During the summer I’ll be posting micro interviews on Fridays (mostly). I’ve asked some of my friends in ministry–friends you probably already know–to answer questions about “bio, books, and such.” My hope is that you’ll enjoy getting a few more facts about these folks and getting a few good book recommendations.
1. Where were you born? Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia
2. When did you become a Christian? Cape Town University, 1957
3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? John Stott with whom I lived for 5 years
4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? Francis Schaeffer (with whom I worked briefly) and Martyn Lloyd-Jones whose church I attended twice a week for some years.
5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? Biographies
7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? I like Bavinck’s Our Reasonable Faith as a brief statement; I still like Charles Hodge’s for a deeper statement; and I always read the relevant sections in Barth’s Church Dogmatics when beginning a project to get the wheels turning.
8. What are one or two of your favorite fiction authors or fiction books? I read widely and promiscuously. It is hard to nail down one or two.
9. What is one of your favorite non-Christian biographies? Well, Malcolm Muggeridge wrote his Chronicles of Wasted Time after he had become a Christian but he was writing the story of an unredeemed person. These are favorite volumes. Muggerridge was unable to complete the final volume—too painful.
10. What is one of your favorite books on preaching? Probably Stott’s Between Two Worlds.
11. What is one of your favorite books on evangelism? Most recently, I appreciated Jerram Barrs’s book.
12. What is one of your favorite books on apologetics? Schaeffer’s work—multiple books—in his own time. But times are a’changin’, as Dylan sang! In terms of understanding and method, I very much appreciate Os Guinness’ various books. There is not one in particular but I like his constant analysis of, and engagement with, the whole fabric of modern like from a specifically apologetic stance.
13. What is one of your favorite books on prayer? Undoubtedly, Valley of Vision.
14. What is one of your favorite books on marriage? Too late for books. I have been married 49 years!
15. What music do you keep coming back to on your iPhone (or CD player, or tape deck, or gramophone)? Bach and Beethoven’s violin concertos and, in particular, Bruch’s.
16. Favorite food? Scallops.
17. After the Bible, a hymnal, and a shipbuilding guide, what book would you want with you on a desert island? Probably Spurgeon’s (multi-volume) The Treasury of David.