Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Year’s Worth of Reading

I try, for sundry reasons, to annually record and report what the past year held for me in terms of reading. Of these many reasons, two are very significant to me. First, it is my way of holding myself to account. I want to be a reader…a literary person as C. S. Lewis would say. Keeping track of the pages I have turned and the volumes I have finished is a way for me to take stock of my reading. Secondly, I hope it is an encouragement to you. An encouragement to read more, and to read more often.

I read less this year than I have in the past few. The main reason for less reading and less books was more preaching and more preparing to preach. I preached far more in 2014 than I anticipated. And this preaching took a toll on my free time and was a regular intellectual withdraw that left the mental reserves lower than they might have been otherwise. Note, however, that this was a trade I gladly made and one I would gladly make again. But between duties at home, duties in the classroom, and duties at the church, I just didn’t read like I had in years past.

Nevertheless, I still flipped plenty of pages and find myself contentedly reminiscing over the list of books I share below.

The first list, in no particular order, are the non-fiction books I greedily grappled with last year. A substantial amount of my reading was either preaching related or ordination related. There are a lot of good ones below, most of which I would gladly recommend. Again, here they are in no particular order:

Edwards on the Christian Life by Dane Ortlund
A Brief Theology of Sport by Lincoln Harvey
Surprised by Hope by N. T. Wright
Shakespeare's Hamlet by Leland Ryke
The Self Life and the Christ Life by A. B. Simpson
The Fourfold Gospel by A. B. Simpson
The Cross of Christ by A. B. Simpson
Church Elders: How to Shepherd God's People Like Jesus by Jeramie Rinne
Sound Doctrine: How a Church Grows in the Love and Holiness of God by Bobby Jamieson
Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God's Word Today by David Helm
Evangelism: How the Whole Church Speaks of Jesus by J. Mack Stiles
The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ by Ray Ortlund
The Cross and Christian Ministry by D. A. Carson
The Deliberate Church by Mark Dever and Paul Alexander
Joshua: No Falling Words by Dale Ralph Davis
God in the Whirlwind by David Wells
Five Points by John Piper
Victorious Christian Living by Alan Redpath
Jesus on Every Page by David Murray
Is Jesus in the Old Testament? By Ian M. Duguid
Preaching the Word - Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon by R. Kent Hughes
Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung
The Final Days of Jesus by Andreas Kostenberger and Justin Taylor
It Is Well by Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence
Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen
PNTC - The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon by Douglas Moo
The Godly Man's Picture by Thomas Watson
Gospel-Centered Teaching by Trevin Wax
Creature of the Word by Chandler, Geiger, and Patterson
What’s Your Worldview by James Anderson
How People Change by Lane and Tripp
Death by Living by N. D. Wilson

Though I do not read near as much fiction, I still found time to read several of the Bard’s plays as well as a couple novels by McCarthy and Faulkner. I had set the goal to read a Shakespearean play a month, but fell short as you can see:

The Tempest by William Shakespeare
King Lear by William Shakespeare
Othello by William Shakespeare
Henry V by William Shakespeare
Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
As You Like It by William Shakespeare
Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Overall, I consider it a gracious gift of God that I have both the opportunity to read books and the availability of books to read. I’m looking forward to another year with my nose buried in a bunch of books.


  1. Jude - I am curious about the books by A B Simpson - would you recommend them? Did you do any summary posts on them? Any thoughts regarding them? What motivated you to read them?

    1. The Simpson books were reasonably good . . . lots of better ones on that list. I wrote reviews on all of them but have not posted them. Perhaps I could, or I coulld email them to you if you were interested. I read them because they are part of my required reading for ordination.

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