Whats On The Shelf- “The Cross and the Prodigal”

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


What’s On The Shelf

Well, it’s the last day of August and the new record goes on official pre-sale tomorrow. So I’m sure I’ll have to do another business blog tomorrow announcing that. But before that, let’s take a quick look at what I’m reading right now. I’m in the middle of both of them but I’m quite excited about them so I wanted to share.

The Bondage of the Will – Martin Luther

You may have noticed that I’ve been on a Luther kick lately. I love the way he thinks and how passionate he is about the faith. This book has been blowing me out of the water. It was written as a response to a paper by Erasmus, and discusses the free will of man. It’s not your typical modern “free will vs. predestination” argument that has sidelined many a college ministry. It is an indepth look at the sovereignty of God and how that plays out in the life of man. My particular version of it was translated by J.I.Packer and O.R.Johnston. They also wrote a amazing preface to the book. It is wiping me out. I highly recommend it.

North! Or Be Eaten – Andrew Peterson

This is the second installment of the Wingfeather Saga. The first was On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. It is a fantasy adventure series. Think Narnia, but really funny. And if you read it, don’t miss the footnotes. They are awesome. I’ve been waiting for this book to come out for a long time and I’m really enjoying it. Three children, Janner, Tink and Leeli are the lost Jewels of Anniera. They have been driven from their home by the Fangs of Dang. They are journeying north into the cold where the Fangs don’t enjoy the weather so much. Great characters, amazing story. Highly recommended.

What are you reading?