Summer Reading List

“Why Everything Matters” | Summer Reading Recommendations

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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.

This week, Drs. Scott Hildreth, Ross Inman, and Sam Morris recommend three books for your summer reading list.


The Cross and the Prodigal: Luke 15 Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants
By Kenneth E. Bailey (IVP, 2005)

Scott Hildreth: I have long been fascinated by the teaching about the grace and heart of God revealed through Luke 15. This summer I plan to read two books by Kenneth E. Bailey: The Cross and the Prodigal (pictured above) and Jacob & the Prodigal: How Jesus Retold Israel’s Story.

Dr. Scott Hildreth is Assistant Professor of Missiology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and George Liele Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies.

Where Prayer Becomes Real: How Honesty with God Transforms Your Soul
By Kyle Strobel and John Coe (Baker, 2021)

Ross Inman: This is a paradigm-shaping book that has the potential to completely overhaul how you relate to God in prayer. Personally, the book has guided me into a deeper, more truthful posture of prayer before the Living God. It has helped expose my improper motives in prayer, challenged my often tacit conception of prayer as fundamentally performative or about “being good” before God, and has pointed me towards the beauty of the honest truth that I am fully loved in the truth of who I am, in my goodness and in my sin. This book is a helpful reminder that the triune God already knows that I have no clue how to pray as I should (Rom. 8:26), and of the glorious truth there’s a different way, a deeper way, that leads to transformation.

Dr. Ross Inman is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Why Everything Matters: The Gospel in Ecclesiastes
By Philip G. Ryken (Christian Focus, 2015)

Sam Morris: Ecclesiastes is not often preached through or about. It remains, seemingly, an anomaly in the Scriptures. Dr. Phil Ryken does an incredible job in applying the book of Ecclesiastes to the world today. Western Christianity, and Western Culture in total, stands only to benefit from a deeper understanding of a biblical study of wisdom and the implications it has for our daily lives especially as it relates to evangelism in an increasingly post-Christian world.

Dr. Sam Morris is Director of Admissions at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.

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