Books * Books * Books

Currently Reading…

  • For personal reflection–

Guerrillas of Grace, by Ted Loder. I have somewhat of an addiction to prayer books. They are not the only way I pray, but I find that other’s thoughts in prayer are very edifying to me. I like to mark these books up, like a journal. This year’s is already challenging me in big ways.

Bread of Angels, by Barbara Brown Taylor.

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, by Ruth Haley Barton. I picked up this book several years and it didn’t take long for the wheels of life to fall off. I’m revisiting it. Rejoicing for some ways I’ve grown since the first time around; seeking God’s heart for areas where I still am not yet as I need to be.

  • For Life Group discussion–

The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis. This book always gets me thinking.

Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg. Too many people have told me I need to read this. Must explore what all the buzz is about.

  • Just for fun–

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. My boy gave me this book for Christmas. It’s a little sci-fi-ish, but I like it.

  • For #LikeAGirl Bible Study–

I do a lot of reading in preparation for my weekly Bible Study. I try to read across a broad spectrum of thought. I rarely find that I find one source that I completely agree with, but I do find that working the ends to the middle helps me to ask better questions of Scripture than I otherwise would. Here are the books that are getting a lot of pencil marks:

See related post here

  • To keep me thinking–

Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit, translated by A.V. Miller. Understanding philosophy is not my strongest area and I find that it often impedes my ability to track with theologians. I keep trying, maybe someday it will all click.

Just finished…

Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today, by Mark Labberton. Insightful, prophetic, and necessary.

Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?, by Eugene Cho. Ouch and Amen.

In Her Words: Women’s Writings in the History of Christian Thought, by Amy Oden.

Found in Him, by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick. Our Life Group read this. Some loved it; most didn’t. I personally would put it as one of my top reads of 2014.

Living into Community, by Christine D. Pohl

Jesus Have I Loved, by Paul? A Narrative Approach to the Problem of Pauline Christianity, by J.R. Daniel Kirk.

The Heart of Christ, by Thomas Goodwin. A puritan classic.

Planet Narnia, by Michael Ward. You should check out this book if you enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia but felt like there was more to the story than the words on the page. It’s a challenging read (feels academic), but totally worth the treasures to be found within.

Formed for the Glory of God by Kyle Strobel. My pastor got me connected to Kyle when I was struggling through a class on Jonathan Edwards. If you’ve ever felt like Edwards had something good to say, but just couldn’t trudge through the often difficult way he says it, Kyle is here for you. Kyle has tremendously helped my understanding of Edwards’ theology and made his teaching very practical.

Ultimate Intention, by Devern Fromke.

The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. A group of us read through all seven books this summer. Why? Because there’s just something about that Lion that makes one remember what they have forgotten about God’s great love.

A Community Called Atonement, by Scot McKnight. I love this book! Please read it. I beg of you. McKnight challenges me to think things through carefully. When it comes to articulating atonement I believe I need to keep exercising those muscles.

Atonement: The Person and Work of Christ, by Thomas Torrance.

Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton because Trevin Wax sucked me in.

Prototype: What Happens When You’re More Like Jesus than You Think, by Jonathan Martin. So good. Really. Get it. Here is a review you might want to check out if you’re interested.

Letter and Homilies for Jewish Christians, by Ben Witherington III. Scholarly, yet readable. If it’s not on your shelf, you’re missing out.

The Fall of Interpretation: Philosophical Foundations for a Creational Hermeneutic, by James K.A. Smith. So worth the read!

Redemptive Suffering: Lessons Learned from the Garden of Gethsemane, by Leslie Montgomery  

Jonathan Edwards: A Life, by George M. Marsden

A Jonathan Edwards Reader, by John E. Smith (Editor)

The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis, by Alan Jacobs

The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics, by C.S. Lewis

Love Does, by Bob Goff.  Be prepared to be inspired, convicted, changed.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead, by Brene Brown

The Gospel of John: When Love Comes to Town, by Paul Metzger

Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John, by Jean Vanier

From Brokenness to Community, by Jean Vanier

Creating a Missional Culture: Equipping the Church for the Sake of the World by JR Woodward

How Georgia Became O’Keeffe: Lessons on the Art of Living by Karen Karbo. A charming retelling of a very interesting woman. 

