The summer is almost done and so is this interview series. Thanks all to the busy folks who took time to answer 18 questions about themselves, their books, and a few other interesting tidbits. I thought I’d finish this series by answering my own questions, not because there is anything special about my answers, but what’s good for the goose is good for the gander and all that jazz.
1. Where were you born? Chicago, Illinois
2. When did you become a Christian? I had the immense privilege of growing up in a Christian home, so I can’t think of a time when I didn’t know of Christ. I made profession of faith and joined the church when I was 9 years old.
3. Who is one well known pastor/author/leader who has shaped you as a Christian and teacher? There are three pastor-authors who have been especially influential. I think I’ve read most everything they’ve published: John Calvin, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper.
4. Who is one lesser known pastor/friend/mentor who has shaped you? I’ve learned a lot from my pastoral colleagues at URC, Ben Falconer and Jason Helopoulous, and from my predecessor at the church, Tom Stark.
5. What’s one hymn you want sung at your funeral? My Song Is Love Unknown, the way Fernando Ortega sings it.
6. What kind of nonfiction do you enjoy reading when you aren’t reading about theology, the Bible, or church history? Political Science and Economics
7. Other than Calvin’s Institutes, what systematic theology have you found most helpful? Francis Turretin’s Institutes of Elenctic Theology, for its remarkable influence on the Reformed tradition, for clarity of thought, and for comprehensive coverage of of almost every conceivable theological question.
9. What is one of your favorite non-Christian biographies? Paul Johnson’s little biography of Churchill is marvelous. Allen Guelzo’s book on Lincoln was also excellent. Do you like how I’m not sticking to the rules of my own questions by mentioning multiple books?
10. What is one of your favorite books on preaching? Martin Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers
11. What is one of your favorite books on evangelism? Michael Green, Evangelism in the Early Church
12. What is one of your favorite books on apologetics? G.K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
13. What is one of your favorite books on prayer? Ben Patterson, Deepening Your Conversation with God
14. What is one of your favorite books on marriage? Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
15. What is one of your favorite books on parenting? Brian Caplan, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. It’s not Christian in anyway, but provocative and full of good sense. For a good gospel-centered book on parenting I was helped by Shepherding a Child’s Heart
16. What music do you keep coming back to on your iPhone (or CD player, or tape deck, or gramophone)? Like most people, I have eclectic tastes, anything from oldies and contemporary Christian music to bluegrass and classical.
17. Favorite food? Chicago style deep dish pizza.
18. After the Bible, a hymnal, and a shipbuilding guide, what book would you want with you on a desert island? The Heidelberg Catechism