Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Few More Books Under My Belt

It's been a flurry of reading activity. In fact, maybe too much to digest in so little time. Demolished 3 more in the past two weeks. Here's a brief glimpse of the three. PLEASE NOTE: Just because I read them does NOT mean I recommend you or anyone else rush out and read it too. I like to read a lot of variety at times, and my author choices are not for everyone. So....

This was an interesting read...I couldn't put it down. What does an outsider, particularly in this case an athiest, think about "church" as we know it? We spend so much time & energy hoping non-believers will come to our churches & check us out. But what do they walk away with when they come? Here's the description from Books-A-Million:

Is this what Jesus told you guys to do?

Light shows, fog machines, worship bands, and offering plates - is this what Jesus intended?

Atheist Matt Casper wants to know.

In 2006, Jim Henderson, veteran Christian and director of Off The Map, hired Casper to join him in visiting twelve of Americas best- and least-known churches, including Rick Warrens Saddleback and Joel Osteens Lakewood. Week after week, this spiritual odd couple attended services at churches all over the country and documented their experiences at and reactions to each one. Along the way, they found the real value of their journey in the open and authentic friendship that developed as
they talked, questioned, joked, and most importantlylistened.

Follow along with Jim and Casper on their visits, and eavesdrop as they discuss what they found. Jim and Caspers articulate, sometimes humorous, and always
insightful dialogue offers Christians a new view of an environment in which weve
become overly comfortable: the church. And it models an important transition
from defending the faith to defending the space"relational" space for authentic,
respectful dialogue and friendship with nonbelievers.

Another author that I've read before is Anne Lamott. Her Traveling Mercies - Some Thoughts On Faith is a favorite of mine. She's known for her honest approach to life and faith. The book I read is called Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Anne is NOT for everyone. Her language is often salty, and that may very well keep many readers from catching the meaning of her articles. She also isn't a big fan of W, and she doesn't hide that at all. I don't like everything she says, but she has a unique perspective.

Lastly, I've been trying to get to Steve Saint's End of the Spear for some time. I finally dove in, and it was also very good. Steve's dad Nate was one of the 5 missionaries killed by Aucas in the Ecuadorean rain forest over 50 years ago. I heard Steve speak a couple of months ago, and got to speak with him briefly. Very much enjoyed the book, and if you're looking for a challenging book that really makes you think about the world, God's love for all of us, and our answer to God's call on our lives, this one is worth your time. I mentioned Steve in a post awhile back, and you can find it easily by scrolling back to April or May...

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