My Beach Reading List
Don’t you just love vacations to the beach? Warm (but not sweltering!) weather, soft (sometimes too hot) sand, gently rolling waves (which today weren’t even large enough to boogie board), and one of my favorite parts of a vacation to the beach: lots of reading! My wife, Abi, and I are staying at a condo this week for a much-needed vacation with my parents and younger brother (and, of course, Mr. Darcy!), and when I packed my “fun” backpack for this beach trip, all I packed in it were my Bible, the laptop I’m using to write this post, and four books. These are the books I’ll be sifting through in the coming days (and weeks, probably), and my reflections on each of them will be featured in upcoming blog posts:
- Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ, by Russell D. Moore. This book offers an in-depth look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness with great attention given to how we can apply his triumph over temptation in our lives as Christians.
- Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child’s Teen Years, by Mark Gregston. I recently signed up for BookSneeze’s Blogger Review Program. In return for honestly reviewing this book published by Thomas Nelson Publishing, I get to keep it for FREE! I’m really excited to read this book not only because I’ll have a teen of my own in fourteen and a half years, but because other bloggers who had reviewed this book were in the same boat I’m in (youth ministers who don’t have teenagers of their own yet) and said it was a really helpful read.
- God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution, by Thomas S. Kidd. My parents got me this book for Christmas last year, and I’m looking forward to finally reading it. I’m a history major at Alabama, and I’m going to seminary once I graduate, so any time I can read about Christianity and history simultaneously I get really excited. I’m especially looking forward to the chapter on the Great Awakening that preceded the American Revolution.
- Enthroned on Our Praise: An Old Testament Theology of Worship, by Timothy M. Pierce. This book was one of my purchases at this year’s Together for the Gospel conference. It’s part of the NAC Studies in Bible & Theology series, and this book looked very interesting when I glanced through its table of contents. Since reading God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment, biblical theology has been a theological subject that I’ve wanted to read more in. (Also at Together for the Gospel, I purchased G. K. Beale’s We Become What We Worship: A Biblical Theology of Idolatry, but I didn’t bring that book with me to the beach because of its length and because I wanted to be able to read it at a slower pace than these books, which I believe will be ever so slightly “lighter” reads.) So I’m very excited to read this book about worship, not only because it will be edifying to read about worship in the Old Testament but also because, judging by the table of contents, Pierce helps relate the various parts of the Old Testament together, which I’m sure will help my understanding of the Old Testament.
In the Bible I’m currently reading through the book of Isaiah. I’m at chapter 55, so who knows? Maybe once I finish Isaiah I’ll have a post or two about what I’ve learned (or rediscovered) in it.
The beach is a place for fun and relaxation, which for me personally doesn’t just include playing in the sand; swimming in the ocean; and seeing how much shrimp, peanut cake, and ice cream I can eat without committing the sin of gluttony… the fun of the beach, for me, also includes the increased time to read God’s Word and other edifying books. I think it’s fitting that the last lesson I taught from John before coming on vacation was about, in part, how the Old Testament anticipates, and shows us our need of, Jesus! One important part of my prayer for this vacation is the Psalmist’s prayer: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law” (119:18). May God reveal more to me of his Word, and thus increase my love for him, as I read these edifying books in the coming days! (And may God help me reflect on these books in a way that will be helpful to those who read my blog!)