Instead of posting summer readings lists like Al Mohler (here and here) and C. J. Mahaney (here) I am simply posting my own personal reading list. Not that I don’t find what is on their lists interesting (except I’m not a sports nut and therefore half of Mahaney’s list does not apply to me) but I thought I would simply share my reading plans. Some are currently in process, others I will begin shortly. I have 3 weeks on the beach in Florida this August and plan to read until my heart’s content! Thankfully I also have a fiance who loves to read!
1. Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick.
I picked this up at O’Hare while i was waiting for a flight. I had heard it was excellent. It is incredibly engaging while seemingly very accurate and fair theologically. If you have an interest in the Pilgrims, the founding of America, and such, you will enjoy this book!
2. Assist me to Proclaim: The Life and Hymns of Charles Wesley by John R. Tyson.
Charles Wesley, the lesser known brother of John Wesley, lived a fascinating and God fearing life. His hymns reflect a really godly evangelical piety and have much to teach us today. When often we are abandoning some real excellent hymns of the faith today we should study the life and hymns of this great saint!
3. For Us and Our Salvation: The Doctrine of Christ in the Early Church by Stephen J. Nichols.
Evangelicals seem deathly afraid of the Church Fathers. Stephen Nichols here, who is amazing at making complex historical and theological issues simple, shows the need to study the Early Church. He focuses on the debates regarding the doctrine of Christ and how important it is for us to study these things out amongst the issues we face today!
4. Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries by Gerald L. Sittser.
I have developed a love of the history of Christian spirituality from my friend Michael Hayking. Sittser’s book does an excellent job of engagingly describing the spirituality of the various epochs in church history. We have much to learn from those who went before us!
5. The Emergence of Evangelicalism: Exploring Historical Continuities edited by Michael A. G. Haykin and Kenneth J. Stewart
David Bebbington with his quadrilateral approach to understanding Evangelicalism has clearly had an immense impact on history of Evangelicalism. Haykin and Stewart and other writers interact with Bebbington’s hypothesis about the origin of Evangelicalism and Bebbington replies. Looks to be an excellent volume but sorry folks, only available in the UK right now!
6. Cromwell by Antonia Fraser
Fraser, an excellent biographer, provides for us an in-depth look at the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell. While she is fairly pro-Cromwell she does not cover over his faults nor does she vilify him like others do. She presents a fair assessment of his life and influence. A must read to understand this crucial point in British history and where Protestant’s ruled Britannia!
7. Preach the Word: Essays on Expository Preaching in Honor of R. Kent Hughes edited by Leland Ryken and Todd Wilson
Hughes was an important pulpiteer that is worthy to be honoured for his work for Christ and His church. With essays by Wayne Grudem, John Macarthur, J. I. Packer, Duane Litfin, D. A. Carson, Philip Ryken and others, this is a must have book for preachers this summer!
8. Cornelius Van Til: Reformed Apologist and Churchman by John R. Muether
Van Til, best known as the developer of Presupositional apologetics was a giant amongst men. His understanding of the Word, theology, philosophy was unparalleled. Yet, he was not an ivory tower theologian, but put his theology into practice as a dedicated churchman. If you are unsure of the life or thought of this man, pick up this biography to shed some much needed light!
9. In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement by J. I. Packer and Mark Dever
Packer and Dever amongst any have a singular understanding of the importance of a correct view of the atonement especially as it is manifested in the penal substitutionary approach. This is mandatory reading for all pastors, church leaders, and laypeople to better appreciate the work of Christ on our behalf!
10. Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society through Christian Education by David S. Dockery
David Dockery is one of the leading minds in the SBC and as President of Union University he is qualified to write about Christian Education. Anyone who cares about Christian Higher Education should read this book. J. I. Packer says, “This is in every way a landmark book!”