I’ve had a couple of items published. If the trend continues, I’ll update this list from time to time:
- September/October 2008 Edition of Collide Magazine (www.collidemagazine.com): “The Collision of Sound and Space: How Our Church Gatherings Shape and Form Character”
- March/April 2009 Edition of Collide Magazine: “Gathered, Yet Mediated: Can the Church Be the Church in a Live Stream Environment?”
- Devotional pieces in Devozine (www.devozine.com), a United Methodist resource for teenagers (January-February 2009; May-June 2009)
- Thesis Project at the University of Kansas: “The Human Sexuality Conflict in the United Methodist Church” (in progress)
I’ll start with Resident Aliens. Hauerwas and Willimon have produced a helpful theological commentary on our times. They provide an assessment of where we currently stand and provide practical direction for how the church might be faithful to her mission. This is a book I have returned to again and again, gaining new insights upon each reading. Hauerwas and Willimon assert, “Christianity is an invitation to be part of an alien people who make a difference because they see something that cannot otherwise be seen without Christ.” The church has a unique calling which results in a unique politics that require right living within the context of a disciplined community seeking to live faithfully the story we find in Scripture.
Next I will turn you toward Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship. This book is an enduring classic which challenges the reader at every turn. Bonhoeffer challenges the reader again and again by plaining asserting the hard teachings of Jesus which must be followed on Christ’s terms, not our own. Bold words, such as “Just as Christ is Christ only in virtue of his suffering and rejection, so the disciple is a disciple only in so far as he share’s his Lord’s suffering and rejection and crucifixion,” have time and again reminded me of the challenge which comes with following Jesus. Bonhoeffer continues, “Discipleship means adherence to the person of Jesus, and therefore submission to the law of Christ which is the law of the cross.” This book is essential for any Christian.
Third, N.T. Wright’s Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship. I leave it to the reader to take up this book and assess Wright’s abilities both as a theologian and communicator. This book reopened my eyes to the rich nature of the biblical narrative and the ongoing relevance which it has for us today. Wright is a master both in his ability to clearly communicate the Scriptures and illuminate their meaning through helpful illustrations. Check it out.
Fourth, I list Augustine’s Confessions. Why? Lest you forget, everything written of value did not appear in the last 200 years. The Confessions requires patient reading, but with such patience comes great reward. This autobiographical account of Augustine’s conversion and journey within the Christian faith is illuminating for all people–religious or not.
Last, Tim Keel’s Intuitive Leadership. Keel is a philosopher, poet, and theologian, and this book is a masterful work on the nature of pastoral leadership in a postmodern age. I found this book extremely valuable for my own personal quest to gain understanding in the area of church leadership. The postures identified in this extremely unique guide to leadership would benefit any person seeking to lead people in openness to the Holy Spirit. Tim’s approach leaves room for adaptation and change which results in natural growth and a continued dependence on God. It is a descriptive account of leadership, instructing the reader in ways of being rather than ways of doing. I personally believe that Tim is a skilled preacher, and enjoy the opportunities I have to join the Jacob’s Well community here in Kansas City.