Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama
Discipleship – David Watson
Faith and Doubt – John Ortberg
The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Jesus for President – Shane Claiborne & Chris Haw
Church on the Other Side – Brian McLaren
Books I’ve finished…
A short introduction to giving someone a hand to get to know God better. It’s based on practical stuff – why would you’d want to help someone in the first place; whether you’re the right person for the job; what kinds of stuff you might fo, and how to keep the relationship healthy. It includes questions and reflections for the reader, so if you’re stuck for someone to talk to about what you’ve read, you can figure it out as you go. Nice and short, it covers the basics in a practical way. However, content-wise it packs nothing like the punch of David Watson’s Discipleship.
Title sounds crazy? You betcha! And the content’s right up there with it – in a good way. A fresh look at the radical nature of the gospel, and what it might look like to reconsider early spiritual practices in light of that. The book’s centred on the importance of prayer and of community as a rhythm of life – the heart of how we can be part of what God’s doing in His world. If mainstream church is something you find difficult this book might help you think about it in a new way. A bit like Shane Claiborne’s Ordinary Radical, for me this is a book that threatens to show you how Jesus might mess up your comfortable life…
Don’t like religion? Don’t see what the church would have to say that would help in your life? Brian McLaren can relate. This is one of the most helpful books I’ve read on thinking for myself, without someone ramming God-stuff down my throat, about what’s really important, whether some sort of faith makes sense in that, and if so, what that might look like.
Contentment. Why is it that we find it so hard to achieve it? Abbot Christopher Jamison’s book is one of the wisest I have ever read. Intertwining insights from the benedictine traditions with common sense and a pinch of the wisdom of the desert fathers, his writing provides an antidote to our consumer society’s failure to sate our thirst for contentment.
London in the twenty first century: individuals’ lives intertwining in ways they’d never expect. I’m a bit of a Faulks fan, so no surprise I loved this. Rich, full-hearted and wry (gotta love “Goldbags” as a name for a bank!). The characterisation was great – the hopelessness of the materially “successful”, the surprising spark of new relationships, and most of all, the turmoil of the young Jihadist fighting to understand himself and his place in the world against the background of different influences clamouring for his commitment. A fictional snapshot running close to the bone, perhaps, of London in the noughties.