Archives For Lists


You may have noticed I accidentally posted this last week with only three book titles. Obviously, that was a few days worth of reading, not entire month. And actually, this month ended up being the peak of the year so far. Rather than blurb each of the 20 books, I’m going to list them and then offer brief summary comments. I’m trying to ease back into regular blogging after starting strong in June and then realizing I needed a production break before school started.

If you’re keeping score at home, the 20 books in July brings me to 99 for the year. Well, actually, it’s at 101 now because we’re a ways into August. Anyway, here’s the list of what I read in July:

While there are still a considerable amount of theological and biblical studies in this mix, I think I diversified pretty well. Of the books listed, only 6 were specifically for reviews, which should start rolling out more frequently this fall. Chasing Contentment was for a member offering at Christ and Pop Culture, and you can read my write up here. The rest were primarily pleasure reads, although there are still a few “I feel like I read should read this book because it’s important to what I teach.” You can probably spot those with a quick glance.

The books that I care about on here (i.e. really liked), I’ll be thinking about ways to write about them in the coming weeks and months. My reading will slow considerably now that it’s August and there is prep to be done for both school and SHIFT. I need to get some systems in place and need to do so in the next week or so, but once they’re there, I should be back in a reading routine going into the fall.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that most people couldn’t tell a very coherent version of the story of western science. Sure, certain names (Aristotle, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Einstein) could be pieced together. But in terms of the flow of thought and discovery, I don’t think most of us are there.

A couple of solutions are available. One is to get Susan Wise Bauer’s book The Story of Western Science: From the Writings of Aristotle to the Big Bang Theory. Or, you could read her section on science in The Well-Educated Mind. There is much overlap between the two, including recommended books. The former is obviously more in-depth, so pick your path wisely.

This is the one section of the book is that is entirely new to the updated edition. It does round out things nicely, and helps to fill the lacuna in most people’s reading diet (is that mixing metaphors?).

As with other genres (novels, memoirs, histories, dramas, poetry), Bauer gives a 20 minute history of science writing (402-434):

  • The Natural Philosophers
  • The Observers
  • The Historians
  • The Physicists
  • The Synthesists
  • The Popularizers

She then helps readers learn to read science books following the three stages:

Grammar-Stage Reading (435-439)

  • Read a synopsis
  • Look at the title, cover, and table of contents
  • Define the audience and its relationship to the author
  • Keep a list of terms and definitions
  • Mark anything that confuses you and keep reading

Logic-Stage Reading (439-442)

  • Go back to your marked sections and figure out what they mean
  • Define the field of inquiry
  • What sort of evidence does the writer cite?
  • Identify the places in which the work is inductive, and the areas where it is deductive
  • Flag anything that sounds like a statement of conclusion

Rhetoric-Stage Reading (442-443)

  • What metaphors, analogies, stories, and other literary techniques appear, and why are they there?
  • Are there broader conclusions?

Armed with these questions, you’re now ready for Bauer’s annotated poem and poets list. These lists are good reason enough to buy the book for yourself, but if you just want the list, I got you. I’m mostly linking to the editions she suggests. As a general rule, she guides readers to editions that are cheap and affordable, free of extraneous notes (i.e. critical editions) so you can focus on reading well on your own. It is however helpful in some cases to have some insights into what the author might be up to you that you’d otherwise miss.

With that in mind, here’s the list:

When I was in school geography was one of my favorite subjects. I actually went to the state geography bee when I was in middle school because the spelling bee was too mainstream.

I like to know the lay of the land and often that involves reading maps. Or, taking aerial photographs when the opportunity presents itself. Because you’re curious, that is the mouth of Tampa Bay when viewed from above and the thin line across it is the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Anyway, you may be (rightly) wondering what this has to do with the title of the post. Well, I’ve been thinking for a while that it might be helpful to do a little cartography when it comes to Christian publishers and authors. I’ll tie this into the semi-abandoned series on book reviewing by explaining how to connect with the various publishers if that’s what your’e into. But, mainly I’ll focus on differentiating the publishers out there and giving you some authors to know.

