About five months ago, a friend of mine ran a series of blog posts mentioning the 25 books that had most impacted him. He called it 25 books in 25 days (although it took him much longer than 25 days to complete the series of blog posts). While he was writing these, he challenged me for my list. Well, Josh, here it is! During the month of January, I will be doing a series of blog posts I am simply calling The Books!
As he writes in his, I did have a bit of a struggle determining how I would rank the books. In the end, I decided to list the books, in the best order that I could, as to how they have affected me personally. Some of them are theological, some are very practical. Some were read before ministry life, some have been read recently. While I think that everyone should pick a book or two from this list and read them in 2011, I am not saying that this list is my greatest books list. It is a list of the books that have helped shape who I am as a Christian and follower of Jesus.
This list of 31 books contains 26 different authors. There are some that have been written in the past ten years and some that have been around for hundreds. The one obvious point that needs to be made is that these are 31 books other than the Bible. My son, Karsten, thought I should entitle this series: Great Books, but not the Greatest. It took me a while to get it, but what he was saying is that none of these books are equal to the Bible (Thanks bud for that great reminder). These books have changed my thinking. They have molded me into the theologian and pastor that I am today. But they all bow to the Holy Scriptures, as should we. Please don't read any of these books if you are not reading the Bible.
So, I will start on January 1, 2011 with the 31st most impactful book and work my way towards January 31, 2011 when I will share the most impactful book. Throughout the month, I promise that I will give away several books. But I'm not going to be sharing now which days the free giveaway's will come. You will just have to keep checking back to find out.
I thought I would finish this initial blog post with some of the books that just missed the cut.
#35 - Paul, Apostle of the Heart Set Free by F. F. Bruce
I first read this book in seminary and it has forever shaped my thinking of the Apostle Paul. If you know me, you know that I love to study and teach on character studies in the Bible. This book got me started. I learned so much reading how Paul interacted on all his missionary journeys with so many people and places. If you are a student of the New Testament, this is a MUST read!
#34 - Point Man by Steve Farrar
This was a book that I had always heard about, but was finally forced to read it for a doctoral of ministries class about three years ago. It was a class on discipling men in the church for ministry. I have passed this book out & recommended it to several men since that time. I would highly recommend it to any man to read. His introduction is worth the cost of the book itself.
#33 - Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchividjian
I have said on my blog that this is probably the best book I have read this year. I will not say much about it here now, but you can read my full review HERE! It is a great book and probably will be one that will only climb on my list as the years go by.
#32 - PsychoBabble by Richard Ganz
You know a book is impactful to you if you can remember where you were when you read it. I remember reading this book in preparation for an elective class I was teaching called Psychology, Self-Esteem, & the Bible. I remember sitting in my living room over the Christmas holidays in 2002 with my family all around me. I do not remember what they were doing because I was so consumed by this book. This book really helped shape in my mind a good biblical view of the study of the soul.