I had the privilege to attend The Gospel Coalition conference this week in Orlando.  As you know, buying books at conferences is usually a good idea in order to take advantage of big discounts.  As I was browsing through the bookstore, I started a short summer reading list that I thought I would pass along.  As you think about this summer, you should set goals in order to help you read what you want and what you need at the same time.  Now is the time to start thinking about your summer reading plan.

Openness Unhindered by Rosaria Butterfield.  I plan on reading this book this summer as I continue to think about how to reach those who are not like me.  Often our bubble is so closed off to people who are quite different than we are, and Rosaria Butterfield helped me think through that in her book, Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.  According to the publisher, “Rosaria Butterfield, once a leftist professor in a committed lesbian relationship and now a confessional Christian, but always the thoughtful and compassionate professor, has written a followup to The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. This book answers many of the questions people pose when she speaks at universities and churches, questions not only about her unlikely conversion to Christ but about personal struggles that the ques­tioners only dare to ask someone else who has traveled a long and painful journey.”

Who Is Jesus by Greg Gilbert.  I received a copy at The Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando, and after reading, I plan to give it away to someone who doesn’t know Jesus.  Although this book is not intended to be a deep theological study, it will be a great resource to help introduce friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to who Jesus actually is.

Rejoicing In Christ by Michael Reeves.  If you are unfamiliar with Michael Reeves, he is an author, theologian, historian and professor who teaches at Wales Evangelical School of Theology (WEST) and is the director of Union, a WEST initiative that puts the theological academy back in the local church context. His book, The Unquenchable Flame was very good, and I intend to give Rejoicing In Christ a read this summer as I desire to know more about Jesus and His work as God who took on human flesh.

What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung.  This book is designed for a diverse group consisting of the skeptic and the Sunday school teacher.  What does the Bible actually say about this lightening rod subject that has swept across our culture.  Kevin DeYoung is a gifted author and I plan to read this book this summer as I continue to think critically about how I should engage and evangelize the homosexual with the gospel of Christ in a manner that honors God.  I am worlds apart from the homosexuality in many ways, but I’m not unlike the homosexual in the sense that I’m a sinner too.  Therefore, I desire to continue thinking about this issue that all Christians here in America need to spend time thinking through.

One God in Three Persons edited by Bruce Ware and John Starke.  This book consists of several contributors who help provide precise theological clarity upon the doctrine of the Trinity.  As I plan and prepare for the 2016 G3 Conference on the Trinity, I will be reading this book in my preparation time this summer.  This book provides a biblical view of the Trinity and rejects the egalitarianism that often comes through the lens of the liberal feminist culture. 

Inheritance of Tears by Jessalyn Hutto.  As a man and husband who has been through this with my wife several times, miscarriage is a difficult pain that only those who experience it can relate.  After walking this path with my wife, I have come to know many people who have likewise experienced the confusion and discouragement of miscarriage.  This book would be a great resource for the church library and anyone who knows someone who has gone through the complexities of miscarriage.  “When a woman becomes pregnant, miscarriage is usually the furthest thing from her mind. Such was the case for Jessalyn Hutto when she became pregnant with her first baby. But as is all too common in our post-fall world, the life she carried came to an abrupt end. Death had visited her womb, and the horrors of miscarriage had become a part of her life’s story.”

Logic on Fire – The Life and Legacy of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Media Gratiae.  Released at The Gospel Coalition conference in Orlando after a world debut presentation, this film does an excellent job of putting the life and ministry of Lloyd-Jones on display in a documentary style.  J. I. Packer once commented that the preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones came to him with the “force of an electric shock.”  Why was this the case?  Because Lloyd-Jones had a firm fixed commitment to the preaching of God’s Word by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He was not content to allow the culture to dictate the direction of his pulpit.  God grew his church without the schemes of man and the entertainment culture.  This film would be a great gift to any pastor and a wonderful asset to the church library.

Peruse a good book several times and make notes and analyses of it. A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed. Little learning and much pride comes from hasty reading.”  ~ Charles Spurgeon