Posted by: Alex | May 8, 2011

Lining Up for the Start

We are soon to get underway with our reading project for the summer.  Here is our list as it stands now in the order than I intend to read:

For Some Background:

Collin Hansen, Young, Restless, Reformed

Robert E. Webber, The Younger Evangelicals

The Big Players:

John Piper, Desiring God

Donald Miller, Blue Like Jazz

Marc Driscoll, Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe

Brian McLaren, A Generous Orthodoxy and A New Kind of Christianity

Theological Method:

Stanley Grenz, Renewing the Center

Millard Erickson, Reclaiming the Center


Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be

Rachel Held Evans, Evolving in Monkey Town

Recent and/or Controversial:

John Piper, The Future of Justification

NT Wright, Justification

Rob Bell, Love Wins

David Platt, Radical

A Mediating Voice:

Andrew Byers, Faith Without Illusions

A few notes:

First, I have tried as much as possible to set this up so that we are alternating between Neo-Reformed and Emerging writers.

Second, I have two McLaren books on here because there is, as I understand it, a major shift that happens in his thought and I thought it might be good to read something from both sides of that shift.

Third, the books listed under “Recent and/or Controversial” are tentative.  We will read them if we have time this summer.

Fourth, I am finishing this with a book by a very good friend of mine- Andy Byers.  Andy, I think, would not want to be considered either “Neo-Reformed” or “Emerging.”  He sees himself as forming a kind of mediating voice between these two camps, and I think that kind of a voice is a good thing for us to end this study with.  Also, I have started reading his book already (I couldn’t wait), and its great!

Excited to see how this goes!

Do you have any further recommendations for books we should read this summer?

Have you read any of these books already?  What did you think of them?



  1. I have read Desiring God in the past and really enjoyed it. It was one of the books that God used to awaken a vision of Jesus in me that I saw lacking within my own church tradition. Jesus is bigger and more awesome than we made him out on Sunday morning as we begged people to come down front and pray the prayer. That book, as well as a generous amount of Scripture, changed my view of Jesus and my Christian life. I look forward to reading your comments on it. It, in a way, is the Reformed manifesto (outside the Bible of course). I recommend it often and have given my past copies away to people in need. It is thoroughly reformed but also thoroughly biblical. There are not many pages where Piper is not utilizing Scripture.
    I knew a guy who’s marriage crumbled before his eyes and he did not know what to do in his Christian walk. He was my guitar playing buddy who I grew to love and appreciate. But, when life got hard, there was no ballast in his ship and the harsh winds of a broken world were ripping his sails to shreds. I talked and talked with the man at length. Within our conversations, I ended up giving him my copy of Desiring God. God used it to help him. You may find yourself in disagreement with it, but at least we can appreciate it’s place it has had in people’s lives.
    I am reminded of something I read by Tozer. He said “Why does today’s Christian find the reading of great books always beyond him? Certainly intellectual powers do not wane from one generation to another. We are as smart as our fathers, and any thought they could entertain we can entertain if we are sufficiently interested to make the effort. The major cause of the decline in the quality of current Christian literature is not intellectual but spiritual. To enjoy a great religious book requires a degree of consecration to God and detachment from the world that few modern Christians have. The early Christian Fathers, the Mystics, the Puritans, are not hard to understand, but they inhabit the highlands where the air is crisp and rarefied, and none but the God-enamored can come.” I commend you in your endeavor. Keep us posted!

    • Thanks for the encouraging remarks, Austin! Look forward to reading the book and writing about it and also very much looking forward to engaging with others here about the books I read and things I write.

      Hope all is well. Praying for everyone in Alabama as the clean-up and recovery continues. Wish I was there to help!

  2. […] summer we attempted a pretty ambitious reading project on major books reflecting both the “emerging” wing of evangelicalism and the “neo-reformed” […]

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