Okay, so anyone who reads this blog knows that I cannot stand "Pagan Christianity" or "The Shack" or most emergent drivel.
So, in my estimation, what books don't suck?
How about we start with the Bible? Heard of it? I know, I know...a little long, some of the characters are hard to care about, you feel like you're reading a children's book when animals start talking, etc. etc.
Yet, if you truly have God's Spirit working within you to slowly "depervertifisy" you (does that sound George Bush like?) then you cannot go long without reading Scripture.
Yet, if you walk into a Christian book store (not that I recommend it! So much crap in there makes me want to go Jesus in the Temple and...okay, I digress...sorry) then you will notice a hundred different choices and some of them not even ye King James! I would recommend a good study Bible and access to Biblegateway.com, which has dozens of English translations available. I think that every serious Christian needs a good study Bible and access to other translations in order truly dig deeply into the Word of God.
The best reader friendly translation available is the New Living Translation. If you can afford it then you should grab a copy but if not then don't fret you can find it online at Biblegateway. I always recommend that Christians read whole books of the Bible in as few sittings as possible and not just engage in "read a verse and pray devotionals." In fact, the best way to study a book of the Bible is to read it through in one sitting beginning with a reader friendly but theologically accurate translation like the New Living Translation. Eventually, however, you need to slow down and study the book by breaking it down into smaller chunks and this requires a good literal translation and I define "literal" as a work that strives to stick as close to the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek as possible.
I think that the English Standard Version (or ESV) has surpassed the New American Standard as the best literal translation on the market and the best version out there is the Literary Study Bible. You should find one in a store and flip through it or peruse one online and see what you think but keep in mind that two new study Bibles will hit the market this fall and may easily rank as the best one-two punch out there--they are the ESV Study Bible and the New Living Translation Study Bible, which, by virtue of the scholars working on them, promise to be extraordinary.
So, if you decide to wait on one of the two study Bibles or if you feel the need to grab the ESV Literary Study Bible today then please...please...please...put down your crappy Tim LaHaye, Ted Dekkar, William Young stink pickle and just start reading a good version of the Bible!
Because if I run across one more so-called Evangelical Christian pushing some pile of poo that they think is "revolutionary" then I'm going to have to resort to extreme measures...think something like the picture to your right...I mean it...don't mess with me...I'm a lawyer and therefore have no heart!!!