I am always curious about what people are reading. I've been asked recently to share with you some book recommendations so I thought I'd start with what I read on a daily basis.
I am a firm believer in the need for a daily intake of the Word. But I have also grown to appreciate other standard devotional works like those of Oswald Chambers and Charles Spurgeon. These works provide essential insight into walking with God. I want to share with you some additional daily resources that I have grown to appreciate. Three would be considered "spiritual" in nature and an additional read which would be categorized as secular (although it would do most ministers and students a world of good to read it).
Before I write another word, I want to relate one of my biases. As one who has given much of his ministry focus to the study of history, I have grown to value primary sources. Primary sources are the materials that the great thinkers and leaders have written. It is John Calvin's Institutes, or Spener's Pia Desideria, or a Jonathan Edwards sermon for example. These are not works about them but what they actually wrote. Permit me to recommend some daily readers which consist primarily of primary source material. These I have found both profitable and helpful.
Not too long ago, I came across Day by Day with Saint Augustine compiled and written by Donald X. Burt. It consists of a paragraph taken from an Augustine selection accompanied by a brief devotional thought. Published in 2006 by Liturgical Press, this volume provides a wide introduction to Augustine's devotional thought contained in his Confessions, sermons, commentaries, correspondence, and a few other writings. Burt's work provides interesting insight into Augustine's passionate heart for God.
A second reader, this one "secular" is a collection of essentially business thoughts from the master thinker on management and leadership, Peter Drucker. It consists of daily selections "culled from his lifetime of writing." The dust jacket describes The Daily Drucker this way: "Drucker's ideas about innovation, leadership, effectiveness, and adaptation to change still stand as elegant classics of business wisdom." Published in 2004 by HarperCollins, this book will prove helpful to anyone who is responsible for getting the right things done.
While attending the Evangelical Theological Society meeting this year, I ran across several leather-bound devotional books published by Christian Focus Publications out of Scotland. Edited by Randall J. Peterson, the two volumes I purchased are Daily Readings. The first, is a compilation of thoughts from the life of George Whitefield taken principally from his sermons and journals. For anyone who has been blessed reading his Journals or his Dallimore biography, this is an excellent reminder of one man's quest to know and be used by the Lord.
A companion volume, and my favorite, is Daily Readings from The Puritans. Each month, Pederson selects a Puritan (Richard Baxter, John Bunyan, Stephen Charnock are the first three), and provides a rich devotional thought out of their writings. I have been blessed by the depth of thought and spiritual insight provided by these great saints of history.
Each of these volumes are valuable in their own right and are profitable for our maturity. In many ways, we become what we read. These daily readers will help us become better and more mature. What comes in makes a difference! So tell me, what are your daily readings?