Here are some brief summaries of the books I’ve finished recently. There aren’t as many as last time, but range from bible commentaries to biography to sport.
Ruth: The King Is Coming by Daniel I. Block
I preached through the book of Ruth in February and March. This was the main commentary I used, which was simply excellent.
Ruth: The King Is Coming by Daniel Block is part of the Zondervan Exegetical Commentary on the Old Testament series. This particular commentary gives a good outline of all the textual, cultural, and literary issues of the book. It walks the reader through the text and its structure in a helpful way. It raises the theological issues and conclusions of the book too. It was very helpful in thinking through the book of Ruth and and a useful preaching tool.
The Message of Ruth by David J. Atkinson
This commentary is in the Bible Speaks Today series. It’s not a new commentary nor is it particularly academic. It raises some helpful thoughts regarding the book of Ruth, particularly focussed on applying the text to the reader. However, I found the application reasonably poor, and various theological aspects of the text are not dealt with at length or in needed depth.
The Blueprint: LeBron Jame, Cleveland’s Deliverance, and the Making of the modern NBA by Jason Lloyd
The writer, Jason Lloyd, has been an NBA beat journalist for years. He was the Cleveland beat writer during the time of LeBron’s coming, going, and return to the Cavs. He gives a fascinating insight into the way the club operated during this time and how the club dealt with the superstar.
While there is biographical material of LeBron himself, the real insight of the book comes in the form of team strategy. That is, the management of an NBA team and what strategic moves the back office uses to build a winning team.
This was a great book, worth reading, and great sports writing.
The Prodigal God by Tim Keller
This is one of the best modern Christian books you’ll ever read.
I rate it highly. So highly that I’ve made it the first book in our church internship program.
The Prodigal God is a short book that takes the reader through the parable of The Prodigal Son. Each chapter not only reveals the content of the parable in a fresh way but is powerfully mind-blowing and heart-convicting for your soul.
If you’re looking for a great read and something that will encourage you in your Christian faith then this is well worth getting your hands on.
Packer on The Christian Life by Sam Storms
J.I. Packer is essential reading for any Christian and has been highly influential for millions of believers around the world. His best known work is Knowing God, one of his 25+ books written or contributed to. Now at over 90 years old he is no longer writing and teaching theology has he has done, but continues to impact many in the Christian faith because of his writings.
Sam Storms has written a great biography of the man, which focusses more on the way he has thought about the Christian life than about his life itself. In this way The Christian Life series is a unique contribution and well worth reading.
Storms gives one chapter to the life of the man but then spends 11 chapters on working through his Christian thought on topics like the atonement, the role of the bible, holiness, sanctification, the battle with sin, the Holy Spirit, prayer, suffering, and discerning the will of God. Each chapter is excellent and I found the chapters on the bible, sanctification, and prayer most beneficial for myself.
One interesting element of this book was reading Sam Storms articulate and reflect upon Packer’s cessationism while being a contiunationist himself. This was helpful and encouraging to see, particularly the attempt to understand Packer’s position while disagreeing with it.
Another book worth reading.