What Are You Reading Over the Holidays?

I am always interested in what people are reading at any given point in time. Since many of you are students like me, I was wondering what you are reading over the Christmas break. If you are not a student, of course I would love to know what you are currently reading as well.

During the break, I will be working through a series of books that target sin in my life. Devotionally, I slowly reading through Overcoming Sin & Temptation edited by Kelly Kapic and Justin Taylor. I have read On Mortification but not Of Temptation or Indwelling Sin. I am encouraged and hopeful that God will do great things in my heart and life through this book. Three other books I have planned on reading are (in order): A Fight to the Death: Taking Aim at Sin Within by Wayne A. Mack with Joshua Mack, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks, and Holiness by J.C. Ryle.

One other secondary reading goal I have is to finish reading journal articles regarding inclusivism as well as peruse some material that deals with Christian’s attitudes toward other religions, tolerance, and truth. On the docket I have in mind such authors as Hendrik Kraemer, Ajith Fernando, Winfried Corduan, Stephen Neill, and Howard Netland.

So now it’s your turn. What are you reading over the holidays? Any recently read books that you would recommend?

Explore posts in the same categories: Books, General, Miscellanies

23 Comments on “What Are You Reading Over the Holidays?”

  1. OK, Timmy, I’ll jump in!
    I’m close to finishing the Overcoming Sin and Temptation anthology(whew!), and also about half way through Owen’s Communion with God(excellent). Next on the list is Jason Janz’s new book which I’m expecting to “sharpen me like iron”!


    p.s. do all aspiring dentists have confused theology?

  2. Timmy Says:

    LOL. I can’t take credit. It’s the work of the sacred sandwich.

    BTW, what’s the name of Janz’s book?

  3. Paul Says:

    What Jesus Demands from the World: John Piper.

    Greek Primer: by Croy

    Photography for Dummies

    …and hopefully anything else involving Dr. Wellham’s systematic theology class

  4. Timmy Says:

    Thanks for sharing Paul. So are you a photographer? If so, what do you shoot with?

  5. Timmy,

    Jason’s book is called Alone with God: A Practical Plan for Dynamic

    If any fundamentalist can figure out how to plan dynamic devotions, I figure he can. I hope to have it read and a review up on my site within a month.

  6. Timmy Says:

    That’s cool. I only know Janz from his handling of The End of the Spear controversy. I spoke out about it and found Janz’s responses to be measured, accurate, and humble. I look forward to reading your review of his book.

  7. justin Says:

    I am taking senior seminar in history next semestre(kind of like a “here is how to do historical analysis and writing) and the topic is historical Jesus.
    So my reading over Christmas is going to be Gospel commentaries and Third Quester historians. And probably some gnostic texts.

    I am starting out with Jesus and the Logic of History by Paul Barnett. I highly recommend it.

  8. Daniel Says:

    The Purpose-Driven Life. Just kidding, that elf must have stolen my copy.

    Actually, I’m reading Tom Wright’s The Last Word. I just finished his The Challenge of Jesus.

    I’m also studying James for our high school group so Doug Moo’s commentary has been helpful.

  9. Paul Schafer Says:


    I will be reading my bible.
    At work, I am finishing up a book on the Texas Rangers. At home, I usually read Christian blogs and if I have time, I am finishing up a John Piper book or one of the books I purchased at the DG conference in October.

  10. Timmy Says:


    So is your study of the historical Jesus stuff analogous to The Jesus Seminar? Are these people making a distinction between the “Christ of faith” and the “Jesus of history?”

  11. Timmy Says:


    Since you have been reading Wright, do you espouse his view of justification? Would you align yourself with the NPP movement? Just curious. 🙂

  12. Dan Warne Says:

    Hey timmy. I just came across your blog by way of Challies.com Looking forward to following it in the future. I am a biblical counseling student at The Masters College. Over break I’ll be reading:

    The Quest for Character
    by Johnny Mac (probably for devotions)

    finishing How People Change
    by Paul Tripp and Timothy Lane

    re-reading Humility
    by CJ Mahaney

    and doing a big map-marking project for my upcoming semester at our Israel Bible Extension.

    God bless!
    Dan Warne

  13. Timmy Says:


    Wow. Was I on Challies? Oh wait, I checked. Nope.

    Anyway. It’s great to meet you man. I don’t know if you know Dr. Stuart Scott, but he is a member of my church, and I also had him this past semester for a biblical counseling class.