If I were to imagine a table of contents it might look like this:

  • Publishers
    • Baker/Baker Academic
    • B&H/B&H Academic
    • Brazos
    • Crossway
    • Eerdmans
    • Fortress Press
    • IVP/IVP Academic
    • Moody
    • P&R Publishers
    • Wipf & Stock
    • Zondervan/Zondervan Academic
  • Book Series
    • NSBT
    • NET
    • SIET
    • Counterpoints
    • Spectrum
    • PTMS
    • TCL
  • Authors
    • Vern Poythress
    • John Frame
    • Oliver Crisp
    • J. I. Packer
    • Matthew Levering
    • Michael Bird
    • John Walton
    • Cornelius Van Til

Now, that’s just a start as far as authors. And, if I’m being honest, it is a list mostly related to books I need to review. But, pro-tip, this is part of making reviews more interesting than book reports. I’m sure I’ll add authors as well. And, if you’re not clear on what the abbreviations in the book series list stand for, that’s perfect because then I can explain it.

I’ll probably get the ball rolling on this series some time next month. I’m open to suggestions to be added to any of the above lists. At the end of the day, I want to provide a general overview of publishers, authors, and series to keep an eye out for if you’re serious about biblical and theological reading. Hopefully, I can do better at that than I did at the state geography bee.

One of the little known facts of a good seminary education is that you learn to read poetry. It is one of the predominant genres of literature in the Bible, although often in books no one reads (e.g. most of the prophets).

While there are some rather obvious differences between Hebrew and English poetry, some of the principles of reading the former transfer to the latter. And, I would add that it can work in the reverse as well.

In that light, what Susan Wise Bauer offers in The Well-Educated Mind may help you read the Bible better. This is actually one of the longer chapters in the book, and begins with some insights on the way language is used in poetry before proceeding like the others with a history of the genre. After covering, novelsautobiographies,  histories, and dramas, this is the second to last chapter (and last in the original edition).

Bauer divides the history this way (324-343):

  • The Age of Epics
  • The First Lyrics
  • Roman Odes
  • Medieval Poetics
  • Renaissance Voices
  • Romanticism
  • American “Romanticism”
  • Modernism
  • Alienation

She then offers the questions you need to ask when making sense of poetry.

Grammar-Stage Reading (343-347)

  • Read 10-30 pages of poetry
  • Read the title, cover, and table of contents
  • Read the preface
  • Finish reading

Logic-Stage Reading (347-351)

  • Look back at the poem; identify its basic narrative strategy
  • Identify the poem’s basic form:
    • Ballad
    • Elegy
    • Epic
    • Haiku
    • Ode
    • Sonnet
    • Villanelle
  • Exam the poem’s syntax
  • Try to identify the poem’s meter (or meters)
  • Examine the lines and stanzas
  • Examine the rhyme pattern
  • Examine diction and vocabulary
  • Look for monologue or dialogue

Rhetoric-Stage Reading

  • Is there a moment of choice or of change in the poem?
  • Is there cause and effect?
  • What is the tension between the physical and the psychological, the earthly and the spiritual, the mind and the body?
  • What is the poem’s subject?
  • Where is the self?
  • Do you feel sympathy?
  • How does the poet relate to those who came before?

Armed with these questions, you’re now ready for Bauer’s annotated poem and poets list. These lists are good reason enough to buy the book for yourself, but if you just want the list, I got you. I’m mostly linking to the editions she suggests. As a general rule, she guides readers to editions that are cheap and affordable, free of extraneous notes (i.e. critical editions) so you can focus on reading well on your own. It is however helpful in some cases to have some insights into what the author might be up to you that you’d otherwise miss.

With that in mind, here’s the list:

Bauer then lists a few more “must read” poets that are writing after the modernists (and in some cases still writing). But, she notes that history has not sorted out the good from the great quite yet, and so I’m leaving them off this list.


