Eugene Cho

lover of books

For folks that are wondering about recommended [theology, ecclesiology, pastoral leadership, missional stuff, etc] books, this guy has some of the best list of books to read – with or without hair. 

One of my resolutions is to read at least 12 books this year cover to cover.  I read alot but have a bad habit of picking up 25 books at once and never get through a single one.

Quick question:  What’s the one book you are wanting/going to read this year?  Share with the whole world wide web so that you can be held accountable…

My book:  Three Cups of Tea  [kudos to Joani B. for the recommendation]

Filed under: religion

23 Responses

  1. jHong says:

    right now i’m reading ‘a prayer for owen meany’ by john irving. it’s delicious.

  2. Jessie says:

    I am determined to make it through G.K. Chesteron’s ‘Orthodoxy’.

  3. Randall says:

    Confession. I have a really hard time worshiping. Long story short, contemporary worship seems to sappy, vapid, melodramatic. Hymns are much more satisfying intellectually but don’t stir the heart as much. Both “styles” sometimes make it difficult for me to focus my attention and adoration towards God.

    That said, I really want to read _The Message in the Music: Studying Contemporary Praise and Worship_ – it’s a collection of essays on the current state of worship edited by Richard J. Mouw, Robert Woods, and Brian Walrath.

    Found that book (and many other excellent reads) at the Hearts and Minds bookstore blog:

    http://www.heartsandmindsbooks.com/booknotes/

    The store is run by a guy named Byron Borger and his store is more about cultivating excellence in the christian community through well written books than it is about just selling the latest christian bestsellers – back in October he blogged about two popular titles by two big name christian authors (Swindodoll and Lucado) that he was sending back to the publisher because he felt that both their books mishandled scripture.

    “We sell Chuck and Max, and will continue to be glad that fine Christian leaders like them can handle words so well, and inspire us with books of basic Christian growth. But I have recommitted myself to be discerning of the wrong-headed and misguided stuff that the big evangelical publishers push. I want to glorify God by selling books that talk about His sovereign grace over all things. I want books that honor the complexity and nuance of this rowdy and demanding book called the Bible. And I want to hear about social justice and I want to hear about the ways in which God’s atoning death brings wholeness and restoration to all of creation. . . .I will be sending the books back, with a firm letter of protest to [their publisher] Nelson.”

    Highly recommend his bookstore website and no, I don’t get a kickback on referrals.

  4. Randall says:

    …and speaking of praise choruses and hymns, maybe you’ve already seen this:

    The Cows Are In The Corn:

    http://www.mhsbc.com/news/v11n01/v11n01p08.htm

  5. Joseon says:

    Urban Ministry by Harvie Conn & Manuel Ortiz

  6. mihee says:

    i may re-read brothers k (davis james duncan). it’s absolutely my favorite. otherwise, i definitely want to read people’s history of the united states.

    i like your idea about reading 12 books this year…i guess 1 book a month? i have the same tendancy to pick up a bunch of books at once and try to read them all at the same time like i’m still a student or something.

  7. Jennifer says:

    Im really excited about what I get to read for school (what a geek, I know…) But outside of school books, I want to read “Discipleship of Equals” by Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza – mostly because you cant talk about feminist theology without running into her ideas, and I want to read what she says for myself.

  8. Tae says:

    Not to sound spiritual but my goal this year is to go through the Bible – cover to cover.

  9. david says:

    trying to finish the classic “a theology of liberation” by gustavo gutierrez. people are always trying to be original, but there’s nothing new under the sun…

  10. hey randall, you might to check out david crowder or passion’s hymns album… they’re pretty good and are always into stirring the mind and heart

    i want to read war and peace, but it’s so long!!! i’ve started at least.

    i want to finish “to own a dragon” by donald miller and “the forgotten ways” by alan hirsch

  11. Daniel Azuma says:

    Oh man, I have such a huge list that’s been accumulating… I think my top three to finish this year are “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek” by Annie Dillard, “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton, and I promised a friend a number of years ago I’d read “Revolution in World Missions” by K.P. Yohannan.

  12. Kacie says:

    The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll. I’m midway through it now so that’s sort of a cop-out. Next is The Spirit of Early Christian Thought by Robert Wilkin.

  13. rexhamilton says:

    I keep hearing from different circles that Peter Rollins’ book “How [Not] to Speak of God” is a great book, so this is one i think I must read. I just began reading “Cross Cultural Servanthood-Serving the World in Christlike Humility” by Duane Elmer and so far it is encouraging and full of wisdom.

