Rapid Fire Book Review January 2011

I’ve been trying to exercising my reading muscles because I know that I’m severely lacking in that departement for grad school. I figure I might as well get back in the swing of it since I have a huge stack of books that I haven’t read yet.  I’ll try to offer the most condensed version I can.  See how this goes. 🙂  Some of these I’ve had for years, and they just got pushed down the stack.

Deep Church by Jim Belcher
I started a series of posts on this, but got bogged down.  It started be more like cliff notes than a blog review.  Jim offers a third way, between “traditional” and “emergent” churches.  I think most of it is useful and many of you will find it helpful.  A third way is needed becasue of polarization that’s present in the church, as well as in out political system.  You have to discuss, and compromise when there are three parties invloved to get anything. done. I get that point and perhaps it could be helpful in the Church to do that.  But He lost me on how Deep Church is anything more that another branch or a new home grown wineskin.  He also referes to CS Lewis’ thought about having a hallway of Orthodoxy that we agree on and we branch off of.  The rooms off the hallway are where our traditions are and where real learning and discussion can happen.  Give it a read. [In the book stack 3 months.]

Mosaic: a Journey Across the Church of God by Patrick Nachtigall
Patrick traveled around the world to “survey” the Church of God [Anderson].  It was an interesting read that was mostly hopeful.  If you’re wondering what are the happs and some of the present DNA of ChOG check it out. [In the book stack 2 days.]

The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why, by Phyllis Tickle.
After getting over her last name I dug in.  Phyllis is a writer and an academic, so keep the merriam-webster.com tab open while you read this book.  This is a great book if you want to get your head around the cultural climate we’re going through in society at large, but also in the Church.  Phyllis walks us through church history, and “yard sales,” and “hinge moments” in the church.    She high lights specific events that have lead directly to where we are now.  Also explaining that these “yard sales” happen about every 500 years. [ Anyone notice what multiple off 500 we just past?]  So she calms some fears, I hope and gets to the bottom of most of it.  Great read! [In the book stack 1 year.]

Sex God: Exploring the Endless Connections Between Sexuality and Spirituality by Rob Bell
I enjoy Rob, you may not by I do.  This book was good.  He writes like he’s giving a talk, and I enjoy that style of writing.  This is great subject matter to cover. Rob unpacks how most things in life are attached to sex.  Sex is really about being connected. Being connected is really about our need for God.  I think I’m going to make this a marriage counseling read from now on.  Thanks Rob! [In the book stack 3 years.]

Pegasus Bridge June 6, 1944; by Stephen E. Ambrose
This is an exciting recounting of the very first soldiers to invade German occupied Normandy D-Day -1.   These top notch paratroops led by Major John Howard captured two key bridges that were on the far left flank of the invation.  They had to keep the bridges intact, and had to hold off a German garrison with 300-500 men, with about 100 men, until the were reinforced at 0300 hours.  If you like Ambrose, like this.  The best part is this is a true story. Great read!  [In the book stack 7 day]

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Heni J.M. Nouwen
I had started this book 2 years ago… then didn’t.  No excuse, it’s really short at 81 pages.  It’s amazing to me, writen in 1989, Nouwen shares some prophectic thoughts about what a Christian leader will need to be in the begining of  the new millenium.  I enjoyed this one too. [In the book stack 2.5 years.]

Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin
Best Selling author Seth Godin explores the phenomenon of the tribe.  [I heard about this book after I decided to use Tribes in my ministry a year ago.]  I love how it was written.  There aren’t long chapters just headings. This will drive some of you nuts.  There are billions of tribes out there. They can be short term, or long term.  It is any group of people that rally’s around something and has a leadership.  It doesn’t have to be one person, and everyone in the tribe has an opportunity to lead and influence the tribe.  If you’re looking for some leadership insight or a pep talk on leading, read this. [In the book stack 1 year.]

The book stack is smaller now, but I still have a lot of work to do!  Grab some coffee and curl up with a book on a cold winters night.  Enjoy.