“What are you reading?” It’s a question I get quite often. It’s a question I love to answer. This past week I was asked the question yet again, and as I rattled off several titles, the person suggested that I share what I’m reading in the Pastoral Notes. So, I’m doing that. Below are a few of the volumes I’ve been chewing on the last month.
· The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud by Meghan Gurdon – Gurdon gets into the neuroscience behind reading aloud. She shows how reading aloud addresses significant 21st century challenges like attention deficit, loneliness, imaginative development, emotional maturity, and much more. As I read it, I kept thinking how Gurdon is putting flesh on Paul’s command “…to devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture” (1 Tim. 4:13). Isn’t it interesting that one of the main practices the church is called to do is read aloud the Scripture together!
· Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba – Pulling from ecological, agrarian, cultural, biblical and theological resources, Wirzba reflects deeply on the spiritual significance of food, the death to life exchange in the act of eating, the invitation to communion, the practice of “saying grace,” and one of the biggest questions of all—will we eat in heaven? This book is replete with biblical theological insights, and the role eating should have in family and church life. In a way of speaking, this book is one long exploration in what it means to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).
· A Tender Lion: The Life, Ministry, and Message of J.C. Ryle by Bennett Rogers – A welcomed introduction to the man behind the writings of such classic works as Thoughts for Young Men and Holiness. Rogers highlights Ryle’s tenacious commitment to evangelical doctrine and practice within the ecclesiastical challenges and controversies that marked much of 19th century Anglicanism. Thanks to Rogers, I now know far more about one of my favorite authors.
· Christians Get Depressed Too by David Murray – I love just about everything that David Murray writes. His book Reset I’ve returned to several times—a truly great work for anyone dealing with anxiety, stress, and burnout. This particular volume explores the condition, complexity, causes, and cures for depression with clarity and conciseness (It’s 112 pages). If you’re battling with depression yourself or walking with those battling depression, this is the place to start.
Well, space and time fail me again. Alas, no time to talk about fiction or poetry or history. But don’t despair. Maybe I’ll turn this into a two-part Pastoral Notes… Maybe. In the meantime, I’d be interested in knowing what books you’ve enjoyed recently. When you have a minute, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Let’s keep the pages turning this summer! Tolle lege!