What Books Are You Reading in 2020?

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Network readers! I'd love to know: What books have you been reading recently? What books are you hoping to read? 

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Been Reading: Nimi Wariboko's God and Money; Tolstoy's War and Peace; Ellul's Money and Power; Miller's Canticle for Leibowtiz.

Hope to Read: Sowell's the Economics of Politics and Race, Heyne's The Economic Way of Thinking; and Beeke's Pulpit Aflame.

Reading:  Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory - by Tod Bolsinger

Love this question! 

Currently reading quite a few books, including "The Divine Conspiracy" and "Spirit of the Disciplines" by Dallas Willard.  Also thoroughly enjoying sections of "Spiritual Practices in Community" by Diana Shiflett, and "The Gospel in a Handshake" by Kevin J. Adams.

 

Preparing to read "The Worship Architect" by Contance M. Cherry, which looks to be very rich in content!

"The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr." ed. by Clayborne Carson.  During these times of high social unrest, I find MLK to be an inspiring example of pastoral and prophetic faithfulness.  By the end of his career, many of his white supporters deserted him because of his views on the Vietnam War, and many of his black supporters deserted him because his continued insistence on non-violence in contrast to such leaders as H. Rap Brown and Malcolm X.  This book was put together post-mortem,  and includes selections from his writings, speeches, and papers.

 

Community Builder

Presently reading the following books:

Poverty of Spirit by Johann Baptist Metz

To Alter Your World: Partnering with God to Rebirth Our Communities by Michel Frost and Christiana Rice

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall

 

I am reading "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande, "Invitation To A Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation" by M. Robert Mulholland Jr., "Music of Silence" by David Steindl-Rast and "The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God" by Ron Rolheiser.  I just bought "Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church" by Barbara Holmes and am looking forward to reading it.

I am reading "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande, "Invitation To A Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation" by M. Robert Mulholland Jr., "Music of Silence" by David Steindl-Rast and "The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God" by Ron Rolheiser.  I just bought "Joy Unspeakable: Contemplative Practices of the Black Church" by Barbara Holmes and am looking forward to reading it.

Community Builder

Just finished up and thoroughly enjoyed a couple of books by Andy Root, including "Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker".  I also learned a lot from Mark DeVries' "Sustainable Ministry" books.  "Peace Like a River" is a new favourite this year and I'm slowly making my way through N.T. Wright's new book, "The New Testament in It's World".

Participant

Planning to read Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing by Gayle Boss for Lent. (Check out http://justice.crcna.org/lent-2020-wild-hope.)

I'm working through Kevin DeYoung's "The Good News We Almost Forgot" as I teach catechism to some of our high school students. It's a great tool for those new to the Heidelberg Catechism but has wonderful gospel truth for those of us who have grown up with it.

Looking forward to reading Mike Wagenman's Engaging the World with Abraham Kuyper soon.

 

 

Participant

Recently re-read Ruined, a memoir by Ruth Everhart, and her recently released #MeToo Reckoning - Facing the Church's Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Misconduct. Both are important reads for instilling awareness and establishing effective advocacy for change.  

Church Forsaken by Jonathan Brooks and What Does the Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? by Kevin DeYoung

I am reading Olympic Pride, American Prejudice  by Travis Thrasher

An inspiring book about 18 African Americans who defied Jim Crow and Adolf Hitler to compete in the 1936 Olympics

Why Pray by John DeVries. It gave me such a new insight into praying for my neighbors.  Sue Meyers

Just finished (in December and January) "All That's Good: Recovering the Lost Art of Discernment" by Hannah Anderson, "Navigating the Nonsense: Church Conflict and Triangulation" by Doug Bixby, and "Mission Drift: The Unspoken Crisis Facing Leaders, Charities, and Churches" by Peter Greer.

Currently reading "You Who?" by Rachel Jankovic, and "Worship Quest" by Steven D. Brooks.

On the to-read pile are "Talking with Your Kids about Jesus: 30 Conversations Every Christian Parent Must Have" by Natasha Crain, and "A Visual Theology Guide to the Bible: Seeing and Knowing God's Word" by Tim Challies.

