Lots of airplane time in the last week meant lots of time to read. And a nap or two mixed in here and there. Here are a few books I was able to finish off that are worth mentioning:
Feel, by Matthew Elliott
A few months ago, I was leading a training session for some youth leaders. I asked the question: “What does spiritual maturity look like?” One response was a suggestion that to be mature is to keep our emotions in check — we don’t get too up and we don’t get too down. That portrays a common, but flawed, understanding in Christianity that emotions are bad. Thankfully, Elliott challenges this idea, and shows why emotions are central to what it means to be a relational human who is made in the image of God. I had not heard of Feel before being sent a copy for review, but I’m glad I can help others hear about it now. It’s an important book with a message that needs to be heard.
The Reason for God, by Timothy Keller
I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I first saw that Tim Keller was publishing this book. I love his heart for mission and church planting, and would have liked to see him write a book on these topics. But the disappointment didn’t last long. Keller is intelligent, thoughtful, and gracious in this explanation of why he has faith in the Christian God. It is born both out of his own study and his dialogue with people during his ministry in New York, and the combination of these two sets the perfect tone for this book. He does dig in pretty deep, so I did bog down in it a few times. Even if one just buys it as a reference book, it would be handy to available.
The Multiplying Church, by Bob Roberts
As we’ve been forming strategies for our new church community, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to start a church that is structured for ongoing multiplication. That pretty much explains why this book caught my eye. The fact that it was written by a pastor from a church that is actually doing this stuff is what caused me to buy it. I think this would be a helpful book for any church leadership that is trying to think intently about what it means to give birth to other churches locally or globally.