If you need to pick up a good book to get the brain moving again, try one of these– three of my favorite books of all time.
A Generous Orthodoxy
Brian McLaren looks at the broad spectrum of Christianity and gains an appreciation for all the traditions therein. I read this book as a junior in high school and it kindled within me a love for other traditions, denominations and beliefs within Christendom. In my studies at Wheaton, we try to gain an understanding and appreciation of the wide variety of views and practices within our family of faith– and I am glad this book helped pave the way to this point. In no way is it perfect or complete, but it is what it is: an individual man’s comprehension of the expanse of the Christian faith.
TPQ (Thought Provoking Quote)
“We must never underestimate our power to be wrong when talking about God, when thinking about God, when imagining God, whether in prose or in poetry. A generous orthodoxy, in contrast to the tense, narrow, or controlling orthodoxies of so much of Christian history, doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is humble. It doesn’t claim too much. It admits it walks with a limp.”
This is the book that made me fall in love with Frederick Buechner. Well, not love-love, but more like guy love. But more of a love as him as a writer, so I guess “Wri-Love”? I read this book in the summer of 2008, and whenever a person would ask me about it, I would describe it as thus: Wishful Thinking is dictionary of sorts that defines theological terms in poetic language. I can’t point to one word or phrase that changed my life, but Buechner’s graceful view of things (something that carries through all his writings) was the prominent feature of the book. I promise you, if you read it, you will struggle with some of the ideas and you will feast upon others. It covers so much, and yet there is still so much to say. (And Buechner published two more ABC’s after this classic!)
“Of the seven deadly sins, anger is possbly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back–in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.”
Abolition of Man
This is one of my favorite Lewis books, along with Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, The Last Battle, Till We Have Faces, The Discarded Image, and more (it’s hard to declare a favorite when it comes to Lewis!). What this book says about trends in education, society and philosophy seems to be even more true than when Lewis wrote the book sixty years ago. Men Without Chests. The Tao. The Green Book. This book carries heavy images and ideas that require great introspection. When I first read this book as a sophomore at Baylor, I took it all in and, for a period of time, The Abolition of Man was a fundamental part of my thesis (though I gradually refocused on role of the virtues in the Narnia books.)
“You cannot go on ‘explaining away’ for ever: you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on ‘seeing through’ things for ever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it.”
Jot down some questions, thoughts, ideas in your heads. Investigate these threads and see where they lead. God bless…