are completely able on our own to select books to read while chilling at the coffee shop or lounging in a canoe.
Nevertheless, I can't help myself. So here are five-ish recommendations, great books to read this summer that won't leave you disappointed, may change your life, and at the very least will give your head some elevation if you packed your tent but forgot your pillow.
First, consider reading a straight up work of ecclesiology. Friend and colleague Cheryl Peterson has a new work out about which I'm totally excited. Periodically we need to be invited to re-think what we mean by "church." Cheryl's book "starts with the Spirit" as it considers what the church is for, what the church is.
Second, Rich Melheim's offers a compelling case for energizing simple faith formation rituals in the home. He not only encourages us, but offers us a path for making it happen. We are going to try and get Rich to come to Northwest Arkansas this fall. He's fun and full of energy and you will love this book.
Third, a book quite like Melheim's by Bruce Feiler, New York Times best-selling author, is also about helping families flourish. My wife and I are reading it this year and going out for meals and conversation around it.
Fourth, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you read The New Digital Age. Since Google has such an incredible influence on all of us, it isn't bad to know a little bit about the approach to our era their leading thinkers and leaders are considering.
Finally, I'm going to recommend two serious works of theology. This won't be for everyone, but if you've never read or seldom read theology, you might try it out. Retrieving Nicea is the more difficult read of the two, but helps offer historical context for Nicene Trinitarian theology. The other From Pentecost to the Triune God is a work by a Pentecostal on Trinitarian theology. It's very, very readable, and helps readers think about the Trinity starting from the Spirit.
As a kind of "sixth," let me recommend a book you can download for free, and that will free you and your community to "How Much Is Enough: A Deeper Look at Stewardship In Age of Abundance" to live in God's abundance. I'm recommending to all of my parishioners who lead our stewardship ministries or who hope to encourage us to greater faithfulness in this area to read this set of essays some time during the summer.
This is the bonus section. Other books I'm recommending or plan to read, in various genres:
A book on writing: Daily Rituals: How Artists Work
A book on disorder: Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
Another Pentecostal book: Spirit of Love: A Trinitarian Theology of Grace
A theological book on creativity: Resurrection City: A Theology of Improvisation (Prophetic Christianity)
My main sci-fi read this summer: The Human Division
A book on improv: Bossypants
A literary novel: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel
A critique of the internet: Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory
I most definitely and especially welcome readers' recommendations in the comments. Happy reading this summer!
And if you've read this far, two more books, forthcoming in the summer or early fall, that need to go in your purchase queue: