I cannot seem to read only one book at a time; there are far too many books out there which interest me! The books I’m reading are a good demonstration of what is going on in my life and what God is teaching me. So here’s what’s going on in my life, in literary form:
A popular book that I have finally gotten around to reading, A Reason of God is a refreshingly look at questions everyone at some point asks about Christianity. As a pastor of a large church in New York City, Keller responds to questions he hears daily and includes thoughts and arguments from those in his congregation. Being consumed in Bible college theology for 5 years, I’d forgotten a lot of the basic questions of the Christian faith and I am enjoying thinking through the questions as well as the reasons for our faith.
Answering Islam, by Norman Geisler and Abdul Saleeb.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been meeting with students to study Islam. This book is becoming very helpful in that as we look at the sacred texts and ask questions of the culture. This book, written by an author/seminary president and a former Muslim, offers insight into the basic doctrines of Islam and a Christian’s response to those beliefs. While I am in the beginning of the book, I am finding the text helpful as it cites many Muslim theologians and scholars to explain the beliefs. This, along with my weekly discussions have been incredibly eye opening and interesting.
The Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith
My home church has just started this book as their fall focus small group study. Wanting to be a part of what the church is doing, I decided to join in. The first chapter of the book explains that it’s not one to do by yourself – as it is best in the context of community. So I grabbed a good friend to read the book and talk through the questions with! The main concept of the book is that we follow and obey God, but do we really deep down believe that HE IS GOOD? Do we know God as Jesus knows God? What are the narratives we have come to believe and tell ourselves about God’s work in the world and in our lives? I’m still at the beginning of this one too, but I like the depth of Smith’s book and his practical steps at the end of each chapter. The steps are different from what you might think: week one encourages you to get a full night’s sleep once a week. Week two has you try to sit in silence for 5 minutes a day. Practical. Go ahead, try it yourself! (Then buy the book!)
The Meeting of the Waters, by Fritz Kling
This book was recommended to me by one of our area directors in SEND. Kling spend years traveling across the globe, interviewing local pastors and leaders about their church, missions, and the impact of foreign missionaries. He discusses the shift in missions in light of our changing culture (yes, global culture) and social media. The book is outlined by seven major global trends that “will propel the future church.” For any mission leader, missionary, or anyone interested in the global church – get this book! Kling writes that these seven current trends “will help people to reconcile their faith with their world – to connect Sundays with the rest of the week and provide a perspective on religion’s centrality in the world today. The church’s mission is to represent Jesus Christ to the people of the world, and I believe that the Currents will help the church understand what those people are like and how they are changing” (page 34).