What I’m Reading Right Now: Bad Religion by Ross Douthat

What I’m Reading Right Now: Bad Religion by Ross Douthat

In the past, it had been my conviction that orthodox historic Christian faith was somehow the glue that held the diversity of America together and critiqued the fringe ideas that were damaging or dangerous. I no longer believe this.

Christianity has been either compromised by accommodation or gone haywire in many heretical directions (wealth gospel, power theology, self-help guru religion, etc.). The presence of a biblically grounded theological middle is disappearing faster than the icebergs. No one states this case better (in my opinion) than Ross Douthat in Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.

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The Practice of Saying No

The Practice of Saying No

Today’s post is the latest in my ongoing series, “What I’m Reading Right Now,” in which I highlight the articles, books, blogs, etc. that I find to be interesting reads. Click below to read the previous posts:

Every Lent I try to read one short book—the same one. It’s kinda like the movie Groundhog Day for me, reading the same book over and over and over every year. The book is by one of my favorite authors, Barbara Brown Taylor. It is really short, maybe 30 pages. The title is The Practice of Saying No. And I really need practice doing that because university presidents tend to fancy themselves as “can do” people who say yes to more than humans ought to.

Her book talks about God’s rest, Sabbath, letting fields lie fallow, and not making servants work. It deals with the old Blue Laws (which I’d love to resurrect) and personal habits. It makes me want to sit on a porch and accomplish nothing except appreciation for the breath going in and out of me. It slows the pace, calms the chase, and ends the race of our acquiring.

I’ve purchased the eBook so I can get to it anywhere I have a cell phone handy. What I’m most hopeful of?

Getting the book off the page, beyond the cell phone, and into my body.

What I’m Reading Right Now: Remarkable Book

What I’m Reading Right Now: Remarkable Book

Today, I launch a new monthly series called, “What I’m Reading Right Now.” Each month, I’ll share what articles, books, blogs, etc., have piqued my interest. I hope you enjoy it. Leave me a comment to let me know what you are reading right now and why you find it interesting.

Peter Drucker used to say, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” It was his way of saying that the organizational culture of an institution trumps any grand plans and visions for the future. Your vision statement can be scintillating, your strategy map inspiring, your processes airtight, your deliverables measureable—and you will still fail if your culture is incapable of carrying the weight.

Remarkable Book by Randy Ross & David Salyers

So I’ve been reading about organizational culture. Remarkable! book by Randy Ross and David Salyers is a parable about a company. It doesn’t take many pages to know that the principles they write about in their fictional story rise from a Christian perspective on power and people.

Culture is how we behave as a group of people. It is what we have the capacity to build by hiring and firing, rewarding and confronting, highlighting and dismissing. Our daily choices move us closer to or farther from the culture that sustains good work and keeps good people.

One of my takeaways is that leaders need to spend less time on flowery vision statements and strategies, and pay a lot more attention to how their choices inform the culture.

I am praying for grace to do that.