On My Nightstand

Books, for me, are therapy, a way of relaxing from the pressures of the world. My habit, lately, has been to physically read books on theology and the Christian life and to listen, via audiobook, history and biography. I'm almost always in the middle of reading a book and listening to a book. George Will recently discussed this kind of rhythm in a radio interview and I think it suits me pretty well. Currently, these books are in my book pile: From Weakness to Strength by Scott Sauls The best thing I can say about my friend Scott is that he preaches a beautiful gospel. I read everything he writes. This book is a unique leadership book in that it doesn't offer new systems or productivity hacks, but a vulnerable and biblical look at leadership. Scott's premise is that leadership in the kingdom of God is upside down: humility and weakness lead to spiritual strength....

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Good Men Are Hard to Find: Lessons from the Life of George H.W. Bush

I just finished reading Jon Meacham's magnificent biography of the 41st President of the United States, George HW Bush, a book I thoroughly enjoyed, from cover to cover. Bush's election to the presidency in 1988 was the first presidential election I paid attention to. I was ten years old, already a budding politics and history nerd. We huddled around the radio in our family room that November night (our family did not own a TV) and waited to hear the returns. George HW Bush was in the arena during much of the pivotal history of the 20th century. His father, Prescott Bush, was a U.S. Senator. He volunteered to fight in World War II and became a fighter pilot whose plane was shot down over Chichi Jima. He and three others survived, but not after he finished his bombing mission, parachuted into the waters of the Pacific, and was rescued by a Navy submarine. When...

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Mini-Reviews #12

Okay, I'm back with mini-reviews, this time with three books I thoroughly enjoyed: Loving the Way Jesus Loved by Phillip Ryken I've heard many sermons on the famous "love chapter" of 1 Corinthians 13. It's often read at weddings, quoted by people of all persuasions and motivations, and often misunderstood. But Phil Ryken, President of Wheaton College, approaches this chapter in a fresh new way. Taken from a series of message he preached while pastor of Philadelphia's famed Tenth Presbyterian Church, Loving the Way Jesus Loves adds the life of Jesus as the backdrop to this chapter. And so with each characteristic of love, Ryken digs into the life of Christ and how he perfectly exemplifies this. What makes this approach so much richer is that you begin to treat the impossible demands of supernatural love as something Christ generates in you rather than something you must work hard to produce in yourself. Gaze...

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Book Review: A Faith of Our Own

How do evangelicals of the millennial generation engage the culture differently than their parents? This is a question that has been raised with great frequency over the course of the last several years. The latest offering is A Faith of Our Own by Jonathan Merritt, an articulate voice with roots in America's largest Protestant denomination, The Southern Baptist Convention. Merritt speaks whereof he writes, as the son of a former SBC President and eyewitness to the rough-and-tumble culture wars of a previous generation. This book is at times a memoir and at times a chronicle of today's shifting evangelical attitudes toward politics. It has many strong points with which I agree. Like Jonathan, I feel that the lust for power, a seat at the table, has at times corrupted the simplicity and purity of the Church's central message. For many, the word "evangelical" means a certain brand of conservative politics. At times, we've gotten so preoccupied...

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