Tag: Books

Books I’m Reading for Fun

Run with the Horses (Peterson) – a book on character, endurance, and faith through Eugene Peterson’s reflections on the prophet Jeremiah. A favorite quote:

“We have so much more experience in sin than in goodness that a writer has far more imaginative material to work with in presenting a bad character than a good person.”

MaddAddam (Atwood) – I’ve been an avid Atwood fan for years. In addition to good writing, and bits of sic-fi, Atwood always weaves in thick descriptions and philosophical reflection. This book is the third and final volume in the series. My favorite in the series was the first, Oryx and Crake.

Survival of the Prettiest (Etcoff) – a fascinating study of beauty, compiling disturbing statistics on self-improvment beauty, while exploring various answers to the question: “Why do we desire beauty?” Her answer is ultimately shaped by Darwinism. We desire beauty because it ensures procreation. This, of course, does not account for our longing for non-sexual beauty.

The Pastors Justification (Wilson)- an edifying read for any pastor or leader, but perhaps equally important for the church to read in order to understand and help their pastors thrive and serve the church well.

Here are three Quotes I pulled from it.

The Man in the Black Hat (Klosterman) – a curious exploration of what makes a villain evil, and what makes evil bad, through the unorthodox writing and pop culture reflections of Chuck Klosterman


Christ & Culture Revisited

Those familiar with the theological debates regarding Christ and Culture will, no doubt, be familiar with Richard Niebuhr’s classic work Christ and Culture. Largely developed through reflection on historical patterns of and postures toward cultural engagement, Christ and Culture offered an insightful synthesis as well as a new typology. Niebuhr constructed a five-fold approach to Christian engagement with culture. Unfortunately, these five approaches (Christ of culture, Christ above culture, Christ against culture, Christ transformer of culture, Christ above culture) have not made their way into common Christian parlance or practice (though Christians typically embrace one of the positions).

Most scholars have recognized that, instead of selecting just one posture towards culture, a more complex approach is necessary, requiring that we employ a combination of the views presented by Niebuhr. Simply put, there are things in our cultures that Christ is against, others he is for, and still more that he wants to transform.

I have eagerly been anticipating D. A. Carson’s Christ and Culture Revisited, which is hitting bookstores soon. Carson revisits Niebuhr’s classic work, applauding it for its many strengths. However, he also brings a much needed perspective to the discussion of Christ and Culture, that of biblical theology. Advocating reliance upon biblical paradigms for cultural engagement, Carson draws upon the rich resources of biblical theology for an alternative typology. In addition, he seeks to apply this typology to some contemporary cultural issues.

Click here to preview the preface and table of contents.