Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What Am I Reading?

I like to use the last couple of weeks of the year to look back and to look forward. I like to look back to see what I accomplished, if anything, worthwhile over the past year. I like to look back at my strengths and my weaknesses. I like to look forward to the new year to set goals. I like to think about how to improve my strengths and eliminate my weaknesses. I'm surprised by what I learn about myself each year.

Today, I was looking for a receipt for a watch that was supposed to be repaired under warranty, but that I got a bill for the repair. While looking for that receipt, I found several other receipts and I was quite surprised by what I found. I probably read more books this year than I have ever read in any year of my life.

Here are the books that I remember reading this year (the receipts helped me to remember), in no particular order. Just because I admit to reading a book doesn't mean that I recommend that you read it. Some of those books were a waste of my time. However, all of the running books were excellent if you're a runner. CS Lewis has some works that are better than others, but the two I read this year are among his best non-fiction. If  you're interested in the conditionalist position about hell, nobody sets it forward more thoroughly than Edward Fudge. And I had to know what all the Katniss Everdeen fuss was about.

  1. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  2. Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  3. Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  4. The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
  5. The Fire That Consumes - Edward Fudge
  6. Hell: A Final Word - Edward Fudge
  7. The Churches of Christ in the 20th Century: Homer Hailey's Personal Journey of Faith - David Edwin Harrel, Jr. (2nd time through)
  8. Change Agents and Churches of Christ - William Woodson
  9. Daniels' Running Formula - Jack Daniels (3rd time through)
  10. Advanced Marathoning - Peter Pfitzinger and Scott Douglas (maybe 4th time?)
  11. The Problem of Pain - CS Lewis
  12. Mere Christianity - CS Lewis (3rd time through)
  13. What Must the Church of Christ Do To Be Saved? - Leroy Garrett
  14. Piloting the Strait - Dave Miller (4th or 5th time through)
  15. Free As Sons - Cecil Hook
  16. Healthy Intelligent Training: The Proven Principles of Arthur Lydiard - Keith Livingstone
  17. How To Win Friends And Influence People - Dale Carnegie (I didn't get all the way through this book this year, but I have read this book every year for several years, except this year.)
  18. Letters From a Skeptic - Dr. Gregory A. Boyd and Edward Boyd
  19. Surprised by Hope - NT Wright (I just started this one, but I will finish it before year's end.)
Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father's Questions about Christianity
The best book I read this year is Letters From A Skeptic by Dr. Gregory A. Boyd and Edward Boyd. I would classify that as a "must read". I was both challenged and touched by that book. It's also very readable. Greg Boyd has earned my respect because he is not afraid of any question and he has an honesty that is very refreshing. I don't agree with a lot of his positions (especially his radical pacifism), but I respect him greatly.

What are you reading? What do you recommend for me for next year? Please leave comments with recommendations! Don't assume I've already read it! Strengths from my list.... Contrasting theological views, mostly good books. Weaknesses from my list... No science or technology books, no classic fiction. So, please, help me to improve for next year!

On my list for next year are these. Please add to the list. I'd love to get through 20 books next year.
In addition to those books, I heavily emphasized my Bible Study in the Psalms, Gospels (especially John), and the books of Acts and Romans. I'd like to do more in the Old Testament next year. Also, I read most every article published by Eastside church of Christ in Athens, AL (private email list) and Pepper Road church of Christ (on their website) in Athens, AL. I also followed Patrick Mead's tentpegs blog and Greg Boyd's Reknew.org blog and recently added Rachel Held Evans instead of Al Maxey's Reflections (I just found Maxey's tone too vitriolic for my taste at times).

That's about all I have time for.


  1. Thanks to Facebook I have added these books to the list next year...
    Radical - David Platt
    Don't Waste Your Life - John Piper
    Desiring God - John Piper
    To A Thousand Generations - Douglas Wilson
    Forgotten God - Francis Chan
    Orthodoxy - G.K. Chestergon

    Any Fiction, sports, or Science books? I think those will keep me occupied next year!

  2. Oh yeah... and next year I need to read Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo.