Shelf of the Unread #2: Men and Women in the Church

Men and Women in the Church“How should men and women regard and treat each other if they are both truly faithful to the gospel of Christ and value truth more than personal power?” This is the question that Dr Sarah Sumner seeks to answer in her book Men and Women in the Church: building consensus on Christian leadership. I first came across this book when I heard Dr Sumner speak at a 2011 Writers Conference hosted by Bethel Church in Redding, California. (Thanks to Bethel Church and the Internet I was able to watch a recording of Dr Sumner’s session). A theologian and Dean of A. W. Tozer Theological Seminary in California, Dr Sumner talked about good writing, sharing some of her story as a writer, particularly in relation to writing Men and Women in the Church. I found her story so interesting that I wanted to read the book. I wasn’t disappointed. Men and Women in the Church is carefully researched and the theology explained clearly and logically. Sumner’s style is also engaging and highly readable, even when navigating some of the more challenging passages of scripture. This book is not for everyone, and for that reason I won’t go into specifics. However, if you have an interest in church leadership, and in particular the place of women in church leadership, then Dr Sumner’s book is definitely worth reading. This was the second book from my Shelf of the Unread list. I’m now reading Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.

Shelf of the Unread

I have a shelf of unread books … actually if I lined up all the unread books I own I’m sure they’d need more than one shelf. Books I’ve bought over the years but have yet to open. Books that I’ve started but somehow never finished. (I’m sure you’ve finished every book you’ve ever started … mhmm.) Books that I’ve bought more recently; silently pleading for my attention.

This year I’ve decided that these books need an investment of my time, not just my money. I’m sure there’ll be other books I also read this year, but for each of the books I’ve selected from my Shelf of the Unread, I’ll post a review. I think this will be a challenging but achievable list. Let’s see how I do.

My selection of 12 books (one for each month) for 2012:

  • Lioness Arising: wake up and change your world by Lisa Bevere
    [Technically I’ve already read this book (over Christmas/New Year), but it had such an impact I’m about to read it again in conjunction with my journals (past and present).]
  • Men and Women in the Church: building consensus on Christian leadership by Sarah Sumner
  • Heart of Stone: my story by Hoa Van Stone
  • The Journey Home by Bill Bright
  • The Emotionally Healthy Church: a strategy for discipleship that actually changes lives by Peter Scazzero with Warren Bird
  • Winning with People by John C. Maxwell
  • Life with God by Richard Foster with Kathryn A. Helmers
  • The Necessity of Prayer by E.M. Bounds
    [This is the first book in a compilation volume of all E.M. Bounds’ works on prayer. I’m starting small, and if I get through any of the other books in the volume this year that will be a bonus. If not, there’s always 2013!]
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: priorities from Paul and his prayers by D. A. Carson
  • When Heaven Invades Earth by Bill Johnson

And for something a little different:

  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

[I have War and Peace on the shelf too, but unless I find myself zooming through the list I think I’ll save that one for next year!]

I guess I’m committed now. It’s time to get reading.

What unread books do you have gathering dust? What books do you plan to read this year?

Image: healingdream /