Nathan Schneider


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Books From 2016

What I’ve Read in 2016:

(Favorites from 2016 are in bold.)

  1. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  2. Pilgrim’s Regress by C.S. Lewis
  3. Development Through the Lifespan by Laura Berk
  4. The China Study by Colin and Thomas Campbell
  5. Prayer by Tim Keller
  6. Understanding Sexual Identity by Mark Yarhouse
  7. Servant Evangelism by Alvin Reid and David Wheeler
  8. Radical Together by David Platt
  9. Here I Stand: Martin Luther by Roland Bainton
  10. Great Commission, Great Compassion by Paul Borthwick
  11. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
  12. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ by John Owen
  13. When the Darkness will Not Lift by John Piper
  14. Baptist in America by Thomas Kidd
  15. The Heart of Leadership by Mark Miller
  16. True North by Mark Liederbach and Seth Bible
  17. Do More Better by Tim Challies
  18. Family Worship by Donald Whitney
  19. The Mission Minded Child by Ann Dunagan
  20. Learning to Invest by Matt Schoenfeld
  21. TED Talks by Chris Anderson
  22. The Missional Leader by Roxburgh and Romanuk
  23. Shaped by God’s Heart by Milfred Minatrea
  24. Great by Choice by Jim Collins
  25. Amazing Grace by Eric Metaxas
  26. Giving Up Gimmicks by Brian Cosby
  27. Hudson Taylor by Hudson Taylor
  28. 21 Great Leaders by Pat Williams
  29. Everything You Wanted to Know About God (Jesus Edition) by Metaxas
  30. Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  31. Gospel-Centered Youth Ministry by Cole and Nielson
  32. 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do by Amy Morin
  33. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  34. The Printer and the Preacher by Randy Petersen
  35. Linchpin by Seth Godin
  36. Embattled Rebel by James McPherson
  37. Lead Small by Reggie Joiner
  38. The Ideal Team Player by Patrick Lencioni
  39. The Secret of Teams by Mark Miller
  40. Accelerate by John Kotter
  41. The Advantage by Patrick Lencioni
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What I’ve Read in 2015

What I’ve Read in 2015:

The books that I would especially recommend are in bold.

  1. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
  2. Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis
  3. The Be-With Factor by Bo Boshers
  4. Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxes
  5. The Art of Neighboring by Jay Pathak
  6. Start with Why by Simon Sinek
  7. Knowing God by J. I. Packer
  8. Finally Free by Heath Lambert
  9. Augustine as Mentor by Edward Smither
  10. Get Out by Alvin Reid and Josh Reid
  11. Provocations by Soren Kierkegaard
  12. Connecting Church and Home by Tim Kimmel
  13. Jesus Continued by J. D. Greear
  14. His Excellency by Joseph Ellis
  15. Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley
  16. First Family by Joseph Ellis
  17. An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture by Andrew Davis
  18. To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain by Matt Chandler
  19. Commentary on Philippians by John Calvin
  20. Effective Parenting in a Defective World by Chip Ingram
  21. The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie
  22. Philippians by Moises Silva
  23. What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung
  24. Tech-Savvy Parenting by Brian Housman
  25. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
  26. The Meaning of Marriage by Tim and Kathy Keller
  27. The Go-Getter by Peter Kyne
  28. Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
  29. Strong Father, Strong Daughters by Meg Meeker
  30. Family Ministry Field Guide by Timothy Paul Jones
  31. Possessed by God by David Peterson
  32. Simply Good News by N. T. Wright
  33. Parents in Pain by John White
  34. Theology: The Basic Readings by Alister McGrath
  35. Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins
  36. Anointed Expository Preaching by Stephen and David Olford
  37. Excellence by Andreas Kostenberger
  38. The Conviction to Lead by Al Mohler
  39. The Marriage Clinic by John Gottman
  40. Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
  41. The Space Between by Walt Mueller
  42. Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Allberry
  43. The Teenage Brain by Frances Jenson
  44. Age of Opportunity by Paul Tripp
  45. Help! I’m a Student Leader by Doug Fields
  46. Overcoming Sin and Temptation by John Owen
  47. Food by Jim Gaffigan
  48. The Brain Maker by David Perlmutter
  49. H3 Leadership by Brad Lomenick
  50. Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley
  51. The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung
  52. The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth
  53. 7 Family Ministry Essentials by Anthony and Marshman
  54. The Release of the Spirit by Watchman Nee
  55. Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
  56. Christian Formation by Estep and Kim
  57. Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris
  58. Strategic Disciple Making by Aubrey Malphurs
  59. Biblical Foundations for Baptist Churches by John Hammett
  60. Children Matter by May, Posterski, Stonehouse, and Cannell
  61. Answering the Call by Ken Gire
  62. The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper
  63. Gospel Families by Jonathan Williams
  64. Soren Kierkegaard by Joakim Garff
  65. Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem
  66. Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan
  67. The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  68. What’s Best Next? by Matt Perman
  69. Onward by Russell Moore

Links to previous book lists:

201220132014


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My Top 5 Reads of 2015

How do you pick just five books?

Books are great for various reasons, but this list consist of those that had the greatest impact on me in 2015, especially the first three. The last two were both published in the last couple of years (Gospel Families in 2015) and should be considered top resources for families.

Provocations by Soren Kierkegaard

I’ve read a few books that I return to more than others because of their content and the pleasure of reading them. This book will be one. Kierkegaard writes as one who holds nothing back, but rather writes as if everything were in his journal. Provocations is convicting and hopeful for the Christian. Read it slowly (as if you had a choice)!

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

This book is another reason to say that sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction. The story of Louis Zamperini is riveting and captured so well in Laura Hillenbrand’s writing. I couldn’t put the book down until I finished. As captivating as his early life and wartime experiences were, the last couple of chapters were my favorite! I couldn’t recommend this book enough.

Knowing God by J. I. Packer

There’s a reason this book consistently shows up on “Books Every Christian Should Read” lists. I will be reading this one again.

Finally Free by Heath Lambert

Great resource for men in their call to live in purity. Very helpful. Lambert is both practical and theological. Both are necessary in the fight for purity.

Gospel Families by Jonathan Williams

A great read with a necessary perspective: that families make disciples and disciples reach the nations. Practical suggestions for what it looks like to apply the gospel to your family and to live out a gospel presence in your community.


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Resources for the Battle for Porn-Free Living

As a Student Pastor I’m frequently meeting with students about their struggle with purity, whether that be a result of something their viewing online or because of crossing a line physically with another person. In addition to meeting with students, I’m asked by parents about resources for leading their sons and daughters through the difficult terrain of sexual purity during adolescence.

And although these conversations can revolve around any number of issues related to sexual purity, pornography continues to be the largest topic of discussion (statistics suggests that average age of a first exposure to porn is 11 and that 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites). For that reason, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be some of the most helpful material related to the issue of pornography.

Books:

Closing the Window by Tim Chester (Best for Immediate Porn Free Living)closing-the-window

This books provides the most helpful framework for how to overcome pornography. After opening with reasons to give up porn, Chester frames the book around five steps to fight the war against pornography:

  1. Abhorrence of Porn
  2. Adoration of God
  3. Assurance of Grace
  4. Avoidance of Temptation
  5. Accountability to Others

“The reality is that often we dislike the shame and the consequences of sin, but we still like the sin itself. We dislike the shame of porn, but in reality we still want to view it… The Bible talks about the pleasures of sin. They’re temporary. They’re dangerous. They’re empty pleasures, compared with the glory of God.” (p. 15)

Finally Free by Heath Lambert (Best for Sustained Porn Free Living)null.jpg_7324

Lambert’s book begins like many other books about living without pornography, namely with reasons to give up porn. The unique element of Lambert’s book is the emphasis on using Spirit-controlled characteristics to continue living porn free. These characteristics include humility, service and gratitude. This book could easily be the best overall book for someone looking to be victorious in their struggle.

“The great danger in your struggle is that you will devote all of your energy to thinking true and awful things about pornography and spend no time dwelling on the true and wonderful things about Jesus.” (p. 28)

You Can Change by Tim Chester (Best for Understanding Christian Growth)41WbWmPv7JL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

It’s rare that a book on Christian growth combines such gospel insight and practical application. Unlike other books on growth that are grounded in moralism, You Can Change springs forth from a proper understanding of our fallenness, God’s glory, and the wonderful news that God works through the gospel. Although the book is meant to be a catalyst for all types of change, the books principles can be applied easily to struggles with lust and pornography.

“Jesus is the perfect person, the true image of God, the glory of the Father. And God’s agenda for change is for us to become like Jesus.” (p. 14)

Sex is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris (Best Overview of Lust/ Sexuality)51iKD6rm53L._SX354_BO1,204,203,200_

Harris stresses the good gift of sex, a healthy perspective of sexuality, and the grace of God. From here, he emphasizes the need for purity in this issue. Although not as practical as other books, Harris does provide practical steps to pursue purity, including accountability, the reading of God’s Word, creating an intentional plan to fight temptation, etc.

“Sexual purity is clearly something only God can bring about in your life and mine. God’s standard of not even a hint quickly brings me to the end of my own ability and effort. It reminds me that God’s standard is so much higher than the standards I place for myself that only the victory of Christ’s death and resurrection can provide the right power and the right motive needed to change me.” (p. 27)

Wired for Intimacy by William Struthers (Best for Understanding the Neuroscience of Porn)wired-for-intimacy

This unique read provides an overview of the development (or lack thereof) of the brain because of pornography. The battle against pornography needs to take into account the reality that inappropriate sexual images affect us physically and intellectually. Change is a change of behavior and thinking.

“As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on these images, ages, the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed. The neural circuitry anchors this process solidly in the brain. With each lingering stare, pornography deepens a Grand Canyon-like gorge in the brain through which images of women are destined to flow. This extends to women that they have not seen naked or engaging in sexual acts as well. All women become potential porn stars in the minds of these men. They have unknowingly created a neurological logical circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image.” (Kindle location: 807-812)

Is God Anti-Gay? by Sam Alberry (Best Related to Homosexuality)allberry

Written by a pastor who has struggled with same-sex attraction in the past, Is God Anti-Gay? speaks biblically and graciously about issue about same-sex attraction and how to counsel with those who may be struggling in this area.

But there is a caution: having made it easy for someone to talk about their sexual struggles, we must not then make the mistake of always talking to them about it. They may need to be asked about how things are going from time to time, but to make this the main or only thing you talk about with them can be problematic. It may reinforce the false idea that this is who they really are, and it may actually overlook other issues that they may need to talk about more. Sexuality may not be their greatest battle.” (Kindle location: 738-742)

Media Resources:

Covenant Eyes – Internet Accountability (Covenant Eyes also provides a blog with a plethora of information for anyone battling pornography.)

Mobicip – Parental Controls


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Recommended Resource: ApParent Privilege

This week, I want to recommend ApParent Privilege by Steve Wright. The book is a short, easy read, but full of practical advice for parents who want to see their children develop spiritually.41t6Yv8vo1L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

This is the description from Amazon.com:

Parents have the greatest privilege of their lives literally in front of them everyday: their children. Pointing their children to Christ, modeling faith, encouraging with words, and showing unfailing love isn t a burden. It’s a privilege. Apparent Privilege will arm parents with biblical understanding and up-to-the-minute research to show them the unparalleled opportunity they have to be the primary influence of their children. It will give parents a biblical view of parenting, answer questions and concerns we all have, and help them understand how Christian parenting must become more than taking your children to church. In short, this book will equip a parent live a life where the difference is apparent.

Steve currently serves as Pastor of Discipleship and Church Planting at Family Church in West Palm Beach, FL. He has formally served as a pastor to students and families. His experience and understanding of Scripture has led him to place significant emphasis on the family for discipleship. He names seven ways that parents can nurture faith in the home:

1. Family Worship

2. Praying as a Family

3. Serving as a Family

4. Passage Trips

5. Journaling

6.  Journey days

7. Family dinnertime

He says this about the need for a home to be distinctly Christian, especially through Family Worship:

If a casual observer were to visit our homes, what practice would he or she see that is distinctly “Christian”? In many families today there is little noticeable difference between the home lives of Christians and the home lives of the unchurched. It should make us wonder what traditions and habits we are passing down to our children. It is my conviction that children need to see dad and mom leading in the study of God’s Word, sincere in their prayer life, and faithfully pointing to eternity. The Christian home has lost its badge of distinction as many families no longer practice family worship in their homes. I believe family worship, or whatever you choose to call it (family night, breakfast with Daddy, etc.), is the best place for our children to learn how to worship firsthand.

How can you begin the process of leading a time of family worship? He suggests the following small steps:

Start Small. Don’t be extreme by setting a standard of an hour each day for family worship. This will set you up for failure. Be realistic on what time and how much time works best for everyone.

Stick with it. It might be awkward at first for everyone (even you), but it will get easier over time.

Be realistic. When and how often should be determined by what works for your family and puts a win under your family’s belt. Some families start with once a month or once a week, some do every weekend, and others fo five days a week. Some families meet in the morning, some at night. Choose what works for you.

Have a plan. It could be structured or very informal, based on a Bible-reading plan or working through spiritual issues or questions. At first you may read on verse and share a statement of what God has been teaching you then end by praying for protection and blessing for your family. Some families have musical talent, and many young children love singing Bible songs. Some families memorize a verse together.

Give it time. Develop a plan for a few weeks, then evaluate later to determine if you need to make some minor tweaks or create a new plan entirely. Don’t worry, God will honor your efforts. He will finish His work.

Make it interactive. It would be wise if it weren’t a one-sided sermon. Make sure that your goal isn’t to simple scold your kids. This is a time to focus on the Lord and His Word, not on our kids’ failures and weaknesses.

Don’t overwhelm them. Make the worship time inviting and short enough leaving your children wanting for more. Then increase the length and depth as everyone gets more comfortable.

Be transparent. Be honest. Be open. Your children know you; so don’t try to fool them. If you don’t know what to say, then tell them so. In those moments, tell them that you are doing this because that is what the Bible tells us to do, and you are all learning this together.

One final word of advice: get to know parents who already have a set plan for family worship. Ask them questions. Learn from them, but understand that just because something works for their family doesn’t mean it will work for yours. The specifics of family worship are not spelled out in the Bible, but it is very clear that it is our responsibility and privilege as parents. I also encourage you to use the bible as your curriculum. There is so much confusion about which curriculum works with which age and whether or not your kids will like it. You can avoid these curriculum worries simply by going to the Bible.

Take a step of faith by submitting to God’s design for YOU to be the primary nurturer of your child(ren)’s faith. This book is simply one tool that will help you take that role seriously and give you practical advice to help you get there.

I love being your Student Pastor!

Nathan

“the LORD be magnified!” Psalm 40:16


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My Five Favorite Reads of 2014

I’ve read some great reads this year. This is a list of my five favorite.

The Power of Habit / Charles Duhigg / Personal Growth

This was one of the most helpful books I’ve ever read. Duhigg argues that much of what we do in any given day is actually done as a habit. So, change your habits and you’ll change your life. Read this book to recognize your habits and to put together a game plan for personal growth.

Broken-Down House/ Paul Tripp / Christian Living

Paul Tripp is my favorite author and I’ve attempted to read most of what he writes. He constantly finds ways to apply the gospel to the Christian. This book did not disappoint. It was encouraging, convicting, and helpful. It ends up being a synopsis of the Christian life.

What’s Best Next / Matt Perman / Productivity

Perman’s What’s Best Next is a book about productivity and time management written from a Christian perspective. He begins by showing that God does care about our productivity and as a result, so should we. Then, Perman discusses some of the ways to become more productive and what that looks like for Christian, whether that be in the workplace or in the home.

Simply Christian / N.T. Wright / Christian Theology

This is the second time I’ve read this book. I read it a couple of years ago and it had a huge impact on my life. Reading through a second time was no different. Wright, much like Tripp, writes in an easy-to-read manner. This particular book is an argument for the legitimacy of the Christian faith. He argues from such things as our need for justice. This is the closest book I’ve read to C. S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity.

True Spirituality / Francis Schaeffer / Christian Living

Finally, it was a toss up between this book and the other book I read this year by Schaeffer, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, which is written more in the category of Wright’s Simply Christian. The application was very simple.


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Books I’ve Read in 2014

  1. Resisting Gossip / Matthew Mitchell / Christian Living
  2. The Ministry of Intercession / Andrew Murray / Prayer
  3. Purity of Heart is to Will One Thing / S. Kierkegaard / Philosophy
  4. The Practice of the Presence of God / B. Lawrence / Christian Living
  5. Aristotle for Everybody / Mortimer Adler / Philosophy
  6. The Power of Habit / Charles Duhigg / Personal Growth
  7. Lord, Teach Us to Pray / Andrew Murray / Prayer
  8. Speaking Truth in Love / David Powlison / Biblical Counseling
  9. Speed Bumps / Mike Landry / Prayer
  10. A Call to Prayer / JC Ryle/ Prayer
  11. Wired for Intimacy / William Struthers / Christian Living
  12. C.S. Lewis / Alister McGrath / Biography
  13. Simply Christian / N.T. Wright / Christian Theology
  14. Reading for Preaching / Cornelius Plantinga / Christian Ministry
  15. Real Life Discipleship Training Manual / Jim Putman / Christian Ministry
  16. He Is There and He Is Not Silent / Francis Schaeffer / Philosophy
  17. The Fault in Our Stars / John Green / Fiction
  18. Saved without a Doubt / John MasArthur / Christian Theology
  19. Truth Matters / Kostenberger, Bock, and Chatraw / Apologetics
  20. The Gospel at Work / Traeger and Gilbert / Christian Living
  21. Every Good Endeavor / Tim Keller / Christian Living
  22. True Beauty / Carolyn Mahaney / Christian Living
  23. Born to Run / Christopher McDougall / Health and Fitness
  24. The Master Plan of Evangelism / Robert Coleman / Evangelism
  25. Be a People Person / John Maxwell / Leadership
  26. Baptism and Fullness / John Stott / Christian Theology
  27. The Old Man and the Sea / Ernest Hemingway / Fiction
  28. Health and Fitness / Philip Maffetone / Health and Fitness
  29. Thinking. Loving. Doing. / John Piper / Christian Living
  30. What’s Best Next / Matt Perman / Productivity
  31. Fear and Trembling / Soren Kierkegaard / Philosophy
  32. Treasure Island / Robert Stevenson / Fiction
  33. How to Read a Book and Enjoy it More / Ben Johnson / Reading
  34. The Giver / Lois Lowry / Fiction
  35. The Godly Home / Richard Baxter / Christian Family
  36. I Am a Church Member / Thom Rainer / Church Ministry
  37. Theology: The Basics / Alister McGrath / Christian Theology
  38. Cooked / Michael Pollan / Health and Fitness
  39. Edwards on the Christian Life / Dane Ortlund / Christian Living
  40. Saint Thomas Aquinas / G.K. Chesterton / Biography
  41. Next Generation Leader / Andy Stanley / Leadership
  42. The Intelligent Investor / Benjamin Graham / Personal Finance
  43. The Stories We Tell / Mike Cosper / Christian Living
  44. True Spirituality / Francis Schaeffer / Christian Living
  45. Broken-Down House/ Paul Tripp / Christian Living
  46. Faithful God / Sinclair Ferguson / Bible
  47. The Dead and Those About to Die / John McManus / American History
  48. Leading Change / John Kotter / Leadership
  49. Make It Last / Jeff Lovingood / Student Ministry
  50. As You Go / Alvin Reid / Student Ministry
  51. Switch / Chip and Dan Heath / Leadership
  52. Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome / Kent and Barbara Hughes / Pastor
  53. The Next Christians / Gabe Lyons / Christian Living
  54. The Juvenilization of American Christianity / Thomas Bergler / Student Ministry
  55. A Manual for Writers / Kate Turabian / Writing
  56. On Writing Well / William Zinsser / Writing
  57. Leading At a Higher Level / Ken Blanchard / Leadership
  58. Building Leaders / Aubrey Malphurs / Leadership
  59. Almost Christian / Kendra Creasy Dean / Student Ministry
  60. The Power of a Praying Husband / Stormie Omartian / Family
  61. The Auschwitz Escape / Joel Rosenberg / Fiction
  62. The Present Age / Soren Kierkegaard / Philosophy

Links to previous reading lists: 20102012, and 2013

Links to previous top reads: 2011, 2014