For the first time in a while, I focused more on writing than reading this past month. I had intended to post Monday through Friday all month, and other than last Wednesday and Thursday, succeeded.

I did however still read quite a few books. 12 to be exact, which is 79 for the year. That means I’m more or less on pace to hit my average of 150 for the year. I’m no Don “The Dragon” Carson, but I feel like that’s a solid number.

I’ve more or less given up on the challenge and am just reading what I either want because of research interests, or have to because of pending reviews (which coming back in bigger numbers soon).

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax

This, along with two titles below are part of a research interest in the effect digital technology has on us. I’m curious for personal reasons, but also because of ministering to students. After reading this book by David Sax, I’m gradually personal the analog in my own life and will be making some classroom changes in the fall.

The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis—and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance by Ben Sasse

I posted on this previously, and saw this review earlier today of this book by Ben Sasse, senator from Nebraska. Because of his emphasis on production rather than consumption, I made a concerted effort this past month to prioritize production before settling into a few weeks of summer of break. I feel pretty good about it, and am hoping I can maintain the habits once break is over.

Grace Alone—Salvation as a Gift of God: What the Reformers Taught and Why it Matters by Carl Trueman

I generally read most everything Carl Trueman writes. I enjoyed this entry in the 5 Solas Series, and appreciated his use of Aquinas early on. I’ll have more to say in a review later.

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

This, along with the Revenge of Analog and The Glass Cage, is part of my technology study. I read this over a weekend and immediately deleted social media from my phone, as well as my mail app. I haven’t gotten to the really deep work yet, but I’m well on my way.

Hope for The Same Sex Attracted: Biblical Direction for Friends, Family Members, and Those Struggling with Homosexuality by Ron Citlau

I posted about this in New Books of Note. I have some friends that actually struggle with this and so I’m waiting to say more until I get their insight.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson

I’m hoping to have an article on this soon. It is for people in a hurry (it’s short), but it’s also sitting a top of the New York Times Best Seller list. It is also not easy reading, but it’s enjoyable.

Movies are Prayers: How Films Voice Our Deepest Longings by Josh Larsen

I’m hoping to post a review on this later in the week, and tell you how you can get a free e-Book of it.

Reversing Hermon: Enoch, The Watchers, and the Forgotten Mission of Jesus Christ by Michael Heiser

This is the latest book by Michael Heiser aiming to bring technical biblical scholarship to the masses. I think it succeeds for the most part, although there are few too many page to page and half long block quotes for my liking. I get why they are there though, since in many cases they are the author’s summary of a research article (the author of the article, not Heiser) and so help condense what could be an unwieldy book. As far as content, I’m still processing, but if you come to the college Bible study, you’ll find out what I think.

Christianity: The Biography—2000 Years of Global History by Ian Shaw

I’ll have a highlight of this book in a few weeks.

Christian Theologies of Scripture: A Comparative Introduction edited by Justin Holcomb

This series edited by Justin Holcomb that has two more volumes coming out later this year (Sacraments and Salvation). As the title indicates, these are subjects that have multiple versions. The book is ordered historically, and features some superb articles. I’d recommend it if you’re looking to explore the subjects.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God by Eugene Peterson

This is Eugene Peterson’s latest, and a collection of sermons. They are organized according to biblical figure. Readers are treated to Peterson’s sermons from the writings of Moses, David, Solomon, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, and John. The sermons are fairly short when read and so this could be a good devotional reader if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Glass Cage: How Our Computers Are Changing Us by Nicholas Carr

I’ll have more to say on this in a collected post on the books connected to technology. The short version is that we should all be a bit more reflective when it comes to automation and how it forms or deforms us.

If there’s a genre of literature I’ve left mostly unexplored, it’s dramas and plays. I read some Shakespeare for my last ever undergrad class (Freshman Comp because you’re curious). Beyond that, basically nothing. But, that’s what Susan Wise Bauer’s The Well-Educated Mind is good for. The list below will help you and me fill in the gaps in our literacy.

