#10 – The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien (My 100 Favorite Books)

This book was Tolkien’s life’s work.  It was not released until after his death, put together by his son Christopher.  I call it the Old Testament of Middle Earth. While it is not as exciting as the Hobbit, or even as fast-paced as Lord of the Rings (which is itself a bit slow at times) […]

#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 it […]

#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 fall […]

#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 praying […]

#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 Lord is our Strength – Psalm 27 (Weekly Word)

What is pressing in upon you right now?  What is stressing you out? Read Psalm 27 This psalm begins: The Lord is my light and my salvation—     whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—     of whom shall I be afraid? This passage is why I want to pray the psalms […]

#28 – Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn (My 100 Favorite Books)

Today we look back on the acceptance of slavery in the 1800s and before and ask what those people were thinking. How could they accept such a horrific crime to continue in their midst? Or we look to our more recent past and cringe at the crimes done by those in favor of segregation. Again, […]