Dave’s Booklist – What I’m reading at the moment

I try to share  few lists of interesting reading from time to time. Here’s simply  list of my current reading. Different people have different reading habits.  Some like to read one book at a time. I often have a few of different types on the go. Usually one big, heavy read and alongside that some shorter lighter book.

So my lighter reads at the moment are from Ed Stetzer. Planting Missional Churches and also Come Back Churches. Very practical books  on church, mission and evangelism. If you have an interest in  church planting and revitalisation  pick them up for 99p each on your Kindle!

The heavy read at the moment is NT Wright Paul and the Faithfulness of God. I’m on the second volume after a year’ s break. My honest assessment is that it’s needlessly long, rather wordy and could have used a firmer editor. It’s ironic when an author can write a book over 1000 pages long and still say ” I haven’t got space to go into detail here!”  Volume 1 is historical, religious, social and political background the theological meat is in the second part. It might be worth starting with a shorter introduction to the background or skim reading part 1 then getting on to part 2 with the first book handy for reference. Useful if you want to get a good sense of Wright’s approach to the New Perspective.  I still am not convinced personally by his arguments for a different take on justification  ( I’m not even sure that a New Perspective take on 2nd Temple Judaism necessitates it!). His argument for Paul’s Trinitarianism is however interesting and illuminating.

Just arrived in the post yesterday ED Hirsch, Cultural Literacy. For those who don’t know of him, Hirsch is an American Literature Professor who has argued strongly that there’s been a decline in literacy because we teach kids skills without first teaching them knowledge. You need shared cultural knowledge to give context otherwise you feel like you are reading something abstract which then is harder to read. This book is focused on an American context but  I am guessing it will read across to the UK. In fact, the book has been influential on people like Michael Gove so if you want to know what he was trying to achieve in schools it’s worth a look at this and “The schools we need and why we don’t get them.”  My guess is that you will find some common sense and provocative ideas here but that if you create a slavish education curriculum  out of it for all the things you gain there’ ll be a lot that you lose!  Could be helpful for preachers and teachers to think through. Is there a shared cultural literally you that enables people to understand what we are communicating?