Reading Challenge Update: February

Just checking in today to give you a quick update on my Challies 2016 Reading Challenge progress.

I’m sorry to say that I’m falling a little behind on my reading list progress. To stay on track, I need to read 4-5 books a month from the reading list. However, I still have to take care of book review commitments I made at the end of last year. The Pastor Theologian took a lot longer than I expected it to, and it doesn’t even fit on my list!  That said, I got 3 more books done this month for the Reading Challenge:

A Self-Improvement Book: Do More Better, by Tim Challies. I reviewed this previously, and I’ll update you on how the process is going in the coming days. Obviously, this one has been a big help to me as I seek to be more effective and productive with the time and opportunities God has given me.

A Children’s Book: A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. I had never read this book growing up (probably because it had “witches” in it), so I missed out on the pleasure of being exposed to this series. This is a beautifully-written sci-fi/fantasy novel that is heavily steeped in Christian themes and language (including several direct Bible quotations). L’Engle weaves together descriptive language that is vivid and colorful, and her characters are simply drawn and endearing. While the book is not in the same league as the Narnia series (my all-time favorite children’s series), it will definitely become a nice addition to my future children’s library. That said, I have one complaint: it’s the first book in a quintet, so it ends rather abruptly. I won’t be able to check out the rest of the series until next year, probably (unless I can somehow make them fit the reading list!), so that’s a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless, I will eagerly await the rest of the story.

A Book about Christian Living: Slave, by John MacArthur. In this short volume, MacArthur focuses on the Greek word doulos, typically translated “servant” or “bondservant” in English translations of the New Testament. That word always has a note in my Bible, stating that it can also be translated “slave.” MacArthur explores the concept of 1st century slavery, from both a Jewish and Roman perspective, to provide some context on what the NT writers meant when they called themselves “slaves of God” or “slaves of Christ.” MacArthur fleshes out this point, as it relates to redemption, adoption, and our hope of resurrection. This is an important concept, and I appreciate MacArthur’s treatment of it, though I have to admit, even at just over 200 pages, it felt a little padded.


So what am I currently reading?

  • George Orwell’s Animal Farm (“Four legs good, two legs bad!”)
  • Smarter, Better, Faster, by Charles Duhigg (interesting take on productivity and success)
  • Gates of Fire, by Steven Pressfield (a novel about the brave 300 at the battle of Thermopylae)
  • Biggest Brother, a biography about Maj. Dick Winters of the famous “Band of Brothers”
  • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, a record of Christian martyrs throughout the first 1600 years of the Church

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Your Turn: Did you read anything interesting in the last month? Share your recommendations and thoughts in the comments!

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