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Saturday, June 18, 2005


I was tagged last weekend by Catez of Allthings2all, to give an honest and revealing report on my book reading, and to what is on my bookshelf today. So here goes...

Total number of books owned, ever: I am sixty one years old (I know you won’t believe it,) and if I tried to honestly remember how many books I have owned I would go insane! But I would hazard a guess and say thousands! Most of which, I have given away to college students, colleges, friends and after almost twenty five years of ministry moves around the world, just plain lost them!

My early reading, pre Christian days, was the usual classics, Treasure Island, Biggles, Just William, Oor Wullie, the Broons etc; along with these and others, I read the usual comics, The Beano, the Dandy, the Adventure, the Hotspur, Captain Marvel, Batman, Superman etc,.

My taste in reading took a different turn when I reached twelve years old, and was introduced to Detective Novels, Mickey Spillane, Hank Janson, Carter Brown and others as well as True Detective and True Crimes magazines!

So this was the kind of reading material that shaped my formative years! I haven’t changed much in the books department , suffice to say I am still an avid reader of Detective Novels, especially Ian Rankins’s Rebus (my favourite) and Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Deaver, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, John Connelly (positively scary!) John Grisham and a whole host of others, too many to mention.

On the Christian side is another story, far too many to mention, having decided many years ago to go minimalist on books and just concentrate on reading the Bible, especially the teachings of Christ, so I will follow the pattern below:

Last book I bought: ‘The Cross of Christ’ (with Study Guide) by John Stott, which I am reading at my leisure and thoroughly enjoying! Stott seeks out to explain the significance of the Cross and answers the objections commonly brought against Biblical teaching on the atonement. This was recommended to me by Bob at Mr. Standfast, and I thank him for that.

Last book I read: The last book I have finished reading was WHY REVIVAL TARRIES by Leonard Ravenhill. It is a prophetic book that he wrote in 1959 and most of what he wrote has come to pass, especially the disparity between the New Testament Church and the Church today. I have read this book three times since I became a Christian and every time I read it, I find something I missed the previous reading.

Five books that mean a lot to me: Other than the Bible. This is extremely difficult, I will answer it, but I know I am doing an injustice to other authors.

1. WHY REVIVAL TARRIES by Leonard Ravenhill; For the reasons listed above and more, a must read for every Christian!

2. A MAN CALLED PETER by Catherine Marshall; This book helped me to understand that God could take an ordinary man and use him mightily for His glory. Peter Marshall, a Scotsman, who emigrated to America and served God in a very interesting way, rising in ministry to become the Chaplain to the US Senate, before dying at a very young age. An amazing feat and it could only have been God that worked this miracle in his life.

3. THE BATTLE FOR THE BIBLE by Harold Lindsell; A book that shaped my Theological studies and for that I am grateful. The reason being, I was Born Again in a Church that was liberal and did not believe in the Inerrancy of Scripture, this book saved my ministry from going down that road!

4. PAUL’S IDEA OF COMMUNITY by Robert Banks; A brilliant book that helped me understand the meaning and origin of community and changed my Big Church mentality to a meaningful and loving Christian Community reality! As the preface in this book states; “This is not a technical book nor a popular one either!”

5. GOD’S EMPOWERING PRESENCE (The Holy Spirit In The Letters Of Paul.) by Gordon D. Fee; This is the reference book for most of my preaching, I just love how Fee explains things! As one of his references sums it up… “Fee’s work offers an enduring encyclopedia of Pauline pneumatological exegesis, easy to consult for next Sunday’s sermon, yet substantial enough to take its place near George Ladd’s Theology of the New Testament as a must have, within arms’ reach for serious interpreters of Paul’s gospel…”

Apparently I now I have to tag 5 other people. So here you are:

Forrest of Paint at Play - Lost in Reason.

Gary of Both Worlds.

Phil of Crumbs from the Masters table.

Duncan of Pacific Highlander.

Rick of The Bamboo Bell.

I am looking forward with tremendous excitement, to seeing what books are important to you!


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