Top 10 Books of 2016

There are so many good books published every year.  The best of the best among those I read this year follow in my seventh annual listing of my top ten books of the year. Top 10 Books of 2016 Author Title Lillian Daniel Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To Robert P. Jones The End of White Christian America Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World Brian McLaren The Great Spiritual Read More …

Shaping the Future of Christianity

Dying Some say Christianity is dying.  I won't argue with them.  If Christianity is defined narrowly and if it should be replicated in every time and place in identical ways then we can rest assured Christianity is dying and will soon be dead. Living Christianity, inasmuch as I understand what the Way of Jesus is about, is living.  The only way any person or group of people can authentically live as followers of Jesus is to do so within their time and place. Thriving Sociologists 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 …

Review of Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha & Mohammed Cross the Road

Meet the Author Brian McLaren served in pastoral ministry for twenty years as the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church.  In 2006, he stepped down from that role to devote his time to writing and speaking.  McLaren has written over a dozen books, including Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011 - read my review), A New Kind of Christianity (2010), and Everything Must Change: When the World’s Biggest Problems and Jesus’ Good News Collide (2009).   He has taught Read More …

Review of Living the Questions

Meet the Authors David M. Felten (pictured at right in a black shirt) and Jeff Procter-Murphy (pictured at right holding a tablet) are United Methodist pastors who serve theologically progressive congregations.  Together they created a video resource that brought together some of the "most provocative and authoritative voices" (p.xiii).  Known as Living the Questions, this resource seeks to "help people wrestle with the questions they hear asked in their congregations - questions for which Read More …

12 Marks of Convergence Christianity

Eric Elnes, Senior Minister of Countryside Community Church (UCC) and host of Darkwood Brew, has recently written several blog posts on Convergence Christianity. His latest post features twelve defining characteristics, which are evenly divided into three categories: Love of God, Love of Neighbor, and Love of Self.   Elnes attributes resonate with others, including Brian McLaren, Phyllis Tickle, Frank Schaeffer, and Diana Butler Bass. Love of God They are letting go of the notion that their Read More …

Review of Naked Spirituality

Meet the Author Brian McLaren served in pastoral ministry for twenty years as the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church.  In 2006, he stepped down from that role to devote his time to writing and speaking.  McLaren has written numerous books, including Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words (2011),  Finding Our Way Again: The Return of the Ancient Practices (2010), A New Kind of Christianity (2010), and Everything Must Change: When the World's Biggest Problems and Read More …