Reviews: November 2012

Paul David Tripp, Dangerous Calling

Tripp writes with the insight of one who has pastored for many years, one who is aware of the pitfalls of sin to which pastors are particularly susceptible and who longs to warn others who also walk this path.  His style is generally quite flowing and it is clear from this writing style that he preaches regularly: somehow the cadences and repetitions of preaching come through in his text in a way which is quite powerful to read.  The content is also wise and biblical, formed over years of experience in, and reflection upon, the pastoral calling.  If you have had enough of books on ministry, then don’t write this one off before giving it a go: I think you will think it worth your time reading.

That said, this book did feel like a long read and I did struggle to wade my way through some sections of it; I also seriously started to lose the will with all the numbered lists therein.  However, those are my only negatives.  In fact, I appreciated this book so much that I am seriously contemplating buying my own paper copy and rereading it every two to three years as a tool for self-examination in my path of church leadership.

I received a free Kindle version of this galley copy from NetGalley in return for a fair review.

Liz Curtis Higgs, The Girl’s Still Got It

Let me start by telling you what I hated about this book so we can get that bit out of the way…  I really loathed the ‘girlfriend’ style.  That might be because I’m British or maybe just because I’m miserable but, either way, it nearly made me give up on this book.  In fact, if I hadn’t had to finish it in order to get the next review book, I might not have done!  However, it was worth the read!

So, having told you what I hated, now let me encourage you to consider reading it.  Higgs is writing in a very particular style for what is, I would imagine, a very particular audience.  In fact she writes much as we might imagine she speaks, although I have never seen her preach so someone else might need to correct me there!  But this style is only the outer wrapping for what is in fact a very deep and detailed study of Scripture.  Higgs has an enormous gift for retelling the stories of the Bible – in this case, Ruth – and she brings the story to life, yet still manages to go verse by verse.  She does not make up details which are not there but remains true to the text, yet somehow manages to fill a whole book with her storytelling.  And her work is rigorous: she is well-read in the commentaries, she digs deep into the meanings of language used in the texts as well as referencing a variety of translations.

I have a huge amount of respect for what Higgs has done here, would recommend her book to several of the women in my congregation and would even consider using it as part of my background thinking for preaching a book like Ruth because, whilst there is no substitute for the commentaries, there is quite a lot to be learned by preachers from Higgs’ way of getting inside the story.  I’m glad I finished it in the end!

I received a free Kindle copy of this book from Waterbrook Multnomah in return for a fair review.


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