Jim Martin writes one of my favorite blogs. This link will take you there: A Place for the God-Hungry. His posts are insightful and uplifting.
I really appreciated yesterday’s post, because it gave me an opportunity to see inside Jim’s world. You see, he had been “tagged” by Scot McKnight and was, as a result, responding to a series of questions.
These questions were not cotton candy questions, either. As I read along I thought just how difficult it would be to make such choices. The questions concerned books. Those who were tagged were asked to pick just one book in each category raised in this series of questions. I was thinking that I could easily think of several books in each category and would truly have a hard time deciding on just one.
Then I did a double-take. Item number 10 asks respondents to “tag” 5 additional people and my name was smack dab in the middle of Jim’s list. ARGH! Now, I must choose. My responses are not necessarily my all-time favorites. I might even be able to come up with better choices if I was to think about this long and hard. So, here goes…
1. One book that changed your life: Experiencing God, How to Live the Full Adventure of Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King. This book came to me in the form of a gift from one of my wife’s friends and co-workers. It reminded me of the deep yearning within my soul to live in relationship with God, instead practicing a religion within the confines of the patterns seen by others.
2. One book that you’ve read more than once: A New Kind of Christian, A Tale of Two Friends on a Spiritual Journey by Brian D. McLaren. (The first of McLaren’s quasi novels dealing with the life of a preacher inhabiting the liminal space between modernity and the post-modern-era.) This book also came to me as a gift from a young man whose own experiences made him keenly aware of how hard it is for old dogs to learn new tricks.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island: My Bible! I know I’m supposed to pick “a book”. But, if I’m stuck on a desert island I think I’d really want to have my Bible. As we all learned from Tom Hanks in Cast Away, a person’s grasp on reality can get a little fuzzy out there, all alone. So, I’ll stick with the Scriptures, please.
4. One book that made you laugh: Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. She’s got a unique, kind of quirky, some people might even think almost sacrilegious perspective on things. Nevertheless, this is definitely one book that made me laugh.
5. One book that made you cry: Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. I read this book more than 30 years ago. It is the record of a white man who dyed himself black in order to enter into and experience life as a black in segregated American South.
6. One book you wish had been written: Kingdom Living, How Jesus’ Vision of Justice, Mercy and Peace Held Sway in the 20th Century.
7. One book you wish had never been written: Die Grundlagen des neuzehnten Jahrhunderts (The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century) by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, who influenced Adolf Hitler’s thinking significantly. He subscribed to the notion that the Aryan, or “noble” race was always in the process of creation as superior peoples supplanted inferior ones in evolutionary struggles for survival. What a different world this would be if books of this ilk were never to be written!
8. One book you’re currently reading: What Saint Paul Really Said – Was Paul of Tarsus the Real Founder of Christianity? by N.T. Wright. (Note: I make it a practice to read or re-read all of the books my children are assigned to read at school. My summer reading list is interesting, to say the least. Right now, I’m also reading Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton.)
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Kingdom Come: Embracing the Spiritual Legacy of David Lipscomb and James Harding by John Mark Hicks and Bobby Valentine. So many people are talking about this! I’ve gotta’ find out what the buzz is about!
10. Tag 5 others: You’ll notice that I’ve mis-read the 5 for an 8. That shouldn’t be a problem, right? Here’s my list…