July 21, 2005

Summer Reading

I'm not used to reading a book and then highly recommending it to people, but I just finished one that really inspired me. So I thought, hey, I could make a nice little list of the books I really liked recently ... and so here I go:

Stephen Lawhead: Patrick
Amazing book, and the book I just finished this morning. Lawhead, once again (go find his Arthur series), takes history and tells it in his polished and thoughtful prose; this is the story of Saint Patrick. I've only heard it once before on a Veggie Tales video, but somehow this felt a little deeper. It's compelling, it's enriching, it's lots of other "-ings," and so you should go buy it. Now.

Donald Miller: Blue Like Jazz
The book that made me actually start to like my senior thesis. Before I read this, my thesis was just another project. Afterwards, my thesis became a piece of self-expressive art (maybe not good or comprehesible art, but art nevertheless). If you're having trouble understanding the postmodern shift, or if you're just up for a good read, find this and buy it. Miller takes us through his own transition from just another guy to a loyal disciple of Christ in his creative (if somewhat random) writing with story after story.

C.S. Lewis: Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
Lewis is a master of storytelling, and this book was no different. I've always been a fan of Greek and Roman myth, but Lewis drew me into the story in a way I didn't know myth could. It was believable (it might have happened, the way he tells it), it was creative, and the metaphor fell into place as pieces of a puzzle reveal an intricate painting.

Stanley Grenz: A Primer on Postmodernism
The reason my thesis makes sense. Really. Miller made me buy into it and eventually consider myself a postmodern thinker, Grenz is the one who made me able to understand what in the world the secular postmoderns are saying. If you're really curious about the postmodern shift and want to read a concise explanation with all the theory (and don't feel like reading through Miller's occasional rambling), this is the book for you.

So there you have it, my four favorite books of the spring/summer so far. Next project:

Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch: The Shaping of Things to Come
It's by a pair of Australians who decided to write about the postmodern shift in their home country. Seeing as how I'm going to Australia to help start a postmodern church, and seeing as how Ruth (the pastor we're working with) highly recommended it, I'm going to tackle what looks like a long book. But I read fast, so ask me again in a month, and I'll tell you if I liked it.

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