It’s the last week of the year, and much to my excitement, I have read 200 books this year. I wasn’t sure I was going to make it, but with Christmas break this week, I have spent a little more time reading and a lot less time doing regular things. Because of that, I have finished five books this week. Here’s a look at what they are:
Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for Advent by Sinclair B. Ferguson. This was my Advent devotional this year. Rather than focusing on the Christmas stories, Ferguson focuses on a phrase by phrase (and sometimes word by word) examination of I Corinthians 13. It left me, as the reader, with the question of whether or not I am truly capable of the love that Jesus exemplifies. Great devotional though. It’s the first time in several years I’ve actually finished a Christmas themed devotional (although this one would be good any time of the year).
Keep Christianity Weird: Embracing the Discipline of Being Different by Michael Frost. Jesus refers to his followers at the salt of the earth and the light of the world in the Sermon on the Mount. Yet, often contemporary American followers of Jesus look exactly like the world around them. The salt has lost its flavor and the weak, anemic version of Christianity it produces is not appealing to a large number of unbelievers. I think that the central message of this book is that it is okay to be different from the mainstream culture, and that this difference is actually a good thing. It’s a short, enjoyable read. (#vtreadingchallenge book about Christian living)
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry by John Piper. Excellent work. Piper reminds pastors that their call is a call to exalt Christ and not themselves. He reminds them that their end goal should be to glorify God. He reminds them of the importance of learning Greek and Hebrew, of studying their absolute best, of being humble of killing sin in their lives. I’m not the intended audience for this book, but I find that there is so much to glean from it’s pages that I, as a follower of Christ who does a little ministry, could really resonate with Piper’s words (#vtreadingchallenge book targeted at the opposite gender).
A Heart Set Free: A Journey to Hope Through the Psalms of Lament by Christina Fox. This is a nice book discussing how we view the problems in our lives. Many times we are not real with God or we’re going for catharsis and never stop to turn it into praise. Fox discusses the structure of the psalms of lament, and how we can reframe our own distresses and complaints to be more biblical. This is one the more practical and helpful books I have read recently, even though I, at times, found myself wishing she had dug just a little more deeply into actual examples and exegesis of these psalms. (#vtreadingchallenge a book about Christian living)
Educated by Tara Westover. This is a young woman’s blistering criticism of her upbringing that is really getting a lot of press and a lot of buzz. It’s truly buzz worthy in that her upbringing was a traumatic. If what she writes is true, then there is much horrifying about her upbringing. However, even her most supportive brothers have criticized her version of her upbringing in a way that makes me think that her book might be a little exaggerated. The account of her relationship with her brother “Shawn” is truly difficult to read, but her characterization of her parents does not truly add up for me. I plan to devote a blog post to responding to Educated as a mom, and discussing homeschool legacy or how our children view our homeschooling sometime in the next couple of weeks. (#vtreadingchallenge a book a friend recommends)
That’s it for my reading this week. I made it to 200 hundred. My 12 year old also read a huge number of books, as she read 69 books, not including her books for school. That’s pretty impressive for a child who was almost ten before she really got the hang of the reading thing.