On My Shelf is a new feature designed to help you get to know various people through providing a behind-the-scences glimpse into their lives as readers.
I corresponded with Tullian Tchividjian, senior pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, about what’s currently on his nightstand, books he re-reads, his favorite fiction, and more.
What’s on your nightstand right now?
My nightstand is a mess—the biggest eyesore in our bedroom (according to my wife). I have about 30 books piled up on top of each other. I’m constantly reading, and I’m always reading more than one book at a time. I have everything from books I’ve been asked to endorse to books I’m consulting for my current sermon series to books I’m reading for fun.
I’m also a curious reader, which means I’m always reading books by people just to find out how they write and what they say about certain things—which means I’m not simply reading books by people within my theological tradition. One of my concerns about some who would consider themselves “reformed” is that they only read books by other “reformed” people. This, in my opinion, is a big mistake. And when some do read books outside their own theological tradition, they only do so with an eye to critique instead of an eye to learn. At least this was my mistake for far too many years. I graduated from a well-known reformed seminary (and am unbelievably grateful for the education I received there), and I never heard of any of the books, theologians, or scholars I list below (except one). I have, therefore, greatly varied my reading over the past five years or so and am reading many more books by writers, thinkers, and scholars outside of my theological tradition. Seven years ago I heard Tim Keller say, “When you read one thinker, you become a clone. Two thinkers, you become confused. Ten thinkers, you begin developing your own voice. Two or three hundred thinkers, you become wise.”
So a few books on my nightstand right now include: Humble Orthodoxy by Joshua Harris, Luther: An Introduction to His Thought by Gerhard Ebeling, The Foolishness of Preaching by Robert Capon, On Being a Theologian of the Cross by Gerhard Forde, The Mockingbird Devotional by Ethan Richardson and Sean Norris (eds.), The Genius of Luther’s Theology by Robert Kolb and Charles Arand, This American Gospel by Ethan Richardson, Between Noon and Three by Robert Capon, The Reconstruction of Morality by Karl Holl, Living by Faith by Oswald Bayer, Handling the Word of Truth by John Pless, and How to Talk So People Will Listen by Steve Brown.