Recommended Summer Reading 2023 Part 1

Dustin+ Messer

What are you reading this summer? Consider one of these titles suggested by Dustin+ Messer, Vicar at All Saints Dallas.

The first thing I read this summer was in conjunction with our sermon series on the spiritual gifts—namely, David Pytches’ Prophecy in the Local Church. An erstwhile bishop in the Church of England, Pytches began writing on the spiritual gifts while he was still vicar of St Andrew’s Church in Chorleywood. While firmly grounded in Scripture and the great tradition, the book especially reflects Pytches’ pastoral heart. It’s an accessible, practical guide to a sadly neglected topic.

My next read was related to a class on contextualization I’m teaching this fall at Reformed Theological Seminary Dallas. It’s less of a book and more a collection of papers presented at the 1978 Bermuda Conference on Gospel and Culture. Edited by John Stott and Robert Coote, Down to Earth: Studies in Christianity and Culture brings together an international group of missionaries and theologians who seek to answer the question, “How does a timeless faith interact with an ever-changing world?”

On vacation I brought with me a quasi-biography of Harriet Beecher Stowe, the “little woman who started the big war,” as Lincoln famously described her. In the book A Spiritual Life, Nancy Koester ably shows the centrality of Stowe’s Anglican faith in shaping not only her moral vision, but also her distinct literary voice.

On my “to-read” list is my former professor Bob Yarbrough’s Clash of Visions: Populism and Elitism in New Testament Theology. This relatively short volume examines two contrasting approaches to interpreting Scripture that lead to vastly different outcomes.

I’m also planning to read Carmen Joy Imes’ new work on creation care, Being God’s ImageCarmen will be speaking on the subject of this book at All Saints Dallas this fall, and I look forward to seeing how she will handle this important topic!

The Rev. Dr. Dustin Messer serves as a priest at All Saints Dallas in downtown Dallas, TX. Additionally, Dustin is a regular contributor to The Gospel Coalition and teaches in the department of religious and theological studies at The King's College in New York, NY. A graduate of Boyce College and Covenant Theological Seminary, Dustin earned a doctorate in ethics at La Salle University and went on to complete a fellowship at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Along with his work in local parish ministry, Dustin has served in positions of leadership for a number renewal organizations within the broader Anglican church, including the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) and the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC). Dustin is married to his college sweetheart, Whitney, and they have one daughter, Pennilyn Grace.