Posted On September 21, 2017

Seven Questions about Books, Life, and Ministry with James Williams

by | Sep 21, 2017 | Seven Questions about Books, Featured

Let’s start out by telling our readers a little about you. (Current ministry context, family, joys in life, etc.)

I serve as Associate Pastor at FBC Atlanta, TX. I’ve been married to Jenny for eight years now. We have three children: Kaden (6), Maya (5), and Chandler (2). We serve as foster parents, so most of the time we have four children in our home. I am currently working on my Ph.D. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

I enjoy outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, and growing a vegetable garden for our family. My kids are getting old enough now to enjoy some of these activities, so that makes it even better! I also enjoy reading, writing and running.

What are you reading right now?

Like most folks, I always have a variety of books going. I try to ensure that I’m always reading at least one work on theology/history, one on Christian living, one on development (preaching, writing, etc.) and one fiction book.

  • Imperfect Disciple by Jared Wilson
  • Gospel-Formed by J.A Medders
  • Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
  • Story Craft by Jack Hart
  • Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

What are some books you regularly re-read and why?

  • The Bible
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (I recently finished it for the first time, but I plan on re-reading it soon it was so good).
  • The Sovereignty of God by Pink

I also enjoy and re-read poetry as it stirs my heart for the Lord. A few examples include Job by John Piper and A Year With George Herbert by Jim Scott Orrick.

What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?

  • The Daring Mission of William Tyndale by Steven J. Lawson
  • Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther by Roland H. Bainton
  • Martyn Lloyd Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century by Christopher Catherwood
  • The Life of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by Iain H. Murray

Speaking of biographies and such, is there any particular one that has influenced you a great deal in your faith?

I am working on a dissertation on Martyn Lloyd-Jones, so his biography by Murray is one of my favorites! I love his passion for truth and sound doctrine with an emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit. I appreciate that even in the midst of a very busy ministry, he didn’t neglect his family.

If you were sitting down with a fellow believer and they asked for your top five book recommendations on Christian living, what would they be?

  • Knowing God by J.I. Packer
  • Desiring God by John Piper
  • The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink
  • The Cross of Christ by John Stott
  • Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges

What books have molded how you to serve and lead others in the gospel?

  • Preaching and Preachers by Martyn Lloyd-Jones
  • Revitalize by Andrew Davis
  • 9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
  • Discipling by Mark Dever
  • Light and Heat: The Puritan View of the Pulpit by Bruce Bickel
  • Spirit Empowered Preaching by Arturo G. Azurdia III
  • Christ-Centered Preaching by Bryan Chapell

Finally, let’s conclude with this question. What are you learning about life and daily following Jesus? 

Since becoming a Christian, I’ve known that I can’t-do anything without Christ. “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). The more I go through the struggles of life, the more John 15:4 truly resonates with me. More and more, as I try to be a pastor, father, husband, preacher, writer, etc. I’m continually confronted with my weaknesses and inadequacies, which drives me either to despair or deeper dependency on Christ. 2 Corinthians 12 has also become a great comfort to my soul: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

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