Before getting to that though, I’ll give the questions she suggests asking the works that you read. Before she gives the readers that, she offers a history of the play in five acts:

  • The Greeks (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Aristotle)
  • Mystery and Morality (Everyman)
  • The Age of Shakespeare (Marlowe and Shakespeare)
  • Men and Manners (Moliere, Congreve, Goldsmith, Sheridan, Wilde)
  • The Triumph of Ideas (Ibsen, Chekhov, Shaw, Eliot, Wilder, O’Neill, Sartre, Williams, Miller, Beckett, Bolt, Stoppard)

After a brief explanation of the purpose of reading plays (“what theater can do better than TV is to imagine.”), Bauer gives her questions in the stages we’ve seen so far in novels, autobiographies, and histories.

Grammar-Stage Reading (268-273)

  • Look at the title, cover, and general organization of the play
  • When you encounter stage directions, read them carefully
  • Keep a list of characters as you read
  • Briefly note the main event of each scene
  • Can you identify a beginning, middle, climax, and resolution?
  • Which “act” of the drama does the play belong to?
  • What holds the play’s action together?
  • Write a two- or three-sentence explanation of the play’s title

Logic-Stage Reading (273-277)

  • If the play is given unity by plot, list the events that lead up to the play’s climax
  • If the play is given unity by character, ask for each major character, the same basic questions you asked for the novel
  • If the play is given unity by an idea, can you state the idea?
  • Do any of the characters stand in opposition to each other?
  • How do the characters speak?
  • Is there any confusion of identity?
  • Is there a climax, or is the play open ended?
  • What is the play’s theme?

Rhetoric-Stage Reading (277-279)

  • How would you direct and stage this play? (Depending on how much you like it, you could do this exercise for a scene, an act, or the whole thing)

Armed with these questions, you’re now ready for Bauer’s annotated drama list. These lists are good reason enough to buy the book for yourself, but if you just want the list, I got you. I’m mostly linking to the editions she suggests. As a general rule, she guides readers to editions that are cheap and affordable, free of extraneous notes (i.e. critical editions) so you can focus on reading well on your own. It is however helpful in some cases to have some insights into what the author might be up to you that you’d otherwise miss.

With that in mind, here’s the list:

First it was novels. Then it was autobiographies. Now, it’s history’s turn.

As with previous sections in The Well-Educated Mind, Susan Wise Bauer begins with an overview of the genre. Here, she distinguishes between several periods in the history of history:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval History
  • Renaissance History
  • The “Enlightened,” or “Rational,” Approach
  • Positivism to “Progress-ism” to “Multiculturalism”
  • Romanticism to Relativism to Skepticism (and Thence to Postmodernism)

Attentive readers will recognize that the the last two periods are overlapping as the telling of history fragmented according to your particular philosophical bent. The history of ideas and the ideas of history are forever intertwined.

So, when it comes to actually reading a historical account, Bauer again gives questions for each stage:

Grammer-Stage Reading (195-198)

  • Look at the title, cover, and table of contents
  • Does the writer state his or her purpose for writing?
  • What are the major events of the history?
  • Who is this story about?
  • What challenges did this hero/ine face?
  • Who or what causes this challenge?
  • What happened to the historical hero/ine?
  • Do the characters go forward, or backward – and why?
  • When does the story take place?
  • Where does the story take place?

Logic-Stage Reading (198-206)

  • Look for the historian’s major assertions
  • What questions is the historian asking?
  • What sources does the historian use to answer them?
  • Does the evidence support the connection between questions and answers? [Note: readers of the actual book are treated to a primer on fallacies at this point]
  • Can you identify the history’s genre?
  • Does the historian list his or her qualifications?

Rhetoric-Stage Reading (206-209)

  • What is the purpose of history?
  • Does this story have forward motion?
  • What does it mean to be human?
  • Why do things go wrong?
  • What place does free will have?
  • What relationship does this history have to social problems?
  • What is the end of history?
  • How is this history the same as – or different than – the stories of other historians who have come before?
  • Is there another possible explanation?

