Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Year End Book Review '08

After years of reading countless books, unaccounted for, I decided this year that I would begin keeping track of the books I read. So, here you will find a list of this years read books, along with a brief review/recommendation, and miscellaneous thoughts.

All the Money in the World: This is a very interesting read. It tells of the people whose names have made it on the Forbes 400 list of richest people. It is separated into three categories, "how they make their money", "how they keep their money", "how they spend their money". I highly recommend this book, as it is very informative, and offers a glimpse into a life that few of us know.

A Daily Guide to Miracles, by Oral Roberts: After watching these preachers on television, I thought I would read their book to have a better understanding of their views and philosophies. They have some good thoughts concerning God. For a person like myself, being raised in the church, not believing in a prosperity gospel, with a small emphasis on miracles, this book gives yet another perspective on God and Christianity. Their are some very good principals, but also some false principals. This book is worth a skim through, to help better understand the prosperity gospel/miracle healing movement.

A Painted House, by John Grisham: An exceptionally written, coming of age story (no law involved). This is the story of a summer (set in the '50's) in the life of a cotton farm family. Although this is an excellent story, I more prefer stories with a conflict that end in a resolution. This story just kind of ends, with nothing to really be resolved, just telling a story about something that happened.

Pagan Christianity, by Frank Viola: I highly recommend this book for anyone involved in a church. Frank Viola [reimaginingchurch blog] goes into great detail describing how the way we do church, the church traditions, is taken, not from the Bible, but from various pagan practices that have been adopted (under false scriptural pretense) into the church. His solution is to do church according to the New Testament, believers meeting together in homes, sharing one anothers needs. I highly recommend this book as it has the power to change your church, and deepen your relationship with God.

Harvest, by Chuck Smith: This is the story of the Calvary Chapel church movement. This book tells the story of several Calvary Chapel pastors, their past, where they came from (the sin that God delivered them from), and how God is using them today. Profiles include Greg Laurie, John Courson, Raul Ries, Jeff Johnson, Skip Heitzig, Mike Macintosh, and more.

Eat Mor Chicken, Inspire More People, by Truett Cathy: What make Chik-fil-a such an exceptional business? The secret is out with this book. Truett Cathy's principals for starting and running his Chik-fil-a restaurants can, and should, be applied to your business, ministry, or personal life. I highly recommend this book for those that want to achieve the next level of success in their work/life.

Get Ready to Grow, by Paul Orjala: An old ('80's?) book on church growth. I read it for entertainment purposes only. Their are many dying churches, whose only strategy for church growth is this one from the '80's. They refuse to change with the times (maybe from ignorance, fear, or stubborness).

You Were Born Rich, by Bob Proctor: A self-help guide on being wealthy and successful. This books have some value, some of the principals are good principals for personal/business growth. However, there is more to life that one needs in order to have true wealth and success, the missing ingredient from these types of books is always, Jesus Christ.

Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham, by Harold Myra: Great book for leaders. This book outlines the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) success, the principals that make Billy Graham a great leader, and how you can lead the same way. This is a must read for leaders in ministry.

The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas Stanley: Loaded with facts and statistics on wealth (obtaining it, keeping it, investing it, giving it, spending it). This book talks about how the people who are the most wealthy often do not appear to be so, they are typical normal people in a normal neighborhood. The so-called wealthy living in the extravagant house, in the gated community, driving the luxurious automobile, wearing thousand dollar suits, are often not truly wealthy. These type of people spend all they get, while, in order to be truly wealthy (monetary worth), money must be saved and properly invested. Interesting read on the wealthy.

Plague Maker, by Tim Downs: This is a fiction book, some parts based on actual events. The premise of the story is that a Japanese man has created a plague and plans to spread it to kill all Americans. The story incorporates actual events from World War 2, including a bio-chem organization known as Unit 731, and the dropping of the atomic bomb. This is a good fiction/suspense/thriller novel.

This year was also my attempt at writing. I wrote, and self published, my first booklet (available at the right of the screen, or request free download), "Christian Scents". This booklet is based on two sermons I preached, one on the scent of death, the other on the aroma of life.

The scent of death is in reference to the fact that as Christians we are called to die to ourselves, live for God, to reach others. We no longer have a "comfort zone", our hobbies, interests, likes are not our own, our "comfort zone" is whatever is required for us to reach others for Christ.

The aroma of life is from scripture when Paul speaks about the Christian life being a sweet smeeling fragrance. The booklet talks about the significance of fragrance, what it means to us today, and how to achieve a sweet aroma that attracts others to Christ.


Jilliefl1 said...

The sequel to “Pagan Christianity?” is out now. It’s called “Reimagining Church”. It picks up where “Pagan Christianity” left off and continues the conversation. (“Pagan Christianity” was never meant to be a stand alone book; it’s part one of the conversation.) “Reimagining Church” is endorsed by Leonard Sweet, Shane Claiborne, Alan Hirsch, and many others. You can read a sample chapter at .
It’s also available on Frank is also blogging now at .

Aaron J. said...

Thanks for the input/info.

I intend to read "Reimagining Church" it's a few books down in the pile. I have been keeping up at Frank Viola's blog.

What is your review of "Reimagining Church"?