Resisting the Shallows. Like everyone, I spend tons of time online. But I also realize that constant skimming and hyper-linking reduces our ability to follow complex lines of thought. In short, it neurologically re-wires our brains to be more shallow (as described in Nicholas Carr's 2010 book, "The Shallows"). So, without minimizing the necessity of the Internet, reading books has become extremely important to me. I intentionally take time to read novels, biographies, social commentaries, and ministry books. I probably read about 60% on my Kindle Paperwhite and 40% paper books. Here are a few that I'm reading recently...
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Fictional ramblings of an old pastor to his young son, before dying. Great insights on forgiveness, legacy, jealousy and ministry.
The End of Memory by Miroslav Volf
Remembering wrongs suffered can be good or bad. What does it mean to remember rightly as a Christian? From his mistreatment in Communist Yugoslavia, Volf offers wise counsel.
God's Undertaker by John Lennox
Have advances in science made God irrelevant? Lennox, a mathematician from Oxford, argues otherwise. And he does it really well.
Summoned from the Margins by Lamin Sanneh
Saneh grew up in a Muslim community in Gambia, and his story of coming to faith in Christ is amazing.
Pearl by Mary Gordon.
Fascinating novel on parenting, forgiveness…in the context of “The Troubles” in Ireland.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
How not to do cross-cultural missions. Painful and insightful. Thankfully I have experienced (mostly) different approaches in missions.
Generous Justice by Tim Keller
Makes the theological connection between understanding the gospel and doing justice in our world.
Bad Religion by Ross Douthat
Ross Douthat is an op-ed columnist from The NY Times and a Catholic. He offers insightful commentary on the current state of Christianity in America. From the Amazon review: “Christianity’s place in American life has increasingly been taken over, not by atheism, but by heresy: debased versions of Christian faith that stroke our egos, indulge our follies, and encourage our worst impulses.” Bonus: watch Douthat spar with Bill Maher here.
Center Church by Tim Keller
Christian Bioethics by C. Ben Mitchell, PhD & D. Joy Riley, MD