There is another meme floating around. This one has to do with books you find yourself recommending to people more than others. Oddly, one can participate in this meme not by way of being tagged but out one's own free will to participate. So I am. And you should to.
Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon, Resident Aliens – I would recommend anyone in pastoral ministry to return to this book every three years for a refresher.
Church Fathers and Mothers – I’m with Thomas. These people are beautiful.
John Wright, Telling God’s Story – This is essentially a book on preaching. However, Wrights argument for how and why we preach tackles the importance of understanding homiletics and hermeneutics. With this comes a fine critique of North American Christianity and the importance of the sermon for re-narrating our existence into the story of God.
Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World – I usually find myself recommending this book when people are talking about the Eucharist. Go figure.
Paul Jewett, Man as Male and Female – A really good book on male and female partnership in God.
Nathan Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity – This is a fantastic history of how America has evolved thus far in its life, particularly as to how rooted our current culture is in American Christianity in terms of where it came from. I wrote a paper on the influence of mass media to mobilize a religious movement. Of course now we might say the media is used to promote anyone’s interests, thus the rise of advertising as a profession. Related to this Hatch draws very insightful conclusions.
Lewis Smedes, Sex for Christians – One of my friends asked me, “well is it really that different for Christians?” I laughed and said no. It’s a great book to spark conversation. Smedes is very honest and direct about topics often neglected in the church (erotic fantasies, petting, the single life, etc). He is not justifying a sexual liberalism (although he is pretty liberal), but rather a more faithful way to talk about sex. One not rooted in the sexual guilt so prevalent in Western cultures.
G. Simon Harak, Virtuous Passions – Harak discusses the possibility of being morally responsible for our passions. In other words, being rightly moved with compassion (Mark 1:41). I usually find myself recommending this book in conversations where Hauerwas comes up. And in fact, Hauerwas’ talk about bodily formation is coupled nicely with Harak’s talk about our passions, which Harak mentions.Peace ya'll,