Armed with these questions, you’re now ready for Bauer’s annotated histories list. These lists are good reason enough to buy the book for yourself, but if you just want the list, I got you. I’m mostly linking to the editions she suggests. As a general rule, she guides readers to editions that are cheap and affordable, free of extraneous notes (i.e. critical editions) so you can focus on reading well on your own. It is however helpful in some cases to have some insights into what the author might be up to you that you’d otherwise miss.

With that in mind, here’s the list:

So far with this list, I’ve got my work cut off for me, having only read Herodotus (would highly recommend). I’ve a copy of the few of the others, but while I’m thinking of it, I might venture to the local used bookstore and see what I can find. Although, you can actually piece together most of this list for less than $100. Not bad for what would be close to a year or more of reading for many people!

Now that it’s officially summer reading season, I thought I’d give you more of a rundown on the lists in The Well-Educated Mind. You may vaguely remember the overview I gave of the opening section. If not, here it is again.

Chapter 5 is “The Story of People: Reading through History with the Novel.” Bauer gives a 10 minutes history of the novel, which you’ll have to actually buy the book to read.

She then proceeds to tell you how to read a novel (beyond merely going from one word to the next in succession until the final page). She gives you tips and questions to guide you through reading at the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stage. Because I don’t want to deprive you of the joy layered reading, I’ll reproduce those below (parentheticals refer to pagination).

Grammar Stage Reading (71-73)

  • Look at the title, cover, and table of contents
  • Keep a list of characters as you read
  • Briefly note the main event of each chapter
  • Make initial notes on passages that seem interesting
  • Give the book your own title and subtitle

Logic-Stage Reading (73-81)

  • Is this novel a “fable” or a “chronicle”?
  • What does the central character (or characters) want? What is standing in his (or her) way? And what strategy does he (or she) pursue in order to overcome this block?
  • Who is telling this story?
  • Where is the story set?
  • What style does the writer employ?
  • What images and metaphors get repeated?
  • Pay close attention to beginnings and endings

Rhetoric-stage Reading (82-86)

  • Do you sympathize with the characters? Which ones, and why?
  • Does the writer’s technique give you a clue as to her “argument” – her take on the human condition?
  • Is the novel self-reflective?
  • Did the writer’s times affect him?
  • Is there an argument in this book?
  • Do you agree?

Bauer then offers an annotated novel list. That is good reason enough to buy the book for yourself, but if you just want the list, I got you. I’m mostly linking to the editions she suggests. As a general rule, she guides readers to editions that are cheap and affordable, free of extraneous notes (i.e. critical editions) so you can focus on reading well on your own. It is however helpful in some cases (e.g. Gulliver’s Travels) to have some insights into what the author might be up to you that you’d otherwise miss.

I’m still stuck on Don Quixote, but I think I’ll remedy that this summer and move on to the next. Here’s her chronological list:

I don’t know enough about modern novels to comment on the additions past 1900, but I think it’s a pretty solid list. I’m sure we could add or subtract some, but if you’re looking to deepen your understanding of quality literature, this is a good place to start.

Well, school’s out for summer, so I’m gonna start blogging again. About the only thing I consistently did through the spring was update you on reading, so let’s pick back up with that.

I read 17 books in May, which brings the year up to 67. Because of a line I read in a book I already finished in June, I’d like to tip the scales in June/July from consumption back to production. Expect more review posts instead of roundups like this. But for now, here’s the eclectic mix from May:

The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place (a book about parenting)

This might be one of the most important books I read over the spring, so I’ll try to get my actual review (I’ll start doing those again) out soon. Anything by Andy Crouch is worth your time, but this one especially so if you have kids or technology, or both.

Reformation Anglicanism: A Vision for Today’s Global Communion (a book about the Reformation – sort of)

Was not particularly impressed by this one, although the series it kicks off could be promising.

Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era 

If you read things on the internet, you should probably read this. I’m debating whether or not to craft an article about this, or just do a review. The short version is that it covers how to read statistics, charts, and graphs correctly, and gives a rundown on how basic logical fallacies. He is certainly not a-political, but he points out errors on both sides of the spectrum throughout.

Reconsidering John Calvin

This is a collection of essays based on lectures Randall Zachman gave. It is also part of Cambridge’s Current Issues in Theology series. The opening essay on Calvin’s views on astronomy is worth the price of admission alone (spoiler: he had very progressive views on Genesis and science in the Bible in general).

My Beer Year: Adventures with Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, and Fanatical Drinkers as a Beer Master in Training

You may have noticed a theme with books on beer. I’ve tried to add more hobby reading, but I’m also curious to start writing about beer in theological perspective, something I don’t think many have dared to do. I think could list reasons for this, but I’ll save it for a post. This particular book traced the author’s journey toward becoming a certified Cicerone, which is the beer version of Sommelier (which is the wine version of a your local Starbucks Coffee Master, except leveled up several times).

The Imperfect Disciple: Grace for People Who Can’t Get Their Act Together (a book about Christian living)

If Jared Wilson writes a book, you should probably read it. And if it’s a grace soaked manual on being a less than perfect disciple, you should read it and share too. I’ll do that in a review soon.

Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (a book by John Piper)

This might be John Piper’s most important book. Well, that’s possibly a stretch. It’s a bit longer than it needs to be, but it is one of the best book I’ve read on how to read the Bible. The reason is that is address both method and posture. Most of it actually about posture, and I think that’s its most valuable contribution. I’ll explain a bit more when I post about it and his other recent book.

Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body (a self improvement book)

I’ve started a new workout and diet routine, and it is thanks to Paul Maxwell pointing me to this guy’s resources. If you’re interested in a solid explanation of dieting and workout that is no gimmicks, you’ll want to check this out.

The Most Misused Stories in the Bible: Surprising Ways Popular Bible Stories Are Misunderstood

This was a great followup to the author’s previous book on the most misused verses in the Bible. I have to do a review soon, so I’ll explain more then.

Strangers in a Strange Land: Living the Catholic Faith in a Post-Christian World

This was a kind of follow up to The Benedict Option. Written by the archbishop of Philadelphia, it isn’t so much a Catholic answer to or version of the Benedict Option. It is rather a wise leader’s reflections on how culture has changed and how to remain a faithful presence within it.

Getting Jesus Wrong: Giving Up Spiritual Vitamins and Checklist Christianity (a book about Christian living)

You might have seen that recent TGC article about the fallout from Mars Hill. If you’d like a more in-depth perspective, as part of a book that’s about something else, you’ll want to read this book from a drummer in several Tooth & Nail bands, but also a former member of Mars Hill.

Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century

If Chuck Klosterman writes it, you should read it. This was his collection of essays from the past 10 years, mostly published elsewhere, but collected here with his introductions that give historical context.

How Does Sanctification Work? (a book about sanctification)

I did a write up on this for Christ and Pop Culture, you should go read that, and see how you can get it for free!

I Told Me So: The Role of Self-deception in Christian Living

I had higher hopes for this, but it’s a useful primer on how self-deception works. More importantly, the author gives constructive advice for how it relates to the Christian life and growth (see previous book).

The Juvenilization of American Christianity (a book about church history)

This wasn’t a particularly enjoyable read, but is important to see how the efforts to reach youth culture have weakened American Christianity. To add insult to injury, we don’t actually do that well at reaching youth. This book helps explain part of the mess.

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

If you ever wanted a history of the world traced through beer, wine, rum, coffee, tea, and soda, this book is for you. I’ve moved on to his history of food, and hope to also get his book on the history of social media.

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child

This book is a satire, and it is biting. Obviously, the take away is that the opposite of the ten things is what will help your child’s imagination flourish. I was pleased that I was already doing some of these things in the classroom. Adding a few more will be part of my summer goals.

