Books

Late in January, I decided that I’d set a goal for 2010 to read one book a month.  I realize this may sound pathetic to many, but for a guy who hasn’t made reading a priority since middle school, this really will be a challenge.

January

God is the Gospel, John Piper

Full Text – Amazon

Book Info: This book is a cry from the heart of John Piper. He is pleading that God himself, as revealed in Christ’s death and resurrection, is the ultimate and greatest gift of the gospel. “Gospel” means good news—but what makes the good news good? What is the goal of the gospel, without which it is no longer good? It is that Christ’s death brings sinners to God! Were it to bring us anywhere else we would be left hopeless. But the gospel is that God gives us himself—Christ died to give us Christ—, and this self-giving is his highest mercy to us and the best news for us! The most profound, most exceedingly gracious, final and decisive good of the good news is Christ himself as the glorious image of God revealed for our endless satisfaction.

February

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Amazon – Reading Guide

Book Info: The Road is the profoundly moving story of a journey. It boldly imagines a future in which no hope remains, but in which the father and his son, “each the other’s world entire,” are sustained by love. Awesome in the totality of its vision, it is an unflinching meditation on the worst and the best that we are capable of: ultimate destructiveness, desperate tenacity, and the tenderness that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation.


Crazy Love, Francis Chan

Info – Amazon

Book Info: Chan, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley, Calif., offers a radical call for evangelicals to consider and emulate in this debut guide to living “crazy” for God. Chan’s own life compels him to live with urgency, and with good reason. His mother died giving birth to him, his stepmother died when he was nine, and his dad when he was 12. As a pastor, Chan says that conducting weekly funerals for people younger than himself has likewise sobered him to life’s unexpectedness and frailty. Chan writes with infectious exuberance, challenging Christians to take the Bible seriously. He describes at length the sorry state of “lukewarm” Christians who strive for a life characterized by control, safety and an absence of suffering. Earnest Christians will find valuable take-home lessons from Chan’s excellent book.

March

Columbine, Dave Cullen

InfoAmazon

Synopsis: On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma City-style, and to leave “a lasting impression on the world.” Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence, irrevocable branding every subsequent shooting “another columbine.”

When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window, the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly ten years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to the prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal.

The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who were secretly stockpiling a basement cache of weapons, recording their raging hatred, and manipulating every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boys’ tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

Battling Unbelief, John Piper

AmazonSermons

Book Info: No one sins out of duty. We sin because it offers some promise of happiness. That promise enslaves us–until we believe that God is more desirable than life itself (Psalm 63:3). Only the power of God’s superior promises in the gospel can emancipate our hearts from servitude to the shallow promises and fleeting pleasures of sin.

Pastor John Piper shows how to sever the clinging roots of sin that ensnare us, including anxiety, pride, shame, impatience, covetousness, bitterness, despondency, and lust.

Delighting in the bounty of God’s glorious gospel promises will free us for a less sin-encumbered life, to the glory of Christ. Rooted in solid biblical reflection, this book aims to help guide you through the battles to the joys of victory by the power of the gospel and its superior pleasure.

Pirate Latitudes, Michael Critchton

AmazonBarnes and Noble

Book Synopsis:  The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses.

In this steamy climate there’s a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease—or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.

Word in port is that the galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in a nearby harbor. Heavily fortified, the impregnable harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of the Spanish king himself. With backing from a powerful ally, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy outpost and commandeer El Trinidad, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of island legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he even sets foot on foreign shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure.

April

Radical, David Platt

Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis: In Radical, David Platt invites you to encounter what Jesus actually said about being his disciple, and then obey what you have heard. He challenges you to consider with an open heart how we have manipulated a God-centered gospel to fit our human-centered preferences. With passionate storytelling and convicting biblical analysis, Platt calls into question a host of comfortable notions that are common among Christ’s followers today. Then he proposes a radical response: live the gospel in ways that are true, filled with promise, and ultimately world changing.

May

Under the Dome, Stephen King

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2 Responses to “Books”


  1. 1 Columbine « Visual Journal
  2. 2 Challenges « Visual Journal

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