I have been asked what my favorite books are and what books I have been reading.
Being a pastor, I would be remiss if I didn't start out with naming the Bible as my source of all wisdom and eternal significance. Yes, it is by far the most compelling and driving force for my journey in life.
Then, as a pastor wanting to learn from the giants of the faith, I would try to read anything by Charles Finney, George Muller, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, D.L. Moody and others. I was drawn to the fiery preachers of old and the men of deep faith in their call to ministry.
With that aside, however, I do enjoy a good read in the realm of novels and non-fiction.
The first best-selling novel after high school that I read purely for pleasure and interest was Papillon by Henri Charriere. It was one of the most fascinating accounts of adventure and travel that intrigued me. In those early years of adulthood, I read most of the novels by John D. MacDonald, who wrote about a private eye that solved murders and such. Later, I began reading anything by Dick Francis, a retired jockey who rode for the Queen of England. Francis' books were about the horse racing scene in England and any mysteries that would surround such a world.
I would read many (but not all) of the best-selling paperbacks (as I could not afford hard covers). I wanted to keep pace with what others were reading. But none of those really stand out in my mind now.
In the late 1980s I began reading the Christian fiction novels by Frank Peretti. The most impacting book for me was his first, This Present Darkness. I still consider that as one of my all-time favorites. The non-fiction book that made an impact on me was the book by Spenser Johnson titled Who Moved My Cheese. It was serious and humorous with a message about life and changes in life.
The book that has caused me to rethink my passion for people and my thirst for ministry involvement was The Shack by William P. Young. It has such startling ways to convey the message of faith and forgiveness. It made me think "outside the box" of conventional theology and helped me find resolution to assist others. Now, I am not discounting my theology of old, as it comes from the Bible. What I found was a new way of verbalizing certain aspects of faith and belief.
There are books that I recommend for ministry students and those who want to deepen their faith and understanding of the Christian walk. These are some of the books I have read in the last year or so. Such books are:
* The Faith, by Chuck Colson
* The Heavenly Man, by Brother Yun
* Angels on Assignment, by Roland Buck
* 90 Minutes in Heaven, by Don Piper
* The Journey, by Billy Graham
* What Every Christian Ought to Know, by Adrian Rogers
At a very early time in my ministry call, I learned that books are my "tools of the trade." Carpenters have their tools, plumbers have their tools, mechanics have their tools. We preachers have our tools!
So now, tell me what your favorite books are! If you want to send by email rather than "Comment," you know my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org right?