“Thinking is rarely a matter of cold, heartless, calculating logic. Thinking feels. Sometimes when I am reading—and thinking while reading—my mind becomes so hot, so affected by the implications of the ideas that I stop to cool off.”
"The enhancement of the intellect, which is the result of education, is almost prophetic from its knowledge of history; it is almost heart-searching from its knowledge of human nature; it has almost supernatural charity from its freedom of littleness and prejudice; and it has almost the restfulness of faith, because not much can startle it.”
John Henry Newman, ca. 1850
A reader’s prayer
“Leave me not, O gracious Presence, in such hours as I may devote to the reading of books. Guide my mind to choose the right books and read them in the right way. When I read for profit, grant that all I read may lead me nearer to thyself. When I read for recreation, grant that what I read may not lead me away from thee. Let all my reading refresh my mind that I may more eagerly seek after whatsoever things are pure and fair and true.”
John Baillie, ca. 1920
Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation, by Andrew Root
Luther Seminary youth & family professor Andrew Root explores the origins of a dominant ministry model for evangelicals, showing how American culture has influenced our understanding of the incarnation. Root recasts relational ministry as an opportunity not to influence the influencers but to stand with and for those in need. True relational youth ministry shaped by the incarnation is a commitment to enter into the suffering of all, to offer all those in high school or junior high the solidarity of the church.
Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, by Doug Fields
From the church that brought you Purpose Driven Life and Purpose Driven Church is this book that gives you a plan to build a healthy youth ministry. There are nine components to the Purpose Driven Youth ministry model: perseverance, participating leaders, parents, planned values, process, programs, potential audience, purpose, and the power of God. This model for ministry is not based on one great youth leader and is not destroyed if that leader leaves the church.
Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God, by Gordon Fee
In this thought provoking book, Gordon Fee deals primarily with the presence of the Holy Spirit in the individual life of the believer and in the church. He has redefined the terms of the discussion of the Holy Spirit in a fresh and passionate way, and gives us invitation to read the words of Paul in the New Testament anew. He examines the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament and shows how God dwelt amongst His people and how the presence departed and was renewed again, and shows us how to experience the presence of God in our lives.
Firestorm: Preventing and Overcoming Church Conflicts, by Ron Susek
Conflicts in the church usually progress in six phases. Do you know what they are? Pastor Susek helps you identify each one and provides experienced counsel on how to handle them. He also offers guidance for restoring faith and hope in the aftermath of controversy. Includes a detailed conflict-resolution plan and addresses for pastoral support groups.
Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Darrel Guder, ed.
Six noted missiologists issue a firm challenge for the church to recover its missional call right here in North America. The authors examine today’s secular culture and the church’s loss of dominance in contemporary society. They then present a biblically based theology that takes seriously the church’s missional vocation and draw out the consequences of this theology for the structure and institutions of the church.
Habits of the Mind: Intellectual Life as a Christian Calling, by James Sire
The central goal of this book is identify, describe, and cultivate those habits of the mind that are central to fulfilling our call to glorify God by thinking well. Can Christians legitimately aspire to becoming intellectuals? By answering this and related questions, James Sire offers an unusual insider’s view of learning to think well for the sale of God’s kingdom, and fulfill the call to love God with our minds.
Christian Education as Evangelism, Norma Everist, ed.
Seeing an unnecessary divide between evangelism and education, these twelve essayists address concerns for the facilitation of both. In three cycles of essays ('Embracing the Questions', ‘Exploring the Possibilities', and 'Claiming the Challenge') the writers comb out the tangles obscuring the issue. Christian Education as Evangelism examines the array of possibilities in a balanced understanding of how these two offices should blend to complement each other. Ultimately, this book is meant to aid all denominations in coming to grasps with approaching a biblical vision for both evangelism and education.
A Theology for Christian Education, by Estep/Anthony/Allison
Examining what's "Christian" about Christian education, the authors present a theologically informed rationale for the teaching ministry of the church. Their systematic overview of the biblical and doctrinal foundations that undergird religious education programs will give strength and support to the church's ultimate goal---the transformation of the whole person into the likeness of Christ.
Decision Making and the Will of God, by Garry Friesen
Does God have a perfect will for each Christian? Can you be absolutely sure you've found God's individual will for your life? Garry Friesen examines the traditional view of God's will, then sets forth a different view that more accurately reflects biblical teaching. Practical issues such as choosing a mate, picking a career, giving of one's resources, and areas of disagreement between Christians are explored in depth, giving you a new approach to knowing the will of God. Taking into account the critiques and questions raised since this book was first published in 1980, this revised edition further clarifies Friesen's position, offers additional biblical support, and answers the most frequently asked questions.
Introducing Christian Doctrine, by Millard Erickson
Pastors and students alike will find this survey of Christian theology and doctrine a practical and accessible resource with both breadth and substance. Erickson begins by explaining what theology is and then progresses through the doctrines of revelation, God, creation and providence, humanity, sin, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, the atonement and salvation, the church, and eschatology. This new edition adds pedagogical aids and chapters on postmodernity and contemporizing the gospel.
Grasping God's Word: A Hands-on Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible, by Duvall/Hays
Filling the gap between approaches that are too simple and others that are too technical, Grasping God's Word starts by equipping you with general principles of interpretation, then moves on to apply those principles to specific genres and contexts. Currently one of the most popular books on biblical interpretation in North America.
Confident Witness—Changing World: Rediscovering the Gospel in North America, Craig Van Gelder, ed.
