I love a good book. I get all geeky over a good read. In fact, I rate (and often review) the books I read online: Goodreads and LibraryThing. Yeah, two different sites – I love to get my nerd on. If you use either site, let’s connect. I’d love to see what you’re reading, and hear what you think. Here are a couple of my favorite reads from the last few months.
The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited, by Scot McKnight (Zondervan, 2011). Defining the gospel has become a battleground between warring theologies. Is the gospel primarily about justification by faith, the kingdom of God, or the restoration of all things? McKnight’s offering here is an important (game changing?) contribution to the discussion. McKnight begins at First Corinthians 15 and fleshes out the contours of the gospel: The story of Israel (shorthand for God’s self-revelation throughout the OT) brought to completion in the story of Jesus. This is the gospel that Paul preached, and Peter (McKnight walks us through their “gospeling” in Acts). In fact, this is the gospel that Jesus preached: Himself – and ultimately His own death and resurrection – as the fulfillment of God’s work in Israel. McKnight calls to repentance the contemporary church, which often sees the gospel only in terms of salvation (four spiritual laws). This truncates a rightful understanding of God’s work in history. McKnight’s contribution to the gospel debate is a must-read. A+
Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life Without Losing Its Soul, by Howard Schultz (Rodale, 2011). “Onward” documents Starbucks fall from glory and the second coming of Howard Schultz – Starbucks’ first CEO, who returned to his position after stepping down from daily operations nearly seven years prior. Whether or not one is a Starbucks devotee, “Onward” is well-told and packed with great business acumen and leadership insights. B+
Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper (Crossway, 2010). “Don’t Waste Your Life” is a manifesto for gospel-centered living. Piper clearly and passionately explains the basis for Christian joy: the glory of God. When one lives for God’s glory, he or she finds life’s deepest joy and purpose. Piper unpacks this profound truth in relationship to suffering, vocation, risk, mission, and much more. Piper offers an invaluable service to the church: understanding the glory of God in light of the cross – the “blazing center of the glory of God” – as it informs one’s daily life as followers of Jesus. Very helpful. A+
How about you? What are you reading? Any recommendations?