Book Recommendations – June 2017

As we move toward mid-June many people are creating or actively revising their summer reading lists.  Wherever you may be in your planning (even if your plan is not to plan at all), I encourage you to consider picking up some of my recent reads. The following ten books have all been published in 2017. I have rated them on a 1-5 scale allowing for the top of the scale to be extended to a 5+ for the best of the best. (5+) The Witness of Religion in an Age of Fear by Michael Kinnamon 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 …

Recent Reading

In the quest to keep reading new material while balancing the demands of more "jobs" than I have ever held at one time, I have opted to forgo my normal weekly book reviews for the first half of the year.  When my interim pastoral ministry role is complete, I plan to resume those reviews. Today, I share four books I have read recently that I enjoyed enough that I will recommend them (listed by rating, on a scale of 5.0): (5) God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter (2014), Read More …

Top 10 Books of 2013

Each year (see 2010, 2011, 2012) I share a list of my top ten books published that year.  Creating this year's list was both a challenge and a joy. Rob Bell What We Talk About When We Talk About God Wendy Cadge Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine  Lillian Daniel When Spiritual but Not Religious is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church Meredith Gould The Social Media Gospel: Sharing the Good News in New Ways Galen Guengerich God Read More …

Review of What We Talk About When We Talk About God

Meet the Author Rob Bell is the Founding Pastor and Pastor Emeritus of Mars Hill Bible Church (est. 1999), a congregation that grew to over 10,000 under his leadership.  While attracting a young audience to the church, his message reached a far wider audience through a series of two dozen thought provoking brief (10-14 minutes per DVD) NOOMA videos (2002-2009).  Bell's previous books include The New York Times bestseller Love Wins, along with Velvet Elvis, Sex God, Jesus Wants to Save Read More …

A Unique Top 10 News Stories of 2011

Christianity Today published its list of the "Top 10 News Stories of 2011," which includes the following explanation: "The events, people, and debates of the past year that have shaped or will significantly shape, evangelical life, thought and mission."  The list is available online (here as a quick loading web page or here as a pdf including the graphics printed on p.9 of the January 2012 edition of the magazine).  The list includes two pastors and one decision regarding qualifications for Read More …

Theology in a Post-2004 World

After writing about Philip Clayton's “Theology and the Church After Google: How This New Age Will Change Christianity” a few days ago, I found myself in several discussions about the topic.  One of my conversation partners directed me to an article John Dyer wrote on the topic for Christianity Today's guest opinion column "Speaking Out," which was published this past weekend. Dyer is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary where he is now employed as Director of Web Development.  Dyer blogs Read More …