Reading Posts

The Rise of the Nones

Some of the staff at Central is reading James Emery White’s book The Rise of the Nones. It’s referring to the growing number of people in America who claim no religious affiliation, and not the group of ladies who take a vow of celibacy and commit themselves to the Catholic church. Specifically, White says that “The real mark of a none is not the rejection of God but the rejection of any specific religion.” This book is similar in content to my previously reviewed book The Great Evangelical Recession. The spiritual landscape in America is changing dramatically. We need to see it for what it is and realize that something new is now called for. We must realize that the kingdom of God is emerging in profound new ways and that we need to see ourselves as missionaries to the people in America from this point on.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the book:

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Moment Maker

For a few weeks now I’ve been thinking about my message for our worship night last Sunday. We landed on the theme “Moments.” When I met with some of the Creative Arts people to talk through it a few of them recommended I read a recent book on a similar subject by Carlos Whittaker. His book is called Moment Maker and turned out to be a surprisingly engaging experience. Whittaker reads like a young Bob Goff (a bit crazy with a healthy dose of witty humor). He’s the perfect guy to write a book about making moments happen. As you can see in the video above, he has a track record of crazy stories happening around him.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from his book:

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Top 10 Theology Books

***List updated August 2014

I originally made this list in October of 2013 and since then it has been continually in my mind as a resource for others. As I continue to read I also continue to refine my list. Below are my most up to date ten recommendations for theology books.

These are not the deepest theological books you’ll ever find, or even books you are likely to find in a Bible college setting. Instead, these ten books serve as great examples of practical theology that is approachable enough for anyone to understand (as is not the case with most theology books). As such, I’d highly recommend this list to anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Scripture and how God interacts with His people. Upon those we can properly build an understanding of how to fully treat others as God intended.

While I can’t promise that you’ll agree with all that you read on this list (I don’t myself), I can promise you that they will cause you to ask new questions, to think new thoughts, and to walk away with a stronger grasp of your faith.

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Decisive

Decisive

I recently finished the latest book from Chip and Dan Heath called Decisive. It is a look at the decisions we make and how our criteria for making them often produces the bad results we had hoped to avoid. I’m also having some of my team from Central go through it together as it serves as a great tool to evaluate the systems in place for any team to make decisions.

I wrote previously about a great insight from this book but here is a collection of some of my favorite ideas:

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Thanks for the Feedback

Thanks for the Feedback - Douglas Stone, Sheila HeedI recently finished a great book called Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. As the title suggests, it’s a book about how to best give and receive feedback. This is such a crucial, yet underrated skill. I live in a world of feedback for my job everyday. I’m constantly receiving bits of feedback on decisions I’ve made or someone has made on my team. The truth is that this can be exhausting. But the solution isn’t to run away while we cover our ears. We need feedback to grow, and regardless of what we spend the majority of our days doing we can find feedback all around us.

Here are some great ideas from the book for all of us regardless of whether you are in any type of corporate environment:

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Leaders Eat Last

This week I finished my second book from Simon Sinek. The book is called Leaders Eat Last and looks at leadership from a variety of case studies and cultural evidence. I like the way Sinek challenges the status quo and invites the reader to think differently in a number of areas. I couldn’t agree more with him on the need of a leader to create and maintain a healthy culture for his team. The only aspect I didn’t love about the book was that it felt a bit disjointed at times with different tangents. The tangents were incredibly interesting and worthwhile, they just weren’t always obvious to the main point of the book. I posted one of them recently.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book that capture the theme of what Sinek says:

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