Do I read? Sure, I do. Not much fiction, though. To purloin and retool a phrase from the pen of Don van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart), I generally read “opaque literary works, which would bug most people.” Case(s) in point: rarely in recent months have I experienced the joy and excitement of feasting on anything approaching Oscar Cullmann’s Early Christian Worship nor have I surfeited on any book which approaches the sumptuous banquet which is Abbas Amanat’s Resurrection and Renewal: The Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844 – 1850! Oh, the memory of reading those masterpieces during the magical days of my youth makes me long for more, more, more!
I know, I know… Those titles alone have you perched upon the edge of your seat, clutching your mouse or other pointing device in anticipation. “Yes, yes, Bo, but what are you reading now? What rapurous prose are you feeding your soul this week?” And, more importantly you ask, “where can I get my hands on these ‘page turners’?” Well, I’ll tell you…
Let’s begin with light reading: the books on my nightstand, which carry me far away from the cares and troubles of the day. These are the books I read for pleasure before passing off into dreamland. First, there is one I read more often than any other, except my trusty Bible. It is an old pocket anthology of Robert Frost’s Poetry. I’ve read it from cover to cover, but I usually play “poetry roulette,” opening to a random verse. I think my favorite is Evening In A Sugar Orchard… Wait! No, my favorite is Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.
Another book I pick up over and over again is Design of the 20th Century. I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s nothing more relaxing before bedtime than reading brief biographies of designers and viewing their signature works.
Also on the nightstand is The Elements of Graphic Design, a Christmas gift from anonymous middle daughter. It is probably the most readable and engaging book I’ve read on the subject – I’m nearly finished with it. In queue are Interaction of Color by Josef Albers (a gift from Sam) and Design and Form: The Basic Course at the Bauhaus and Later by Johannes Itten (given to me by Emma). I have browsed them.
Now, let’s get down to the serious tomes. I’m preparing to teach through The Revelation or Apocalypse, so I’ve got a book open almost every spare minute. I have nearly completed Robert Mounce’s commentary in the NICNT series. It’s a modest 400+ pages and not overly technical. I read Joel Green’s How To Read Prophecy years ago, but just dashed through it again to brush up, along with some chapters from Bernard Ramm’s Protestant Biblical Interpretation. I also reacquainted myself with Millard Erickson’s classic undergrad textbook Contemporary Options In Eschatology. The list of “must reads” for the study of Revelation include:
- Gregory K. Beale’s monumental Commentary on Revelation — the main course. This is a critical commentary and at 1245 pages, it’s a monster!
- Alan Johnson’s fairly brief commentary on Revelation From the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
- What Christ Thinks of the Church: An Exposition of Revelation 1 –3 by John Stott
- The Temple and the Church’s Mission by G.K. Beale. This is 450 pages of pretty technical stuff.
- The Meaning of the Millennium, which I read a long time ago and have to do again.
- The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses by Vern Poythress will be a job, weighing is at more than 400 pages of very rigorous reading and, then, I’ll chase it with his diminutive Understanding Dispensationalists.
- I will also need to read George Eldon Ladd’s commentary, as well as his groundbreaking The Presence of the Future.
Finally, I have read or will need to read parts of Walvoord’s The Millennial Kingdom, Pentecost’s Things to Come, A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament, Donald Guthrie’s New Testament Introduction, J. Barton Payne’s Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy and more!
It looks like it will be a Summer full of fun reading!