Friday, March 27, 2015

A Few Books

Here's a quick post on a couple of books I'm reading:

The Happiness of PursuitCall me cheesy, but I have a special affinity for books with titles that rework a well-known phrase, like  The War of Art. Picked this one up because of the author, Chris Guillebeau, whose book The Art of Nonconformity  I read a few years ago and really enjoyed. This book so far has been especially refreshing and worth the read. It's is a series of short stories weaved throughout highlighting people who have pursued what he calls a "life quest." He also weaves in his own story of traveling to every country in the world by the the age of 35.

Strange Glory: Yet another biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Have about 30 pages left in this one and will try to post some of the  notes from the book , especially given that the notes from the Metaxas bio are still one of the most popular posts I've put up. This book is a good complement to the Metaxas biography and gives greater emphasis to Bonhoeffer's theology and friendships. Though not quite as readable as the Metaxas bio, overall I enjoyed this one more as it seemed to go deeper inside the things that shaped the man Bonhoeffer became.

Daily Rituals: A collection of excerpts and descriptions from famous artists, painters, writers, musicians, describing how they went about their day. Lots to learn, but the big takeaway for me is that three hours of writing a day is about the most one can hope for. But three hours of writing a day can also be extremely fruitful over time (See section on Anthony Trollope). About halfway through this book.

People of God: This book was written by the small groups pastor at Matt Chandler's church. Our church is trying to get our mind around what it means to have an intentional small group strategy that also emphasizes leadership development. Hoping to learn much from this book.

First Hand: Skimming this book because of a product in development at FamilyLife for middle-teens. One of the sessions is all about helping a young person "make your faith your own." And that's really the gist of this book. The authors state inside the front cover, "Only a short time ago, we were so done with the whole Christian thing. What we thought was our faith wasn't ours at all. Not completely. Mostly it belonged to our parents. Some of that belonged to the youth pastor or our friends. Sure, some of it was real for us too. But a lot of it wasn't. If you had given our personal beliefs a close inspection, you might have noticed some flimsy plastic labels hanging on them." They go on to say, "Our goal in writing this book is to help you replace secondhand religion with a faith – and most importantly a relationship – that won't quit on you."

This is also important book because I've observed this happen in a number of churches, and I'm especially interested in helping our church be a place where kids make their faith their own before leaving the home.

The Story of Christianity vol 2: I started reading this with a group of guys at the office and it has
been a great delight. I read volume 1 in seminary and have always wanted to finish volume 2. Discussion groups are a great way to trick yourself into reading something you know you should read but just haven't made the time to do so. Gonzalez is the most readable writer of Christian History that I've run across. Recently both volumes were available for $3.99 via kindle, so keep an eye out.

1 comment:

Dan J said...

Gonzalez is fantastic. One of the only history books that had me in tears.