Friday, July 16, 2010

What I'm Reading

The Divine Commodity by Skye Jethani. This is a brilliant book by the managing editor of Leadership Journal, who proposes that consumerism is the biggest problem in the church today. By consumerism he doesn't mean "consumption" but rather the assumptions and the promises of a consumeristic society. This is a beautifully written book that interweaves the work and life of Vincent Van Gogh with a loving and hopeful critique of the American church. Highly, highly recommended.

Love is an Orientation by Andrew Marin. If you want a book that will shake you up, no matter what side you're on in the debate, this is the one. Andrew lives in Boystown, a gay neighborhood in Chicago, and calls himself a "bridgebuilder" between the gay community and evangelical Christian community. This is a unique book, spending less time laying out all the arguments pro or against, and refraining from entering into the political conversations, and more time telling the stories of the people he meets and encouraging Christians to enter into their world. Andrew has been attacked by both sides, so he must be doing something right!

A 30 Day Retreat: A Personal Guide to Spiritual Renewal by William Mills. William is an acquaintance of mine who is an Orthodox priest (and I'm obligated to say I received a free copy from his publisher), who introduces the practice of lectio divina (slow, contemplative readings of the scriptures) in a way that feels accessible and palatable for newcomers to the discipline. I'm just starting this, so I can't comment too much on it, but if you are interested in learning more about lectio divina and making it part of your devotional life, this looks like a great introduction.