What I'm Reading This Summer
I’m doing a lot of reading this summer, trying to nourish my own soul, while staying fresh for my teaching responsibilities at Calvary. I do most of my reading early in the morning, in the evening, on my day off, or on vacation; though I do occasionally snag some work hours for theological reading (since it is part of my work). Thought I would blog about a few of the many books I’ve picked up to devour this summer.
I’m re-reading Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis with my oldest son. We are each underlining our favorite quotes and talking about them out on the porch in the evening this summer. This classic is not for the faint of heart – it covers all of the theological bases, contains a few Anglicisms (British words/expressions), and requires one’s full attention. But it is just solid theology. (Expect more Lewis quotes from me this fall!)
Pure Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good by Gary Thomas is one of those rare books where I am constantly saying to myself. “Finally someone is saying what I’ve been thinking all along.” Thomas is a theologian who is rooted in both scripture and church history, but he writes with a contemporary (and very practical) flair. This may go on my ‘must read’ list. Solid.
Sex and the Supremacy of Christ by John Piper and Justin Taylor is a series of essays on sex from a Christian/theological perspective. Sex was created by God, intended for pleasure (as well as pro-creation), and points us to the creative, beautiful, and pleasure-giving God. What could be better than good sex? Piper and Taylor answer: God. (Now think on that one!) Leans theological but provides practical insights.
The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life by Louie Giglio, founding director of the Passion Conferences. I recently enjoyed this little book while sitting on the beach in southwest Michigan with my wife. This will definitely make it into my fall series! We were created to worship, and if we don’t worship God we will worship something else. His powerful illustration of watching a Michael Jackson concert and calling it the most intense worship he has ever seen will remain with me vividly. “Why don’t we worship God this way?” Giglio asks. How I long for our worship to be more intense.
From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missionsby Ruth A. Tucker. Christianity has gone global, and this is the story of how it happened. This is a very accessible history of the historical sweep of the missionary movement. I’m also working through Mark Shaw’s very recent work Global Awakening: How 20th-Century Revivals Triggered a Christian Revolution. (I serve under Mark as an occasional adjunct professor at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya.)
For fun (although almost all reading is fun), I have started reading Rock, Paper, Scissors: Game Theory in Everyday Life by Len Fisher. The author humorously illustrates how predictable human behavior is, and he suggests ways this can be used to help us navigate through the maize of living with people (like ourselves!).