Posted by: Ed | May 21, 2008

What Are You Reading these days?

I thought it would be fun to give you an idea of what I’m currently reading. I like the way my friend Mark Arant let us in on his reading list (fun blog by the way – check it out at ) Here’s a pic of all my friends laid out on the table in my office.
Some of my friends
Clockwise from the top:
POWER HEALING by John Wimber. Status: Finished
I love the self-effacing manner of this great man of God who I believe history will show has had a monumental effect on the church. He lays out a wonderful overview of Healing ministry in the scripture. Then he gives an utterly practical model (praxis) of how to not only pray for healing, but how to see it happen in one’s church. This is an area that I’m thinking a lot about right now.

THE WORKS OF JOSEPHUS (5 VOL) by… duh. Status: I’ll be reading this the rest of 08.
One of the things that I’ve tried to do through the years is to deliberately read those things that I really SHOULD read, or have read, a little at a time. This is how I read through the Qur’an – about 20 pages a week for a bunch of months. Josephus is one of our most important sources for what we know about the sitz em leben (historical life setting) of Jesus.

THE VAGABOND VIRGINS by Ken Kuhlken. Status: about 30%.
Ken goes to Journey & was kind enough to give me a copy of his latest book. It’s a novel set in San Diego about 20 years ago. So far I love it!

THE SHACK by William P. Young. Status: finished in my last desert time.
You GOT TO READ this book. More later.

CHANGED by Michalene Fredenburg. Status: Finished
I read this whole book in conjunction for prepping last weekends message. This is a VERY IMPORTANT BOOK. I’m going to blog on it this week. I promise!

ALOHA SURF GUIDE by Rusty K Farrell
Rusty has become a friend of mine due to sheer number of people I’ve sent his way for a surf lesson. He’s a great surfer, really nice guy & a great teacher. For my mid-western pals, looking through this book might help when you feel like its been too long since you’ve seen the ocean.

LISTENING TO THE LANGUAGE OF THE BIBLE by Lois Tverberg & Bruce Okkema . Status: Finshed
This is fun little book that those of you who are doing a lot of teaching might want to buy. It takes various central Hebrew words & phrases & gives a little insight into what they meant. It’s not really a “Theological Dictionary” it’s more devotional in nature.

On Deck:

The Myth of a Christian Nation by Greg Boyd
Based on a series that grew his church from 5000 to about 2500 (I may have the numbers wrong, but lots of folks left over this series). How can you not want to read this? Trevor Ford, a former Fresno homie is now on staff at this church and sent me this book & the sermon series CDs. If I ever write up an “all time favorites” book list, there will be a couple of his books on the list.

The Reason for God by Tim Keller
Tim is one of those really smart pastors. He is the pastor of a growing & very dynamic church right in the heart of Manhattan, that is reaching a lot of people that most of us not only don’t know how to reach but are scared of.

Send The Light by Jon DePriest.
Jon goes to our church & gave me a copy of this book that is a based on his doctoral dissertation. I love reading of God at work & trying to learn how we need to get in line with what He wants to do today. If you think about it, the lion share of the Bible is history.
The Kingdom Triangle by J.P. Moreland (not pictured)
This is actually on the top of the stack. It’s supposedly a groundbreaking book so several of us are reading it. I’ll write on this later.

“So when do you have time to read all this stuff?” Believe it or not, I only set aside 20-30 minutes of non message prep reading per day. I read this tip from John Piper in his book to pastors called, Brothers, We Are Not Professionals (you’re like – “you’re telling me!!!”). Anyway this was one of his tips. He sets aside three 20 minute reading times per day aside from any specific message prep. I do at least one. I’m surprised by how much you can read if you just do a little every day. Sometimes I’ll set aside larger blocks, but mostly this is it.

Can you do maybe 5 minutes per day to read something that will grow your mind or heart?

BTW – Laker v. Spurs tonight! I’ll be praying!



  1. Just looking at all that makes me stressed.
    I’ve got some good ones for the future if you haven’t already gone there.
    The Papa Prayer Larry Crabb
    Captivating Staci Eldredge
    Waking the Dead John Eldredge
    Walking with God John Eldredge
    All so awesome and life changing.
    On deck…
    Soul Talk Larry Crabb
    Changed Fredenburg
    The Sacred Romance John Eldredge
    As you can see just a little obsessed with Eldredge and Ransomed Heart Ministries right now.
    C U at the gym.

  2. I too am reading The Shack, Power Healing, and
    Changed…kind of a weird combo. Glad to see that they received the “both thumbs up” from you. I’m also pleased to see I”m not the only one who reads more than one book at a time!
    C U at church.

  3. Ed, thanks for this post. Not just for the plug, but because this is why blogging is so worth it for you to do…

    Exhibit A: Mark (and who knows how many other readers) being challenged to read good books.

