#14 – The Beauty of the Infinite by David Bentley Hart (My 100 Favorite Books)

When I read this book, I described it to someone as a symphony where there is more going on then the average listener is getting.  I recall asking my friend who recommended it if he understood what Hart was saying in the first 150 pages.  In those pages, Hart is going deep into philosophy and [...]

#15 – A Secular Age by Charles Taylor (My 100 Favorite Books)

Taylor's enormous book begins with a question: Why was belief in God taken for granted in the West in 1500 but highly questioned, if not even non-belief taken for granted, in 2000?  What changed? In answering this question, Taylor argues that the common story does not provide a sufficient explanation.  Usually, so it goes, as [...]

#16 – The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (My 100 Favorite Books)

I've been thinking about spiritual practice a lot lately.  Many of the recent books on my list have centered on spiritual disciplines.  On campus, we are talking about (and hopefully engaging in) spiritual disciplines each week at our weekly gatherings.  My small group is reading a book on spiritual disciplines together.  I fully believe adding [...]

#17 – Confessions by Augustine (My 100 Favorite Books)

"Our hearts are restless till they find rest in you." If you're a Christian, or someone who has read Christian books, or even just spiritual books perhaps, you've probably heard this phrase.  It is from Confessions, the autobiography of Augustine, the bishop of Hippo in North Africa in the 400s.  Augustine was the most influential [...]

The Voice of God in a Noisy World (Weekly Word)

This morning at breakfast, my kids were arguing about what food is gross.  My daughter insisted plain cream cheese is simply nasty.  So my son responded by sticking his finger in the cream cheese and sucking it off to her horror. My kids are pretty relaxed mostly, but they can argue with the best of [...]

#18 – Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (My 100 Favorite Books)

Growing up, I got the impression that living life as a Christian was essentially to pray and read the Bible each day for about 20 minutes.  Preferably in the morning.  Even if you forgot, it was okay because you were saved and going to heaven when you died.  Mostly life was just waiting around for [...]

#19 – The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen (My 100 Favorite Books)

When I made this list, I put Henri Nouwen's small book on Christian leadership and service at #19.  It was the only Nouwen book on my list.  Now that I am here and writing about it, I am reconsidering.  I've read 5-6 books by Nouwen and they are all great. Maybe I should just title [...]

#20 – The New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton (My 100 Favorite Books)

Richard Rohr talks about the two halves of life in his book Falling Upward (which is not on my list, but deserves an honorary mention).  The first half is when we build up who we are, akin to building a container.  Then in the second half of life, we fill the container and even find [...]

Just Pray – Psalm 28 (Weekly Word)

I decided this past January to send out devotional emails each Friday, in the hopes of encouraging and challenging you all.  When it came to choosing what to write about, the Psalms popped immediately into my head.  There are 150 of them so if I did one a week, it would give me material for [...]

#21 – Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky (My 100 Favorite Books)

Fyodor Dostoevsky was a fantastic and brilliant author.  His books explored the depth of human morality and the human psyche.  Admittedly, he's not easy to read.  But if you can slog through, its worth it. Crime and Punishment is the story of a man, Raskolnikov, who commits a brutal murder.   Why?  Well, in a meaningless [...]