Some years ago my pastor told me to stock my library with anything by D. A. Carson. Baker Books recently issued a reprint of his 1980 classic The Cross and Christian Ministry, and graciously offered me a copy for review. Now having read it, I'd recommend it as the first book of Carson's to pick up and read. I enjoyed it so much, I bought a digital copy as well.
The book is based on a series of lectures Carson gave on 1 Corinthians 1-4 and 9, which gives the book its subtitle: Leadership Lessons from 1 Corinthians. Carson taps into a core truth about Paul's letter to the Corinthians and the foundation of his entire ministry: Christ and him crucified. The gospel, the good news, is the center. Carson shows how Paul's grasp of the gospel dictated his entire approach to ministry, from identifying the root cause of the world's hostility to our message, to correcting self-righteous attitudes and factionalism, to laying down our rights in service to others, to learning what it really means to become all things to all people.
I am one of those people who brings a pencil and a straight-edged bookmark to my books. I found myself underlining, starring, and writing things like "Excellent point!" and "Amen" throughout the book. Carson manages to capture the essential point of the passages he's dealing with time and time again. The book itself is worth reading time and time again. I suspect that mine will be a well-worn copy before too long, and that's not a bad thing.