Confronting Christianity – 12 Hard Questions for the World’s Largest Religion. Rebecca McLaughlin. (2020.03.29)
Recommendation: I am three chapters in, and it is riveting. Her writing style is comfortable and engaging. I am considering using this book, one of Christianity Today’s books of the year in 2019, to teach an adult class in the fall.
All I really need to know I learned from watching Star Trek – Dave Marinaccio (2020.03.17)
Recommendation: Marinaccio is a marketing guy, so this is written from a secular perspective. It is a fun read, and each section is in small digestible bites.
Three Mile an Hour God. Kosuke Koyama (2020.02.01)
Recommendation: The writing of this Japanese Christian Theologian is thought provoking and wonderful. Each topic gets about three to four pages, and is wonderfully profound. I went an ordered another book written by him!
The Shema – Spirituality and Law in Judaism. Norman Lamm (2019.12.21)
Recommendation: Sermon series preparation. It gives awesome insights into the Jewish mindset and history on the amazing prayer of Hebrew identity.
The Case for Christmas – A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger. Lee Strobel ( 2019.10.24)
Recommendation: Good little book that I recommend you read every year sometime after Thanksgiving to remind you why Christmas is important.
Exodus – Why Americans Are Fleeing Liberal Churches for Conservative Christianity. Dave Shiflett (2019.10.25)
Recommendation: I was intrigued by the title as I have studied the massive decline of the mainline Protestant traditions . Don’t be confused by the sub-title because he is speaking theology, not politics. His thesis is that the more a church (denominations, traditions) drifts from orthodoxy in theology, the smaller they make God; and the smaller they make God, the smaller the church gets. In other words, belief in the affirmations of faith set forth in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are essential for faith and supported by scripture. Unfortunately, he is not as even handed as he could have been because there are some on the extreme right who can make God just as small as those on the far left.
Saint Patrick Retold; The Legend and History of Ireland’s Patron Saint. Roy Fletcher (2019.09.05)
Recommendation: Fletcher takes scant historical and archaeological evidence and tries to piece together a clearer picture of this legendary figure. This is a little heady for the average reader, but good stuff for a nerdy type like me.
Seven Stories of Christmas Love. Leo Buscaglia (2019.09.02)
Recommendation: If you have never heard of Leo Buscaglia, you should! Check out his writings and PBS specials on YouTube. He’s been gone for over two decades, but his legacy of love lives on!
Winnie the Pooh. A.A. Milne (2019.08.01)
Recommendation: I think I just might make a visit to the “Hundred Aker Wood” in the summer of 2020!
Making Sense of God – Finding God in the Modern World. Timothy Keller (2019.06.18)
Recommendation: A good book for those who are skeptical, and those Christians who walk alongside them.
Generations: The History of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069. William Strauss & Neil Howe (2019.06.17)
Recommendation: The book is excellent at historical perspectives (read it for this). Because it was published in 1991, it does not take into account the rise of smart technology, 9/11, the economic crisis of 2008, or the 2016 election, all of which are dramatic secular crises. It leaves me asking questions ; Did the Boomers let us down, have the 13ers (Xers) ever stepped up, and are the Millenials forcing a fundamentalist “religion” on us? Just the random thoughts of a practical minded 13er!
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (completed 2019.05.19)
Recommendation: Pretty good little book. Lots of imagery, illusions, and direct references to Scripture, but make no mistake; this is not a Christian book. The reflections on the relationship between shepherd and sheep are fun to ponder. A nice book about journeying in life, as the author puts it; seeking one’s “personal legend.”
Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry (Reread 2019.06.01)
Recommendation: What can I say? I read it again. The thing that jumps out in this first person narrative is how the landscape changes over life. It also documents well how our society has changed from a self-sufficient, productive, community centered, simple agrarian culture to a reliant, consumeristic, self-absorbed, complex culture. Lastly, there is a faith component as the main character fulfills his call to ministry not as a preacher but as a town barber.
Surprised By Hope by N.T. Wright (completed 2019.04.21)
Recommendation: This is an important book to challenge your views on life, death, resurrection. And Wright is Biblically very sound.