I was tagged by the Jolly Blogger with the book meme so I am
Any CGO Contributors who find this interesting are welcome
(yea, verily, encouraged) to answer the four questions yourselves and then tag
friends at other blogs to do the same.
1. How many books have I owned?
I’m far too lazy to count, but currently I have approximately 1200 books. Sadly, almost
all of these are sociology, history, theology and biblical studies books and
very few are literature. But, I am
changing and so is the library. Slowly
but surely more new purchases include literature.
2. What was the last book you bought?
The most recent purchases included five books in one
I bought Receiving
the Day: Christian Practices for Opening the Gift of Time by Dorothy C.
Bass because my insane schedule and many over-commitments result from having a
flawed perspective of time. Judging from the Ken Myers interview
with Bass on Mars Hill Audio, I very
much need Bass’ wisdom about time.
Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James. Carolyn is a new
Contributor (as of Monday) to CGO and she is finishing edits for her next book
that launches in September. She is a very fresh thinker about women’s issues in
the Church, insightful and funny, and a very good writer.
Rise of Evangelicalism by Mark Noll was book #3 in this purchase. Noll is in a very elite circle of the top
scholars of evangelicalism and because I do sociology of religion, including
evangelicalism, this is a must read.
Also included was TwentySomeone
by CGO Contributor Doug
Serven and Craig Dunham. Dunham and Serven have written a very helpful book
for young adults trying to find their way as Christians in contemporary
Like a River by Leif Enger. This book was recommended by several CGO
Contributors for our Summer
Reading Fiction list. I haven’t started it yet, but the summer is still
3. What is the last
book you read?
Knowledge by Gerard Delanty. Not many books merit the descriptive
“brilliant” but this one qualifies. Delanty has written an impressive study of
the idea of the university, various conceptions of knowledge, and the sociology
of knowledge. I highly recommend it.
4. List five books that have meant a lot to you.
Besides the Scriptures…
John Piper’s Desiring
God revolutionized my understanding of the Lord and the Christian life.
Richard Pratt’s He
Gave Us Stories, taught me how to interpret biblical narrative. Pratt, who
is a great reason to attend RTS-Orlando, made
biblical narrative come alive for me. I will never see the Scriptures the same.
Crow by Wendell Berry is the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read.
The stories of Jayber and Troy,
ever mingling in small town life, but
as different as grace and performance, captured me. Berry’s
evocation of a lost world of intimate relationships in the town and connection
to the earth, and the ache for beauty now and beauty past, moves me more than I
Wars by James Davison Hunter had a significant impact on my thinking about
culture, authority and contested culture. Most books, articles and blog posts that
I read about cultural contests in the US (including almost all Red America and Blue
America pieces) would have been greatly helped if the authors had simply read Culture
Wars before they took up a pen.
This is a masterful account of how and why we have come to this crisis in our
cultural moment, and what we need to do to rehabilitate a civil public square.
Sacred Canopy by Peter Berger forges a synthesis of Weber and Durkheim and
then integrates Berger’s vision of the sociology of knowledge with the
sociology of religion. Newbigin is all the rage today among those who take
seriously the contextualization of the gospel, but Newbigin derives much from
Berger’s work, particularly Berger’s concept of “plausibility structures.” Start with Berger.