I’ve read and browsed a bunch this year. I’m still in the middle of several of those books. But Chris was wondering about any recommendations for spiritual goals for the year and so here are some books that I’ve looked at during the past couple of years that are particularly helpful. This is the first post in that response.
Praying, talking to God, is one of those peculiar things. Can you talk to God, really? Does he listen? Does it change anything? Walter Wangerin does a wonderful job describing the process of conversing with God in Whole Prayer. Conversation rather than declamation, interaction rather than performance, that’s at the heart of understanding God.
If you want a simple version of the story of Jesus, look at the book of Mark, one of the 66 books that make up the compendium we know as the Bible. It’s the shortest of the four biographies, and makes for an almost comic book action kind of approach.
Mark Batterson has been pastoring a church in Washington D.C., a church that meets in movie theatres. In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day: How to Survive and Thrive When Opportunity Roars is his description of how to live boldly, attacking adversity. It is a quick read.
Living boldly, the artistic version
John Eldridge writes about heart. This book, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul, changed my life a couple years ago because it helped me understand the importance of a heart after God, of looking into the core of our being. For people familiar with quest kinds of films and books, including “Lord of the Rings”, this book will resonate.
This is a really hard thing to talk about, since it covers a multitude of ideas, from vague urges to absolute beings. Donald Miller tries to talk as clearly as possible about Christian spirituality without using Christian words. His first book (or actually first book to have broad circulation), Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality, is pretty clear and intellectual without being all about knowing the inside language.
That’s a start for some reading. What questions do you know that you would like to know some books that will provide discussion? How’s that for a very obscure way to say, what do YOU want to know more about if the subject is religion or relationship?