I think it's safe to say that once you've read a book about reading, you are officially a citizen of Nerd-ville. Well, I did (read one), so I guess I am (a citizen). So what??? 🙂
I used to never read unless I was required to, which didn't happen unless I was in school (and often, not even then). About a year-and-a-half after I became a Christian, I started my first semester at Williams Baptist College. That semester I took both Old and New Testament Survey and read nearly the entire Bible in a semester. Every semester was reading intensive, and I developed a love for reading and learning, which has continued now for nearly two years after graduation, after I'm no longer required to read.
This love for reading led me to Tony Reinke's book, Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books. Reinke gives some excellent advice about reading, such as how to set reading priorities, how to make the most of your reading time, and tips for marking and highlighting in books. He gives advice about reading fiction and other genres and discusses the role of worldview when it comes to reading. If you want to become a better reader or if you want to start reading, give this book a shot.
Most (but not all) of the “gospel” preaching that I have heard in my short time as a Christian has been mostly about a transaction (i.e., you give God faith in Jesus and he will give you salvation; eternal life; forgiveness…) or an avoidance of something bad (i.e., God's wrath; eternity in hell). Rarely have I heard the gospel presented as good news about a restored relationship with a loving, self-giving God. Darrell Bock seeks to buck this trend in Recovering the Real Lost Gospel: Reclaiming the Gospel as Good News. A quote from the introduction will give you an excellent idea of what Bock is trying to communicate in this book:
The gospel starts with a promise: a relationship in the Spirit. It is pictured as a meal and a washing: the Lord's Table and baptism. It is rooted in a unique action supplying a unique need: the cross. It is inaugurated as a gift that is the sign of the arrival of the new era: Pentecost. It is affirmed in divine action and Scripture: God working uniquely and inseparably through Jesus. It is embraced in a turn that ends in faith: invoking the name of Jesus. It involves a different kind of power and is designed to be a way of life: reconciliation and the power of God unto salvation. (5)
Bock unpacks all of these ideas as chapters in the book. This is a short, accessible read that will give you a more comprehensive look at the gospel than most of us are used to. Although the book goes into more detail, the video below will give you a glimpse of some of the ideas you will find in the book.