Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The where and when of books

"When I completed the book, it seemed as if the Cross of Christ had been erected right in my apartment and now I knew- for the first time- I knew why Christ was suffering there. I slipped out of my chair onto my knees and asked Christ to come into my heart and forgive me and cleanse me of my sins. From that day unto this, my life has never been the same. I shall be forever grateful for the radio broadcast of Donald Barnhouse and for this book by Fulton Oursler, both of which God used to bring me to a saving knowledge of His Son. It is, therefore, with great joy that I present to you this special edition of Fulton Ourslers classic The Greatest Story Ever Told. May it bring to your life the joy unspeakable which it brought to mine."

Dr D James Kennedy quoted in Indelible ink, Page 93

This quote got me thinking about some of the life changing books that I have read and the places that I read them. Places matter. I love the idea that sharing a book might bring someone else joy unspeakable through saving faith in Jesus and I hope one of these may do that for you. I give books away all the time physically and through the blog. So, why not try giving away a book that has meant much to you to someone who does not yet know Jesus, tell them your story of why it meant a lot, pray and see what happens:

Chasing the dragon read in a flat in Chiswick

Basic Christianity read on a bridge in Moscow

Mere Christianity read together with six others in a pub in Kensington

Martin Lloyd Jones: The First Forty Years read in the South of France

The Road less Travelled read on a yacht in the Caribbean

Paul's letter to the Romans read in Patagonia

The Long Walk to Freedom read in Vermont

Spurgeon: Lectures to my students read in Kefalonia

Bonhoeffer by Metaxas read on retreat in Champoussin, Switzerland

Joy unspeakable by Martin Lloyd-Jones read in St Lucia (granted joy was a bit easier to comprehend here than perhaps a few other places I have been :)

The Discipline of Grace read travelling on the tube to and fro to Christchurch, Fulham

Jonathan Edwards read in the National Gallery

A Prayer for Owen Meany read in a park in Moscow

2 Corinthians read in Spetzi, Greece

Courageous Leadership read in a farmhouse in Hampshire

Rebuilding your broken world read in the car park of St Barnabas Kensington

A Faith to Proclaim read at Wychcroft House, Surrey on my Ordination retreat

Anna Karenina read on my sofa in Moscow

Einstein read in Tacoma, Seattle

The life you've always wanted read in Ambleside, The Lake District

Power Evangelism read in Toronto near the airport in 1994

The Reason for God read in a coffee shop in Richmond

Let your life speak read in a Starbucks in Shepherds Bush

Peter the Great read on my sofa in Moscow

Celebration of discipline read on a plane flying from Moscow to Riga, Latvia


At the Head of the Valley said...

Anything by Martin Lloyd Jones.

Discipleship by David Watson - changed my life.

Calvary Road by Roy Hessian (I think).

Simon said...

Cookie - were any of the course books you read at theological college in Oxford not helpful? If not, rather begs a few questions about the nature of training?

David Cooke said...


That's a very interesting question. I hadn't even noticed that but if you want an Oxford one then reading 'The four loves' in the Eagle and Child on my first day at college drinking a pint of warm bitter was a moment. Sadly, again nothing at all to do with the Anglican training program.

If you want a theological moment then reading Calvin's Institutes in order to write an essay on predestination was a memorable moment. Bodlein Library ground floor between lunch time and 6 on a wet winters afternoon. Holy ground.

The one thing about training is you read very few books all the way through- it's a dip in and out job because you have so many essays to do. I read a ton but you have awakened a blog post in me called 'What's the point of a theological training?'

Watch this space.