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This is a list of books that I read in 2017, which also influenced my perspectives. Some challenged me to rethink my positions, some were just for fun. One was to survey doctrinal landscape (Keeping abreast of unhealthy soteriology, in this particular case).

No particular order other than alphabetical. Grab a volume with the Amazon link.

biblische aeltestenschaftBiblische Ältestenschaft (Biblical Eldership)

by Alexander Strauch

This helpful book, that our leadership team read in German, has been so helpful to refresh us on what biblical leadership is to be. We do not take our cues from CEOs, from successful coaches or famous generals, all of which have much to teach, but from Jesus, whose church we are called to serve.

Amazon: English







Brand Luther

 by Andrew Pettegree

This volume is a historical lens into Luther's impact in the struggling and young printing industry, following Guttenberg's creation of the moveable type.

It documents the colleagues of Luther who gave support and kept things on track.

The sleepy town of Wittenberg became a beacon, a desired place to visit due to the widespread popularity of an until then unknown monk, Martin Luther. It was not the printing press that made the reformation, but rather the drama of the reformation that made the printing industry flourish.

 Many insights into church history were found in this well-researched volume. An excellent read.

 Amazon: Brand Luther



The Circle Maker

by  Mark Batterson

Batterson never disappoints with inspirational stories and insights - this time concerning prayer and the faith in a big God that drives it.

From the author: "Success has nothing to do with how gifted or how resourced you are; it has everything to do with glorifying God in any and every situation by making the most of it. Success is spelled stewardship, and stewardship is spelled success."

And again: "One litmus test of spiritual maturity is whether your dreams are getting bigger or smaller."

Amazon: The Circle Maker


The Great Divorce

by C.S. Lewis

Let me say at the outset that C.S.Lewis is not always and easy read for me - he thinks at a higher level than I do. This man who did not find faith in traditional ways, views faith issues through a different lens, which challenges me. I do not always share his conclusions, but I always benefit from the journey.

This volume explores what heaven, hell and the glorious gospel might look like in terms that we know from our present existence.

Furthermore, he touches on the subject of the fact that every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Christ is Lord.

The book has nothing to do with divorce, which is never good, let alone great. Just making the obvious clear.

 Amazon: The Great Divorce


Free Grace Soteriology

by David R. Anderson

This volume was sent to me by my friend, Chris Regas. His voice - Chris's - is much like that of the martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer who points out the danger of cheap grace.

According to Bonhoeffer, cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.

This volume will force the reader to come to grips with clarifying what the impact and scope of the gospel is in scripture.

 Amazon: Free Grace Soteriology



How to Keep Calm and Carry On

by David Stokes

David is an author who is easy to read. By easy I do not imply shallow, I mean inspirational.

This volume will guide the reader through scriptural promises and historical anecdotes which bear out real promises for our soul.

I always enjoy this author's style and it's impact on my worldview.

A combination of history and bible. What could be better?

Get anything this author writes. You can thank me later. You will gain sermon illustrations at the very least.

 Amazon: How to Keep Calm and Carry On



The Power of Habit

by Charles Duhigg

One of my most favorite books this year. There, I said it outloud.

The author breaks down how and why we do what we do, even dives into the issue of why we are so susceptible to temptation - why our will power wanes.

Amazon: The Power of Habit





Start with Why

by Simon Sinek

Why do some good companies struggle? Why are gifted, talented ministers finding it difficult to keep their ministries flourishing?

There is more to a business than just generating sales, it is knowing why you exist. There must co-exist a balance of why and how we do what we do. You must know why you get out of bed in the morning.

SInek gives real life stories and observation from companies you know.

 Amazon: Start with Why




by Ron Chernow

This volume is massive. Thorough.

I enjoy biographies and this was no exception. I had never been exposed to an overview of John D. Rockefeller until this one. I benefitted from reading this book.

Rockefeller was a disciplined believer. He found his nitch and added value to a financially struggling population - with what some viewed as unfair advantages by eliminating the competition. That is what the justice department determined.

I benefitted from this volume by reading how rich people think - which is different. Any fundraiser, professional or otherwise, would benefit from these insights.

It was news to read how Rockefeller loved missions and missionaries. He started colleges and institutions.

Amazon: Titan


DISCLAIMER: This post and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission, but will not cost the buyer any more than directly through Amazon. This helps support this ministry. Thank you for the support!

Keith Gandy - GermanyKeith Gandy - Germany

Keith, originally from the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, has been planting a church in Aschaffenburg, Germany for over thirty years. Daughter churches have also been started and missionaries have been sent out of the congregation. Annually, he participates in encouraging other European church-planters and frequently travels to visit them in their respective field of service.

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