Reading Posts

Reunion (Book Review)

Reunion (Book Review)

I recently finished a great book from a Canadian pastor named Bruxy Cavey. Bruxy has helped to challenge my theological assumptions in numerous ways over the years (I even quoted him from a previous book if you watched my sermon yesterday). He also has the coolest tattoo I’ve ever seen which I explained in my blog about his last book (see: The End of Religion).

As you’ll learn the more you get a feel for him, he has an incredible ability to help you see past the weirdness of religion and refocus on Jesus. The image above (in yellow) is what he calls the Gospel in 30 words. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Bruxy’s latest book called Reunion: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners:

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Cross Vision

Greg Boyd spent the last ten years working on a book that reconciles the violence of God in the Old Testament with Jesus in the New Testament. As you might imagine, that is no small challenge to tackle. Earlier this year he released a scholarly version called Crucifixion of the Warrior God. At nearly 1500 pages, you might want to consider whether you can afford to neglect your family and friends long enough to read through it. But I’ve got good news for you! Greg will soon be releasing a popular (and dramatically shorter) version of the book in August called Cross Vision (at just 260 pages).

Greg has been a personal mentor to me over the last few years, and I had the opportunity to read early copies of both books. I even had the privilege of writing an endorsement for the version coming out in August. Of my list of my twelve favorite theology books of all time, four of them are written by Greg (see: Top 12 Theology Books). If you’ve never read one of his books, you simply have no idea what you’re missing. Cross Vision will be one I buy for many people to read over the years. I literally cannot hype this book enough.

Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book to give you a feel for it. These are from the early manuscript I read so there may be some discrepancies from the final version.

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The Prophetic Imagination

Every now and then I come across a book that seems to speak the language of my soul. Where the words connect on a deeper level than normal and it feels like reading someone else’s profound articulations of thoughts you’ve felt emerging inside you. As should be expected, it is rare to find books like this. I was beyond excited to read Walter Brueggemann’s book, The Prophetic Imagination, originally written in the 1970s. It has since been revised and I easily rated this a five on my reading list this year.

Brueggemann explores the role of the prophetic voice throughout the scriptures and invites the church to continue living out this role in any culture today. He sets it up like this: “the essential question for the church is whether or not its prophetic voice has been co-opted into the culture of the day.” When we live out this role, we as the church “will be prophetic voices crying out in the wilderness of the dominant culture of our day.” While the book itself is not all that long, it is a deep dive into ideas which call us to question many accepted norms around us. This is a much-needed read for the American church. Below are a few of my favorite ideas from the book.

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How to Survive a Shipwreck

How to Survive a Shipwreck

I had marked Jonathan Martin’s book How to Survive a Shipwreck as one to read for months before I actually did. Martin writes as a prophetic poet. At times it seems he speaks another language entirely. One you can recognize but often don’t know how to speak. The transparency and vulnerability in which he tells his journey invites all of us to seek God in an authentic way. Martin walks the reader through how to journey with God through the heartbreaking seasons in your life.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

The waters that drown are the waters that save.

There is no going back down the birth canal when the Spirit of life is pushing you forward, despite yourself.

There is nothing quite so scary as the Holy Ghost, because we intuitively know that to make room for this Spirit is to make room for our own upending.

On the other side of the storm that tears you to pieces is a capacity to love without doubt, to live without fear, to be something infinitely more powerful than the man or woman you were before it happened.

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Let Your Life Speak

Let Your Life Speak

I was recently given a copy of Parker Palmer’s book Let Your Life Speak. Parker writes from more of a Quaker perspective and I’ve really enjoyed it (as I have with other Anabaptist roots the last few years). The book is now almost twenty years old and has become a bit of a classic when it comes to hearing from God on how we live our lives faithfully to what God has given each of us. As a pastor, I talk often with people who are attempting to discern God’s will for their lives in areas both big and small. Parker offers quite a bit of perspective in navigating these questions.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

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My 62 Books of 2016

My 62 Books of 2016

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2016 with my rating for them (5 being the best) along with a brief review. Any book without a number rating has been given to me by the author or publisher. In addition to this list you might also check out my reading lists from previous years as well as my recommendations on how to become a better reader.

(Click here) to see the books I have personally written, and see below for the ones I’ve read this year. Topping the list were How to Be Here, The Sin of Certainty, Rejection ProofThe Explosive Child, and People to Be Loved.

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