What are you reading?
Last week a young pastor asked me an interesting question, “What are the three books, other than the Bible, that have most influenced you?” That’s a massive question. That’s a really important question. My first thought was, “man, I should’ve been asking pastors that question when I was his age!” My second thought was, “how in the world do I narrow it down to only three books?”
Three books instantly jumped into my mind. Now, I don’t know if these three have influenced me more than all others. But I do know that that these three books have been an incredible influence in me.
Here they are in no particular order:
“The Challenge of Jesus” by N.T. Wright.
I was first introduced to this book while in grad school at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky by my incredible professor Mary Fisher! This is one of those books where I’ve underlined and highlighted far more text than I left alone. It was the first of Wright’s books I read and I was incredibly challenged by it, so you know…it lived up to it’s title.
“Preaching in the Spirit” by Dennis Kinlaw.
I’m often haunted by one of the first lines in the book, “We have not so much a problem with the preparation of the sermon as with the preparation of the preacher” (my paraphrase). This is one of those books I return to on an annual basis. Kinlaw reminds us of the necessity of personal spiritual development in the life of the preacher! I tell everyone who will listen to read this book often. Read it slowly and devotionally. Read it quickly for the main theme. Read it again and again. If you are a preacher you must read this book. If you know a preacher, but them a copy today!
“The Divine Conspiracy” by Dallas Willard.
This is another book that just rocked my understanding of scripture, discipleship, and ministry. Not only that, but it changed and deepened my own walk with Christ; my own discipleship. Willard is brilliant! This should be a foundational book in all courses on Christian discipleship and spiritual formation. I can’t recommend it enthusiastically enough!
There they are. Three books that have greatly influenced me as a follower of Jesus and a minister of the Gospel. What about you? What books, other than the Bible, have most influenced you? Share them in the comments below and let’s all grow deeper with Jesus!
Grace and Peace, Rich.