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Here are a few books to consider putting on your summer reading list:
The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Tim Keller. In the early 90’s, Keller preached a series of sermons on marriage from Eph 5:18-33. In the intervening years, that series has remained the most popular one in the Redeemer catalog. Keller has now turned that series of sermons into a book laying out a “vision of what marriage should be according to the Bible.” Against the modern assumptions about soul mates, the place of romance, and each spouse’s fulfilled potential, Keller shows that “God created marriage to bring us closer to him and to bring us more joy in our lives. It is a glorious relationship that is also the most misunderstood and mysterious.”
The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness , also by Tim Keller, was just released in March. This book expounds the gospel vision that forms the foundation for Keller’s preaching. “A truly gospel humble person is not a self-hating person or a self-loving person, but a self-forgetful person.”
From Resurgence Literature (www.relit.org) comes Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry (Re:Lit) by Mike Wilkerson, a pastor at Mars Hill Church in Seattle. Wilkerson uses the story of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt as a framework to study redemption in the lives of Christians. Into this framework he weaves a variety of case studies that illustrate the different forms that redemption can take as we make our way through life.
Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (Ep Study Commentary) is a new title by Iain Duguid from Evangelical Press. These last three books of the Old Testament are often neglected today; however, we should rethink that. Zechariah is one of the OT books most quoted by the gospel writers. Together these three books tell of the comfort and challenge that come from the presence of God in our midst, even when his glory is not on public display, and also of the fulfillment of the long-promised salvation of his people.
The elders of APC have been reading Becoming a True Spiritual Community: A Profound Vision of What the Church Can Be by Larry Crabb. If you need a stronger recommendation, just ask an elder!
For fiction fans, C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet: (Space Trilogy, Book One); Perelandra: (Space Trilogy, Book Two); and That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy, Book Three) weaves spiritual allegories as the series tells the adventures of the hero Ransom on a space journey, then follows him to a “younger” planet where he tries to forestall a spiritual catastrophe. In the final volume (which is sometimes seen as a forerunner of modern international conspiracy thrillers) Ransom encounters a mysterious stranger as he works to prevent an inscrutable conspiracy from achieving its ominous goals.
And finally, here are a few suggestions that were featured on the latest edition of the Mars Hill Audio Journal (www.marshillaudio.org — you should subscribe):
Was America Founded As a Christian Nation?: A Historical Introduction by John Fea. This book will prepare you for all the upcoming debates and conversations you’ll find yourself in during election season. Fea explores “the history of the idea of America as a Christian nation and how the Founders—as statesmen—were less interested in the truth of religion than in its political unity.”
In Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics , Ross Douthat takes a look at the erosion of commitment to historical Christian orthodoxy among both conservative and liberal American religious institutions since the 1960s.
Siva Vaidhyanathan examines “why trusting Google to organize the world’s knowledge is both odd and dangerous” in The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry) .
And John Stubbs examines the life of the poet John Donne in John Donne: The Reformed Soul: A Biography . Donne lived through turbulent times in post-Reformation England and is known for the vivid imagery of his poems, which include some reknowned sacred poems. An essay by Dana Gioia titled Sacred and Profane Love: The Poetry of John Donne is available on line from The Trinity Forum (www.TheTrinityForum.org). Gioia's latest volume of poems has also been recently released, Pity the Beautiful: Poems .
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