I’ve read 4 books already this year, but not really. They were ones I started later in 2013, and finally finished them. Here are 2 mini-reviews on 2 of the books:
I was surprised to see some people refer to this book as a commentary on Revelation, but that is not really what it is in my opinion – at least not in the traditional sense of a commentary doing verse by verse explanation. Eugene Peterson (The Message) steps back and views Revelation in a grand thematic sweep. Some might accuse him of allegorically interpreting Revelation, but I’d disagree. It is more that he is viewing Revelation pastorally, meditatively, and draws out application for us today. He is not worried or focused on interpretive details, but the big picture instead. He notes the major themes that apply across time – no matter how you might actually interpret Revelation. Each chapter is entitled “The Last Word on…” : Scripture, Christ, the Church, Worship, Evil, Politics, Judgment, etc. I enjoyed this unique approach and highly recommend it. So glad I found it in the Goodwill bins for about 10 cents!
[Later note: Since reading this, I think this book is the “idealist” approach to interpreting Revelation.]
I won an on-line book giveaway last year, and they offered me the choice of several books. I’d been looking for an introductory type book on the Puritans and JI Packer is one of my favorite authors – so I chose this one. The Puritans have often been unfairly maligned and their flaws overemphasized, and in this book Packer takes a more positive approach. It is not that he presents them as perfect (they weren’t) but he shows how much we can learn from the Puritans today. We need them, and sadly their contributions can be overlooked. Packer introduces you to the Puritans, and surveys the teachings and lives of great Puritan leaders such as John Owen, Richard Baxter, and Jonathan Edwards. They had a tremendous zeal for Christ, the Bible, and Christian living – which we can all learn from. I recommend this book.
Now that I have finally finished up my left-over reading from 2013, I do want to move into my plan to focus more on Bible reading this year. I’ve begun reading this Bible: The Narrated Bible in Chronological Order (NIV) by Harvest House Publishers. This is another book I found in the Goodwill bins where stuff is sold by weight. My copy is in great used condition – the dust cover a little beat up, but the book itself in great shape. Typically you might pay as little as 10 to 20 cents per book, averaged out – depending on your blend of thin/light and heavier/hardcover books. Books are 25 cents a pound and half-off on Sunday.
P.S. I have a book giveaway: here.