Some summer reading recommendations from the CBWC family.
Mark Doerksen, Regional Minister for the Heartland, is reading:
- King Leopold’s Ghost (Adam Hoshschild). I was referred to an interesting article by Bob Webber in Christianity Today, about the impact of missionaries globally. I’m reading this book because it speaks more of what went on in the Congo from the late 1880’s till the early 1900’s.
- A Severe Mercy: Sin and Its Remedy in the Old Testament(Marc J.Boda). This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I look forward to it because it studies the topic throughout the Old Testament.
- The Orenda (Joseph Boyden).
- No Country For Old Men (Cormac McCarthy).
Callum Jones, Pastor, is reading:
- The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (Andy Bannister). Andy Bannister, Canadian Director and Lead Apologist for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, exposes the shallow arguments presented today by the New Atheists. Using humour, much of which requires some grasp of British culture, and incisive logic Bannister provides helpful ways to think through and explore issues of faith and reason with non-churched friends.
- In God’s Path: The Arab Conquests and the Creation of an Islamic Empire (Robert G. Hoyland). Hoyland, Professor of Late Antiquity and Early Islamic Middle Easter History at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, explores the historical, political, cultural, economic, and religious backgrounds to the rise of Islam in the sixth century. He shows that these backgrounds give the lie to an overly simplistic, almost hagiographic, assessment from many Islamic scholars and, in so doing, helps the modern-day reader understand some of the complexities and influences that currently underlie the motives of some streams within Islam.
Shelby Gregg, CBWC Administrative Associate, is reading:
- Blindness (Jose Saramago). I loved the 2 months I spent wandering through Portugal and fell in love with the country. This is the most well-known novel from this Portuguese Nobel Prize winning author (literature). It’s a book that has come highly recommended from a few friends who share similar reading interests, so it gets moved up in the queue.
- Walks in London (Augustus J.C. Hare). This a travel book; observing London by walking its streets, this book was written in the late 1800’s. As a fan of London and its history, I am looking forward to reading it over the summer. I am planning on adding a modern twist, by googling the streets he talks about on a map, and “virtually” walking them as well. Any of real interest will be added to my itinerary for London when I visit this fall.
- I am Malala; The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban (Malala Yousafzai).
- Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela).
Aaron Dyck, Pastor, is reading:
- A Fellowship of Differents (Scot McKnight). McKnight is new to me, but I’m enjoying his belief in the local church. In a city that is paradoxically both one-dimensional and eclectic, reading this book through the lens of Victoria is affirming that the races, cultures, and social strata that are often homogenized out of our communities are vital to both the church’s authenticity, and its veracity.
- The Making of Evangelicalism: from Revivalism to Politics and Beyond (Randall Balmer). I’m continuing my side-project of determining how exactly Evangelicalism evolved, and just exactly how much culture is bound up in it today.
- The Dorito Effect: the Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor (Mark Schatzker).
Jill Schuler, CBWC Administrative Associate, is reading:
- You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (James K A Smith). Following on from his work in Desiring The Kingdom on how we are formed by our habits, desires, and “wallpaper”, James Smith claims “you are what you love but you might not love what you think.” Having thoroughly enjoyed and drawn on Desiring the Kingdom for my Masters thesis project, I am looking forward to Smith’s expanded thoughts on the formative power of culture and the potential of our worship practices.
Laura Nelson, CBWC President, is reading:
- Beggar’s Daughter (Jessica Harris). In follow up to my thesis-project I attended a conference on pornography and one of the speakers was Jessica Harris who has written a book called “Beggar’s Daughter.” Her story is quite a wake-up call as she shares how this is an issue for men AND women. Near the end of the book she notes: “God is always in the process of redeeming brokenness and restoring lives. That’s the beautiful thing about grace. It doesn’t just save you from your sorry self. It doesn’t pull you out of the water and plop you on the beach, shivering and half-drowned. Grace rescues and restores. It pulls you out of the water and gives you a purpose. It gives you life.” I wonder how many people in my congregation are struggling like Jessica and need to hear this message?
- Daring Greatly (Brene Brown). Brene is a sociological researcher whose work has been primarily about shame and vulnerability. Two things I have been pondering as a result are one – letting go of the notion I have to be perfect, that perfectionism is a form of shame and two – how we tend to live with an attitude of “scarcity.” This the idea of never having enough, saying things like “I don’t have enough time,” “I didn’t get enough sleep.” “I am not good enough,” and so forth. The counterapproach to this is not abundance but what she refers to as wholeheartedness.
Notes from the Family: Some of our camps are reaching critical capacity in some of their camping sessions. They need the wisdom and discernment about accepting campers and not overcrowding or overstretching their resources.
Quote of the week: Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary use words.” (Please recall that it is often necessary to use words).