Mostly I’ve been working through some big history books in my spare time, but here are a few other books I’ve finished in the last month or so.
Rico Tice, Honest Evangelism: How to Talk about Jesus Even When It’s Tough (The Good Book Company, 2015). I try to regularly read books on prayer and evangelism, because both are so vital to Christian maturity and both are so difficult. The strength of this book is that Rico does lots of personal evangelism, and yet, he is very honest about how personal evangelism is still a struggle for him. A short book full of good encouragement.
Jonathan Edwards and the American Experience, edited by Nathan O. Hatch and Harry S. Stout (Oxford University Press, 1988). Of the writing of books on Jonathan Edwards there is no end. This book, however, even close to thirty years later, is still worth reading. More academic than inspirational, there are fine essays from an impressive array of Edwards scholars. I found the material on Edwards and the New Divinity to be especially helpful.
Thomas Sowell, Wealth, Poverty, and Politics: An International Perspective (Basic Books, 2015). If I haven’t read every Thomas Sowell book, I must be close. Sowell is a conservative African-American economist who writes about culture, politics, economics, and international politics in a way that is accessible and sometimes iconoclastic. This volume explore the reasons for economic prosperity among different peoples and in different places around the world.
David C. Steinmetz, Taking the Long View: Christian Theology in Historical Perspective (Oxford University Press, 2011). One of the most important historians of the past forty years, Steinmetz writes thoughtfully across a variety of disciplines and time periods. His address on the superiority of pre-critical exegesis is still worth reading and considering. Some of the chapters are better than others (to be expected in a compilation volume), but historians will find almost all of them interesting.
Matthew B. Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head: On Becoming an Individual in an Age of Distraction (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2015). The beginning and end of the book is a striking picture of, and protest against, our screen-addicted, noise-obsessed, de-personalizing dis-ease for silence, boredom, and engaging with the real world. In between are a lot of interesting chapters filled with philosophical musings, historical summaries, and one long section on building pipe organs. Maybe I lacked the attention to see how it all fit together, but I felt like most of the book didn’t quite scratch the itch Crawford highlighted in the opening pages. Good stuff throughout, but less about overcoming distraction than I thought.