Dan Olson's Bookshelf

Books . Movies . Music . More
Dan Olson's Bookshelf
Dan Olson's Bookshelf
Books . Movies . Music . More

Dan Olson

Director of Advancement

My Current Favorites

Five books, movies, or songs influencing me now
Hammer of God
Hammer of God
by Bo Giertz
WHY I LIKE IT
Three generations of Lutheran clergy in a Swedish village -- one God who humbles hearts and saves souls. Twice was brought to tears. Leland Ryken wrote a review for TGC and called it a Christian classic. I certainly wish Augsburg Fortress would rethink the format and cover -- it feels like a self-published book.
Puritan Portraits: J. I. Packer on Selected Classic Pastors and Pastoral Classics
Puritan Portraits: J. I. Packer on Selected Classic Pastors and Pastoral Classics
by J. I. Packer
WHY I LIKE IT
This is the current Packer book I'm reading, and is a collection of introductions he wrote about various Puritan figures. Packer gives us profiles of John Flavel, Thomas Boston, John Bunyan, Matthew Henry, Henry Scougal, John Owen and Stephen Charnock and two closer portraits of William Perkins and Richard Baxter. The Packer book I refer to the most is probably his Keep in Step With the Spirit or Concise Theology.
How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem
How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History's Greatest Poem
by Rod Dreher
WHY I LIKE IT
I appreciate Dreher's writing in general. I appeciate Dreher's approach to apply the truths in Dante's Divine Comedy to his own situation. I can't help but wonder, though, if this book might make his family situation even more difficult to navigate.
Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send
Gaining By Losing: Why the Future Belongs to Churches that Send
by J.D. Greear
WHY I LIKE IT
I'm enjoying Greear writing thus far, and appreciate the call to train up and send out church planting teams - and sending out a church's best people to see kingdom communities grow.

My Essentials

My all-time favorite books, movies and music
Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
Christianity and Liberalism, new ed.
by J. Gresham Machen
The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth
The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth
by David Bentley Hart
Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason
Theology and Social Theory: Beyond Secular Reason
by John Milbank
A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics
A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics
by Charles Dickens
The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books)
The Treasure Principle: Unlocking the Secret of Joyful Giving (LifeChange Books)
by Randy Alcorn
Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters
by Timothy Keller
Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture (American Society of Missiology)
Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture (American Society of Missiology)
by D Willis James Professor of Missions and World Chr
The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis
The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis
by Alan Jacobs
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies)
Desiring the Kingdom: Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation (Cultural Liturgies)
by James K.A. Smith
John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce
John Newton and the English Evangelical Tradition: Between the Conversions of Wesley and Wilberforce
by Mr. D. Bruce Hindmarsh
Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture
Jesus Through the Centuries: His Place in the History of Culture
by Jaroslav Pelikan
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God
The Spirit of Early Christian Thought: Seeking the Face of God
by Robert Louis Wilken
Patterns in History: A Christian Perspective on Historical Thought
Patterns in History: A Christian Perspective on Historical Thought
by David Bebbington
Jonathan Edwards: A Life
Jonathan Edwards: A Life
by George M. Marsden
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
by Thomas S. Kuhn
The Mill on the Floss (Dover Thrift Editions)
The Mill on the Floss (Dover Thrift Editions)
by George Eliot
WHY I LIKE IT
One of my favorite novels.
The Abolition of Man
The Abolition of Man
by C. S. Lewis
WHY I LIKE IT
This and The Discarded Image are probably the two of Lewis's more academic works that I appreciate the most. This is a wholesale and trenchant critique of modern approaches to education. Two phrases that stick with me are "the head rules the belly through the chest" and, "for the ancients, the chief goal was conforming the soul to reality". The appendix on the Tao is a fascinating compendium.
The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud (Background: Essential Texts for the Conservative Mind)
The Triumph of the Therapeutic: Uses of Faith after Freud (Background: Essential Texts for the Conservative Mind)
by Philip Rieff
WHY I LIKE IT
I don't claim to fully understand Rieff, but the distinction that has stuck with me from reading this carefully with a close friend years ago is the therapeutic transition from "commitment therapy" to "remissive therapy" that has happened in the twentieth century. For pastors, counselors and psychologists tempted to shy away from an accountability role, directive therapy, and drawn toward exclusively "client-directed" approaches, reading this book will help you at least trace the very modern lineage of your approach.
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition
After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, Third Edition
by Alasdair MacIntyre
WHY I LIKE IT
While critics often dismiss the virtue uniformity of the late medieval moral world that McIntyre sees as being perverted by post-enlightenment ethics, the cogency of McIntyre's argument is extremely satisfying. The concluding lines about waiting for another, albeit very different, St. Benedict is most often quoted, but the opening "Disquieting Suggestion" is such an elegantly drawn analogy that it remains one of the passages I reflect on the most.

My Bookshelf Archive

my archived books, movies, music, and more
The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials #2)
The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials #2)
by N. D. Wilson
WHY I LIKE IT
I like all of N.D. Wilson's juvenile fiction, and this series is much better than the 100 Cupboard trilogy. I'd still recommend Leepike Ridge as the first title of his fiction to read.