Reading Posts

2018 Reading List – 3/4

I’m sure the pumpkin spiced lattes alerted you that we are now entering Fall, and that means we are 75% through 2018 (not to mention that it’s almost time to bust out the Christmas music!). This year I’ve been posting my annual reading list as the year progresses (once per quarter). You can see my yearly list at any time by clicking on the upper right menu on my blog named “reading list.”

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2018 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. Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.

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Resident Aliens

I recently finished the book Resident Aliens by Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon (see: Amazon link). It was the 25th anniversary of the book, so I was unsure how it would stand up over the years. I was then surprised how encouraged and inspired I was as I read about the radical nature of what the church is to be in a culture. In case the title confuses you, here is where it comes from: “The church is a colony, an island of one culture in the middle of another. In baptism our citizenship is transferred from one dominion to another, and we become, in whatever culture we find ourselves, resident aliens.”

This is an important book for the American church today, as I believe our sense of nationalism is the greatest threat to our ability to live as the church. While many people express sadness at the way things are developing regarding the church and our culture, I (and the authors) see it differently. “The demise of the Constantinian world view, the gradual decline of the notion that the church needs some sort of surrounding ‘Christian’ culture to prop it up and mold its young, is not a death to lament. It is an opportunity to celebrate.”

With that in mind, here are a few of my favorite passages in the book:

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2018 Reading List – 2/4

We are already halfway through 2018. This year I’m posting my annual reading list as the year progresses (once per quarter). You can see my yearly list at any time by clicking on the upper right menu title named “reading list” on my blog.

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2018 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. Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.

(more…)

7 Reasons Why I Read Books Digitally

7 Reasons Why I Read Books Digitally

I read a lot and am often asked how I do it. There’s no secret to this, and my best advice is to read a chapter a day. But part of my reading strategy is built around my Kindle. As a result, if you would like to be a more focused reader, I’d like to try and persuade you to adopt digitally reading as well.

Let me begin by addressing what I suspect will be the initial response from many of my readers. “But I love real books!” You may love the smell, the feel of them in your hands, or any other tangible aspect of reading in this way. I get it. But try a little thought experiment with me. Take your favorite argument as to why you love reading a physical book and substitute the word “blankie” instead of “book” in the sentence. For example, “I love the smell of a new blankie [book].” Or, “I feel so relaxed with a blankie [book] in my hands.”

Notice how similar your favorite argument sounds to a toddler. I don’t mean this as an insult, but rather to highlight what I find to be a humorous area of overlap from our childhoods. Hopefully, it shows these are not necessarily good reasons to avoid reading digitally. Without further ado, here are the seven reasons why I use a Kindle to read the majority of my books digitally.

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2018 Reading List – 1/4

It’s hard to believe we are already 25% of the way through 2018. I’m going to try something new this year and post my yearly reading list as the year progresses (once per quarter). You can see my yearly list at any time by clicking on the upper right menu title named “reading list” on my blog.

Here are the books I’ve read since January of 2018 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. Click on any of the titles below to get to a link to buy it.

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Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

Not only do I love the title of Brian Zahnd’s latest book, but I also love the ideas themselves. In Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God (see: Amazon link), Brian tackles many of the cultural images we’ve developed to formulate an angry-god-in-the-sky theology.

One of the best parts of the book is the way Brian helps the reader to rightly value and use the Bible without making it the focus above Jesus Himself. I’ve met many Christians who either dramatically devalue the Bible and spend little to no time reading it or those who dramatically overvalue it and treat it as if it is God itself and worthy of worship. Brian helps to navigate this tension. As he profoundly highlights, “God did not become a book, but God did become a human being.”

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