Summer Reading List

Bullies and Saints: Ken Keathley’s Summer Reading Recommendations

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As summer begins, we want to help you craft the perfect Summer Reading List. We asked Southeastern Seminary professors what books they would recommend, and we’ll share their recommendations in coming weeks.

Today, Center for Faith and Culture Director Ken Keathley recommends six books for your summer reading list.

In so many ways, Southern Baptists of today reflect their influences.

In the Name of God: The Colliding Lives, Legends, and Legacies of J. Frank Norris and George W. Truett
by O. S. Hawkins (B&H Academic, 2021)

If you want to understand the distinctions between fundamentalism and evangelicalism, look no further than the powerful 20th-century Texas Baptists preachers, Norris and Truett. Norris was pastor of First Baptist Fort Worth and Truett at First Baptist Dallas. The two men exemplify the good and bad about both movements. In so many ways, Southern Baptists of today reflect their influences. Shocking fact: both men shot and killed someone in the early days of their ministries!

Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Church History
by John Dickson (Zondervan, 2021)

Here is an evenhanded account of the amazing good that Christianity has done, and also the appalling failures to live up to its calling and name. Balanced, fair, and very readable.

Reactivity: How the Gospel Transforms our Actions and Reactions
by Paul David Tripp (Crossway, 2022)

Jesus taught that out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Nowhere is this more true than on social media. Tripp, as always, provides good Gospel principles for engaging and interacting in any public discourse.

Biblical Authority after Babel
by Kevin Vanhoozer (Brazos Press, 2016)

Biblical Authority After Babel is a great defense of the sufficiency of Scripture from opponents on the left and the right.

How to Think: A Survival Guide for a World at Odds
by Alan Jacobs (Currency, 2017)

I look forward to reading just about anything Alan Jacobs writes. With so much misinformation and disinformation flooding the airwaves, social media, and even books, how does one go about discerning truth from error? Jacobs presents clear and sometimes surprising principles for intellectual virtue.

Zoo Station
by David Downing (Soho Crime, 2013)

Zoo Station is the first of a series of spy novels set in World War II Germany with American journalist John Russell as the protagonist. If you like spy novels, then this is for you. This historically accurate novel lets you know what it was like to be an American journalist in Germany in the months leading up to World War II. Thumbs up—way up.

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  • Summer Reading List
Ken Keathley

Director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture

Ken Keathley is Senior Professor of Theology, occupying the Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he has been teaching since 2006. He also directs the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, a center that seeks to engage culture, defend the Christian faith, and explore its implications for all areas of life. Of his writing projects most notably he is the author of Salvation and Sovereignty: A Molinist Approach (2010), co-author of 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution (2014), co-editor of Old Earth or Evolutionary Creation? Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and BioLogos (2017), and editor of The Historical Adam and Eve: An Evangelical Conversation (forthcoming). Ken and his wife Penny have been married since 1980, live in Wake Forest, NC and are members of North Wake Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina. They have a son and daughter, both married, and four grandchildren.

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