10 Books that Have Stayed With Me

There’s a thing being passed around right now on Facebook about “10 books that have stayed with you.” I’ve only seen three or four friends take part, but mysteriously was not tagged so I thought I would just blog it instead. ­čÖé

1. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
My gateway into Steinbeck and the classics.

2. Elmer Gantry – Sinclair Lewis
This should be required seminary reading. Anyone who is a pastor should read this at least once!

3. Surprised by Hope – NT Wright
Theologically, this changed a lot of how I think about the world’s destiny and my (our) place in it.

4. When the Church was a Family – Joseph Hellerman
A bold study into the nature of “family” in the Mediterranean world that puts Jesus and Paul’s teaching into perspective into how we should consider our own natural families and the role our church family plays in our lives. Prophetic and scholarly at once!

5. Under the Unpredictable Plant – Eugene Peterson
Another book all pastors should read. I can’t imagine a time when this is out of date.

6. The Divine Conspiracy – Dallas Willard
I’ve read this a few times and refer to it often. One of the most beautiful invitations into the Kingdom of God that Jesus initiated that I’ve ever read. Willard was one of a kind (although he would hate anyone saying that)

7. Life Together – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
I read this once a year.

8. The Shaping of Things to Come – Hirsch/Frost
This really started a gigantic shift concerning how I thought about the nature, purpose, and function of the church.

9. Lament for a Son – Nicolas Wolterstorff
Haunting, beautiful, and heartbreaking. There is one image in this book I will never be able to get out of my head. Having two sons myself, this was twice as impactful.  Dealing with a loss of this magnitude horrifies me but also makes me grateful for the time I have with my boys.

10. Endurance; Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage – Alfred Lansing
Inspiring and mind-boggling. ┬áHonestly, anytime I’m tired or facing a difficult challenge, I ALWAYS think of Shackleton. Our Hood to Coast relay team was also inspired this year by him.