What I’m Reading Right Now – 3 Books To Begin 2015

What I’m Reading Right Now – 3 Books To Begin 2015

You may recall that last fall I began a new series in which I highlight the articles, books, blogs, etc. that I find to be interesting reads.

3 Books I’m Reading Right Now

I’m eager to tell you about those today. They are three very different types of books, but each offers unique perspectives and insights.

  • Learning to Walk in the Dark, Barbara Brown Taylor

I’ve been a fan of the writing of Barbara Brown Taylor for a few decades. Her latest book, Learning to Walk in the Dark, is a great read for Epiphany (just observed last week on January 6), the celebration of the light that has come into the world. While most Christians during this season of the liturgical calendar are cursing the darkness, Barbara takes us into the gifts of God that can be found only there. I have been reminded that even the darkness is light to God. Good stuff can happen in our darkest nights. God made a primary covenant-promise to Abraham as a smoking fire pot and flaming torch passed between the halves of sacrifice in the dark of night (Genesis 15). God met the old heel-grabber, Isaac, often in the dark of his dreams. The Passover in Egypt occurred at night. Jesus was born, arrested, and tried in the night hours. And his death occurred as the day tuned dark. Resurrection happened in a dark tomb, sealed off from the light by a boulder. Maybe we should learn to walk in the dark. Who knows what gifts may be waiting for us there?

  • The New Testament and the People of God, N.T. Wright

Book two is a “keep my brain active” read. N. T. Wright’s The New Testament and the People of God is an academic masterpiece second only to his The Resurrection of the Son of God. This book is not good bedtime reading. I find great conviction in the level of scholarship that Wright brings to the table in establishing the foundational essence of the church in the first century. In particular, I appreciate his insistence that the Christian story is the continued story of Israel with a Christ-fulfillment guiding it forward.

  • Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life, William Deresiewicz

Book three is Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life by William Deresiewicz. He charges the elite universities of America with failure to develop accompanying character, connection to community, and preparation for a meaningful life: “There is an intense hunger among today’s students for what college ought to be providing but is not: for a larger sense of purpose and direction; for an experience at school that speaks to them as human beings, not bundles of aptitudes; for guidance in addressing the important questions of life; for simple permission to think about these things and a vocabulary with which to do so” (p. 92 on my eBook reader). Deresiewicz goes on to admit (p. 81) that “religious colleges, quite frankly – even obscure, regional schools that no one’s ever heard of – often do a much better job in this respect.” While he is not a voice for Christian higher education, he does tip his hat significantly to the kind of work that is being done at universities like Trevecca.

And I’d love to hear from you; what are you reading right now? Have you read any (or all) of these books? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Comments

  1. Rebecca Garner says

    I love hearing from respected leaders what they are reading. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Just finished “One Nation” by Ben Carson, MD and recommend it to you and many others. Have “Learning to Walk in the Dark” on order.

  3. I’ve been reading Barbara Brown Taylor, too. She’s a wonderful writer and I like the way she grounds and communicates her faith in the real world around us — which, by the way, speaks as strongly to the souls of Christians as it does to those who are not bent towards belief. Caring for others, especially when we’re good at it, can be exhausting. Taylor, who is widely sought after for her outstanding preaching, had to leave her beloved church because visitors (including a high percent of seminary students) were crowding out her regular local parishioners. Maybe more of us need to be grounded in the real world so our talk about other worlds makes sense.

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