Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 Summer Reading List

Yet another summer is upon us, which means I'll be taking a break from this site for a few months.  But as always, I can't do that without commending the following reading list to you.

1. Surprise the World!  The Five Habits of Highly Missional People. (Michael Frost)  Michael has written another excellent resource that not only challenges thinking, but encourages doing.  His thesis is quite simple--that when God through Scripture calls us to be a separate, holy, different kind of people, He means it.  Isolation from culture is treason against the Gospel of Jesus, and this short resource will be a great help to those seeking to engage faithfully.

2. Every Square Inch: An Introduction to Cultural Engagement for Christians.  (Bruce Ashford.)  My friend Bruce has written a fantastic summary of how followers of Jesus can engage culture, and it could not have come at a better time than this election year!  Building off the thoughts of Dutch pastor Abraham Kuyper, Bruce helps us see that the Lordship of Jesus extends to every domain of society--including the civil and political!  Conversely, he also observes how some of our past approaches in this area have been less than helpful, and charts a path forward that is understandable and applicable.

3. Lessons from the East: Finding the Future of Western Christianity in the Global Church.  (Bob Roberts Jr.)  God has used Bob Roberts to teach me so much over the last 10 years.  This book contains stories and experiences I've heard Bob speak about that describe a vibrant, Spirit-filled, dynamic and growing church outside the US and western Europe from which we can learn much.  Alan Hirsch has rightly stated that the new face of global Christianity in the 21st century is no longer the European man, but the African woman.  Bob's new book puts "flesh" on that truism and describes the practical things we can learn from a growing body of Christ in Africa, the middle east, the Asian subcontinent, and southeast Asia.

4. The Post-America World 2.0 (Fareed Zakaria)  No follower of Jesus should confine his/her reading to "Christian" books only.  Global awareness requires insight from global people, Christian and non-Christian, and Fareed Zakaria's updated work is the most comprehensive look at current global realities I am aware of at the popular level.

5. Adventures in Saying Yes: A Journey from Fear to Faith.  (Carl Medearis)  I pretty much recommend anything Carl Medearis writes, and this new work is no different.  This phenomenal book tells his story of ministry in the middle-east, and encourages followers of Jesus with ways to follow Him without fear.  Since we live in a culture that seems to capitalize on fear lately, this book is a great antidote.

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