    Exhibit B: Mark cracking up when reading your blog

    Don’t underestimate the importance of B. I needed something to laugh about tonight.

    Keep it comin’!

  4. Whatever prayer you said for the Lakers worked. Please say the same one tonight!!! Go Lakers!!!

  5. Great blog! Thanks for taking the time to share what God is doing in your life and what He is put on your heart! Thanks for being so open and sharing what God is doing through you! A friend who used to go to Journey who know lives in the middle of nowhere in Ohio! Thanks again

  6. Great idea to find out what everyone’s reading and challenge us all to read more! Like you I am always reading and usually have 3-4 on the burner at all times: I just finished The Future War of the Church by Chuck Pierce, Read the Prayer Saturated Church by Cheryl Sacks prior to that, in process on The Presence Based Church by Terry Teykl and getting ready to start Power Healing by John Wimber. C U at Church

  7. Thanks everyone for the comments. I loved what some of you did starting w/ Ginna in sharing your own current reading list. Why don’t anyone else that feels like chiming in share what you are reading. I think that would be cool.

    Tim – yes that was some prayer! May the Lord do so & MORE tonight!

    Shalom lachem,


  8. I’m reading “Odd Girl Out” and “The Great Omission”. I recently saw the documentary “Forever Young” out in Hillcrest. Great little film.

  9. With four kids, it seems like it takes me forever to finish anything – let alone an entire book!
    However, I am determined to press on. My current list includes:

    Running Scared: Fear, Worry & the God of Rest

    Faith Undone


    Prince Caspian

    … and a random assortment of others which usually include the words “pirate,” “princess,” or “truck” somewhere in the title …

  10. As God is moving me in a new direction and working on the sweet spot:

    Eusebuis, The History of the Early Church, from Christ to Constantine

    The Ante- Nicene Fathers Vol. 1

    The Urban Christians in the First Century.

  11. Emily, so great to hear from you!
    Is “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” on the list?


    I love seeing people reading the patristic writers. Old books RULE!


  12. I beg to differ that “the Shack” is a must read–personally, I hope that we don’t hear more about it at Journey. Just for starters…

    It’s spewing Universal Reconciliation.

    It presents Almighty God as female.

    It equates Almighty God with a pagan deity.


    I don’t what to make of your endorsement of this.

  13. Deborah,

    No need to beg to differ :-) Feel free to differ.
    I am posting a couple of entries on The Shack. The 2nd one will answer some of your objections.

    Have you read the book or read about it or both?


  14. Hey Ed,

    Thought I’d read the book based on your blurb back on May 21. I will eventually read Marko’s review and probably some others, altho I generally don’t generally read reviews of anything ( cause I never agree!). I found this book too much of a novel; not reading for baby Christians or seekers.

    Frankly it was kind of gut-wrenching for me; I believe the Bible is literal, and purposed for my edification. So, my first jolt was Papa (reminded me of a jolly Hattie McDaniels–the sterotyped black woman). I don’t get the point of injecting femininity into the personality of the Godhead. Biblically, the Trinity is presented as male–don’t think there are any references in scripture for anything but maleness. Whether I like it or not, mini-feminist that I am, God in three persons is specifically telling us “male”. As you know that is addressed in more depth.

    Secondly, the idea of God being unable to love without a trinity, or because of the fact of trinity? Where’s that taught in scripture? God is Love, no matter if He presented Himself as one, two or three or ten, Love is his inherent nature, not as a construct of the congregation.

    Again, I realize it’s a novel, but as a “Christian” product it ought to at the very least give salvation by faith it’s full importance, doncha think? It’s wishy-washy in this: in the book, Jesus wants to get with you in your transformation into God’s children? (Don’t have the exact quote handy). How about: I am the Way, the Truth and the Life and no one comes to the Father but by Me? The real Jesus grabs us up the moment we submit–it’s not a partnership, it’s a blood covenant. I could go on…as you can tell, it bumped my blood pressure up a notch.

    Last, I’m not and haven’t ever been angry at God, so Mack’s angst is lost on me and therefore the point of the book is null. The author doesn’t impress me with his lack of Christian theology and I say the book wasted my time. Bo-ring!

  15. D,

    The latest post will respond to most of your concerns. I’m sure you will be hearing lots more about this book since lots of people at Journey & all over the place are reading it including most of the pastors.

    I don’t address your question about the necessity of the triunity of God for God to be love. This was CRITICAL to the early church fathers.

    Check out this article by Francis Beckwith


  16. Ed,

    Thanks very much for the link to Beckwith, love dialoging, will continue some research; think I’ll stick to prophecy, no novels. BTW, I have now read Marko’s review as well as many others (shudder).

    (…slinks back into cave full of scrolls and earthen jars…)


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