For you newbies, welcome to the site. And every once in a while I do a post
called “What’s on the Shelf,” which is just sharing something I’ve been
reading. So here we go…
“The Cross and the Prodigal” by Kenneth Bailey
God has been blessing me with some great resources lately. I received this
book as a gift and it is incredible. Kenneth Bailey is a Presbyterian
author and lecturer in Middle Eastern New Testament Studies. In other
words, he learns about what New Testament scholarship is and has been done
in the middle eastern cultures. He follows the Arabic and Syriac
translations and commentaries on the Bible which are basically untapped in
our western culture. He also studies the culture of the part of the world
where the events in the Bible occurred. For the majority of this book, he
deals with the story of the Prodigal Son, placing it back in the cultural
frame where it occurred. It was amazingly eye-opening to me.
My understanding of this picture of a father, humiliating himself, running
through the town to reach his son is so greatly increased once I understood
in that culture, the town would have rallied against the son, mocking him
all the way to his former house. But the father took the embarrassment
There are so many insights like this in the book. I am anxiously looking
forward to reading more from him as soon as I can get them ordered. And
finish the 522 page book that came in the mail yesterday. Which, so far, is
I’d love to hear about what you’re reading right now and how it’s impacting
6 thoughts on “Whats On The Shelf- “The Cross and the Prodigal””
Todd, I’m so delighted that you’re enjoying Bailey’s book. When I read it several months ago, it really brought some incredible insight into the story of the Prodigal Son and its revelation of the Father. Another of Bailey’s books you may enjoy is “Jesus through Middle Eastern Eyes.” I’m reading a book right now by my friend and mentor, Larry Crabb. The book is called “66 Love Letters.” This is not a theological book, but rather an intimate dialogue between one man and God as he explores each book of the Bible as a love letter from God. It’s not stuffy or religious; instead the conversation contains many of the same honest questions I have about God. Another book I’ve recently read is “The Good and Beautiful Life–Putting on the Character of Christ.” This is the second book in a series by James Bryan Smith. This book digs into the Sermon on the Mount, and presents a new way of living based on Jesus’ view of the kingdom. It digs deep into character formation with chapters on how to live without anger, lust, lying, pride, worry, judging, etc. which means this book is deeply convicting.
great reading these 2 reviews…..i too, am reading james bryan smith’s good and beautiful life…..if you haven’t read the first of his series, good and beautiful God, go get it….he is an amazing writer and has been mentored by some of the most Godly men in our Kingdom….todd..keep singing and shining for Him….jane (in whom Christ dwells)
That does sound facinating.
I’m currently reading the Reagan Diaries, but they aren’t really speaking to me all that much, but they are interesting and even inspiring, in their own way. Okay okay, don’t look at me like that… 🙂 I’ve also been reading through the New Testament, and this week it was Paul’s prison epistiles. They always speak to me.
im readingliving with confidence in a chaotic world by Dr. David Jeremiah. its the second book of two after what in the world is going on they are both dealing with end time proficies but the seconed one so far is not what i expected but not in a bad way i thought it would be like a step by step on how to deal with the things from the first book but it is actuly more along the lines of just how to live as a christian at ant givin time while in this world. it is a great book and i love Dr. Jeremiah. i recomend both books to anyone christian or not. i cant wait to hear your new cd. God bless you in all that you do to further the kingdommy brother.
The book that has been impacting me the most lately is a devotional titled “Matters of the Heart Devotions for Women,” which are devotions from the book “Matters of the Heart,” both by Juanita Bynum. I have been challenged to examine my heart and my journey with the Lord by the way Bynum questions her walk with the Lord and writes about how her heart has been challenged. She said God told her to “turn off the music…turn off all the teaching tapes…be alone with yourself and see what comes out of your mind. Then you will know what state you are in. If you do this, you will be suprised what you hear yourself saying.” I have been doing this and asking God to reveal my true heart. She reminded me that I could be doing religious works and still be backslidden, that I can look and say the right “Christian” things, and not be growing in my relationship with Jesus. It is possible that I am living from an “old heart,” not a new one transformed and transplanted by Jesus. It is possible that I am looking to God for what He can give me, and not giving Him attention so that I can know Him more. There are many ways this book has given me to consider my heart and my walk with God. I had read one devotion right before going to your concert, Todd, and it was about how those who admit their sin, instead of hiding it, and show how to go to God for forgiveness and continue to pursue Him are people who make a true path for others to find forgiveness and truly live in relationship with God. When people call themselves Christian but pretend they never make a mistake and just act as though they are always perfect, they don’t give an example for people to have an authentic relationship with the Lord. So, anyway, I was reminded then how you, Todd, are a path maker, just like Juanita Bynum. I’m grateful for you both! And you both have been helping me go to God with my sins, failings, as well as my victories, and have an authentic relationship with Him! I’m not through with this devotional, but when I am I think I might read the book. There are many ways for me to grow in relationship and authenticity with the Lord.
I just finished reading (last night!) Better Off Flipping The Switch On Technology: Two People, One Year, Zero Watts by Eric Brende. This is the type of simple living book that keeps me inspired to forge ahead with my efforts to keep scaled down and enjoy the little things in life.
I am currently reading A Heart Like His: Intimate Reflections on the Life Of David by Beth Moore. It’s awesome to be reading through 1 Samuel with new perspective.