Posted On August 16, 2016

Seven Questions about Books, Life, and Ministry with Michael Cooper

by | Aug 16, 2016 | 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 currently serve as the pastor of Grace Community Church in the small East Texas town of Mabank. I am married to my wonderful wife, Kailie. We have a little girl, Sophia Grace, and we are expecting another little one in March 2017. My passions include expository preaching and the local church. But outside the “ministry context” I enjoy reading, hunting, and watching the Dallas Cowboys.

What are you reading right now?

Personal Reading:

  • A Community of Character – Stanley Hauerwas
  • After Virtue – Alasdair MacIntyre
  • The Nicomachean Ethics – Aristotle
  • A Long Obedience in the Same Direction – Eugene Peterson
  • Selected Poems by T.S. Eliot

Ministry Reading:

  • Various Commentaries on Psalm 119
  • The Church – Mark Dever
  • When Not to Build: An Architect’s Unconventional Wisdom for the Growing Church– Ray Bowman

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

  • Gospel of the Kingdom by George Eldon Ladd. This book was transformative in my early studies as an introduction to the theme of the Kingdom. I have read this book several times along with a few chapters from Ladd’s New Theology.
  • Crucifixion by Martin Hengel. Every year during Holy Week I read this book. It takes a historical look at the meaning of the cross of Christ.
  • Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen. Among the various preaching text books on the market this book is a must read. Allen and the other contributors advocate for a “text-driven” model of expository preaching. I try to re-read it often.
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Because…it is C.S Lewis.
  • Sermons by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I enjoy re-reading the Prince of Preacher’s sermons.

What biographies or autobiographies have you read recently?

  • Forgotten Spurgeon by Iain Murray
  • John Adams by David McCullough (I had to put it down but picking it back up soon)
  • God of Liberty by Thomas Kidd

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

Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden. This biography is not only a historical account of the profound thinker but also a guide to his spiritual insight.

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?

  • Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
  • After You Believe – N.T. Wright
  • Spiritual Discipline for the Christian Life by Don Whitney
  • The Drama of Scripture by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen
  • Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore

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

  • Gospel of the Kingdom by George Eldon Ladd
  • Surprised by Hope and The Challenge of Jesus by N.T. Wright
  • The Drama of Scripture by Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen
  • Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
  • The Church by Mark Dever
  • New Guidebook for Pastors by Mac Brunson and James Bryant
  • The Pastor’s Ministry by Brian Croft

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

I am preaching through Psalm 119 at the church I serve. As such the Lord is showing me the importance of the Word in the various aspects of life. The poet records his life experiences and how the Word shapes those experiences. This study has impacted me, calling me to repent of my self-sufficiency. The Lord has been kind in drawing me back to the importance of the Word of God in the different rhythms of life.

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