The Library

Beware of the man of one book.

~ Thomas Aquinas ~

Here are a few books that I am reading or have recently read.

April 4, 1968, by Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson uses the anniversary of MLK’s death as the starting point for a comprehensive reevaluation of the fate of Black America over the four decades that followed King’s death. Dyson ambitiously investigates the ways in which African-Americans have in fact made it to the Promised Land of which King spoke, while shining a bright light on the ways in which the nation has faltered in the quest for racial justice.

Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference?, by Philip Yancey

If you are anything like me, you struggle with prayer. It is not that I don’t believe in it; it’s just that I don’t it enough of a priority in my daily life. Yancey’s book is not a “how to” that leaves you feeling chastised and guilty about your prayer life, but as his publisher says, ” leads readers through a process to a point of consideration.”

True Story: A Christianity Worth Believing In, by James Choung

I love this book! Maybe it’s because it communicates a truth that I deeply believe. The premise of the book is that the gospel we communicate is too small. Our gospel presentations tend to focus on the afterlife and personal benefits. Jesus’ gospel, however, presents a bigger story about the coming Kingdom of God. His book challenges you to rethink your understanding and presentation of the gospel.

What are you reading?

6 Comments

6 thoughts on “The Library

  1. Steve Cross

    I am currently reading “The Spirit of the Disciplines” by Dallas Willard. It has been challenging to me because I often look at “spiritual giants” and aspire to be like them, but shun the spiritual disciplines that allowed them to be used mightily by God. In our attempt to avoid a works based theology I think we often swing to the other extreme as if we will accidentally stumble upon holiness. Philippians 2:12-13 has come to my mind quite a lot lately. “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed–not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

  2. I am preaching this Sunday on the topic of “Out With the Old, In With the New” from the text, Ephesians 4:21-24 – “Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

    I think this passage (along with Rom. 8:5-11) speaks to our need to intentionally and proactively bring our minds under the authority of God’s word. Then and only then will we begin to experience true life transformation.

    I like this statement from Dallas Willard:

    “As an apprentice of Christ, I may be saved by grace, but I still have years of habitual anger, materialism, lust, and many other things to be dealt with. They’re not just going to go away. Like someone who has a bad golf swing and always slices off to the right, I’m going to have to practice hitting the ball in a different way to make it go straight. The slice is in my body; it’s how I have been formed. The disciplines help transform my habitual actions. The disciplines are not a substitute for grace, but receptacles for it.

    When people learn simple disciplines like fasting and Scripture memorization—I’m not big on verses, they don’t do much, but larger passages—it’s amazing how it transforms them. Solitude is also primary. If you can just get people to practice these, then they will have the tools to experience what you’ve been preaching about from the Gospels. And they won’t need you around anymore.” Dallas Willard (author of The Divine Conspiracy).

    As pastors, I think we need to model for people the practice of the spiritual disciplines. It needs to be evidenced in our lives.

  3. I love James! James Choung was my mentor a few years ago, in my new InterVarsity position. He’s a great dude!

  4. Found this site while looking for an image of the Prayer book. Great site!

    Just added a review of Prayer at http://smallgroupbooks.com/2011/prayer-does-it-make-any-difference/.

    I saw your review and linked back to here. Feel free to add your thoughts at smallgroupbooks.com. Thanks Jason!

  5. Pingback: Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way | Small Group Books

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