Pastor Chris and I, along with 19 other pastors and elders just returned from this year’s Desiring God Conference for Pastors. This year’s theme was, The Pastor, The People, and the Pursuit of Joy: the Apostolic aim of pastoral ministry.
While I’d like to provide a post or two on what we experienced I thought I’d start with a survey of the discounted books I was able to bring home with me.
1. A Sweet & Bitter Providence: Sex, Race and the Sovereignty of God by John Piper
I have yet to crack this one, however, one of the first books that my wife and I read together as a married couple was the book of Ruth. In this work John Piper aims to show the sovereign hand of God in the life of Ruth and I am really looking forward to reading his insights.
Have you ever heard someone say, “I like Jesus…but I’m not crazy about the church”? Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck systematically and with extremely sharp humor show why the excuses of the “de-churched” are not good enough to give up on the church. I knew I had to have this book when I read the title of chapter 4
Appetite for Destruction: Why Church is boring, Christians are (insert: lame, close-minded or cliquish) and the church doesn’t care about (insert my issue). Why all of this is both true and untrue.
3. A Primer on Free Will by John Gerstner
Any book (actually it’s more like a pamphlet) with the opening line, “You did not pick up this book of your own free will” kind of demands to be read, doesn’t it? I got extras. They’ll be on the resource table Sunday.
4. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
I’ve never read C.S. Lewis’ autobiography. John Piper gave a biographical sermon on Lewis this year and spoke enough of Lewis’ personal and life long quest for joy in God that I was quickly convinced to give it a go. Should be interesting!
6. Get Outta My Face! How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens with Biblical Counseling
I thought I’d just give this one a try and then buy it for my youth workers if it was worthwhile. I also purchased “Lies Young Women Believe” for my female youth workers. I’m looking forward to their insights into the book.
Then there’s the mack-daddy, a nearly 1000 page,
7. Old Testament Theology
I read the contents and thought it would be a great companion for our time in the study of Creation for the adult Sunday School class. Not to mention, the Old Testament is painfully overlooked in evangelical culture. It’s always good to stay fresh.
Desiring God was also kind enough to provide each of us with 7 other books for free, not to mention a couple of audio books!
One is worth pointing out in closing. It’s from something called the 17:18 series. It’s a series of what they call “journibles” one for each book of the bible, wherein the reader acts as a scribe, writing down each verse of the bible book that they’re reading in the “journible” while taking notes on it. For example, I was given the Proverbs “journible” and as I read Proverbs I will write it down, verse by verse on the right hand side while taking notes on the left hand side. The philosophy is that this will allow the reader to not only slow down in reading so as to notice verses that we might normally overlook but also be able to remember the Scriptures with greater efficiency. I’m looking forward to trying it out!
Check back this week and next as we report on this year’s conference and what it taught us!