By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – June 20, 2016) — Summer officially began today (Monday, June 20th); with summer comes vacations, and hopefully with vacations comes reading.
Though most of these book recommendations are theologically oriented (all released this year), I think a few can be read, digested, and enjoyed by any reader interested in the Christian life. I highly recommend all five.
You Are What You Love, James K.A Smith. This may be my favorite book of the year. It’s a well written summary of what it means to pursue God. Part spiritual disciplines premier, part passionate pursuit of the good life, Smith has done us a great favor in writing this gem. Tim Keller calls it a “proactive” read.
The Death of Humanity, Richard Weikart. Whereas Smith has given us a thoughtful and friendly read with You Are What You Love, Cal State, Stanislaus, professor, Richard Weikart, has given us a meaty and timely feast. Concerning the book, Ravi Zacharias states, “Weikart demonstrates the impoverishment of philosophies that reject the Judeo-Christian worldview — but ‘still retain some of the vestiges of the Judeo-Christian morality that they claim to spurn’ — and shows how Christianity uniquely makes sense of our questions of meaning, purpose, morality, and dignity. His book will sober and challenge you.”
Modern Art And The Life of a Culture, Jonathan Anderson and William Dyrness. If you like art (and Christians should), then this is the book for you. Using the classic book by Dutch theologian, Hans Rookmaaker — Modern Art and the Death of a Culture, as its springboard, Modern Art And The Life of a Culture discusses how Christians can — and should — approach modern art. Christian philosopher, Nicholas Wolterstorff, says, “This is a book we have needed for a long time.”
Taking Pascal’s Wager: Faith, Evidence and the Abundant Life by Michael Rota. Another jewel of a book! If you’re interested in apologetics, science, and living a full and meaningful life (yes, the three can exist harmoniously), then this is the book for you. William Lane Craig calls it “an unusual book” that “challenges the mind while appealing to the heart.”
The Apostle Paul and The Christian Life, Scot McKnight and Joseph Modica. If you enjoy the New Testament (with the Apostle Paul writing 1/3 of it), then this book is a must. Taking modern scholarship concerning Paul and placing it in a real-world context, The Apostle Paul and The Christian Life is both practical and penetrating. Michael Bird calls it “A stimulating and stirring read about what Paul means today.”
According to the Pew Research group, “The number of book readers has dipped a bit from the previous year and the number of e-book readers has remained flat” .
With news such as this — reading, particularly for Christians — should be high on our priority list. If it’s not one of the books on this list, then do yourself a favor, find a book you’ll enjoy and read it!
Photo captions: 1) The Death of Humanity. 2) Modern Art And The Life of a Culture. 3) The Apostle Paul and The Christian Life. 4) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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