Here is a throwback post to give you something to think about as you compile your summer reading book lists.
Just got back from speaking in chapel at SEBTS. Overall a great day… and special thanks to my prayer team for holding me up during that time. I am grateful that every time I preach I have a team of faithful people here at the Summit Church “holding up my arms” as I do so. They are the “secret” to power… and in addition, we have prayer teams praying for our missionaries, campus outreach teams, etc. If you’re interested in being a part of one of those prayer teams, let me know here.
Being at seminary reminded me of how much I enjoyed and did not enjoy being in seminary. I loved the learning, and still do, and at the same time was chomping at the bit to get out and actually do something.
One of my former assistants, Ike Miller, told me the other day how “overwhelmed” he feels when he reads about how much he realizes is “out there” to read and how much he doesn’t know. I couldn’t agree more. Trying to stay current in reading, especially for a slow reader like me, is overwhelming. After all, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes, “There is much toil in learning, and of reading books there is no end.” Just think about how many MORE books there are now than in King Solomon’s day!
I have determined that my reading will be “missional.” In other words, I read for two purposes: one, to know God and the Gospel more; and, two, to know how better to understand and reach people (thus books on culture, novels, leadership, current affairs stuff, etc). For the role God has given me to play, that’s where I’ll pour all my time and energy. I want to read like a doctor who is trying to learn about a specific disease that one of his own children has… voraciously trying to master the cure that can save his daughter’s life.
At the end of the day, however, I also reflect on the fact that real power doesn’t come from book knowledge, but the Holy Spirit. They said of Peter and John, “They took note that these were ignorant and unlearned men, but they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13). Reading can complement, but never replace, knowing and walking with Jesus.
If you’re interested, here’s a book list on various topics I’ve compiled that have been especially helpful to me.