I’m kind of excited. I am leading my first “Moving Missional Workshop” tomorrow. I am reticent to write about it today. I think I’ll give a recap of events next week!
I have been reading some interesting books. “The Story of Christianity” by Justo Gonzalez has been really helpful as I study the transition that the church made from its early days as a movement to its more institutionalized form. It is great to read of the tremendous people of faith. Alongside this I am reading the book of Hebrews with its own chapter on heroes of faith. I recognise that all these heroes were humans with human frailties and am reminded to be mindful of my own flaws and biases.
“Journeys to Significance” by Neil Cole illustrates Paul’s development as a church leader through his missionary journeys. He reminds us that God was not finished with Paul on the Damascus Road but that Paul continued to mature and learn as he journeyed with God. The book traces this development with the view that we too learn and grow on the journey as we are involved in mission.
“We Have Recovered” by Steve Baughan, the Director of Church Army USA, is, as you might guess, about recovery from alcohol and drug addictions. Steve lived the life of addiction for years before he found true recovery. His is a call back to the profound simplicity of “The Big Book” which was the founding document of AA. He posits that in the early days success rates for recovery were very high for those who ‘worked the program’. Rates of recovery are now much lower in typical 12 Step groups. Steve’s is a radical call back to the basics, knowing that people can indeed recover. I have so many friends who struggle, and all too often lose, with addictions. I am planning to use this book as a basis for a course I will then offer my friends.
Like so many, I have also been reading “Love Wins” by Rob Bell. There has been a lot of controversy over this book since its publication. I don’t feel like I have the expertise or the inclination to comment too broadly about the controversy. I admit to uneasiness with where Bell takes his readers in this book but I also am appalled at the vitriol spewed by folks in the name of Christ. What must the world think of us with the way we treat one another
If I were to recommend one of the above books it would be Cole’s which I think has broad appeal and is helpful to us in most practical ways.
What have you been reading?