Someone recommend me a book

Help! I’m out of books to read. I know many of you are avid readers, and was hoping you could give me some good recommendations. Anything in the realm of…
  • mission
  • theology
  • church
  • community
  • leadership
  • culture
  • gospel
First book to grab my attention wins a free breakfast at Cajun Kitchen.
I’m serious.
Offer only applies if you come to Carpinteria, and you have to discuss the book with me!
What influential books have you read recently?

About Lazo

Lazo is the pastor for preaching and vision at Reality SB. He is committed to spreading the worth of Jesus in Santa Barbara, through the expository preaching of God's Word. You might like these blog posts, 5 Wrong Ways To Comfort Hurting People or An Orthodoxy That Breathes

Posted on June 16, 2011, in personal, reading and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. The best book that I read this year is The Deep Things of God by Fred Sanders. A truly well written and engaging book about the Trinity and all the riches that are ours because of God’s deep Trinitarian joy. On multiple occasions I would put the book down and just say, “Wow! God is amazing, I never thought of that!”

    You can read a review of it here:
    and get it on amazon here:

    • Mike, thanks man. I’ll look into that book. I love a good book on the Godhead. Is it a practical treatment of the Trinity, or more of an academic theology book?

  2. Lazo, have you read Rees Howells Intercessor by Norman Grubb? I’m recommeding it to everybody; Sue Kasmar recommended it to me. I’m only a quarter through the book and I’ve gained a LOT of insight. He was led by the Holy Spirit into becomming a powerful intercessor; to the point that his prayers changed the course of world events.
    Wouldn’t it be amazing if all Christians found the key to prevailing prayer like Rees Howells?

  3. Radical and Radical Together by David Platt.
    Red Letters: Living a Faith that Bleeds by Tom Davis.
    Spurgeon on Prayer and Spiritual Warfare.
    And, I’m not sure these two would fit into your categories, and would be super “easy” reading for you, but are worth mentioning just in case you haven’t read them: Hind’s Feet on High Places and Mountains of Spices by Hannah Hurnard. (Quite possibly my favorite aside from God’s Word because of the beautiful relational picture of our relationship with Jesus…. Deep theology disguised in easy to read, allegorical beauty. ) =)
    And this is not a book, but Tim Keller has a Study Guide (lots of reading) w/ DVDs called Gospel in Life that we are really enjoying at our house. It is intended for a small group, but is working well for just me and my Hubby too.
    These two also don’t fit into the mentioned categories, but I sure wish I had read them before I had kids: Shepherding a Child’s Heart and Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp. Obviously written with parenting in mind, but have great implications for other relationships.
    I can’t wait to see what else shows up on this list!!

    • Wow, great selection Lisa. Thank you! I read Platt’s books—amazing.
      Red Letters sounds interesting. I’m assuming it is in the same category as Radical?

  4. Hey Lazo
    I would highly recommend Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Eric Metaxas. I know that it is a very thick book, but I am telling you, you will be really blessed as you read through it.
    One other one would be Why Revival Tarries by Leonard Ravenhill

    • Oooh, I keep seeing that book on peoples web-lists. I will definitely check in to that one. I read most books by Ravenhill. He makes me want to be a better man

      • I am telling you. It is a great one. Both my wife and I have read it. Trust me on this one. Although I am not at reality carp, I would still love to talk to you about it!

  5. The Jesus Of Suburbia by Mike Erre

  6. Hi Chris, have you ever read “Surprised by the power of the Holy Spirit” by Jack Deere? It is a testimonial book by a Dallas Theological Professor who is changed by God and The Holy Spirit and shares his life while God is working through and in Him. Derek

    • Derek, I’ve never heard of that book. I’m always interested in broaden my horizons. I’ll have to look into that one. Thank you!

  7. The Attributes of God by Arthur W. Pink just wrecked me in the best way possible.

  8. The Kneeling Christian – Unknown Author

  9. I recommend Lord Teach Us to Pray by Andrew Murray. It’s phenomenal!

  10. Not trying to be clever or appear ‘super-spiritual’ or anything but I would just say the Gospel of John. With obvious respect to the three other gospel accounts… as I read through the book of John, I’m convinced that there is not a more mission-minded, theology-driven, church-leading, community-inspiring, leadership-showing, culture-changing, gospel-centered Gospel than the Book of John. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love books as well; from that wonderful new book smell to the excitement that awaits as to what God has shown that individual author regarding the indicative of who God is in His character and nature to the imperative of what action it should lead us to as Christians… but all that said, the Gospel of John speaks to those things in a manner that is much greater in richness & depth and is itself (as a part of the inspired Word of God), what the authors of such wonderful books use as their springboard to write about. Cuttin’ out the middle man so to speak ha! But that’s just my two cents! Blessings! And thanks for the blog, it’s a total blessing to me. Eric

    • Thanks Eric. Well said! You’re right about John encapsulating all of those elements. We’re going through the Gospel of John at Adorn, and come to think of it…that’s probably why I’m so engrossed with those topics
      Thanks for the comment.

