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2016 Reading Challenge – APRIL UPDATE

2016 is well under way, and I’m making progress on the Challenge. Finding time to read is about to become a lot more interesting, as our third child is due at the end of April. So while the next list might be shorter, I’ll continue to post updates, as (so far) I highly recommend everything I’ve read. I haven’t listed the categories that these fit into, nor have I listed the numerous comic books that I’m reading each week, nor the texts that I’m reading for study; so this list is limited strictly to the 2016 Reading Challenge. If you read (or have read) any of these, I’d love to have more conversation about them so drop me a line!

13 God Made All of Me, Justin & Lindsey Holcomb
Carefully worded and beautifully illustrated, this is a great conversation starter for parents about proper respect for private parts and how to protect yourself and respect others.
On Loving God, St. Bernard of Clairvaux
The reason for loving God is God Himself; and the measure of love due to Him is immeasurable love. Bernard’s writing is simple and wonderful; at 40 pages you could finish it over a bowl of cereal. Yet he writes about such profound truth that you’ll contemplate how much God is worthy of our love for a lifetime.
12 Silver Surfer Volume 2: Worlds Apart, Dan Slott & Mike Allred
I’m a late starter to Silver Surfer. But regardless of whether you love him or you’ve never read him, this book has plenty, including origin story, and a clash with Galactus. I’m grabbing the 2016 comic books as they’re being released too – they’re well worth it.
17 Lord, Teach Us to Pray, Andrew Murray
The greatness of prayer is also the necessity of prayer, and Murray’s years of conversing with God are evident in this personal and powerful instruction in the practice of prayer. If you don’t have a book on prayer in your library, this is a great place to start.
14 The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction, Ed Shaw
As a Pastor who is same-sex attracted, Ed Shaw knows that Christians often fail to offer a plausible alternative to the message society gives us about homosexuality. With a firm grounding in Scripture and the potency of his own ongoing struggle, Shaw’s book shows that we all need to know better. Highly recommended.
15 The Heaven Promise, Scot McKnight
This is another of many books I have by McKnight. In recent times there has been too much fiction written about Heaven, and McKnight’s book is a welcome dose of truth on the matter. He shows us the greatness of the promise of heaven, and in doing so shifts our focus away from hype and tourism back to Biblical reality.
4 On the Incarnation, St. Athanasius
If I had to pick 10 “Christian Classics” for Christians to read, this one is undoubtedly on the list. An often accepted-then-brushed over doctrine, we should be forever grateful that the reason (theologically) that we see so clearly is that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Anthanasius is one.
7 The Gospel for Muslims, Thabiti Anyabwile
As a converted Muslim himself, Anyabwile shares unique insight into how Islam’s own holy scripture points to the undeniable truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the inescapable reality of Jesus Christ as God, Saviour, and Lord.
16 Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Any serious discussion about Christian community must engage with Bonhoeffer, who is perhaps the second most influential theologian of the 20th century. Based on the remarkable example lived out at the seminary he began, Life Together reveals much about true community; in Jesus and for Jesus.
1 Communicating for a Change, Andy Stanley & Lane Jones
When it comes to life-transforming delivery, people can catch a baseball much easier than a handful of sand. Great communication comes from one-point delivery; not only is it possible, it’s proven. Read my full review  here.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller
If you search for must-have graphic novels, this one appears on pretty much every list. Attributed with rejuvinating Batman to the dark character we know today, Miller’s work is everything you want. The artwork is confronting and brilliant. Could this be the best graphic novel of all time?
3 Christ the Center, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus Christ is not simply the centre of the Church; but as the Crucified and Glorified God-Man, Jesus Christ is the true centre of history, nature, humanity, indeed of all creation. Bonhoeffer’s Christology lectures from 1933 will cause you to see and celebrate Jesus like never before.
5 Pneumatology, Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen
Kärkkäinen takes a look at the Holy Spirit from both the bible and the main Christian traditions to help us better encounter the often misunderstood or misrepresented third person of the Trinity. Read my full review here
8 In the Dark Streets Shineth, David McCullough
Reading twice Pulitzer-Prize winning author McCullough teaches me how to write. His literature is grand, vivid, and compelling. A breath of fresh air for the imagination.
6 Raised with Christ, Adrian Warnock
Christianity rises or falls on whether Jesus Christ is dead or alive. Warnock states his case for the resurrection, the implications of a risen Christ, the benefits to humanity, and what it means for us today.
18 Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Bonhoeffer’s phrase “costly grace” forever changed me. His exposition of the Sermon on the Mount should be devoured by mature Christians and new converts alike. An amazing, relevant, accessible masterpiece.
9 Movements of Grace, Jeff McSwain
This book is a soaring celebration of the ongoing ministry of Christ the God-Man, who fulfilled humanity’s response to God in our place. Drawing on the work of theological giants T.F. Torrance, Karl Barth, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, this book will radically expand your understanding of and love for the one for does everything for us.
10 God’s Good Design, Claire Smith
Despite arguments to the contrary, men and women really are different — and that’s exactly the way God intended it. Examining every key biblical text on the topic, Smith’s exegesis is faithful, kind, and uncompromising of the authority of Scripture. It’s a well-formed contribution to an often polarising discussion.
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Published in2016 Reading Challenge