Friday, February 8, 2008

The music minister’s bookshelf

Kent Hughes, senior pastor emeritus of College Church in Wheaton, is probably the best reader of any preacher I am likely to have the privilege to work with. The man reads – his bookshelf, his list of books to yet to be read, and his reference to books in his sermons, is impressive, exemplary, and daunting.

He fostered here a culture of reading pastors. But I think none of us have come even close to his breadth, discipline and love of reading.

Here’s a quick peek at what is currently going in my reading stack. And when I say stack, you may take that very literally. Like many, I always have many books in progress simultaneously. Here goes:

Musicophilia (Oliver Sacks) – on music and the brain
The Whistling Season (Ivan Doig) – a beautifully written novel, set in turn of the century Montana
Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places (Eugene Peterson) – aside from the pastors I work with directly, I always look to Peterson for guidance in pastoral development. This Conversation in Spiritual Theology is already moving me as did Working the Angles, and A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.
Preach the Word – the festschrift volume in celebration of R. Kent Hughes
Around the World on a Bicycle (Thomas Stevens) – undoubtedly the first person to cycle around the world, this first-person account is the great-grandfather of cycling literature.
Praying the Lord’s Prayer (J. I. Packer) – while College Church is focused on prayer, and our evening services explore this model prayer by singing, preaching, and praying.

And did I mention stacks? As I attempt (yet again, and perpetually) to reorganize my office, I have made a full shelf available for “Books to be Read.” These are things I’ve bought that are in the queue to be next – whatever that may mean. But I think the one shelf is not going to hold them all.

Read on …

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