Books which have ROCKED MY WORLD!

I thought I’d begin a series of posts on books which have been of utmost influence in my Christian walk. They’ve all been, in one way or another, foundation-shaking and paradigm-shifting. I’m going to begin more or less chronologically (as much as I can) and take a trip down memory lane while I do it.

First book that I remember significantly rocking my world was Days Are Coming by Mark Strom.

Days Are Coming

(This book has been out of print for many years, and so I couldn’t even find a pic of it on the web. Instead, I scanned my own tattered and well-worn copy.)

I remember hearing about this book at Katoomba Youth Leadership Convention (now Next Generation) in January 1993. I was going into year 11, having just done strand 1, and hearing about how this book was a key book for the stuff we were going to do in strand 2. 

So, being a good Asian student, I thought I’d pick it up a year in advance and read up on it first. What I came across simply blew my mind.

If you’re not familiar with the book, basically this is a book on Biblical Theology. It’s largely based on Graeme Goldsworthy’s Gospel and Kingdom, but is Goldsworthy fleshed out a bit (I think this was before According to Plan came out). Strom takes you through the entire Bible from creation to new creation, from old to new covenant, and shows how, at the centre of it all, stands the person and work of Jesus Christ. The Bible is linked together as one continuous story of redemption, with the theme of “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule” as the way we are to discern its unity.

Being a Sunday school kid as long as I can remember, I had never read or come across anything until then that made all the disparate elements of the Bible link together like that. This book did that for me, and got me hooked on Biblical Theology. From there, I read Goldsworthy, Bill Dumbrell, and anything else I could get my hands on. I still remember the ‘lightbulb’ moments I had again and again as I was drawn into the marvelous revelation of God through the Scriptures and his mighty work through Jesus the Messiah to bring his people into his place under his rule. It was this book that gave me an insatiable hunger for the Bible – the whole Bible – and set my course into wanting to study theology later on in life.

It’s a pity this book’s out of print. In my mind, it’s still a more accessible read than According To Plan. However, I think Vaughan Roberts’ more recent book God’s Big Picture is a gem and might be a worthy (if not as detailed) replacement.

For those who’d like to leave comments, I’d love to hear about what you remember as your first paradigm-shifting, world-rockin’ sort of book.

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About Pete

I am a child of God, a husband, a father of four children, a pastor, and a church planter. I live in Sydney Australia and live to see Jesus made famous in this city and be the only God people worship.

Posted on May 16, 2009, in Books and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Strom’s “Days are Coming” is in print under the title “Symphony of Scripture” – it was most recently printed by Presbyterian and Reformed.

    I think it’s more successful as a padding out of Gospel & Kingdom than According to Plan but it also has its own take on various aspects of hermeneutics and the occasional interesting spin on theology… I really enjoyed reading it in 1991!

    • pastorpeterko

      Thanks Hefin! Had no idea it was reprinted under a different name. Would be interesting reading it again given what you’ve said about its hermeneutics.

  2. I’ve never read Days are Coming, but I remember having the same “lightbulb” moment while at biblestudy in youth group. Very cool. I’ve just finished reading God’s Big Picture – it’s heaps simplified, but a good one.

    My ‘world-rockin’ books would be Desiring God by John Piper (probably the first christian book I ever read), A Call to Spiritual Reformation by Don Carson, The Call by Os Guinness and The Cross of Christ by John Stott (just read Stott last month!).

  3. Yeah, I loved this book around 1991, too. So many ‘ah-hah’ moments.

    I also loved Moby Dick. And Exclusion and Embrace by Miroslav Volf and Desire of the Nations by Oliver O’Donovan turned me on to how profound theology has real world implications. You CAN do theology in a war zone…

  4. Ditto for me too Pete. I loved it so much I bought my bro and sis copies and mailed them to Brissie. 🙂

    Vaughan Roberts “God’s Big Picture” (as per Soph) is great for international students! I gave my copy to a Fijian student at SPRTE last year because they hadn’t heard anything like it before… I use his diagram in the back to run through God’s Big Story (a.k.a. The Bible).

  1. Pingback: The Everlasting God « Fan Into Flame

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