Archive for the ‘Reading List’ Category

goodreadsI’d like to think I’m a person of at least moderate intelligence, and that I have friends that are likewise.  With that in mind I am submitting this poll: Are you literate?

I may not be the most prolific reader in the world, but I do enjoy reading good books.  As such, at the advice of my good friend Jared, I joined Goodreads.  It’s a really easy to use site that helps you track what books you have read and lets others keep track of your reading journey’s as well.  I have loved the ability to track, rate and share what I’m reading all on one site that plays nicely with both Facebook and Twitter.  So here’s my request to you: I know the last thing we all need is another social networking site, but I’d love it if some more of my literate friends would join Goodreads too.  Jared and Steve are on there and it has been great to keep up with their reading journey’s but I’d love to share more of what others are reading, learning and growing from too.

Goodreads is free and quite user friendly.  If you can read and like me even a little consider it at least.  There is a link to my Goodreads page in the right hand column of my blog.

Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens

Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens by Neil Cole

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I loved this book. Cole’s ideas about the church being an organic living entity rather than a mechanical machine really ring true. His ideas about the simplicity of sharing one’s faith and “doing church” really resonated with me and honestly, really make me want to leave the institutional church and live the Christian life in a smaller, organic church much the way he explains. This is where my real problem comes in though: how do I as a career pastor of an institutional church do this? How can I be a part of a small organic church and still support my family? I really feel my heart drawn to this, but the realities of life seem to make it impossible at the time. I really think this is the future of the church as I’ve said before, but I don’t know what to do in the awkward in between transition time. So in that this book was spectacular in giving me a vision for the future and what to be working towards, but frustrating in the sense that I don’t really know how to get there from where I am. I’m changing what I can to be more “organic” with the youth ministry that I can control, but unfortunately I can only change what I can change.

View all my reviews.

imagesWell, I know I’ve been talking about it for a while now.  I even had a post about six months ago about my dreams of being an author.  Thankfully that day has finally come.  It hasn’t been an easy secret to keep over the past while, but Donald Miller finally decided to let the cat out of the bag in a press release this morning.  His new book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”, has a co-author and that co-author is me.  It’s been really busy trying to keep up with church work, be a dad and a husband, but it’s all been worth it.  Make sure you pick up the book, it’s a great read.  More than anything I’m just glad that I don’t have to keep the secret anymore.

Here’s the link to the press release.  I really hope you enjoy the book.

The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church

The Shaping of Things to Come: Innovation and Mission for the 21 Century Church by Michael Frost

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an exciting, encouraging, frustrating and difficult book to read. It left me excited but having no real way to work out what I would like to (not the books fault). If you believe the western church as it stands is flawed and in need of re-creation to be effective at carrying out the great commission in a new world than this book can be a great place to start imagining what it could be like. If you think the church is great as it is than skip this book and save yourself the hypertension and ulcer.

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As per the title, I’ve managed to knock another book off of my “to-read” shelf, however despite 7 weeks now of going to the gym 6 days a week I cannot lose a single Lb.  In fact I’ve gained 2.  And don’t you dare start in on me with the “you’re gaining muscle” routine.  When average Joes go to lose weight they lose weight and I can’t despite eating well and reasonable portions and getting more exercise than I ever have.  Any advice?

The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why

The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why by Phyllis Tickle

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whether you like Emerging/Emergent church stuff this book makes a very clear case exactly where it has come from historically, theologically, and sociologically. It makes a very clear and fairly fact based argument that we shouldn’t be surprised by the rise of emerging/Emergent Christianity and shouldn’t expect it to just go away. Well worth the read if for no other reason than to see where we’ve come from as a church, where we are, and where we might be heading to.

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My Reading Update

Posted: January 28, 2009 in Reading List
Tags: ,

bookworm2Last year Mike read through 50+ books and this year has a goal of reading 52 books (that’s one a week for my math challenged friends).  He threw the challenge out there and I answered the bell.  So far a lot of my reading has come through the gift of nine free ebooks for Christmas from  I’m ahead of the scheduled four books so here’s the list:

1. Brisingr – Christopher Paolini
I know it’s supposed to be young adult fiction but the guy has really improved his writing since the first book and I enjoy the occasional Dragon story.

2. Jesus Wants to Save Christians – Rob Bell and Don Golden
If you’ve never read anything critiquing western Christianity then this is a good start.  If you have then don’t waste your time on a book that basically just rehashes what others have said without offering any real solutions or new insights.

3. 4th Wish – Ed Howdershelt (free ebook)
It’s a short genie-in-a-bottle story.  What can I say, it was free.

4. Free-Range Chickens – Simon Rich (free ebook)
It’s basically just a book full of short snippets of what are occasionally funny thoughts.  For free it was alright, but to pay money for it would be a terrible waste.

5. Murder List – Julie Garwood (free ebook)
It was sold as a murder mystery thriller about a guy who was killing all the worldly enemies of a damsel in distress on his way to hunting her down too.  It turned out to be about 10% murder mystery and 90% awkward love story between damsel in distress and the detective assigned to be her bodyguard.  I kept reading hoping it would get interesting and then it was over.  Again, for free it was “meh” but for any amount of money it would be a terrible waste.

6. The End of Reason – Ravi K. Zacharias
It’s essentially a reasoned response to “The New Atheists” works that have been selling like hotcakes for a few years now.  The response was generally fairly solid and even handed, but his unnecessary shots at Islam near the end of the book were kind of out of line.

7. The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death – Laurie Notaro (free ebook)
This was a very stupid book full of short anecdotes of the author’s daily life.  I usually enjoy quirky stories, but this was not really that funny, interesting or even ironic.  It had some funny bits, but no worldly wisdom that I couldn’t have found on the average cocktail napkin or the inside of a truck stop bathroom stall.  Again, for free it had some funny parts, but not worth wasting any money on.

So as you can see, my reading thus far has been primarily composed of free fluff that I’ve got from so I’ve just read it on the go on my Q.  I can’t say as I’m proud to announce I’ve read some of them, but I’m doing my best to give a lot of different kinds of books a read this year just to see what I like or not.  Hopefully I can find a few more authors to add to my must-read list.  I hope to do a little more substantive reading as the year goes on and I have a bit more time with Jenn going to only part-time teaching instead of full-time as it’s been for the past five months.  With book sales and free ebooks having accumulated over the Christmas season, I think I still have at least sixteen more books to go in my stack before I look at getting something new.

I’m about halfway through four others that should be added to the list soon (Christian Culture Survival Guide by Matthew Turner, Christianity’s Dangerous Idea by Allister McGrath, The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst, The Voice of Hebrews by Greg Garret and David Capes).  I’ll try to post them as I read them from here on out.