    Having coming from a Christian college which taught counseling with secular and atheistic worldviews which seriously turned me off the idea of any counseling whatsoever. This past four months has been very encouraging to learn and see how the nouthetic counseling is gaining influence and being taught in more and more places. I had never heard of it until last year.

    Over the course of this past semester, we read Seeing with New Eyes by David Powlison, How to Change Biblically by John MacArthur and Wayne Mack, How Can I Change by C.J. Mahaney, Theology of Christian Counseling, and Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp.

    I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and would recommend them without reservation. What I came to learn was that biblical counseling is simply practical theology, being doers of the word, and being a people who focus on our sanctification as well as others. It is essentially discipleship as a way of life.

    Anyway. Thanks for sharing, and I hope to see you around sometime in the future.

  14. Still reading Given For You by Keith Mathison, Thomas Brooks’ The Secret Key to Heaven, and just started Dagg’s Manual of Theology as a breaktime reader at work.

    In my entertainment reading, I’m reading Eldest by Christopher Paolini and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

    I also just completed a 24 Season 1 marathon and am looking forward to getting Season 2 for Christmas. *cackles maniacally*

    This is, of course, all sandwiched around doing my sermon prep for Romans.

    I give up. I’ve got reading ADD now that I don’t have to read for class anymore.

  15. Dan Warne Says:

    Hey man. Just to clarify – your link isn’t on Challies. He referenced you in his liveblogthingy of the T4G conference, when he talked about something called the Band of Bloggers Fellowship.

    “Timmy Brister, he of Provocations and Pantings fame, has been hard at work putting together a time of fellowship for bloggers who will be attending the upcoming Together For The Gospel Conference.”

    Anyway, just for the record.

    I’ve never met Dr. Scott personally, but the Marriage & Family class here at school still uses his notepacket. My friends that got to meet him while he was here think he was a pretty cool guy.

    Of the books you mentioned, I’ve only read Instruments in the Reedemer’s Hands by Tripp. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read.

    And a big trudat on Biblical counseling being practical theology. I think that if more people understood that essentially that is what it is, they would be less skeptical towards it.

    — Dan

  16. Hopefully Patrick Walker’s ‘Six Saints of the Covenant’ and maybe Gill’s ‘Cause of God and Truth’.

  17. Timmy Says:

    Highland Host,

    Could you give a brief description of Patrick Walker’s Six Saints of the Covenant? I have not heard of that book before, and I tried looking it up on Amazon and couldn’t really get much info on it.

    Is it a book on new covenant theology?

  18. Mathew Sims Says:

    I’m reading Roger Olson’s Arminian Theology. I’ll also Lord willing finish Piper’s What Jesus Demands of the World, my seminary president’s (Michael Barrett) new book, Biblical Worship, the last two book sections in Overcoming Sin and Temptation, Vern Poythresess, Redeeming Science, and Carl F Henry’s Revelation and the Bible.

    That should occupy my month break.

    Soli Deo Gloria

  19. Daniel Says:

    I think that Wright makes some good points on justification. His view is pretty complicated (involving eschatological tension and both forensic and covenantal aspects).

    The Reformation treated justification in a highly individualistic manner (me getting right with God) instead a corporate one (different people groups getting right with God).

    My frustration with Wright comes when he starts to talk about the atonement. He says that he holds to penal substitution, but when the topic of the atonement comes up, he doesn’t talk about it that much.

    He views Christ’s death as primarily defeating evil. This is the central aspect of his atonement theology.

  20. Daniel Says:

    Oh, “new perspective” is kind of a misnomer. It should be called “new perspectives” because the leading voices in this movement don’t agree on everything (Wright, Dunn, Sanders, Hays).

    Even Moo, Carson, and folks have been forced to adapted their view of Judaism based on Sanders.

  21. Paul Says:


    I’m not a photographer, though the idea interests me, and since I work at Barnes and Noble and get huge discounts, I picked up the photography for dummies at a nice price.

  22. Timmy Says:

    Thanks for clarifying, Paul. Yeah, if you are looking for a creative outlet or just a worthwhile hobby, photography is a great way to go. I found it ironic that, over the past couple of years when I was getting acquaintanced with photography, there were several other ministers and bloggers doing the same. That’s kind of how the Friday photo group got started. Anyway, let me know if you decide to for it.

  23. doth Says:

    Whoa — those are pretty heavy for holiday reading. I don’t think I brought home anything heavier than a novel when I was a student. Now that I’m taking a break from work (which is in the book biz), reading seems to be on the backburner. I am, however, trying to finish up Jane Austen’s Persuasion for early January, so I should be reading it right about now instead of blogging away the time.

    Good luck with the reads!

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