Sunday, October 16, 2005

Recent Reading

I thought I'd take a break tonight from my ekklesia posts and take a few minutes to recommend a couple of books that I think would be interesting and informative to you. I've read these book over the last several months, and enjoyed them. Tonight, I'll just mention non-fiction books, generally on spiritual topics.

First, I would highly recommend that you read When Bad Christians Happen to Good People by Dave Burchett. Unfortunately, "Christians" have too often done great damage to others in one way or another. Burchett seeks to deal with this very real issue in a Biblical, witty and at times very sarcastic way. (And I can SO appreciate someone who is gifted with sarcasm.) The fact is, betrayal, hurt, embarrassment and disillusionment all result from "bad Christians" we run across in church, or beyond the church walls. For this reason, many who count themselves Christians these days are "Churchless" -- perhaps for good reason. For those who've had that kind of experience, I recommend this book. Burchett suggests new ways to experience good relationships, and heal the wounds of the past. Best if all, I like his honest approach -- YES, "The Church" has problems today!

A second book I think all Christians should read is The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a 17th century Carmelite Monk in a French (I believe) Monastery. He was, believe it or not, a cook. Yet, during his life, people recognized him as someone deeply connected to God. This book is short, but classic. Lawrence didn't recommend new, different methods of prayer, or meditation. He didn't command certain "hail Mary's" or outline a program to dedicate yourself to prayer, fasting, etc. so that god would take notice of you. Rather, his "secret" was this simple: "Do not always scrupulously confine yourself to certain rules, or particular forms of devotion; but act with a general confidence in GOD, with love and humility." His words are powerful, and I hope you'll read them.

In the next week or two I'll mention several more good books that will help you in your walk, or at least inspire and entertain.

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