  11. Here’s what I have read recently or am about to read:

    Tempted and Tried by Russell D. Moore. Excellent in-depth look at the temptation of Christ in the wilderness and the similar techniques that the enemy tailors to each of us. I’d say this is a must read for anyone in ministry.

    Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machan. A classic discussion written 90 years ago that prophetically discerns trends that have become entrenched realities today.

    The Next Story: Life and Faith After the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies. A relevant discussion of the effect of technology on our lives as Christians by a leading blogger, now turned pastor.

    The Camel: How Muslims are Coming to Faith in Christ by Kevin Greeson. Presents a somewhat controversial evangelistic approach that uses redemptive analogies in the Koran to reach Muslims with the gospel. Thought provoking and hopeful.

    Revival by Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Heart searching meditations delivered on the 100th anniversary of the Great Welsh Revival centered around prayers in the Old Testament that brought God’s blessing and led to revival.

    • I can always count on you for great, deep reads, Helen. All of those look so good. I’m gravitating towards Revival by Lloyd-Jones, having read his book on Preaching, and accounts of the Welsh revival. It would be interesting to find out how Lloyd-Jones reacted to the near ignorance of the word of God during that great revival, considering he was such a passionate expositor. It took him twelve years to preach through Romans, and he died before he could finish!
      Thank you, Helen.

  12. The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation by Brad Young

    This book totally unlocked some of the questions that hang in the air regarding various parables as well as dispelled some perpetuated misinterpretations and therefore misapplications of some of the principles taught in the parables of Jesus.

    It’s pretty enlightning to hear the parables from a first century, rural Jewish context.

    • Jake, I knew you had some goodies up your sleeve.
      I normally shy away from rabbinic readings of the New Testament, but since it’s you, I’ll look more in to it

  13. i’ll skip some recommendations i know you have already read, and give you the following…

    For Theological:
    -The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross by Leon Morris
    For Bigraphy:
    -Take Your Glory Lord The Biography of William Duma by Mary Garnett
    -The Life of Trust Autobiography by George Muller
    -The Life and Diary of David Brainerd with commentary by Jonathan Edwards
    -A Retrospect an Autobiography of Hudson Taylor
    For Comfort:
    -Bruised Reed and Smoking Flax by Richard Sibbes
    -A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller
    For Prayer:
    -Rees Howells Intercessor by Norman Grubb
    -The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray
    -Why Revival Tarries By Leonard Ravenhill
    -Power Through Prayer by EM Bounds
    For ripping your face off:
    -The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink
    -The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
    For Preaching:
    -The Romance of Preaching by Charles Silvester Horne

    and I am about to get in the mail a book called Evangelicalism Divided by Iain Murray, heard it was dope.
    Happy hunting!

    • I read David Brainerd, Leonard Ravenhill’s, and R.C. Sproul.
      The first thing that pops off that list to me is Hudson Taylor’s autobiography (because those are always fruitful), The Romance of Preaching (because it’s true), and Rees Howells Intercessor (because you’re the 2nd person to recommend it)

      Great list man.

  14. One more:

    Hurt 2.0 by Chap Clark.

    Its a book about the broken/hurting adolescent culture of America. Read it with a box of kleenex nearby.

  15. Laz, if you haven’t read Reese Howells Intercessor… do everything you can to get your hands on it! Most life-changing book besides the Bible I’ve ever read.

    • I have it on my shelf, but I haven’t read it yet. You’re the third person to recommend it to me!
      Most life-changing book besides the Bible…wow! God wills it?

  16. Woaaah! I was expecting like two or three answers. You all are amazing! It’s gonna take me a couple days to check out all these books, and it’s only 9am!! I try to reply to every comment, but you overwhelmed me!

    I’m going to leave the comments open until midnight, because there are probably more recommendations from people coming home from work and such.

    Anyway, just wanted to say thank you. I will be considering all of these reads as they come in, and let you know which one(s) I’m starting with. (Judging by this great list, I’m probably gonna have to expand my original offer…)


  17. If you want a practical, concrete, and powerful book on discipleship check out “The Master Plan of Evangelism” A lot of church leaders say that local churches need to do discipleship, but many of them give no specifics on how to do that. Robert Coleman gives those specifics by tracing the life of Jesus. It is challenging and it forever changed the focus of my ministry. I feel like it would be helpful since Reality needs 50% more leadership now that it is launching a 3rd campus. And it’s super short!

    NT Wright’s “Surprised by Hope” will change the way you preach about the resurrection and Easter. He artfully walks the line between physical Christianity and spiritual Christianity. What I appreciate the most is his ability to piece together the entire story of the Bible better than most people I have read. He gives amazing illustrations and many times I feel like I am reading a movie. He is refreshing to read.

  18. The quest for the radical middle. By bill Jackson. A history of the vineyard movement.

  1. Pingback: Book Recommendation [update] « ChristopherLazo

  2. Pingback: Current favorite reads « ChristopherLazo


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