Summer Reading for the Socially Engaged Christian – 2018

May 24, 2018 — Leave a comment

 

Summer Reading 2018

Summer is almost here, a season when many people find a little more time than usual for reading!

Whether you’ll get some vacation time this summer, or whether your schedule simply slows down a bit, we hope that you will find some extra time for reading.

 

Here are 30 new-ish books that would make for superb summer reading!

 

[ Christian Discipleship ]  [ Gen. Nonfiction ]   [ Fiction ]
[ Theology ]   [ Biography / Memoir ]  [ YA / Graphic Novel ]
[ Poetry ]

Christian Discipleship:

 

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again 

Rachel Held Evans

(Thomas Nelson)

If the Bible isn’t a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her—and it will change you too.

Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words Are Vanishing-and How We Can Revive Them 

Jonathan Merritt

( Convergent )

As America rapidly becomes a pluralistic, postmodern society, many of us struggle to talk about faith. We can no longer assume our friends understand words such as grace or gospel. Others, like lost and sin, have become so negative they are nearly conversation-enders. Jonathan Merritt knows this frustration well. After Jonathan moved from the Bible Belt to New York City, he discovered that whenever conversations turned to spirituality, the words he’d used for decades didn’t  connect with listeners anymore. In a search for answers and understanding, Jonathan uncovered a spiritual crisis affecting tens of millions.

 

 

Open to the Spirit: God in Us, God with Us, God Transforming Us

Scot McKnight

( WaterBrook )

Who exactly is the Holy Spirit? What does he do in our lives? How can we know him more deeply, and is it possible to tap into his power? Should we pray to the Holy Spirit? Is it possible to be aware of his promptings and speaking into our lives? Dr. Scot McKnight answers these questions and more in this comprehensive examination of what the Bible says about this divinely important, but often confusing member of the Trinity.

 

Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks 

Diana Butler Bass

( HarperOne )

 

There is a gap, Butler Bass argues, between our desire to be grateful and our ability to behave gratefully—a divide that influences our understanding of morality, worship, and institutional religion itself. In Grateful, Bass challenges readers to think about the impact gratitude has in our spiritual lives, and encourages them to make gratitude a “difficult and much-needed spiritual practice for our personal lives and to make a better world.”

Grateful is partially an individual, emotional response to our circumstances, but research has shown that what we often miss is how much more it is a communal, actionable response. Bass examines this more unexpected experience of gratitude, and reveals how people and communities can practice it and thrive, whether or not they are part of a traditional religious community.

 

 

Reconstructing the Gospel: Finding Freedom from Slaveholder Religion 

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

( IVP Books)

Just as Reconstruction after the Civil War worked to repair a desperately broken society, our compromised Christianity requires a spiritual reconstruction that undoes the injustices of the past. Wilson-Hartgrove traces his journey from the religion of the slaveholder to the Christianity of Christ. Reconstructing the gospel requires facing the pain of the past and present, from racial blindness to systemic abuses of power. Grappling seriously with troubling history and theology, Wilson-Hartgrove recovers the subversiveness of the gospel that sustained the church through centuries of slavery and oppression, from the civil rights era to the Black Lives Matter movement and beyond.

 

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