I’ve been inundated with great stuff lately. Piles of books surround me in my home office as book after book arrives on my doorstep. Honestly, I can’t get to them all. I can’t even write cover blurbs for all of the manuscripts I’m sent.
However, I do want to highlight some of the offerings by friends and others that are noteworthy.
Selling Water by the River: A Book about the Life Jesus Promised and the Religion That Gets in the Way
by Shane Hipps
Shane is a longtime friend of mine. And, although I’m still bitter that he never got me a preaching gig at Mars Hill Bible Church during his tenure there, I still want to commend his book to you. Selling Water is Shane’s meditation on the spiritual life. Shane and I have each come a long way since I gave him a subscription of Modern Reformation magazine for his birthday many years ago — but we haven’t necessarily gone on the same path. Shane’s message, IMHO, is “what you want, you’ve already got. It’s inside you. Look deeper.” There’s some truth to that, to be sure, and I’m thankful that it’s a long way from Reformed theology — but, as readers here know, it’s not quite where I land the plane. Nevertheless, I think this book will be very helpful to a lot of folks who’ve been burned by religion.
Theologian Trading Cards by Norman Jeune III
Theologian Trading Cards makes me MAD, for two reasons: 1) I didn’t think of it first, and 2) I’m not one of the theologians! But seriously, this is fantastic. 300 theologians and philosophers broken into 15 teams. Everyone from Wittgenstein to Augustine to Bacon to Ephrem the Syrian. The set is helpful and fun. And maybe I’ll get my own card someday.
No one in the emergent church movement has been more committed to developing an aesthetic of worship than Troy Bronsink. He’s led worship at innumerable conferences I’ve attended, persisting at the craft of songwriting and the development of liturgy. Now he’s written what basically amounts to his theology of worship. Like many of us who’ve emerged, Troy rejects the sacred-secular divide. All is holy is Troy’s aesthetic. Redeeming material reality is his message, and I couldn’t agree more.