Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Top 10 Reads

There are many times on this blog that I write things that are met with some level of resistance or skepticism. I certainly understand these feelings as most of the time the things that I am writing are things that people might be reading and therefore thinking about for the first time. I have used this blog on the rare occasion for actually processing outwardly, but for those who know me, it is very rare for me to process a thought outwardly, especially in a forum like this. The truth is, most of the things that hit this blog are thoughts that I've been processing for weeks or months, if not years. Usually, my processing begins with something that I read, hear in a podcast, discuss with a friend or experience in real life.

I am an avid reader. I believe that the best way to be challenged in thought patterns is by getting outside of myself, moving out from under the thought patterns and beliefs that I hold to and allowing other's thoughts and views to challenge what I may think about something. I believe that questions are good and questioning our own thoughts and beliefs can be healthy and positive. For this reason, I choose to read a variety of books, some of which I agree with, others of which I don't. 

Since I have not had the opportunity to actually process thoughts and experiences with many of you who consistently read this blog, I thought it would be helpful to give my top 10 book recommendations. These 10 books, along with my reading and understanding of scripture have radically impacted my life and my understanding of who Jesus is and his kingdom message. If you are one who is continually looking to have your mind and heart challenged, I would encourage you to consider these books. You will probably love some of them. You will probably not love some of them. All the same, my encouragement would be that you allow yourself to be challenged in heart and mind. If you choose to pick up any of these titles, I would love to hear your thoughts as you read through it and upon completion. Happy reading!

Top 10

  1. Simply Christian (N.T. Wright)  
  2. The Myth of a Christian Nation (Greg Boyd)
  3. Surprised by Hope (N.T. Wright)
  4. Christianity Beyond Belief (Todd Hunter)
  5. Imminent Domain (Ben Witherington)
  6. The Last Word (N.T. Wright)
  7. Evolving in Monkey Town (Rachel Held Evans)
  8. The Myth of a Christian Religion (Greg Boyd)
  9. Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (Andrew Marin)
  10. Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Rob Bell)
Bonus Round
  1. Velvet Elvis (Rob Bell)
  2. This Beautiful Mess (Rick McKinely)
  3. Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller)
  4. One Life (Scot McKnight)
  5. Not the Religious Type (Dave Schmelzer)
Now, it's your turn. What are your top 3 book recommendations?


Penny Murray said...

Great list! If you haven't read N.T. Wright's "The Challenge of Jesus: Rediscovering who Jesus Was" add it to your "to read" list.

Laurie Matherne said...

Interesting list. I have read about 1/2 of your list. i am way older than you.

A good read from my past: They Speak with Other Tongues by John and Elizabeth Sherill. Nice Episcopal couple who are professional writers present a balanced but personal look at a controversial topic. Yes, you can be spirit filled and not be a wingnut. And the history and theology of spiritual gifts areso soundly presented in this book. A classic read.

Current favorite book? Jesus, The Cia, My Father and Me by Ian Morgan Cron.

Favorite missionary book: The Peace Child by Don Richardson.

Favorite theology/psychology: 12 steps with Jesus by Don Williams.