Summer Reading: What book has changed your life?

Editor’s Note:  For the next two weeks, we’ve invited some of our favorite theobloggers to share the book that has most deeply affected their faith life in the past ten years, as well as the book they believe every Christian should read, but may not have yet. First up, Alliance of Baptist pastor and spiritual director, Carl Gregg.

In the fall of 2005, I read Margaret Guenther’s book Holy Listening: The Art of Spiritual Direction as part of my discernment of whether to apply to the low-residency Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction program at San Francisco Theological Seminary.  Guether’s book was an important stepping stone in my transition from debating the merits of other people’s second-hand ideas about God to facilitating first-hand experiences with God for myself and for others.  I recommend supplementing Guenther’s work with Susan S. Phillips’ more recent book Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction.

If I were to recommend something that every Christian should read, it would not be a book, but a newspaper. Christians are called to embody Jesus’ way of love in our time and place, and to respond fully to our call we need to be informed about the needs of the world.  There are few better ways to stay informed about the world’s needs than reading The New York Times, which is widely considered the newspaper of record in the United States.  If you do not have time to read the whole paper, begin by daily reading the “Most E-mailed” articles, which can be found by scrolling down on the newspaper’s homepage.

Read Carl’s top ten list of books that have most shaped his theology here.


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