Recommended Books for 2018 (If You Didn't Read Them in 2017)

Every so often I like to recommend books that look good. Here are a few that captured my attention in 2017 (prices quoted were found on-line in a number of formats, as of 1/25/2018).

The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, by Timothy Keller. New York: Penguin, 2011. This book has been around for a number of years already, but the current imprint was picked up by Penguin Books in 2016, giving Keller's insights a much wider audience. A wonderful resource for just about everyone, whether married or not. It delivers a contemporary message of divine wisdom from a pastor seasoned by years of serving in Manhattan, New York. Barnes & Noble: $6.99

Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You're Irrelevant and Extreme, by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2016. "Many Christians--and believers in other faith traditions as well--are feeling overwhelmed, sidelined, and misunderstood. They feel typecast as bigoted, judgmental, and hypocritical. The sense for many believers is that society is hostile to faith in general and to Christianity in particular" (12). In such a context, Kinnaman and Lyons ask: "How can people of faith contribute to a world that, more and more, believes religion is bad?" Being read by our men's group, this book is sure to stir reflection and conversation. Google Play E-book: $9.99

Sabbath as Resistance: Saying NO to the CULTURE OF NOW, by Walter Brueggemann. Louisville: John Knox, 2014. I have yet to master the fine art of truly embracing Sabbath rest, but this book by the Old Testament scholar is a hard-to-resist invitation to find relief from the "rat race of anxiety" found only in the gifts of God's shalom. A quotable quote: "I have come to think that the moment of giving the bread of Eucharist as gift is the quintessential center of the notion of Sabbath rest in the Christian tradition. It is a gift!...We are on the receiving end, without accomplishment, achievement, or qualification. ... That moment of gift is a peaceable alternative that many who are 'weary and heavy-laden, cumbered with a load of care' receive gladly." Google Play E-book: $7.81

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp. New York: Zondervan, 2011. I was a latecomer to this book, thinking that it was written only for women. When received as a gift from a friend this last year, I discovered what a devotional gem it is for everyone...men included. If you are looking for profound insights about faith, life, and death delivered in beautiful/eloquent words, then this is the book for you. Barnes & Noble: $1.99.