I picked up How People Change by Timothy Lane and Paul Tripp to help me prepare for a message that I did for the 2009 Regeneration retreat entitled "Gospel Grace to Overcome Sin and Grow in Godliness". I think I originally heard of the book through some blog(s) in the Reformed stream that I read, and when I saw it recommended in Mars Hill Church-Seattle's Leader Training materials—a missional church not given to atta-boy every book from the Reformed camp—I guessed that it would be a great resource.
Since Holly and I are engaged to be married soon (only 127 days to go!), we have had to think through and discuss the issues of contraception/family planning. One of the issues we have to consider is whether or not for Holly to use the pill. Certainly it is a convenient and commonly used option for contraception. When we first discussed the issue—within a week of engagement, I believe—I expressed my initial resistance to using the pill since I had heard that it can sometimes cause spontaneous abortions when the contraceptive mechanisms don't work.
I found The Great Good Place by Ray Oldenburg to be far more helpful and insightful than I expected. While I had heard of the concept of a "third place" before, the multifaceted approach of the book drew a much more robust image of what such a place is, significantly raising my expectations for what a third place must be.
Here are the characteristics of third places:
This was my first book on missional topics, and Driscoll's book on reformission was helpful as a challenge to live and think missionally in culture. Driscoll stresses that since people do not exist apart from culture, we need to understand and relate to them in that context. He seems to specially challenge evangelicals who have overly distanced themselves from the world and ignored culture while also giving strong critiques of "emerging"-type Christians who have been swept up in culture and lost the distinctiveness of God's call to holiness.
Wild at Heart is a book written to encourage men to reconnect with their masculinity and to take joy in their identity as men. Eldredge's thesis is that men long for essentially three things: a battle to fight, and adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.