Several books to recommend from retirement reading:

White Fragility by Robin DeAngelo (non-fiction, Beacon Press, 2018)

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, Deepa Anaparra (fiction, Penguin Random House, 2020)

A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles (fiction, Viking/Penguin Books, 2016)

The Water Dancer, Ta-Nehisi Coates (fiction, One World, 2019)

The Nickle Boys, Colson Whitehead (fiction, Doubleday/Penguin/Random House, 2019)

Island of the World, Michael D. O'Brien (fiction, Ignatious Press , 2010)

Joshua Swamisdass, The Genealogical Adam and Eve: The Surprising Science of Universal Ancestry (IVP, 2019). Josh has his MD/PhD and is an associate professor at Washington University.  His PhD is in computational biology and he teaches genomic medicine. His book is a game changer in how to think about genetic science and the account of all humanity descending from Adam and Eve.  A game changer in this way. Swamidass argues that we mistakenly read the Adam and Eve story thinking it is about genetic ancestry when in reality it is about genealogical ancestry. Once that mistake is brought to light, as it turns out, genetics (and evolution) offers no evidence against an Adam and Eve being genealogical ancestor of all living people on earth at AD 1, and even of all people living today.  Josh turns to genealogical (not genetic) science that shows that all humanity really does descend from a single pair, whom we can by faith call Adam and Eve. Biologos had a statement that affirmed that science has ruled out all humanity today is descended from a single couple; they have removed that statement affirming Swamidass's argument.  All books that concede the science argument against universal ancestry and then seek to re-interpret the Genesis accounts accordingly are, according to Swamidass, simply wrong.  The Genesis origen stories must be interpreted on their own terms in their own cultural contexts. But Swamidass's argument requires that there are people "outside the garden" with whom Adam's descendants interbred (Where did Cain's wife come from? Who was Cain fearful would kill him?).  Swamidass's thesis to be explored includes a de novo Adam and Eve though that is not required (John Walton thinks Adam and Even could have had parents).  Genetics also rules out the mistaken notion of polygenesis which led to racist views (maybe think here the recent kinism heresy). Polygenesis is the view that there are descendands of Adam but also other "humans" who arose in isolation--so they thought of people in Tasmania and, wait for it...Hawaii.  Genetic science shows instead that we are one human race (hence, monogenesis) and genealogical sciences shows that all people living today did descend from a single pair between 6000 and 10,000 years ago.  This book ends by looking at various origin story interpretations Christian traditions have held.  Science has no evidence that counts against almost all of the various interpretations.  It's a remarkable book that we need to read and share. Imagine all those young people in our churches who felt that science has ruled out belief in a real Adam and Eve as the ancestor of us all AND THEN decided they will abandon the Christian story in favor of Science.  According to Josh Swamidass, this was a false choice always, and all the more so now that we know better. 

Some time ago someone suggested I read "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand.  The true story of an Olympian's journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive.  Typically I don't enjoy storied from the wars but this one was amazing.  It is such a clear picture of Gods involvement in our lives even when we don't realize it.  And that got me to reading again.

I just finished "Tisha" by Robert Specht.  A wonderful true love story of a young teacher in the Alaskan wilderness.  It certainly gives a picture of what life was like in days gone past.

Now I just started reading "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah.  True stories from a South African childhood.  It tells quite the story of life during and after apartheid. 

I read Becoming Whole (Fikkert and Kapic); good grounding of the earlier popular and helpful When Helping Hurts.  

Community Builder

I have gleaned so much for my leading of other from Simon Sinek's START WITH WHY

I would encourage all my minister colleagues, and other leaders to ponder this books contents.

For fun I've been reading the Cadfael Chronicles, a series of about 20 books by author Ellis Peters, historical murder mysteries about a 12th-century Benedictine monk who solves murders. I've read 16 of them so far. They are fairly short, somewhat predictable at times, but well written, insightful and interesting, often touching on theological and moral issues.

Community Builder

I so enjoyed reading START WITH WHY   by Simen Sinek.

I found that through the insights of this book, I was able to apply it to my ministry, bigtime.