & Jim Newheiser
Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense - N. T. Wright
Real Sex: The Naked Truth About Chastity - Lauren Winner
Paedofaith - Rich Lusk
Angels in the Architecture - Doug Jones and Doug Wilson
A Table in the Mist - Jeffrey Meyers
For a Glory and a Covering - Douglas Wilson
How to be Free from Bitterness - Jim Wilson
Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (& Environmentalism) - Christopher C. Horner
The Baptized Body - Peter Leithart
Why Baptize Babies? - Mark Horne
33 Questions About American History (You're Not Supposed to Ask) - Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Gross National Happiness - Arthur C. Brooks
Faith, Reason & the War Against Jihadism - George Weigel
Meltdown: A Free Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed - Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Running Scared: Fear, Worry & the God of Rest - Edward T. Welch
The Liturgy Trap - James Jordan
Whatever Happened to Justice - Richard Maybury
Depression: A Stubborn Darkness - Edward T. Welch
How to Argue with a Liberal & Win - Joel McDurmon
Jane Austen (biography) - Peter Leithart
Miniatures & Morals: The Christian Novels of Jane Austen - Peter Leithart
Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave
10 Books Every Conservative Must Read, Plus 4 Not to Miss & 1 Impostor - Benjamin Wiker
Five Cities that Rules the World - Doug Wilson
Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse - Thomas E. Wood
Johann Sebastian Back - Rick Marschall
Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals & Meaning - Nancy Pearcey
Notes From the Tilt-A-Whirl - Nathan Wilson

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