Three Good Reads So Far This Summer

If you know me very well, you know I like to read.  While vacationing, I’ve read a number of good books, and there are three that I commend to you for your own enjoyment and growth.

First, I was glad to discover that Francis Chan’s second book, Forgotten God, was as good as his first, Crazy Love. Both are short and to the point, and easily readable.  Forgotten God is a call to reclaim a biblical understanding and passion for the person and work of the Holy Spirit.  Reading this after I had preached on the filling of the Spirit from Ephesians 5, I confess I breathed a sigh of relief when I didn’t find anything in the book that I’d gotten wrong, at least from Chan’s viewpoint!

Seeking to navigate the waters between the rigid cessationism of his education and the highly subjective experiential views of some today, Chan will probably irritate a few readers.  Yet, his call is to a biblical understanding from the Bible.  He wonders how often we have ever sat down with just our Bibles and read what it says about the Spirit without bringing our past instruction and biases to the effort.  His example–what if you had been left on a desert island with no prior knowledge and only the Bible to read?  Wouldn’t you think that the church would be awash with evidences of the Holy Spirit’s power to cleanse sinful lives and energize the service and ministry of believers?  I’ll stop there and just encourage you to read the book.

The second good read was John Ortberg’s The Me I Want to Be. Ortberg is a good writer on subjects related to spiritual formation and growth, and this book continues in that vein.  Through story and examination of biblical text, he presents the idea that each of us as a unique creation in God’s image has a “me” that God designed us to be, the “me” that we want to be.  However, sin’s effects in our lives corrupt our strengths, cloud our thinking, and lead us to live a lesser, wicked version of what God designed for us.  Through redemption we have the opportunity to move back to God’s plan for us, but face potential barriers, such as becoming the “me” others expect me to be, or the “me” I think I should be.  It’s hard to describe in a paragraph, but well worth your time to read and consider.

Finally, I have to say how much I enjoyed Rachel Chambers’ book, The Summons to Become. It really is a good read that provides helpful insight into how one family discerned God’s call and experienced its unfolding during their first two years in Africa.  For those at Grace who lived through these years, it will be a great reminder of what God did.  For those of us who didn’t, it provides cause for celebration in what God has done and continues to do.  I trust it will challenge others to consider similar bold steps of faith and obedience.

Published in: on July 3, 2010 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment