Carl’s Current Reading List

readinglist-beautywillsaveBeauty Will Save the World: Rediscovering the Allure and Mystery of Christianity

by Brian Zahnd

In Beauty Will Save the World, Brian Zahnd presents the argument that this loss of beauty as a principal value has been disastrous for Western culture, and especially for the church. The full message of the beauty of the gospel has been replaced by our desires to satisfy our material needs, to empirically prove our faith, and to establish political power in our world–the exact same things that Christ was tempted with and rejected in the wilderness. Read More at Amazon.com »

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 2.41.04 PMJesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes

by Kenneth Bailey

Beginning with Jesus’ birth, Ken Bailey leads you on a kaleidoscopic study of Jesus throughout the four Gospels. Bailey examines the life and ministry of Jesus with attention to the Lord’s Prayer, the Beatitudes, Jesus’ relationships with women, and especially Jesus’ parables. Through it all, Bailey employs his trademark expertise as a master of Middle Eastern culture to lead you into a deeper understanding of the person and significance of Jesus within his own cultural context. With a sure but gentle hand, Bailey lifts away the obscuring layers of modern Western interpretation to reveal Jesus in the light of his actual historical and cultural setting. This entirely new material from the pen of Ken Bailey is a must-have for any student of the New Testament. If you have benefited from Bailey’s work over the years, this book will be a welcome and indispensable addition to your library. If you are unfamiliar with Bailey’s work, this book will introduce you to a very old yet entirely new way of understanding Jesus. Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-sabbathThe Sabbath

by Abraham Heschel

Elegant, passionate, and filled with the love of God’s creation, Abraham Joshua Heschel’s The Sabbath has been hailed as a classic of Jewish spirituality ever since its original publication-and has been read by thousands of people seeking meaning in modern life. In this brief yet profound meditation on the meaning of the Seventh Day, Heschel introduced the idea of an “architecture of holiness” that appears not in space but in time Judaism, he argues, is a religion of time: it finds meaning not in space and the material things that fill it but in time and the eternity that imbues it, so that “the Sabbaths are our great cathedrals.” Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-enoughSimply Enough

by Tim Timmons

Jesus did not call us to be religious; he created a movement when he called hisearly followers. The Jesus movement continues today and consists of peoplefrom every culture and religion on earth – Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Jews,Hindus, Sikhs, Pantheists, Agnostics. People from every culture embrace Jesus,simply Jesus. Though church tradition has diminished the person of Jesus, if we look,we will find he is more radical, more relational and more imperative than we havebeen taught to believe. Jesus trumps everything! Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-theworldThe World is Not Ours to Save

by Tyler Wigg Stevenson

The 2014 Christianity Today Book Award Winner (Christianity and Culture) 2014 Outreach Magazine Resource of the Year (Compassion) We want to save the world—and we have a dizzying array of worthy causes to pursue. But passionate enthusiasm can quickly give way to disillusionment, compassion fatigue or empty slacktivism. As we move from awareness to mobilization, we bump up against the complexities of global problems—and liking Facebook pages only goes so far. Veteran activist Tyler Wigg-Stevenson identifies the practical and spiritual pitfalls that threaten much of today’s cause-driven Christianity. He casts an alternate vision for doing good based on the liberating truth that only God can save the world. Wigg-Stevenson’s own pilgrimage from causes to calling shows how to ground an enduring, kingdom-oriented activism in the stillness of vocation rather than in the anxiety of the world’s brokenness. The world is not ours to save. And that’s okay. Discover why. Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-jesusJesus: A Theography

by Len Sweet

Jesus says, “The Scriptures point to me!” (John 5:39 NLT). But what does that mean exactly?

Biographies of Jesus generally have been written by those trying to investigate the historical Jesus with little attention given to the grand narrative of Scripture. On the flip side, those interested in tracing the theology of Scripture are typically disinterested in historical Jesus studies. These two approaches have yet to converge…until now. Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-goodbeautifulThe Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows

by James Bryan Smith

“God wants me to try harder.” “God blesses me when I’m good and punishes me when I’m bad.” “God is angry with me.” We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true–but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God. Once you’ve discovered the truth in Scripture, Smith leads you through a process of spiritual formation that includes specific activities aimed at making these new narratives real in your body and soul as well as your mind. At the end of each chapter you’ll find an opportunity for soul training, engaging in spiritual practices that reinforce the biblical messages on your mind and heart. Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-pursuitofgodThe Pursuit of God

by A.W. Tozer

Written during a train trip in the late 1940s, The Pursuit of God shows how God pursues humans to draw them into a relationship with Himself, while humans thirst after the things of God—though they attempt to fill this thirst with things other than worship of their Creator. Tozer explores different aspects of this desire within the human heart, calling readers to examine what they believe and put aside preconceived ideas that disrupt this relationship with God. “It is a solemn thing,” he writes, “to see God’s children starving while actually seated at the Father’s table. This book is a modest attempt to aid God’s hungry children so to find Him.” Read More at Amazon.com »

readinglist-daringgreatlyDaring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

by Brene Brown

Researcher and thought leader Dr. Brené Brown offers a powerful new vision that encourages us to dare greatly: to embrace vulnerability and imperfection, to live wholeheartedly, and to courageously engage in our lives. In Daring Greatly, Dr. Brown challenges everything we think we know about vulnerability. Based on twelve years of research, she argues that vulnerability is not weakness, but rather our clearest path to courage, engagement, and meaningful connection. The book that Dr. Brown’s many fans have been waiting for, Daring Greatly will spark a new spirit of truth—and trust—in our organizations, families, schools, and communities. Read More at Amazon.com »