On My Shelf is a new feature designed to help you get to know various people through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers. I corresponded with J. D. Greear, lead pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina, about what’s currently on his nightstand, books he re-reads, his favorite fiction, and more.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
Every Good Endeavor, Tim Keller
The President’s Club, Nancy Gibbes and Michael Duffy
What are you learning about life and following Jesus?
He is pure goodness, and there is no shadow of turning in him! As John Owen remarked, “The greatest insult you can give to God is to doubt his love.” In light of that love, then, we should seek his mighty saving power in our ministries for the sake of others and the glory of his great name.
“For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel: ‘Seek me and live; but do not seek Bethel, and do not enter into Gilgal; or cross over to Beersheba. . . . Seek the LORD and live!’” (Amos 5:4-6)
God’s greatest works aren’t simply a thing of the past; they’re a thing of the present. We can and should long to see the mighty work of God “in the land of the living” (Ps. 27:13).
What are some books you constantly re-read and why?
Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland Bainton. Luther’s soul struggle ministers to me personally, renewing the distinctiveness of the gospel refreshes me, and Luther’s courage in the face of opposition inspires me. This book is the full package.
The Reason for God by Tim Keller. Reviewing the basic apologetic questions of our culture is immensely helpful.
What books have most profoundly shaped how you serve and lead others for the sake of the gospel?
Preaching and Preachers, D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
The Prodigal God, Tim Keller
Here I Stand, Roland Bainton
Desiring God, John Piper
Let the Nations Be Glad, John Piper
A Praying Life, Paul Miller
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala
Becoming a Contagious Christian, Bill Hybels
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church, Mark Dever
When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert
Generous Justice, Tim Keller
What are your favorite fiction books?
The Historian, Elisabeth Kostova
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexander Dumas
Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
Dracula, Bram Stoker
Killer Angels, Michael Shaara (sort of fiction)