The first night of the Founders Conference was excellent. Dr. David Wells taught on the subject of Christology in the postmodern age. He explained that, in his view, there are essentially two competing views of spirituality in the west. One is a spirituality that begins "from below" and attempts to ascend upward. The other is a spirituality that begins above and descends downward. The first is a spirituality that begins with man that works toward something bigger - something transcendent. This is the common form of spirituality in America. The alternate spirituality is one that begins with God and descends to man in his sinfulness. This is a spirituality of grace, not merit. It was a beautiful message about the excellency and supremacy of the gospel of grace and the true nature of spirituality. For more info check out Timmy B's recap of the message. Afterward Timmy and I were invited to grab a late bite with Phil Newton, Sam Tullock and Dr. Wells at Applebees. During the dinner I asked Dr. Wells what theological works he would encourage young pastors to read. "What are the most critical volumes to digest?" He's the "Andrew Mutch Distinguished Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary," what do you think I'm going to ask him?! His answer was different than I expected. Instead of giving me a list of books, he said that pastors need to read substantive books that manage to be both scholarly and relevant. He also encouraged the reading of biographies of both Christians and non-Christians. Only after politely pressing him a bit about current trends in theology and current works that are valuable he gave up a few titles. He suggested some classics (eg. Kuyper on the Holy Spirit, Warfield on the Inspiration and Authority of the Bible), but the book that he pointed to first was Pierced for our Transgressions, by Steve Jeffery, Mike Ovey, and Andrew Sach. It doesn't look like it's readily available in the US at the moment, though you can order it via Amazon and wait 4-6 weeks. It looks fantastic.