Thursday, August 10, 2006 

One Book Tag

I usually hate blog tagging and especially MySpace tagging. I put it in the same category as those stupid emails you get that say at the end, "If you love Jesus you will send this to everybody you know so that you can know that you really love Him!" Yeah, Blah, Blah, Blah . . . But Michael the Leveller tagged me via email some time in the last week or so with a really great posting on books, so I thought I would get past my secret anger of being tagged and oblige on this one. So here goes . . .

One book that changed your life:
Well, besides the Bible (the obvious choice), it would be Desiring God by John Piper. Piper's concepts such as "God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" and "We exist to glorify God by enjoying Him forever" are thoroughly ingrained in me and make a difference daily in how I understand how I am to live. But, this book is probably been most influential to me in just introducing me to and helping me to see the complete truth in the fact that God's greatest passion is His own glory. This one fact opens up to me a whole world of understanding redemptive history and Christ's coming kingdom.

One book you've read more than once:
I've read Kris Lundgaard's The Enemy Within cover to cover twice, but find myself going back to it again and again. It's basically a laymen's version of John Owen's classic works, Indwelling Sin and The Mortification of Sin. This book, more than any other, reminds me of my continual state of sinfulness and my need to fight my sinful nature. I highly recommend picking it up if you haven't already got a copy, as it is quickly becoming a classic.

One book you'd want on a desert island:
Again, besides the obvious, I would say Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology. It's an easy read for a systematic book and it's choked full of Scripture references and footnotes that you can spend a day reading through in each chapter. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have it by my side any time I do research or write a sermon. It's that invaluable to me.

One book that made you laugh:
I am going to go three ways on this. First, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum was probably the first book to ever make me laugh and the first one I read for myself and not because my teachers made me. Second, I laughed quite a bit when I read Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Though I disagree with him and often get irritated with some of his statements, he is a great writer and this book was worth my time. Finally, doctrinally-speaking, What Love is This? by Dave Hunt often made me angry and consequently laugh hysterically at his horrid misunderstanding and mischaracterization of Calvinism. It's hard not to laugh when a guy writes a chapter called "Calvinism's Surprising Catholic Connection" and he's serious.

One book that made you cry:
This doesn't happen often, in fact, never. It takes a lot to make me cry so it follows suit that it takes quite a book to bring me to shed a tear. But, I do have a clear memory of the first time that I cried while reading a book. It was "Pistol" Pete Maravich's autobiography, Heir to a Dream. I received it as an award for obedience at Spirit Express basketball camp when I was 11 (those of you who knew me back then likely either think this is some kind of sick joke or I am outright lying, but alas 'tis true). I read it cover to cover and was moved to tears when Maravich recapped his father's death. I thought about my own father's eventual death and how it would likely tear me apart. I believe that when that day comes, I might very well lose it for a while.

One book that you wish had been written:
9/11: The Plot to Bring Down the Twin Towers and How it Was Foiled by the CIA. Roosevelt said that December 7, 1941 was "a date which will live in infamy," but how much more so will September 11, 2001? World War II ended on August 15, 1945 - not four years later. The War on Terror started on that day in 2001, but now, as we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11 there seems to be no end in sight.

One book that you wish had never been written:
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. This book has single-handedly brought about the eternal severing of science and religion. No longer can Evolutionists and non-Evolutionists work together in the fields of biology, chemistry, or genetics and not feel the elephant of Darwin in the room with them. Darwinism has spun out of control, helping to bring about the mentality of "survival of the fittest" within all ranks of life. And this book has helped to lead millions and millions of people away from the harder question of "What does it all mean?"

One book you're currently reading:
I have been trying to get started on When I Don't Desire God by John Piper for some time now, but every time I start to get into it I feel like I need to reread Desiring God and then just end up putting it down for long enough that I have to go back and reread what I already read of it. It's been really frustrating.

One book you've been meaning to read:
JUST ONE! I wish - there's plenty that fit into this category. I guess the one I most want to sit down to is Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson. I have heard it is fantastic and a real page turner. As much as I love history, I am disappointed that I haven't gotten to it yet. I actually have quite a list of history books that I want to read and would love to spend time reading some biographies of great Christian men and women, Presidents of the U.S. and a few infamous characters like Hillary Clinton. And then there's always the books on doctrine, Christian living, politics, marriage, child-rearing, home design, and . . . shall I go on? You get the picture and I'm getting depressed thinking about it.

Now tag five people:
If you read this list, then consider yourself tagged. I am not going to go on naming folks on my blog who probably won't do this anyway. I enjoyed it though, and am glad that Michael sent me the email and told me I should do it.

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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