This is the time of year when everybody gets a gym membership, counts calories, and quits smoking. For me, this is the time of year when I plan out what I want to read in the coming year. I’ll have my school readings on top of whatever I list here, so I’ve purposefully tried to keep my reading ambitions in check. A finished book is worth more than ten unfinished ones.
I always try to read the Bible through every year; I’ve never succeeded. The key is to have a Bible and a plan. The Bible I’m using is the ESV Single Column Legacy. It’s a beautiful, easy to read Bible with just the text, no commentary material. If I have commentary material I’ll read that instead of dwelling in the text.
The plan this year is to work through D. A. Carson’s For the Love of God, Volume 1. This daily devotional is based on a reading plan from a late 19th century minister named Robert Murray M’Cheyne. There are four readings each day, two for private devotion and two for family devotion. Dr. Carson’s commentary is geared toward tying in the big redemptive-historical themes in Scripture rather than a “thought for the day.”
I’m going to read through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. There are 57 chapters, so I’ll have to double up a few weeks, but otherwise it should be at a nice, one-chapter-a-week pace. I’m coupling this reading with Dr. Grudem’s audio teachings that correspond to each chapter.
- Learning Theology with the Church Fathers, by Christopher A. Hall. This was a book that I was supposed to read for one of my classes and I didn’t. What I did read of it I really enjoyed, so I’m going to read it this year.
- Confessions, by St. Augustine. This was given to me two years ago and I still haven’t read it.
That’s all that I think I can handle with two classes every semester as well. This year I’m trying to go deep instead of wide.