Amidst my summer travels and in part because I only held a part-time job while in Denver, I was able to read a number of books this summer. Today, I will share with you my favorite theological or church-related books. Tomorrow, I will share with you my top five of all the books that do not fall under today’s category.
1) Evangelical Theology by Karl Barth. A great introduction to Barth’s thought. More impressive to me, however, was some of the guidelines he provided to those who are engaged with the task of theology.
2) Prayer by Karl Barth. Barth was not an armchair theologian by any means. Rather, he was a pastor through and through. His pastoral heart bleeds through the pages of this short book as one gets a glimpse of Barth’s own spirituality. This volume is supplemented by three articles from Barth scholars which I also found very insightful.
3) Living the Sabbath by Norman Wirzba. I really do not know how this book fell all the way to number three, but it did. Nevertheless, a wonderful book talking about the themes of rest, delight, and rhythm in relation to the practice of the Sabbath. Written with a very practical, ethical bent. I will return to this book many times in the years to come.
4) Missional Map-Making by Alan Roxbaugh. A part of the Leadership Network series, this book shows the current state of the church in relation to our culture today and the challenges it brings. Although it touches on practical implications or practices at the end of the book, I was left wanting more direction on what to do with the picture that Roxbaugh so wonderfully portrayed.
5) Thinking Theologically by Ronald J. Allen. A very short but insightful look into the preaching emphases of different traditions in Christianity, also including an examination of different strands of Christianity that may overlap with the faith traditions. This book has helped me immensely in clarifying what my purpose in preaching is.