Recent Books of Significance or Help

I am leading a workshop in a couple of weeks regarding ministerial reading for a conference that I am attending. The title for this workshop is "Whatcha' Reading?" (I did not come up with the title Smile ).

As part of that workshop I want to discuss/consider some recent books of which pastors (in particular) should be aware - either because of their significance or because of their helpfulness.

I realize that people will have vastly different opinions of what is significant and what is helpful, but the more suggestions I can get on this, the greater help it will be as I seek to lead the discussion.

Thank you in advance for your help.


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Ed Vasicek's picture

Here are some "off the beaten pathway" books.

A secular book I really enjoyed is "Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior" by Ori Brafman. Although one chapter uses an evolutionary "discovery," it still is quite insightful about human nature and useful, by way of application, for understanding decisions people on the church board might make, for example and additional insight into human nature -- including your own.

From a Biblical study end (Old Testament), "Literary Structure of the Old Testament, The: A Commentary on Genesis-Malachi" by David A. Dorsey has gotten surprisingly little press. It shows how most of the Old Testament is arranged as chiasmus. If you don't know what chiasmus or chiasm is, look it up. It is worth pursuing. This book can really help the preacher quickly find the central emphasis of a section or book. Amazing help here. Amazing.

"Practical Christian Theology" by Floyd H. Barackman is a useful tool for training lay leaders in theology (if your church is dispensational and fairly baptistic).

"Operation World - 21st Century Edition, Updated and Revised Edition (When We Pray God Works)" by Patrick Johnstone is a great reference book for the pastor who wants a grip on missions and what God is doing around the world.

"Bowling Alone" is another secular book by Robert Putnam that helps us understand the newer "disconnected" non-team-player generations. Very helpful.

"New Light on the Difficult Words of Jesus: Insights from His Jewish Context" by David Bivin is a brief but amazing little book to help the pastor better grasp the gospels and a good introduction to Jewish roots.

There's a few~
God bless,
Ed the slight renegade

"The Midrash Detective"

fsansone's picture

Thanks, Ed.

I appreciate your help here.

I also like the fact that you included some secular books that bear attention.