20.5.11

Books for Pastors - List 5: The Leftovers

Make sure you read the first post in this series for disclaimers and explanations and links to the full series.


We are almost done with these lists; I hope they have been helpful. 

This last list contains 5 books that I want to strongly recommend to you but which, for one reason or another, did not fit well into any other category. 

1. "To Change the World" by James Hunter. There is no better book on church and culture and how we ought to interact with our world. 

2. "Telling the Truth" by Frederick Buechner. A wonderful little book on preaching and the gospel; Buechner helps even the most jaded and tired pastor to see it all with fresh eyes. 

3. "The New Testament and The People of God" by N.T. Wright. Yet another difficult text. Not sure which is harder: this one, or Sources of the Self (which I recommended earlier). Either way, very much worth reading as a great help in reading the New Testament well (which is so important for us as pastors). The astute reader may have noticed a complete lack of 'bible' books (commentaries and the like). The reason for that is because no particular work stands out. If you use commentaries, use plenty for each book. More importantly, do your own study in the original languages. This is my nod to the fact that there are excellent works in NT and OT biblical studies which are well worth your time; so many that I didn't want to pare them down to put them in a list of 5. 

4. "Christians are Hate-Filled Hypocrites... and Other Lies You've Been Told" by Bradley Wright. This is a very contemporary book; in five or ten years it will probably no longer have a place on this list. In the meantime it is essential. Wright takes on a raft of bad statistics and stereotypes which frequently get passed around in churches and which I guarantee you have heard, if not said, yourselves. 6-9 out of 10 youth leaving the church? Garbage. Christians viewed by the majority of people as hypocrites? Untrue. Divorce rates of Christian couples the same as non-Christian couples? Myth. Read the book and find out more. 

5. “The Abolition of Man” by C.S. Lewis. Probably Lewis’ magnum opus; definitely worth reading, several times.

6.  I have left the last space of this blank because I do not want to recommend a last book. Instead I want to strongly recommend that you, as pastors or anyone else, be life long learners and life long readers. Don't ever stop. You owe it to your people and your self to continually grow and you absolutely need books in order to do that. 

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