Events of the last few months may have altered your habits and activities to allow for some extra reading time, or created the desire to dig more deeply into weighty subjects. Who better to suggest some good reads than our campus pastors?
Here are their answers to the question “What are you reading?”
Bill Gorman – Brookside Campus
I’m reading Richard Bauckham’s fantastic (and short!) book The Theology of Revelation. It is a classic case of not judging a book by its cover! Everything about the cover and even the internal design screams, This is a scholarly book that will be dry and dense. But that’s only partly true! It is a scholarly book, but it is anything but dry or dense. It has helped me understand and appreciate the beauty of Revelation as a book, but even more, it has moved me to worship and more deeply enjoy the One that Revelation reveals.
I’m also reading The Other Half of Church which combines the best of theology, discipleship, and neurobiology to help followers of Jesus and the church bodies they are part of grow and change in even more integral ways.
Gabe Coyle – Downtown Campus
I am currently reading Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue, Third Edition. This brilliant scholarly work of moral philosophy is both a classic and a centering work for the thoughtful follower of Jesus who longs to cultivate a flourishing society. As many pursue a more just and equitable society, we must not only be engaged in conversations of the day, but must also glean from thought leaders of the past to have a dynamic impact for the gospel in the present. MacIntyre’s centering on virtue has long historical roots, and simultaneously gives us a window into our cultural moment.
Another book that I am enjoying is Conviction and Compassion by Justin Giboney of the AND Campaign. In this book, Giboney gives a helpful and simple framework for why Christians should be engaged for political impact (no matter their occupation), and how we should be engaged differently than our surrounding polarizing cultural norms. A timely read for every follower of Jesus.
Andrew Jones – Leawood Campus
Political Visions and Illusions by David Koyzis. True confession: I have not read the book I am listening to this blog called “What Are You Reading?” What’s that? You say you forgive me? Ok, great. It’s on my short list because it comes highly recommended by two Christian leaders I greatly respect, Tim Keller and Anthony Bradley. During this election season, it is so important to think biblically about our Christian engagement with political visions and claims about the good, true, and beautiful life. Can’t wait to crack this one open!
Reid Kapple – Olathe Campus
Beyond Racial Gridlock by George Yancey. There are a myriad of ways that our society has attempted to remedy racial tensions and injustices. While it is true that none of them hold the final solution, it is also true that none of them are altogether wrong. Yancey offers great insights into the strengths and weaknesses of our secular approaches to racial healing, but concludes with his biblical argument for mutual responsibility. The realities of racial injustice in our country are not exclusively the result of individual prejudice or systemic racism, but to deny the realities of either is to refuse to see reality. With rich scholarly insight and thoughtful biblical wisdom, Yancey offers a more robust and hopeful way forward.
Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross. It is unfortunate that many evangelical Christians are not very familiar with the liturgical calendar. I am one of those. There is a richness and beauty to the rhythms and practices of the liturgical calendar, which Gross brings into focus in this yearly devotional. It is a great resource to help the church more reverently and intentionally enter the story of God through sacred times of the year. And as we engage these sacred times we come to find that all time is sacred when we live for and before our holy God.
Free At Last: The Gospel in the African American Experience by Carl Ellis. With great historical precision and cultural commentary, Dr. Ellis offers a wide scoped narrative of the way the gospel has been received, preached, and applied within the historic black church in our country. While the gospel is timeless and unchanging, the way it speaks to and shapes a culture will vary. As a result, Christians can learn a great deal about the gospel from the perspective of differing cultures. Dr. Ellis not only provides a helpful insight into the African American Christian experience, but also shows the wide and robust message of the gospel that speaks to all of life.
Tim Spanburg – Shawnee Campus
The best book I have read in several years is Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund. It is a book-length meditation on Matthew 11:28-30, how fundamentally Christ’s heart toward us and our weakness is gentle and lowly. This book profoundly reshaped the way I view God’s grace, and no matter where you are in life, you need that message.
Delighting in the Trinity by Michael Reeves is a short book that lays out the implication of what it means that God is Trinity. That might not sound compelling, but it is. The nature of God’s love, judgment, and holiness are profoundly shaped by the fact He is Three persons in one. This book left me in awe of who God is.
Nathan Miller – Senior Pastor
Why You Do the Things You Do by Tim Clinton and Gary Sibcy. These last few months my wife Kelly and I have been on a quest toward better self-understanding, and have benefited greatly by growing in our understanding of the basics of attachment theory. This book was incredibly helpful to us both in understanding why we do what we do, particularly in our many relationships with others. It has helped us be better humans, better spouses, better parents, and stronger followers of Jesus.