I am grateful for the winter break I’ve had, and the time to mentally, emotionally and spiritually reset for 2017. I used this time to catch up on some great music albums from the year and read a few books in place of social media and video games (which I still appreciate). Shout out to my parents in law for their generosity hooking me up with Amazon gift cards that have made getting these books affordable! Here are the books in the order I’ve read if you would like to look them up – I’d recommend any of them if you might be interested in the themes they explore.
The Next Evangelicalism by Soong-Chan Rah (Commentary on American Christian evangelicalism as it stands culturally and where it falls short and needs to grow to have any relevance in an increasingly diverse aka non-white country)
The Language of God by Francis Collins (Exploration of the beautiful harmony that exists between faith in God and the pursuit of knowledge through science, coming from the leader of the Human Genome Project and devoted Christian – a refreshing read in light of the many anti-intellectual voices that plague American Christianity)
The Dumbest Kid in Gifted Class by Dan Ryckert (A series of literally unbelievable but completely honest tales from the slightly horrifying yet infinitely amusing life of the Giant Bomb editor from Lawrence, Kansas. Definitely my light read of the break.)
Manhood Restored by Eric Mason (A ministerial guide to manhood, not defined by culture, but by the standard set by Jesus Christ)
Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (The shortest read of the set, but by far the hardest. Douglass’ memoir is a personal window to an integral part of America’s repugnant story – the evil of American slavery and the struggle of generations of a remarkable people to be free from it. The most heavy takeaway is many of Douglass’ closing reflections on American Christianity as a slave of so-called Christians could very well still apply today.)