Talking with friends this morning, the topic of books came up and turned ugly when the idea of giving books away entered the conversation.
After a great deal of thought about making room on my shelves for new books, I’ve decided to giveaway some book recommendations but keep my books on their shelves. Otherwise, I would miss talking to them every morning.
So today I want to share some recommendations – books I think we would all benefit from reading and that deserve a place on your shelf. These are not new books but they are good books. I’m offering them in no particular order as I’m recommending ALL of them to you. They are all friends of mine.
A Church Called TOV, Scot McKnight.
(As the spotlight hits the epic failures of our church systems, how can we develop a goodness culture that offers us something better? Honest, thoughtful, direct and practical.)
The Blue Parakeet, Scot McKnight.
(If you want to get the most from reading the Bible, if you want to get a handle on how the first readers were processing what they read, if you want to learn what to do with verses of Scripture that make no sense or don’t fit with all the others, read this short, interesting and even entertaining book.)
Learning from a Legend, Jared E. Alcantara
(The distillation of wisdom from legendary preacher/teacher, Gardner C. Taylor. It’s a gold mine of insight and understanding.)
Resident Aliens, Stanley Hauerwas & Wil Willimon
(This one re-oriented my perspective on almost everything and it made me a fanboy of Hauerwas. It’s what I want to be about.)
The Pastor, Eugene Peterson
(As a pastor, I long wondered, am I living it right? Peterson’s description of the Pastor and what it means to be a pastor made me feel less crazy and more at home. I want to grow up and be like Eugene some day.)
Thinking in Tongues, James K.A. Smith
(A book I thoroughly expected to hate and in the end – well, long before the end – I came to love it. It frames “Pentecostal” in a way that makes sense and feels like home to me.)
Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory, Randall Balmer
(Everyone who thinks of themselves as an evangelical or who loves an evangelical should read this one.)
Out of the Saltshaker, Rebecca Pippert
(Pay no attention to the cover. This book is really about ‘how to be a decent human being while also being a Christian.’ An easy, fun, insightful read.)
Prophetic Imagination, Walter Brueggemann
(For me, life changing. If I say more than that, I’ll start preaching.)
The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James Cone.
(There are certain books that everyone should read if they say they follow Jesus. This is one of those. It’s a hard and truthful conversation we all need to have.)