Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Books I'm Digesting

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: Donald Miller's latest (and first hardcover!) is his story about...well...his story. So far, it's done what great books do--captures my emotions and communicates what I'd already been pondering for a few months now. It's much more linear than his previous efforts, and a bit more mature. If Blue Like Jazz was the first step of a postmodern spiritual journey, A Million Miles is the ongoing development of those initial doubts and struggles. Perhaps Miller's best book to date, and one of the most refreshing books I've read this year.

Middle School Ministry: The subtitle is a comprehensive guide to working with early adolescents. The description of "comprehensive" is quite fitting, as this is the most in-depth and insightful book on middle school ministry that I've ever read. From psychological and social development to cultural analysis to practical ministry tools to an FAQ and a bunch of great stuff in the appendices, this book has it all. If you're doing any sort of ministry with early adolescents, I highly recommend this book. (And I'm pretty sure I'm the Joel on page 360).

Do Hard Things: Written by twin brothers, Alex and Brett Harris, this is a book written by teens, for teens. These brothers are challenging the cultural norms for adolescence, claiming that teens don't have to accept mediocrity and must step up and make a difference in their world. It's a good message, though a bit conservative at times for my taste (lots of talk about modesty and campaigning for Republican senators).

The Orthodox Heretic: Postmodern church philosopher Peter Rollins has created a book of parables--short tales meant to provoke and inspire. I've only just begun reading this, and it's already been incredibly convicting. Each parable is only a page or two in length, but the implications and thoughts they elicit are worth pondering for days.


  1. Glad you're blogging again. Hope all is well.

  2. Joel,

    I just finished Donald Miller's book! It is a rare jewel to read a book that I completely resonate with. I couldn't put this one down and I agree, it is his best yet!

  3. Oooo. Miller and Middle School are on my up next list. Can't wait to read them. I wish I read books more quickly. I just read too many at a time. :)

  4. Ryan, I'm glad I'm blogging again too. I've missed it.

    Chris and Alaina, I'm still contemplating Miller's book and the implications for my own story. It's one of those books that I read at just the right time in my life.