End of Year Book Recommendations

While I already posted my December book recommendations and my Top 10 Books of 2014, neither list includes a few books that I read in the waning days of 2014.  The best from that group follow (rated on a scale of 1-5). (5) Pray: Prayers for People Who Say They Can't by Donna Schaper (2014) (4.5) All Whom God Has Joined: Resources for Clergy & Same-Gender Loving Couples by Leanne McCall Tigert and Maren Tirabassi (2010) (4) Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Read More …

Top 10 Books of 2014

Since 2010, I have published an annual list of my top ten books published that year (each list contains a link to a book review for each book mentioned): 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.   My top ten books for 2014 (in alphabetical order by author’s last name) are   Marcus Borg Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most Walter Brueggemann Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now Amy-Jill Levine Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Read More …

December Book Recommedations

During the last month I managed to work through a good deal of what was left on my list of books I hoped to read by the end of the year.  Ratings (on a scale of 1 to 5) follow. (5+) Churchless: Understanding Today's Unchurched and How to Connect with Them by Barna Group with George Barna and David Kinnaman as editors (2014) (5) Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World by Eugene Cho (2014) (5) Autopsy of a Deceased Church: 12 Ways Read More …

November Book Recommendations

This past month I had the pleasure of reading several good books, including (5) The Lost Way: How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins by Stephen J. Patterson (2014) (4.5) City of God: Faith in the Streets by Sara Miles (2014) (4.5) Forward Together: A Moral Message for the Nation by William J. Barber II (2014) (4) Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church by Scot McKnight (2014) (4) Pastors Sound Off: Causes We Can't Keep Read More …

October Book Recommendations

This month's list features a few well known authors alongside others worth getting to know.  All but the lowest rated book below are ones I heartily recommend to those engaged in lay and pastoral leadership roles in communities of faith focused on following the way of Jesus. (5+) Changing Faith: The Dynamics and Consequences of Americans' Shifting Religious Identities by Darren Sherkat (2014) (5) The Mainliner's Survival Guide to the Post-Denominational World by Derek Penwell Read More …

September Book Recommendations

Here are my book recommendations for the month when many families start a new school year, and most churches begin a new program year: (5) postChristian: What's Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? by Christian Piatt (2014) (5) Next: Pastoral Succession That Works by Warren Bird and William Vanderbloemen (2014) (4.5) Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State by Robert Wuhtnow (2014) (4) Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul by Bill Hybels Read More …

August Book Recommendations

Here are the ratings for my most recent reads: (4.5) Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead and Yours Can Too by Molly Phinney Baskette (2014) (4) The Question that Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey (2013) (4) Happy Professor: An Adjunct Instructor's Guide to Personal, Financial, and Student Success by Erin Lovell Ebanks (2014) (4) How to Be a Christian Without Going to Church: The Unofficial Guide to Alternative Forms of Christian Community by Kelly Bean Read More …

July Book Recommendations

The last few weeks have been a time of transition for me.  I have used the occasion to read the books in my "must read" stack, which had been growing for some time.  They follow in the order I have rated them (using a 1-5 scale). (5+) The Rebirthing of God: Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings by John Philip Newell (2014) (5) We Make the Road by Walking by Brian D. McLaren (2014) (5) Sabbath as Resistance: Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann (2014) (4.5) Got Read More …

Recent Reading – June

This is the final installment of my monthly posts sharing my ratings of some of the books I have recently read.  I plan to resume my normal routine of providing reviews next month. (5) Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most by Marcus Borg (2014) (4) The Twilight of the American Enlightenment: the 1950s and the Crisis of Liberal Belief by George Marsden (2014) (3.5) Pastoral Work: Engagements with the Work of Eugene Peterson edited by Jason Byassee (2014) (3) Living with a Wild Read More …

Recent Reading – May

Busy is a buzzword.  It is, however, also an accurate description of my world at the moment.  With this in mind, I offer ratings rather than reviews for the last four books I read (listed by rating, on a scale of 5.0).  For those awaiting regular weekly reviews, stay tuned! I hope to return to that feature in July. (5+) The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown by Paul Taylor (2014). (5) Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor Read More …