I took a break from the blogosphere this past week for the most part. Time with family took precedence. But here we find ourselves enjoying the first day of a new year and it is almost over already. My wife and I spent some time recently discussing some goals for ourselves and for our family in 2012. It was a profitable conversation and one that will probably be revisited throughout the year.
One of the areas that we discussed (because one of the great joys of both my wife and I) is reading. About reading Douglas Wilson says:
Read constantly. Read the kind of stuff you wish you could write. Read until your brain creaks. Tolkien said that his ideas sprang up from the leaf mold of his mind: your readings are the trees where your fallen leaves would come from. Mind mulch. Cognitive compost. (from Wordsmithy)
So here are some of the (mostly) reading goals that I have set for myself this year:
- I plan to read the Bible through twice this year.
- This year I am going to memorize the book of Philippians.
- I am going to read through Calvin’s Institutes. I have read through large portions but never from beginning to end. That is going to change this year. In fact I am going to invite you to join with me in this journey. More on this later though.
- I plan to read two books on parenting (because I am a dad) and at least one book on Marriage (because I love my wife).
- I plan on reading at least one new systematic theology and biblical theology this year.
- I plan on reading at least two books about the cross and Christ’s work of redemption.
- Because I enjoy theology most I tend to draw mostly from this well. So even though I have read from other areas I wanted to begin this year being more intentional in my reading by delving into some other disciplines. To this end I am going to sample business, history, science, math (this is going to be a subject that I will probably enjoy the least), literature, fantasy, mystery and politics and other miscellaneous topics. I tend to read a little from each throughout the year but this year I want to read more of each.
I hope to read about 30-40 other books on theology and the church. I know that may sound like a lot but I know so many others who read so much more. Indeed, I too used to read much more but with two jobs, and a family – which includes two awesome little boys – I need to keep things realistic and in perspective. Some could carry more and read more – praise God for them. I cannot at this time.
To help you begin this year with good reading material I am going to be giving away a free book! You can qualify for this contest by commenting on this post. You must answer the question “What is one reading goal that you have?” (big or small) and list which of the three titles you would like to recieve.
- Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim and Kathy Keller
- Practicing Affirmation: God-Centered Praise for Those Who Are Not God by Sam Crabtree