Thursday, June 21, 2012

2012 Completed Challenge: Spring Reading Thing

What I Read For the Challenge:

1. The ESV and the English Bible Legacy. Leland Ryken.
2. Jesus, Our Man in Glory: 12 Messages from the Book of Hebrews. A.W. Tozer and Gerald B. Smith.
3. Knowledge of the Holy. A.W. Tozer. 
4. Gospel Centered Discipleship. Jonathan K. Dodson. Foreword by Matt Chandler. 2012. Crossway Books. 176 pages.
5. The Root of the Righteous: Tapping The Bedrock of True Spirituality. A.W. Tozer. 1955/2006. WingSpread Publishers. 186 pages.
6. The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine. A.W. Tozer 1948/2006. WingSpread Publishers. 70 pages
7. Nature of God (Formerly published as Gleanings in the Godhead). Arthur W. Pink. 1975/1999. Moody Publishers. 347 pages.
8. Letters To A Diminished Church: Passionate Arguments for the Relevance of Christian Doctrine. Dorothy Sayers. 2004. Thomas Nelson. 280 pages.
9. It is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement. Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence. 2010. Crossway. 224 pages.
10. Precious Blood: The Atoning Work of Christ. Edited by Richard D. Phillips. 2009. Crossway Books. 240 pages
11. The Explicit Gospel. Matt Chandler. 2012. Crossway Books. 240 pages.
12. Surprised by Grace. Tullian Tchividjian. 2010. Crossway. 192 pages.
13. Understanding the Big Picture of the Bible. Edited by Wayne Grudem, C. John Collins, Thomas R. Schreiner. Contributors: Vern S. Poythress, C. John Collins, Gordon Wenham, David Howard, David Reimer, Paul House, J. Julius Scott, Jr., David Chapman, John Delhousaye, Thomas R. Schreiner, Darrell Bock, Dennis Johnson. 2012. Crossway. 160 pages.
14. Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption. Katie Davis. 2011. October 2011. Howard Books. 288 pages.
15. Experiencing the Presence of God: Teachings from the Book of Hebrews. A.W. Tozer. 2010. Regal (Gospel Light) 224 pages.
16. God's Pursuit of Man. A.W. Tozer. 1950/2007. Wingspread. 140 pages.
17. The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Olivia Newport. 2012. Revell. 304 pages.
18. Retro-Christianity: Reclaiming the Forgotten Faith. Michael J. Svigel. 2012. Crossway Books. 320 pages.
19. The Lord is My Shepherd. (Psalm 23 Mysteries) Debbie Viguie. 2010. Abingdon Press. 320 pages. 
20. Jesus Is Victor: A Fresh Perspective on the Book of Revelation. A.W. Tozer. Compiled and Edited by Gerald B. Smith. 1989/2007. WingSpread Publishers. 143 pages.
21. Short-Straw Bride. Karen Witemeyer. 2012. Bethany House. 368 pages.
22. Mary Magdalene. Diana Wallis Taylor. 2012. Revell. 304 pages.

  • Did you finish reading all the books on your spring reading list? If not, why not?
My goal was to read twelve books: six fiction; six nonfiction. I ended up reading eighteen nonfiction books and only four fiction books! I just was not in the mood--apparently--to read historical romance. 
  • Did you stick to your original goals or did you change your list as you went along?
I definitely changed my list of books as I went along. I added a LOT more Tozer! And I never got to the oh-so-thick Spurgeon collection or the Torrey book on the Holy Spirit. But, I was happy with what I did get read. 
  • What was your favorite book that you read this spring? Least favorite? Why?
My favorite novel has to be Short-Straw Bride by Karen Witemeyer. I just thought it was giddy-making! I loved the romance. It was just too much fun!!! As for favorite nonfiction, I can narrow it down to three I suppose. Kisses From Katie by Katie Davis, The Explicit Gospel by Matt Chandler, and The Root of the Righteous by A.W. Tozer. 

Since I read so much nonfiction, I'm not sure it's fair to have a least favorite. All of what I read could benefit somebody--even if I don't count myself as the best possible intended audience. Some books were more relevant to me where I am in life, and others were not. For example, a few of the books I read were better suited for  pastors and elders and church leaders--those with authority to make decisions for a church body, etc. 
  • Did you discover a new author or genre this spring? Did you love them? Not love them?
Well, I'm not sure if I discovered this author during the challenge or just a couple of days before the challenge, but I certainly read A LOT of A.W. Tozer!!!! Before this spring, I'd not read any of his works, and I've now read a stack!!! And he's a great, great author--very zealous, very passionate, I highly recommend him!!! 

I also read Dorothy Sayer's nonfiction for the first time. I highly recommend her essays, "The Greatest Drama Ever Staged" and "Creed or Chaos." 
  • Did you learn something new because of Spring Reading Thing 2012 – something about reading, about yourself, or about a topic you read about?
I read a lot of nonfiction, and I probably learned something from each nonfiction book I read. Some being more beneficial than others, perhaps, but still each book proved worthy of reading. 

For example, here are my favorite quotes from A.W. Tozer's Knowledge of the Holy:

What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like. We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that composes the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God. (1)

That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. Compared with our actual thoughts about Him, our creedal statements are of little consequence. (2)
What is God like? What kind of God is He? How may we expect Him to act toward us and toward all created things? Such questions are not merely academic. They touch the far-in reaches of the human spirit, and their answers affect life and character and destiny. When asked in reverence and their answers sought in humility, these are questions that cannot but be pleasing to our Father which are in heaven. (13)
To be right we must think rightly of God. It is morally imperative that we purge from our minds all ignoble concepts of the Deity and let Him be the God in our minds that He is in His universe. The Christian religion has to do with God and man, but its focal point is God, not man. (35)
I think it might be demonstrated that almost every heresy that has afflicted the church through the years has arisen from believing about God things that are not true, or from overemphasizing certain true things so as to obscure other things equally true. To magnify any attribute to the exclusion of another is to head straight for one of the dismal swamps of theology; and yet we are all constantly tempted to do just that. (79)
We can hold a correct view of truth only by daring to believe everything God has said about Himself. It is a grave responsibility that a man takes upon himself when he seeks to edit out of God's self-revelation such features as he in his ignorance deems objectionable. (80)
  • What was your favorite thing about the challenge?

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible


Kristin said...

Wow...that's a pretty impressive list. I tend to read mostly fiction and have recently started reading a ton of historical fiction.

Have a great summer and if you get a chance, come check out my Spring Thing Wrap Up post.

Shonya said...

I had Tozer on my list and didn't get it read. You are rather inspiring me to go ahead and read it this summer!