Books (2) I've been reading a few books lately (I love books!). Here are some comments about them:

The Prodigal God by Timothy Keller. This is one of the best books I have read for a while. Keller unpacks the story of the Prodigal Son and shows how it is really a story of two lost sons, or more accurately, of a loving father. See my earlier posts for more details on this. Definitely worth the read.

The Multi-Site Church by Scott McConnell. This is the best book I have read to date on this topic. Scott pulls together research from over 40 multi-site churches and shares some excellent wisdom for churches considering becoming "one church meeting in multiple locations."

Dave Browning's book Deliberate Simplicity looks at how complex we can tend to make things as Christians and as churches. He outlines a journey of getting back to the basics of follow Christ and of clearing the clutter in order to create better effectiveness for the kingdom. This is a message that is being emphasised at this time. See also the excellent book Simple Church.

I recently bought a few books by Mark Driscoll, leader of Mars Hill Church in Seattle Washington. One of them is Vintage Church. Mark has a ability to share the basic truths of Christ and his kingdom in creative and practical ways. I'm still reading this, along with his other book Vintage Jesus.

From Eternity to Here is Frank Viola's latest book tracing the purposes of God from eternity to our time and through to eternity. I'm just about to start reading this one.

Have you read any good books lately? If so, let me know. I have room for a few more on my shelf … but don't tell my wife 🙂

18 thoughts on “Book Reading Update

  1. My current list:
    * The Heavenly Man (amazing)
    * Wild Swans (good to read before the heavenly man so you can understand the history of communist china)
    * Why Men Hate Going to Church (seems ok, a couple of good points in it)

  2. ‘Justice in the Burbs’ gave practical examples of how we can help those in our community from where we are.
    ‘Rejesus’ challenges us to reexamine if what we are doing and thinking is actually what jesus would do, an extension of the WWJD wristbands

  3. Question- do you ever get tired of reading/thinking about church? I was just wondering!
    Recent interesting/moving reads-
    Bear Is Now Asleep- by William Verity- about the tragic death of his beautiful 3yo daughter;
    Angels In The ER- Robert D. Leslie- true stories written by an American emergency doctor from his 25 years of working in emergency departments

  4. Hi Helen
    No I don’t get tired of reading and thinking about the church, as it is my passion. However I do give myself a break on that topic by reading widely. I also like books on other topics such as leadership, business, history, computers, cooking, and personal development 🙂

  5. I found the Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning life changing. I now read it at least once a year. His latest book – “The furious longing of God” had me snotty nosed most of the time.
    Also just finished reading the second novel “World without end” by Ken Follett (first one is called “Pillars of the Earth”)- they are historical novels and Follet is a fantastic writer.
    As I am the mother of teenagers I have also recently read the Twilight series and really enjoyed them! Nothing like reading about vampires at 2 a.m.

  6. Lionfish-
    how about Asterix and TinTin?
    not to mention ‘The Notebook’ mag for the ladies (and discerning chaps)
    ‘Alive’ mag is occasionally worth a look-Oz Christian
    and then there’s- Quarterly Essay- helps keep you connected to the rest of the (non-church) world
    Nicole- not sure about reading about vampires at 0200am- I like my sleep too much- anyway there’s too much horror in the real world- a’la- Iran/Iraq/Melbourne’s streets at 0200/Melbourne’s emergency departments at 0200/ almost anywhere really! –
    just too many real blood-suckers out there for me to enjoy reading about fictional vampires!

  7. Helen, you have to read one book and you’ll be hooked. It is actually a story of amazing redemption…even for vampires :)))

  8. On ya lionfish- but real men tell their mates- and eat quiche!
    Nicole- I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that vampires look a little like ugly bats- have never really thought about redemption in relation to them- could they be part of the fall?! could vampires be – well and truly- fallen angels?? the possibilities are endless.
    However, I believe Michael Palin covered the ol blood-suckers in his book and DVD ‘New Europe’- I believe he went to their HOMETOWN- now there’s a thought!

  9. PS Nicole- I have a good friend who reckons Basil and the Fawltys (aka Fawlty Towers) is great for the 2am insomnias- takes all sorts doesn’t it?
    What say you? (apart from BASILLLLL…..)

  10. aaahhh the british comedies – you can’t get any better!
    Fawlty Towers
    Keeping up Appearances
    Some mothers do have ’em
    Black books
    love love love them all

  11. Hi Pastor Mark,
    I was wondering if you have read the book ‘The Shack’ by William Paul Young, and what your thoughts are on it?

  12. Hi Larissa.
    We do have that book but I haven’t read it. Nicole and my son have though.
    Rowland Croucher’s web site has quite a few reviews on it, which might interest you, Go to: and search for the book title.

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