How do we make the gospel clear and church relevant to the changing culture in North America? Twenty-two scholars and skilled ministry practitioners explore this complex question not only theoretically, but also in practical terms immediately useful to pastors and church leaders. The book examines what it means for congregations to find themselves increasingly marginalized from society. The authors also show how this discussion translates into applied ministry and offer fresh methods to help the church live more faithfully and witness with greater confidence.
The Ascent of a Leader: How Ordinary Relationships Develop Extraordinary Character and Influence, by Thrall/McNicol/McElrath
Performance may help you reach the top of the corporate ladder, but character determines your success as a leader. Rooted in godly values, three leadership experts show you how to develop the kind of selfless, honest, nurturing character that people respect and respond to. This compelling guide leads you through a process by which you can cultivate extraordinary character and influence in your home, company, community, and every arena of your life.
The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding how God Changes Lives, by Dallas Willard
Believers long for personal purity and power to live as our hearts tell us we should. But how does God change us? Willard reminds us that we can be like Christ if we follow his style of life: solitude and silence, prayer, simple and sacrificial living, meditation on God's Word, and service to others. The practice of these disciplines is how God guides us into a constant interaction with his kingdom. "Few books have challenged me like this one. I would urge every serious minded Christian to read it...at your own risk."---Bill Hybels, author of Honest to God?
The Pressure’s Off: There’s a New Way to Live, by Larry Crabb
Everybody wants a "good life" that's free from problems. But for some Christians, the desire to fix what's wrong with life and the pursuit of biblical "principles" and "blessings" actually become a form of idolatry. There are two basic approaches to life—two pathways. One creates pressure, the other provides freedom. In the Old Way of life you have decided that what you want most out of life is within your reach and you are doing whatever you believe it takes to get it. In the New Way of life you have realized that what want most is beyond your reach, or even irrelevant, and you are trusting God for the satisfaction you seek. You want him. Nothing less, not even his blessings will do.
Working the Angles: The Shape of Pastoral Integrity, by Eugene Peterson
With characteristic insight and wit Peterson reminds us that the success of our ministry does not rest on either cutting edge methodology or the ability to administer programs, but on our ability to listen. Thus, he encourages us to return to the regular practice of listening to God in prayer, listening to the revelation of Scripture and listening to the stories of our neighbors. Working the Angles does not reveal an unknown secret of pastoral ministry, but encourages us to return to a basic practice and rhythm of pastoral life.
Church History in Plain Language, by Bruce Shelley
An updated edition of a revered standard! Engaging, readable, and informative, Shelley's lively account brings the story of church history into the 21st century. This volume includes new chapters on the rise of global Islam, the worldwide resurgence of Roman Catholicism, the decline of Christianity in the West and its growth in China, and other recent developments.
Pastoral Theology: Essentials of Ministry, by Thomas Oden
This much-needed book fully integrates principles of pastoral care, leadership, and theology to restore ministers a clearly defined pastoral identity. Moving from a critique of inadequate models for ministry--from community organizer to T.V. evangelist--Oden develops a more classical model, rich in its references to the past and compatible both with the Christian faith and theology through the ages and with current needs. Further, Oden discusses the call to ministry; the meaning of ordination; pastoral self-understanding, role, and functions; biblical mandates for ministry; the issue of women in holy orders; Jesus as pastoral model; the pastoral office throughout Christian tradition; and the five main areas of ministry: preaching, teaching, leading worship, administration, and pastoral care, with a special section on crisis ministry. And with his hybrid of classical tradition and practice, Oden's Pastoral Theology will be a standard resource and reference in the field for years to come.
A Matrix of Meanings: Finding God in Pop Culture, by Detweiler/Taylor
Ashton and Demi are dating, Britney and Justin broke up, and Time magazine asked if Bono could save the world. From the glittering tinsel of Hollywood to the advertising slogan you can't get out of your head, we are surrounded by popular culture. In A Matrix of Meanings, Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor analyze aspects of popular culture and ask, "What are they doing?" "What do they represent?" and "What do they say about the world in which we live?" Rather than deciding whether Bono deserves our admiration, the authors examine the phenomenon of celebrity idolization. Instead of deciding whether Nike's "Just do it" campaign is morally questionable, they ask what its success reflects about our society. A Matrix of Meanings is a hip, entertaining guide to the maze of popular culture. Plentiful photos, artwork, and humorous sidebars make for delightful reading. Readers who distrust popular culture, as well as those who love it, will find useful insight into developing a Christian worldview in a secular culture.
The Expositor's Bible Commentary-Abridged. Volume 1: Old Testament, Kenneth Barker, ed.
If your Bible study needs call for more than a brief one-volume commentary but less than a large expensive set, The Expositor's Bible Commentary - Abridged Edition, Vol. 1: Old Testament is indispensable. An abridgment of the critically acclaimed Expositor's Bible Commentary, this Gold Medallion Award-winning resource gives you in two volumes all the essential information and practical insights of the original twelve-volume set while trimming off cumbersome technical details. The Expositor's Bible Commentary-Abridged Edition shines is one member of your core reference library that you'll reach for often for the depth it brings to your Bible study.
The Expositor's Bible Commentary-Abridged. Volume 2: New Testament, Kenneth Barker, ed.
If your Bible study needs call for more than a brief one-volume commentary but less than a large expensive set, The Expositor's Bible Commentary - Abridged Edition, Vol. 2: New Testament is indispensable. An abridgment of the critically acclaimed Expositor's Bible Commentary, this Gold Medallion Award-winning resource gives you in two volumes all the essential information and practical insights of the original twelve-volume set while trimming off cumbersome technical details. The Expositor's Bible Commentary-Abridged Edition shines is one member of your core reference library that you'll reach for often for the depth it brings to your Bible study.