Great Books Volume 3
What is your name and role at North? Can you tell me a little bit about your family?
My name is Daniel Schuman and I am the Biblical Living Pastor. I oversee the discipleship ministries of the church that include: Biblical Counseling, Redemption Groups, Preparing for Biblical Marriage, Post-Service Prayer and Women's Bible Study. I have been married for 14 years to Sonja, who is the love of my life and way better than what I deserve! We have three beautiful children who keep us on our toes and dependent on Jesus: Isabella (6), Maddox (4), and Jameson (2).
Why is reading important to you?
Reading is important to me because it helps stir my heart and mind with curiosity and passion for Jesus, and also for the people and world He has made. Sometimes my thoughts and affections become bored or stale. A good book fans into flame my worship and awe of God. Reading is also important to me as a means of continuing to learn how to best disciple others. When others come to me with struggles and sins that they are wanting help with, I learn from the writings of wise, Gospel-centered pastors and biblical counselors.
What is the most influential theological book you've read?
There have been a handful that have had a tremendous impact on my life. First, I would say "Pleasures Evermore: The Life-Changing Power of Enjoying God" by Sam Storms. This book has stirred my affections, awe and enjoyment of God, and has also begun to transform my relationship with Jesus from a "duty" to a "delight"! I highly recommend this book to everyone!
The next book is "The Cross-Centered Life: Keeping the Gospel The Main Thing" by C.J. Mahaney. This little book helped me to understand how we are never to move beyond the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It also explains in simple terms the difference between justification and sanctification, which causes confusion and unnecessary discouragement for a lot of Christians. It also shares some excellent suggestions on how to preach the Gospel to yourself daily.
Lastly, "How People Change" by Paul Tripp and Tim Lane has had the greatest impact on my understanding of how to apply the Gospel to personal change in my life and in the counsel that I give others. All three of these books are easy to read and I would highly recommend them!
What is the most influential non-fiction book you've read?
"When People Are Big and God is Small: Overcoming Peer Pressure, Codependency, and the Fear of Man" by Ed Welch. For much of my life, I struggled with people-pleasing which the Scriptures call the fear of man. I did not realize it, but I was more often concerned with pleasing people than pleasing God. I think the majority of people struggle with this to some degree. This book exposed the false worship of my heart and increased my worship of Jesus. As a result, I have been growing, as Ed Welch writes, "to need people less, and freed up to love them more."
What is the most influential fiction book you've read?
The Chronicles of Narnia - especially "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" and "The Last Battle” - written by C.S. Lewis. Some of my best childhood memories are of my mom reading these books to my brother and me. She has such a great reading voice and would dramatically read each character, especially the witch! I have carried on this tradition and began reading them to my children. They love it!
What are you currently reading?
Right now I am reading a wonderful daily devotional by Paul Tripp entitled "New Morning Mercies." I am previewing a book for my Biblical counseling appointments. It's entitled "Sacred Influence: How God Uses Wives to Shape the Souls of Their Husbands" by Gary Thomas and what I have read thus far has been very good! I also recently started a fictional novel entitled "The Seed: A True Myth" by Erik Guzman. It has gotten excellent reviews and I look forward to continuing it for my summer reading.