(This was originally posted on January 8, 2020)
Have you set goals for 2020?
I’m still working on my personal goals. You may be wondering if it is too late to set goals for 2020 because we are already a week into the new year. I don’t start my new goals until February each year. The reason is that I’m usually still on vacation for the first couple of days into the new year, and it gives me time to assess better after the chaos of the holiday season is past.
One of my goals that I am working on involves reading. I want to read books from a different genre than what I usually read. This means novels. So, please pass along your recommendations for a good novel to read.
Perhaps you would like to read a book outside of your normal range. Could I suggest reading a Puritan work? I often read the Puritans and have benefitted immensely from reading their insights. If you don’t know where to start, let me give you some suggestions:
Thomas Watson is pretty easy to understand. Watson is the master of the metaphor. He skillfully uses word pictures to help give his readers something concrete to hang on to while discussing critical theological truths. I highly recommend A Body of Divinity. I just reread his chapter on Sanctification and found it very refreshing.
Another recommendation would be The Valley of Vision. It is a collection of Puritan prayers that I find very helpful.
Anything by John Owens is gold. But like gold, it will take discipline and mining through lengthy sentences and complicated vocabulary to get to the treasure. It’s worth it, but not easy. If you want to cheat a bit, you can read Kris Lundgaard’s The Enemy Within. Lundgaard took a classic by Owen and rewrote it in modern English using modern illustrations and metaphors.
If you don’t want to read a Puritan work, how about a book about the Puritans? Joel Beeke’s Meet the Puritans is a helpful book where he introduces you to many of the great Puritan theologians.
So, what are your goals? What novels would you recommend to me, and would you be willing to read some Puritan literature in 2020?
Let me know.