Category: Theology

Books I’m Currently Using in Ministry

Here are a few books I am using in ministry this Fall. They are all good books but the * indicates an exceptional book:

Hermeneutics Class

Biblical Theology in the Life of the Church

How to Read the Bible for All it’s Worth

How to Read the Bible as Literature


Imagining the Kingdom*

Readers Greek New Testament**



Elder Training

The Ministry of the Spirit-filled Church

The Pastors Justification

Gospel Eldership


Overcoming Sin & Temptation*


How I Prepare a Sermon

It was a lot of fun to sit down with my friend John Chandler & SermonSmith as we discussed how I go about preparing sermons.

In the interview, I kind of sound like I just smoked a joint (although I never have). I’m so relaxed and chill, probably because I’m not passionate about the preaching process, and would rather talk about actual preaching or just preach. I really do like my process, really, and I think there will be some helpful things to others, but in the end everyone has to form their own process. John knows this, and it’s why he is exposing his listeners to so many different types of preachers.

Here are few highlights that John pulled out that we discussed:

  • Weekly rhythms for sermon prep
  • Relational work of a pastor
  • The Value of Reading Fiction for preaching
  • Lectio Divina & Preparation

Reading the Bible with Jesus

I am teaching Christ-centered Interpretation: Reading the Whole Bible with Jesus for for the third time in our church’s short history. I never weary of this course. It sharpens my interpretive skills, sweetens communion with God, and strengthens my confidence in the power and relevance of God’s Word for everyday life.

We began the course by thinking about Why we Should Read Well, Obstacles to Reading Well, and a Christ-centered, Trinitarian Approach to reading the Bible well. We’re recording the audio, so that should be up at the City Life Church podcast, in case you’re interested. A few stand out quotes:

People read for three reasons: entertainment, information, and understanding. Most people never reach understanding. – Mortimer Adler

“Intellectual honesty consists not in enforcing an impossible neutrality, but in recognizing that neutrality is not possible.” – J. I. Packer

If Jesus isn’t biased about Jesus being the ultimate point of the text, then he’s not Jesus.

Why Beliefs Are not Enough

UnknownMuch of our action is not “pushed” by ideas or conclusions; rather, it grows out of our character and is in a sense “pulled” out of us by our attraction to a telos. If we…are going to be “prime citizens” of the kingdom of God who act in the world as agents of renewal and redemptive culture-making, then it is not enough to equip our intellects to merely think rightly about the world. We also need to recruit our imaginations.

– James K. A. Smith, Imagining the Kingdom