 

This month, I feel like I did a decent job of diversifying my reading. That trend will probably continue going into the summer, although May is gonna be a little crazy.

I added 13 books this month, which is back closer to January and February, with 12 of the 13 hitting categories in the challenge. That also means I hit 50 for the year. Most of these I read cover to cover this month, but a few (you’ll notice them) are much longer and it just happened that I finished them in April.

The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation (a book about current events)

Here’s what I already wrote on Rod Dreher’s book.

Last Adam: A Theology of the Obedient Life of Jesus in the Gospels (a book about theology)

This was another part of my pre-Easter reading. I’ve got a post in the works about how this fills in a significant lacuna in another semi-controversial book that just came out. I’ll keep it ambiguous until then.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (a book about history)

I don’t often read brief histories of humankind. Much less do I read radical gay vegan takes on it, that go where only Nietzsche and Foucault dreamed of going. Yuval Noah Harari is probably a presuppositional apologetist’s best friend because he starts with atheism and then consistently traces out how it would apply to the human species and their cultural products and practices. I need to trace that out more, and hope to do so soon.

The Complete Beer Course: Boot Camp for Beer Geeks: From Novice to Expert in Twelve Tasting Courses (a book recommended by a friend)

You may notice an uptick in beer related reading, but I’m not quite ready to explain why. Let’s just say it is actual research, and also attempting to understand one of life’s simple pleasures.

An Anomalous Jew: Paul among Jews, Greeks, and Romans

If Michael Bird writes a book, I’ll probably read it and tell you about it. I need to do a more formal review of this one, so I’ll wait and tell you more then!

The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ (a book of your choice)

I spent the better part of Easter weekend finishing this up and it is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I would highly recommend wrestling with Fleming Rutledge’s work. While it is a theology book, it is conversational in tone and culturally saavy in references and anecdotes. In other words, this isn’t your typical 600 page theology book. I wouldn’t say I quite agree with everything she wrote, and this post from Andrew Wilson explains a good bit why.

Know Why You Believe (a book about apologetics)

I’ve got a review of this third volume in the KNOW series from Zondervan in the works. It also made for a great read during Easter weekend.

The Triunity of God (Vol. 4 in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics) (a book you have started but never finished)

This represents finishing Richard Muller’s massive study in Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics. I can’t really summarize my thoughts here, but I can let you know that an updated version of this series is coming out soon(ish) that will include two new volumes. If you’ve thought about getting them, wait until then (because $500 on Amazon is not worth it)

Reformed Dogmatics Volume 4: Holy Spirit, Church, and New Creation (a book your pastor recommends)

When I graduated Dallas in 2011, I got Bavinck’s four volume Reformed Dogmatics. I would wish that everyone who fancies themselves a theologian would take the time to work through these volumes. Maybe not drag it out as much as I did, but if you read one multi-volume systematic, make it this one.

Paul and His Recent Interpreters (a book you own but have never read)

This was originally going to be part of N. T. Wright’s fourth volume in the Christian Origins and The Question of God series (otherwise known as PFG). But, it became its own volume and came out later. I got a review copy from Fortress, so I’m going to share more in a seperate post.

12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You (a book about Christian living)

I did a write up on this for Christ and Pop Culture, if you’re a member, you can get it for free!

This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years (a book for teens)

Once again, I’ll have more to say on this one in a review. But for now, it has become a late addition to my textbooks for next year but it was written by an 18 year old girl and it makes good on the promise in the subtitle.

Reality Is Not What it Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity (a book of your choice)

I’m not sure I can actually explain where I’m at on this one. On the one hand, it is supposed to be a popular level physics book. On the other hand, I had a hard time understanding it and people tell me I’m smart. I think it might be because of how much of a paradigm shift it is (time and space don’t exist the way you think they do). But, as I’m about to embark on an Interstellar re-watch, I’ll have more thoughts down the road I imagine.