OctoberThe Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll - I had bought this book some time ago, but was so disappointed in Rob Bell's book Velvet Elvis (it was ok, but I thought there has to be more substantial reading out there) that I refused to read another "popular" new book. I was reading an old Cutting Edge magazine and saw a review of the book that sparked my interest. Cutting Edge by the way is FANTASTIC.
Radical Reformission is excellent. It may be the next read for my vision team. Driscoll fully understands that he lives in a pagan land (Seattle) and that he must be blunt and specific to help them understand how to live. It still left me asking a few questions but overall it is an excellent read.
Move Your Church to Action by Kent Hunter - Hunter is the consultant we hired to help us tune-up our denominational region. This is the book that he gave each church to read with their leaders. I'm going through it with our vision team now. It is a good primer for starting to rethink the health of your church. It lays a foundation that Radical Reformission might need in order to be heard.
The Book of Acts by FF Bruce -- This is one of three commentaries I'm using to preach through the book of Acts. Bruce is super solid with great details about the text and the culture.
Acts by Jaroslav Pelikan - Pelikan is a theologian and tries to give you a theological perspective of Acts. It is often helpful and often not.
Acts by James Montgomery Boice - Boice is a preacher and it sounds like he simply published his sermons on Acts. It it helpful and a good commentary to round out the other two.
Summoned to Lead by Len Sweet - I started reading this again as I thought about postmodern leaders. At times, I wonder what his point is and at other times, it is crystal clear. The book, unlike other Sweet books, is requiring discipline from me to finish it.
From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman - The book is divided into two sections - Beirut and Jerusalem. I've finished Beirut and have a much better picture of Lebanon then I ever did. It gave me some insight into the coming Civil War in Iraq. I'm going to set it aside for a break and then come back later and read Jerusalem. Friedman is a terrific writer.
Finished The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus by Brennan Manning. I saw an excerpt on a blog about pioneer churches vs settlement churches. My new friend Pastor Lew Button mailed me the book when I expressed interest. The book is ok, however I found that the excerpt was based on the book Western Theology by Wes Seeliger. There wasn't much more than the excerpt. Thanks Lew!
Started reading From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman. Friedman was a NY Times reporter in Beruit and Jerusalem and a fantastic story teller, he gives the reader a feel for Israel, Lebanon, and Syria, (so far. It is a LONG book, but worth the read if you'd like a feel for the people and problems in that part of the world.)
Finished Perelandra by CS Lewis. I loved Out of the Silent Planet so much I knew I wanted to read the rest of this science fiction trilogy. We were vacationing at our friend's Ben and Sherri Tobias' house and they have the best book collection I've ever seen. Lo and behold, the rest of the trilogy, which I scooped up. Perelandra starts REALLY slow, but half-way steam rolls into an amazing treatise on Adam and Eve. Admittedly, being science fiction, you have to set some things aside, but the images of Adam and Eve and the tempter, were well worth the read. Highly recommended.
May, June, July
I guess I didn't read much in the summer.
Read about half of Good to Great by Jim Collins. I wasn't expecting much and was actually blown away. It really made me think about a couple of key issues for the church -- what do we count? and the difference between a genius leader with a lot of followers and a leader who raises up leaders. Need to finish and think through.
Just for the record, I haven't finished Divine Conspiracy. Finished Tipping Point. Not sure what is next. Books are piled in my office calling to me, "Me next. Me next." We'll see.
Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. This has been one of the most talked about business books so I decided to read this one, as well as Good to Great and Leading Change, which I haven't yet started. Tipping Point is interesting... but I guess not that interesting. His premise is to figure out how to "tip" an epidemic, such as sales. He uses a lot of different examples -- disease, Sesame Street and Blues Clues, smoking, crime in New York, and so on.
The biggest take-away I had was that it isn't a matter of tipping the masses. It is a matter of tipping a few people who are very influential. These people are the 1) connectors (people who connect people to different people), 2) mavens (people who are known as knowledgable about the issue and who people trust when making their decisions), and 3) salesmen (people who make you want to buy in).
He spoke of an experiment that tested the idea of "Six Degrees of Separation." They found that yes, it was true, but it isn't just everybody who is connected to everybody; it is rather a few who are heavily connected that connect everybody to everybody. It is important to know who those networked people are.
Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis -- I found this in a box. It has my middle brother's name in it. I wonder if he read it. It is a shorter piece of science fiction that portrays creation and angelic beings in outer space. I really liked it and plan on reading the next two in a trilogy. It really is an amazing piece of fiction when you think it was written in 1938.
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard -- Recommended by Fran Leeman for my Sermon on the Mount preaching series. So far it is excellent, but I'm not finished. There are many times I want to quote it.
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer -- Loaned to me by Lisa Orr
February was obviously a slower reading month. This book chronicles the murders of a young woman and her infant daughter by two fundamentalist Mormons. Some might look at the book as anti-mormon; but I read the book as what can happen as you try to discern God's will and God's truth. A bit scary.
Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller -- encouraged by Jill Eastin
Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt -- A gift from my brother
Making Movies by Sidney Lumet -- A Christmas gift last year that I asked for.
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by Staci Eldredge -- Preaching a series on men and women -- Didn't finish it. It may have changed through the end of the book, but the beginning felt so much like Wild at Heart that I felt like I was reading the same book.