Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Books in the Past Month

Here are some books I've been mentally digesting, with one- or two-sentence reviews:

Crazy Love (Francis Chan): A simple and straightforward call to a radical form of discipleship. I read the book in Latvia and it challenged me deeply; Chan is calling people out of mediocrity and into a radical form of Christianity.

Wide Awake (Erwin McManus): It plays out like a Christian self-help book--how to follow your God-sized dreams in eight simple steps--which made me a bit uncomfortable. It has some great insights scattered throughout the book, but it wasn't up there with An Unstoppable Force or Soul Cravings (and I love McManus' teaching!). Maybe I don't fit into the intended audience--people living mediocre and meaningless lives with no direction--so it just didn't connect with me.

The Four Loves (C.S. Lewis): It's an interesting and almost paradoxical concept--effectively analyze the concept of love in a logical and methodical manner. Lewis is a fantastic writer, and this was a great little read.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction (Eugene Peterson): I started reading this a long time ago, put it down for a year, then finished it in less than a week. Peterson has a gift for communication and a perspective on discipleship that mines the depths of Scripture and comes up with gold.

Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church (Mark Senter, Chap Clark, Wesley Black, Malan Nel): A good look at four paradigms and methodologies for youth ministry in the church. There is a ton of overlap in each strategy--all highly value the local church, discipleship, and evangelism--but each places unique emphases on aspects of the Christian life and has strikingly different views for young people (are young people full participating members of the congregation, future members in a time of preparation, or a combination of both?).

Have you read any of these lately? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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