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 ]

Theology:

 

 Disruptive Witness: Speaking Truth in a Distracted Age

Alan Noble

( IVP Books )

*** Though May 29, enter to win an advance copy of this book!!!

We live in a distracted, secular age. These two trends define life in Western society today. We are increasingly addicted to habits―and devices―that distract and “buffer” us from substantive reflection and deep engagement with the world. And we live in what Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor calls “a secular age”―an age in which all beliefs are equally viable and real transcendence is less and less plausible. Drawing on Taylor’s work, Alan Noble describes how these realities shape our thinking and affect our daily lives. Too often Christians have acquiesced to these trends, and the result has been a church that struggles to disrupt the ingrained patterns of people’s lives. But the gospel of Jesus is inherently disruptive: like a plow, it breaks up the hardened surface to expose the fertile earth below. In this book Noble lays out individual, ecclesial, and cultural practices that disrupt our society’s deep-rooted assumptions and point beyond them to the transcendent grace and beauty of Jesus. Disruptive Witnesscasts a new vision for the evangelical imagination, calling us away from abstraction and cliché to a more faithful embodiment of the gospel for our day.

 

 

The Character of Virtue: Letters to a Godson  

Stanley Hauerwas

( Eerdmans )

Timeless wisdom from a renowned theologian on living well

From the fairy godmother’s pumpkin coach to Herr Drosselmeyer’s nutcracker, godparents have long been associated with good gifts. But in The Character of Virtue theologian and ethicist Stanley Hauerwas offers his real-life godson something far more precious than toys or trinkets—the gift of hard-won wisdom on life and the process of maturing.

In each of sixteen letters—sent on the occasion of Laurence Wells’s baptism and every year thereafter—Hauerwas contemplates a specific virtue and its meaning for a child growing year by year into the Christian faith. Writing on kindness, courage, humility, joy, and more, Hauerwas distills centuries of religious thinking and decades of self-reflection into heartfelt personal epistles that are both timely and timeless.

 

 

The Lost Discipline of Conversation: Surprising Lessons in Spiritual Formation Drawn from the English Puritans 

Joanne Jung

( Zondervan )

In The Lost Discipline of Conversation, spiritual formation professor and author Joanne Jung walks readers through the Puritan practice of “conference,” or focused, spiritual conversations intended to promote ongoing transformation. An antidote to privatized faith, conference calls believers to biblical literacy and soul care in a context of transparency and accountability.

Useful for believers in any sphere or ministry or stage in life, conference is ultimately a tool for nurturing mutual, godly authenticity within community.

 

 

 

Image and Presence: A Christological Reflection on Iconoclasm and Iconophilia 

Natalie Carnes

( Stanford UP )

Images increasingly saturate our world, making present to us what is distant or obscure. Yet the power of images also arises from what they do not make present—from a type of absence they do not dispel. Joining a growing multidisciplinary conversation that rejects an understanding of images as lifeless objects, this book offers a theological meditation on the ways images convey presence into our world. Just as Christ negates himself in order to manifest the invisible God, images, Natalie Carnes contends, negate themselves to give more than they literally or materially are. Her Christological reflections bring iconoclasm and iconophilia into productive relation, suggesting that they need not oppose one another. Investigating such images as the biblical golden calf and paintings of the Virgin Mary, Carnes explores how to distinguish between iconoclasms that maintain fidelity to their theological intentions and those that lead to visual temptation. Offering ecumenical reflections on issues that have long divided Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions, Image and Presence provokes a fundamental reconsideration of images and of the global image crises of our time.

 

 

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