Pastor's Picks - October 2018
It's October and fall is coming fast an hard. It seems like ages ago now I spent the summer reading through my pile of books to read, and now a new pile is slowly building awaiting that fabled season, "when things slow down." But until then, let me continue to walk you through some of the great books I discovered when days were longer and the weather was warmer.
Inspired - Rachel Held Evans
How do you read the Bible? Do you read it as a set of rules? An instruction book? A manual for how to live? One of the funny, but deeply flawed explanations of what the Bible is was given to me back when I was in youth group as a teenager; it was Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. There are so many reasons as to why this is a flawed paradigm, but perhaps the most basic reason is that it does violence to the scriptures themselves by forcing them into a role that they were never meant to occupy. This is the heart of what Evans gets at in this book. The Bible is a collection of works of literature from different times in history, different authors, different social circumstances, and in different genres - but across all of those differences within the 66 books of the canon there is one unifying story being told. Evans does a masterful job here of highlighting how reading the Bible more like a living story and less like an instruction book actually brings more, and not less, of God's revelation to bear for the reader. Often creative, sometimes quirky, occasionally suspect - her insights will nevertheless open your eyes to seeing the Bible in a new and exciting light.
River Dwellers - Rob Reimer
Do you want to live in the river? That is the central question that Rob Reimer asks in this perspective changing book about the fullness of the Holy Spirit for the believer. Living in the river is a metaphor that is used throughout scripture for being immersed in God's presence, and Reimer utilizes that metaphor to the fullest extent to teach the reader how to not only get into an abiding relationship with Christ, but to stay in it when we are constantly tempted and pushed out of the river by life, by sin, and by fear. River Dwellers is a great book to read on your own as a devotional text, but it's an even better book to read with a small group of friends to discuss and and process. There are helpful discussion/study questions to keep your work going at the end of every chapter, and this book would be great preparation for our upcoming Soul Care conference that we are joint-hosting in April of 2019.
Check back next month for some fresh picks!