#11 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (My 100 Favorite Books)

The Harry Potter series is a modern classic.  There have been other books since that were incredibly popular (Twilight, The Hunger Games), but I’d argue that none of them will have the staying power that I predict Harry Potter will. The series is entertaining and imaginative.  One of the best things is the way itContinue reading “#11 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#12 – After Virtue by Alasdair Macintyre (My 100 Favorite Books)

“I can only answer the question “What am I to do?’ if I can answer the prior question ‘Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?” That quote is from Alasdair Macintyre’s brilliant book on moral philosophy, After Virtue.  Macintyre traces the attempts to create a universal moral ethic after the fallContinue reading “#12 – After Virtue by Alasdair Macintyre (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#13 – The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann (My 100 Favorite Books)

Growing up, I was taught that Jesus had died for my sins so I could go to heaven when I died.  As for what to do once you believed and were assured your spot on the other side of the pearly gates?  Well, that was a bit more hazy beyond reading the Bible and prayingContinue reading “#13 – The Crucified God by Jurgen Moltmann (My 100 Favorite Books)”

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

#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, asContinue reading “#15 – A Secular Age by Charles Taylor (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#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 addingContinue reading “#16 – The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#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 influentialContinue reading “#17 – Confessions by Augustine (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#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 forContinue reading “#18 – Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster (My 100 Favorite Books)”

#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 titleContinue reading “#19 – The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen (My 100 Favorite Books)”

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