Tis a sad day when one wakes to realize that his summer days are over and the weight of another academic year is bearing down upon him. Many of you have asked how I did on my summer reading list (thank you for keeping me accountable). So as a final farewell to my summer (which actually ended a couple weeks ago), I’m going to look back and evaluate how I did on my set goals this summer.
I had eight books that I set out to complete. Here they are with my comments about them:
1. Calvin by Bruce Gordon – Honestly, I got through about 3/4 of this book before I was bombarded with ministry work and other books that I had to complete for my summer internship. Though it was a great read and Gordan clearly invested a great amount of time and resources into writing an accurate and thorough book, it is a slow read and very time consuming. I hope to revisit the book and finish it in the near future.
2. Religious Affections by Jonathan Edwards – Still a work in progress. Jonathan Edwards is the man.
3. Freedom of the Will by Jonathan Edwards – Haven’t gotten to it yet. I will soon. Jonathan Edwards is still the man.
4. Trellis and the Vine by Colin Marshal and Tony Payne – So I semi-cheated on this one because I read this book with the Lighthouse staff. A great read that really challenges traditional ideas of ministry within the church setting, this book caused me to think critically about ministry this summer. Colin Marshal and Tony Payne do a great job of shifting the mindset of contemporary churches. Look for a book review in the very near future.
5. Forever Blue by Michael D’Antonio – Finished this one. A fun and easy read this summer, D’Antonio really hit it out of the park with this book. If you live in the L.A. area and are even slightly interested in sports, this could potentially be a great book for you. You can see my review of Forever Blue, here.
6. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama – I didn’t even touch this book this summer. It just wasn’t pressing enough. But after hearing about all the controversial decisions our President has been making lately, I might have to revisit this book soon to boost our leader’s reputation in my own mind.
7. Churchill by Paul Johnson – Felt like it was made up of newspaper articles cut out and glued together by a four-year old. Enough said.
8. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards – This was an absolute classic. I read this sermon in its entirety while I was waiting at a bus stop in Northern California. It was humbling and provocative; it made me consider my view of God once again. This will undoubtedly become an annual, if not monthly read for me.
Alright, so I was able to complete 4.75 books out of 8 this summer. Not too shabby! Although a score of 4.75/8 would render me with an unimpressive 59% or a D- for my summer reading assignment. However, there were books not on my list that I was able to read!
1. Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers by John Owen – Wonderful piece of literature. You can find my review, here.
2. Rescuing Ambition by Dave Harvey – A challenging book that we read as a staff. Harvey is great for dealing with worldly, self-glorifying ambition. Look for a book review in the near future.
3. Memoirs of an Ordinary Pastor by D.A. Carson – This was a touching book that illustrated the unordinary aspects of a seemingly ordinary life devoted to Christ. A book review is in the making.
So after considering the bonus book that I read this summer—extra credit if you will—my total score leaps to a whopping 7.75/8! That’s 97%, an undeniable A on my reading this summer!
Though my time now is filled with countless books that are required reading for seminary (one class has five required books by itself), I’m hoping to elevate my game next summer. Eight books is child’s play for many scholars and pastors. Hopefully I’ll be able to chew on 20 books in a summer without breaking a sweat.
And though the amount of books I read is of no consequence to anyone, it is what I learn and glean from the experience of reading, from the content of what is read, and from what impacts my life that will have eternal implications on those whom I minister to in the future. If one book in a summer full of reading can change my ministry attitude, and later helps me minister to another person more effectively, then it’s worth it.
So look forward to a few book reviews that I’ll be rolling out in the future. Until then, happy reading!