Reading Posts

Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com.

Andy Stanley’s latest book, Better Decisions, Fewer Regrets, puts him back into the genre of life application rather than the theological magnum opus he recently published with his book Irresistible. While I prefer his theologically focused books, Andy is comfortable and competent in both worlds. This book is unabashedly practical but is still written toward a Christian perspective. In addition, each of the five questions comes with a case study from Scripture (his summary on Jeremiah was fascinatingly succinct and well-explained).

Andy’s topic on this latest book lands at a good time for all of us as we navigate the hot mess that is 2020. He has a way of saying things that sound so obvious when you read them but they seem to elude us much of the time. A great example is this line from the book: “Most of us want to be proven right more than we want to know what’s true. We aren’t on truth quests. We’re on confirmation quests.”

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2020 Reading List 3/4

2020 Reading List 3/4

Contrary to how it may feel, we are actually moving our way THROUGH 2020. A lot has happened. Now at the 75% mark, it’s time to get ready for decorations for the holidays. Our family is back in Arizona this year which means we won’t get to enjoy all the changing trees that have dazzled us in recent years.

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2020 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:

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Life is in the Transitions

Just when I thought this year couldn’t get any crazier, my wife and I spent last night checking our evacuation status. Oregon—along with much of the west coast—is burning in unprecedented ways. It was the first time we began preparing supplies to actually flee our home. Many people have already had to do just this. I even saw a notice on Amazon today that I’ve never seen before: “Extended delivery time due to weather in your area.”

Really 2020? At some point we wonder when a sense of normal will ever return. Here is some good news for you: you don’t need to wait for normal.

As I shared recently, our family is moving back to Arizona (see: Family Update). That means we are in the middle of one of the biggest unexpected life transitions we’ve yet experienced. But 2020 has reminded us that ALL OF US are in the process of transitions.

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Climbing the Tree with René Girard

One of the things I love about reading and exploring new ideas is continuing to trace the ideas further and further back. When you find a book or author who resonates with you, take note of who he or she quotes (especially if repeatedly). Then read that author and do the same. This allows you to trace the origin and evolution of ideas and allows you to grasp them in deeper ways.

The merits of this thinking have been explained in different ways, but here is an intriguing way to consider it:

“Chew on one thinker – writer, activist, role model – you really love. Study everything there is to know about that thinker. Then find three people the thinker loved and find out everything about them. Repeat this as many times as you can. Climb up the tree as far as you can go. Once you built your tree, it’s time to start your own branch.”

Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist

One of the “thinkers” whose name has emerged numerous times in my theological studies has been the French philosopher René Girard. Girard died in 2015 at the age of 91. I recently read his book called I See Satan Fall Like Lightning (see: Amazon link). While it isn’t an easy read (possibly because it is translated into English or it’s just really deep), this one offers plenty to chew on.

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Inspired Imperfection

I remember asking a question to a professor when I was in my undergrad program: “What resource do you recommend to someone wrestling with the inconsistencies between the God of the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament?” I was pointed to a Biblical textbook that was a generic overview of the Bible. Needless to say, this didn’t actually address my question.

Yet it opened my eyes to the gap of people willing to talk objectively about some of the issues with the Bible (and the Old Testament in particular) without either dismissing it or glossing over it. It wasn’t until I met Greg Boyd years later that I found someone willing to tackle this in a way that resonated with me.

Greg’s latest book is called Inspired Imperfection: How the Bible’s Problems Enhance Its Divine Authority (see: Amazon link). I wish this would have existed when I was in college and first beginning to dive into this idea for myself.

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2020 Reading List – 1/4

2020 Reading List – 1/4

March felt like a year unto itself. But we are actually just a quarter into 2020. I’m just grateful we made it to April!

Here are the books I’ve read since January 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:

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