From time to time publishers send me free books and ask that I read them and then write a review about them. I enjoy this (when I have time) and (hopefully) helps to get the word out with a few titles. (If you're a publisher and are looking for bloggers for your company's blogger book review program email me on the link below my picture. We can talk...)
Here are two books I read this week:
How Can A Good God Let Bad Things Happen? - Mark Tabb
Mark Tabb unabashedly wrestled with the questions.
It was thoughtful, respectful, honest, engaging...even raw.
It didn't shy away from the tough questions - in fact, he invites them. The honesty truly came through in the first-person struggles, sometimes through tragedy and grief, with God and life and how they are to make sense.
I read this one with greater focus and diligence as Renew prepares to host "Doubt Night" later this month, allowing skeptics to air it out regarding doubts and questions about life, God, faith, Jesus and the Church. I'll recommend it at Doubt Night, for sure. The book reminded me a lot of John Ortberg's most recent book "Faith & Doubt."
The author writes with the theological prowess you'd come to expect from a seminary professor...and yet writes in an intriguing, engaging style that you might not come to expect from a seminary professor.
I'm grateful the book answers tough questions, but I am even more grateful that this book is willing to question the tough answers.
Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches That Reach Them - Ed Stetzer
I'm really loving the thoughts and insights of Ed Stetzer, whether its in book format, his blog or on Twitter. He's somebody that you should start reading and following.
He's a keen missiologist who's done some great research. That research isn't just in surveys and numbers (although there's a lot of that in here) but its translated into the "so what?" for church leaders. He reminds me a lot of George Barna...except Ed writes with hope.
Here are my reflections:
-it's thoroughly researched
-its fair and balanced and provides strengths and cautions for effective ministry.
-this is a gift for leaders trying to understand unchurched twenty- and thirty-somethings.
-Stetzer is fully engaged and connected with the thoughts and feelings of unchurched younger adults, something far too few Christian leaders have been able to do.
-its full of great connections of surveys to stories to rea-life translatable opportunities for church leaders
I'm very grateful to have read both books. They've taught me a great deal. I'd recommend both books for skeptics and dreamers.