To some, especially to students, summer reading is an oxymoron. Others can’t wait to lay aside the “have to” readings and have a chance pick up the “get to” books. For most of us, summer is really no different than any other time of year. Long gone are the days when our lives were dictated by an academic calendar. Nonetheless, I would like to take this opportunity to recommend two books for your enjoyment and edification—regardless of whatever season it happens to be.
The first is a book titled “Awe”, by Paul David Tripp. Despite the brevity of the title, its subject “the awe of God” is expansive. When I say expansive, I don’t mean that the book is large (it is actually under 200 pages). I mean that the awe of God is a topic of such importance to the way we actually live our lives. It is a topic of unending wonder and discovery, as God is far beyond our comprehension. Yet he has graciously revealed himself to us in various ways, nature, his word, and most comprehensively in his Son. Here are a few quotes to give you a taste of the book…
Regarding Ministry: “It’s only when my heart is captured by the awe of God that I will
have a proper sense of need and a willingness to abandon my plan for the greater and more glorious plan of God.”
Regarding Joy: “The DNA of joy is gratitude.”
Regarding Parenting: “The Bible teaches all the words and behavior of a child are
controlled, shaped, and directed by what’s in that child’s heart (see Luke 6:43-45). And
the core dysfunction of the heart of every child doesn’t first have to do with law; it has to
do with awe. Every child is born with a heart controlled more by awe of self than by awe
The second book is titled “Why bother with church”, with the subtitle, “And other questions about why you need it and why it needs you,” by Sam Allberry. This is also a short one (just 100 pages), but with potentially great impact upon the reader and upon the local church. After Allberry establishes what church is and why it is important, he then addresses practical issues such as: What makes a good church? How is a church run? What to do with an imperfect church? and How to be a good church member? Again, here is a sampling of a few quotes…
“When we get what the church is, and whose the church is, we really won’t want to go to
the park (or anywhere else) on Sunday morning.”
“I once heard it said that there is no such thing as a God-forsaken place (given that God is
present everywhere), but there is such a thing as a church-forsaken place. For a region to be without a church means that it does not have the access it needs to the truth of God’s goodness and love. Lacking a church is not equivalent to lacking a decent supermarket or movie theatre; it is like lacking a hospital or a source of water. It is an utter necessity.”
“The early church, it seems, didn’t need to be told to do evangelism. They simply did it.
The gospel contains its own evangelistic impetus.”
I think the subject of this book is so important that I made sure everyone in the new membership class received a copy. I hope you pick up a copy too.