Spiritual Influence: The Hidden Power Behind Leadership by Mel Lawrenz. A must read.

Early Christian Doctrines, by J.N.D. Kelly

The Trinitarian Controversy, by William G. Rusch

Biblical Interpretation in the Early Church, by Karlfried Froehlich

Immortality of the Soul or Resurrection of the Dead, by Oscar Cullman

Women in the Early Church, by Elizabeth Clark.

Specters of Paul: Sexual Differences in Early Christian Thought, by Benjamin Dunning

Choosing the Better Part?: Women in the Gospel of Luke, by Barbara Reid

“Nature and Grace,” by Emil Brunner and Karl Barth

Lectures on Calvinism, by Abraham Kuyper

Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition, by Charles Taylor and Amy Gutman

Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, by Stanley Hauerwas. This book stirred me up. Have you read it? Let me know if so…I want to talk with you.

Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Call, by Andy Crouch. Required for school. It was thought-provoking and insightful. 

When the Kings Come Marching In: Isaiah and the New Jerusalem, by Richard Mouw. Required reading for Dr. Mouw’s class at school. I enjoyed it. I’d recommend it to those seeking out how to engage culture with biblical hope. 

Loving the Way Jesus Loves by Phil Ryken. Read it for Lent reflection. 

In the Shadow of the Galilean by Gerd Theisen An interesting way to enter to the historical world of Jesus.

The King Jesus Gospel by Scot McKnight. Glad I finished this just in time to get it on my best of 2011 list. Was challenged by McKnight’s call for a gospel-shaped life.

The Voice of Matthew by Lauren F. Winner. A really engaging contemporary reading of Matthew’s Gospel

A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good by Miraslov Volf. As always Volf delivers a thought-provoking work. There are good points for those who incline themselves toward dominionism or totalitarianism. Yet I have to add a caution: sometimes throughout this book Volf’s call for political pluralism sounded like it could easily morph into religious syncretism. 

As Christ Submits to the Church by Alan Padgett {Two thumbs up on this book…if you struggle to understand gender biblically, this book provides clear scholarship and a compelling argument.}

Grace for the Good Girl by Emily Freeman {Just finished this book with my women’s Bible study. It is thought provoking and insightful.}

A Meal with Jesus by Tim Chester {Enjoyed and was challenged by every.single.word}

What are you reading? Any recommendations?

5 thoughts on “Books * Books * Books

  1. Hi Brenda! Love this blog site:). I’m excited to read a few of these listed above! I’ve been feeling restless in my search for some new titles… been waiting for some to fall into my lap and looks like they just did!

    A few greats that I have read recently. Have you read any of these?

    Souls in the Hands of a Tender God, Stories of the Search for Home and Healing on the Streets by Rennebohm

    Listening for God, A Minister’s Journey Through Silence and Doubt by Weems

    New Seeds of Contemplation by Merton (his writing feels especially timeless)

    Here and Now, Living in the Spirit by Nouwen

    The Cloister Walk by Katheen Norris

    Watch for the Light, Readings for Advent and Christmas (Beautiful. Sustained me through Advent 2011).

    Eastern Orthodox:

    Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives, the Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

    A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain (felt like I was breathing higher air with this one)

    The Mountain of Silence (again: higher, cleaner, grace-filled air)

    The Art of Prayer, An Orthodox Anthology

    Thanks for creating this space 🙂


    • Hi Em, I’m so glad you found your way here! (…and reminded me that I needed to update this page…always forget about it.) I have read some of these (Weems and Norris), but not all. Thanks for the recommendations. I really enjoyed Watch for the Light. I agree that it was beautiful. It’s interesting that you included reading from the Eastern Orthodox tradition because I have had my interests perked in this area for a while. I had someone else tell me that they were deeply moved by A Night in the Desert and The Art of Prayer. I think I need to check them out. “Grace-filled air…” I love a book that lets me breathe in some of that!

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