I’ve read some great books recently. Here are four that I enjoyed and I think you will as well.


G. K. Chesterton

Like Chesterton’s essays, his autobiography is all over the place. The narrative of Chesterton’s life is not what drives the book, but the ideas and insights he discovered during his sojourn on earth. Chesterton makes a sideways case for the truth of Christianity by appealing to the explanatory power of Christianity as seen in everyday experience.

Even the beginning of the book demonstrates the nature of truth and our trust in human testimony, which then sets the stage for believing in the church’s testimony to Christ:

“Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I could not test at the time by experiment or private judgment, I am firmly of opinion that I was born on the 29th of May, 1874, on Campden Hill, Kensington.”

The one-liners in this book come like butterflies, to the point you’re likely to swat them away in your attempt to keep on track with Chesterton’s overall point, or you’re content to finally sit down and watch the beauty of their fluttering. Some examples:

  • Nobody can correct anybody’s bias, if all mind is all bias.
  • With all possible apologies to the freethinkers, I still propose to hold myself free to think.
  • The principal objection to a quarrel is that it interrupts an argument.
  • There are some who complain of a man for doing nothing; there are some, still more mysterious and amazing, who complain of having nothing to do.


Why They Are Essential
N. T. Wright

In line with other books on the psalms (C. S. Lewis’ Reflections or Ben Patterson’s God’s Prayer Book, N. T. Wright encourages Christians to reclaim the prayer book of the Bible, not so we can master its contents, but so that we might inhabit the world we see in these ancient songs.

Many books on the psalms focus on the existential and emotional impact of seeing your feelings expressed by the psalmist. Not Wright. Though not denying the variety of emotions on display, Wright focuses his attention on the worldview of God’s people and the soul-shaping, mind-transforming power of these songs.

Organizing insights in relation to the biblical view of time, space, and matter, Wright has issued a challenge to a new generation: to take up the psalms in personal devotion and public worship, allowing their formative influence to have their full impact on us as God’s people.


Leif Enger

When I interviewed Andrew Peterson a couple months ago (part 1 and part 2), he recommended a novel that I had not heard of before. I downloaded Peace Like a River after our conversation and immediately dug in. This is a good work of fiction.

The character development is superb, starting with the Reuben – the asthmatic young man through whom we experience the world of 1962. Moments of suspense are combined with beautifully crafted passages and reflective moments that offer profound insight.

Based on the initial response to this book, I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it until now. Thanks, Andrew!


A Theology of the Church
Kendell H. Easley & Christopher Morgan

The church is not an afterthought in the plan and purposes of God. The glory of God in the formation of a missionary people who show and share the love of God is the goal of the gospel.

This book gives us a biblical theology of the church and offers insights into historical and contemporary concerns related to God’s people. The pastor or church leader who desires to keep the church at the forefront of their theology and practice will benefit from these essays.