Currently Reading: Everyday Church

Tim Chester and Steve Timmis - Everyday ChurchTim Chester and Steve Timmis’ book, Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission¹, reinforces an observation I’ve had for years about churches: plenty of them (particularly in the West) are growing not necessarily because of evangelism but because of the movement of Christians from one church to another—or in other words, transfer growth. This book is an attempt to stem the tide and bring the church back on point—to go and make disciples.

Chester and Timmis propose that we need new approaches to evangelism and discipleship especially in this post-Christian culture that we live in. And they believe that the best approach is in the context of genuine community—what the authors refer to as “everyday church”. This book will be helpful in shaping my idea of community as I engage in church planting this year.

¹Chester, Tim and Steve Timmis. Everyday Church: Gospel Communities on Mission. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2012.

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Currently Reading: Desiring God

John Piper - Desiring GodI was scavenging around our Manila home (where I’m currently on vacation) looking for something to read when I spotted my copy of John Piper’s, Desiring God¹. The pages of the book have started to brown—a sign of its old age. I don’t remember much about the book except for its excellent discussion on the sovereignty of God.

If I’m not mistaken, this is Piper’s most well-known work which was written in the mid-80s and has now spun off into websites and conferences. It’ll be good to re-read the book in light of the learnings and experiences I’ve had since I first read it years ago.

¹Piper, John. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist. Sisters, Oregon: Multnomah Publishers, Inc., 2003.

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Currently Reading: Outliers

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Malcolm Gladwell - OutliersI’ve always wanted to read one of Malcolm Gladwell’s books. My dad was reading one of his books the other day and I decided to borrow it when he was done. Outliers: The Story of Success¹ is a compelling discussion on the factors that lead to success. Where many people believe that success is solely a matter of individual merit, Gladwell proposes otherwise showing that more factors are involved in the process. Gladwell shows that factors such as extraordinary opportunity coupled with the 10,000-hour rule bring about a kind of success that not everybody is able to attain. Outliers is quickly becoming one of the fastest books I’ve read and it’s reshaping my notion of what brings about success.

Do take note, however, that success is seen quite differently in the eyes of heaven and in the eyes of the world. The two realms oftentimes collide with each other. Nonetheless, the book is an interesting excursion into the subject matter.

¹Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers: The Story of Success. New York, NY: Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

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Currently Reading: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Charles Duhigg - The Power of HabitHaving studied management in university, I’ve become accustomed to reading books on leadership, business, marketing, and productivity. These topics interest me greatly and business books comprise the largest chunk of material that I read at home. Why would a pastor read books on management? You’ll have to tell me. Last night, I began reading The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business¹ by Charles Duhigg. It’s hard to miss the bright yellow jacket that envelopes the book and the natural interest that is sparked with just the simple word, habit.

The premise of the book is simple. Our lives are filled with numerous habits that came into place over a period of time. The book explores how those habits came to be, how they operate, and the possibilities of shaping habits to change ourselves in positive ways. After reading the preface of the book last night, I found myself itching to get to the first chapter. However, my sleeping habits beckoned me to put the book down in lieu of an early meeting the next day.

¹Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Canada: Doubleday Canada, 2012.

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Currently Reading: Jesus the King by Timothy Keller

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Timothy Keller - Jesus the KingI’ve been feeling lightheaded lately with all the “light” reading that I’ve been doing these past several weeks. And so I went to the local bookstore and picked up a book to move me towards more theological thinking. I picked up Timothy Keller’s Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God¹. On the back cover, we find that Newsweek had called Keller a “C. S. Lewis for the twenty-first century” and this particular work of his does not disappoint. I’ve read a third of the book now and it’s an excellent mix of theological formation and spiritual nourishment. The book moves through the gospel of Mark recounting the life of Jesus with deep theological insights and pastoral counsel for personal application. Keller’s writing is surprisingly easy to follow (it’s my first book by the author) but is in no way an indication of a lack of deep content. If you want to broaden your understanding of the gospels’ theology, cultural references, and implications, then this book is an excellent starting point.

¹Keller, Timothy. Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God. New York, NY: Riverhead Books, 2011.

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