  14. jpkang says:

    Perhaps tangentially relevant to this thread:

    “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.” (Steve Jobs, on the Kindle, interview with the NYT (15 Jan 08).

    The part about (whole) books may well be accurate, but if anything, the web seems to give people more fragments to read than ever before. And what are all those bookstores doing? Selling coffee table decorations?

  15. kate says:

    jhong: Owen Meany rocks…so many layers in that book. loved it.

    I have several:
    The God of Small Things (Arundhati Roy)
    Irresistible Revolution (Shane Claiborne)
    How (not) to Speak of God (Peter Rollins)
    A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier (Ishmael Beah)
    Girl Soldier (Grace Akallo)

  16. Jennifer says:

    Ohhh…yes, “How (not) To Speak of God” is high on my list too 🙂

  17. Randall says:

    Irresistible Revolution is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Definitely in my top three of all time.

    warjianrumoelliu – thanks for the tip!

  18. e cho says:

    You guys are making some great recommendations for books I need to add to my list of already 23 books I have on my shelf… Arrgh!

  19. hawaii dave says:

    i am so glad you shared about your reading habits, i thought i was the only one that reads multiple books at a time without finishing any of them! ok, you’ve given me inspiration to really try hard to finish the books I start. I’m going through the “Ancient Future Faith” and “Time” now as well as “The Safest Place on Earth” (L.Crabb)… I have “Eat This Book” (E.Peterson) on deck, staring at me, beckoning me to open it up!

  20. chad says:

    not sure which, but something by Kierkegaard…i was coveting a buddy’s collection yesterday…
    also on the list, “Pastor” by Will Willimon…

  21. Daniel says:

    there is too much good stuff out there to choose from. My committment is to read more fiction this year.

    My first fiction piece of the year will be ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini, followed by ‘The Kite Flyer’ from the same author.

    Non-fiction will include ‘Everything must change’ by Brian McLaren (I’m almost finished this one).

  22. Daniel says:

    Better change the title in my previous comment to ‘The Kite Runner’.

  23. 3mily says:

    Yes, “Owen Meany” is great stuff…

    last year, in terms of overtly spiritual/church-related stuff, stuff I read that I would recommend to anyone reading:
    Life of the Beloved- Nouwen
    Markings- Dag Hammarskjold
    Democracy Matters- Cornel West
    The Long Loneliness- Dorothy Day
    Take This Bread- Sara Miles
    Relevant Nation
    Believers: A Journey into Evangelical Christianity
    Righteous- Lauren Sandler

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One Day’s Wages

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In our culture, we can be so obsessed with the "spectacular" or "glamorous." The Church often engagws in thia language and paradigm...but what if God has called many of us to small, ordinary things?

Will we still be faithful?
Will we still go about such things with great love and joy?

I recently came across this picture taken by @mattylew, one of our church staff...and I started tearing up: This is my mother; in her 70s; with realities of some disabilities that make it difficult for her to stand up and sit down...but here she is on her knees and prostate in prayer. She doesn't have any social media accounts, barely knows how to use her smartphone, doesn't have a platform, hasn't written a book, doesn't have any titles in our church, isn't listed as a leader or an expert or a consultant or a guru. But she simply seeks to do her best - by God's grace - to be faithful to God. She prays for hours every day inteceding for our family, our church, and the larger world.

Even if we're not noticed or celebrated or elevated...let's be faithful. Our greatest calling as followers of Christ is to be faithful. Not spectacular. Not glamorous. Not popular. Not relevant. And not even successful in the eyes of the world.

Be faithful. Amen. #notetoself (and maybe helpful for someone else)

At times, we have to say ‘NO’ to good things to say ‘YES’ to the most important things.

We can't do it all.
Pray and choose wisely.
Then invest deeply. May our compassion not just be limited to the West or to those that look like us. Lifting up the people of Iraq, Iran, and Kurdistan in prayer after the 7.3 earthquake - including the many new friends I met on a recent trip to Iraq.

The death toll rises to over 400 and over 7,000 injured in multiple cities and hundreds of villages along the Western border with Iraq.

Lord, in your mercy... We are reminded again and again...that we are Resurrection People living in a Dark Friday world.

It's been a tough, emotional, and painful week - especially as we lament the horrible tragedy of the church shootings at Sutherland Springs. In the midst of this lament, I've been carried by the hope, beauty, and promise of our baptisms last Sunday and the raw and honest testimonies of God's mercy, love, and grace.

Indeed, God is not yet done. May we take heart for Christ has overcome the world. "Without genuine relationships with the poor, we rob them of their dignity and they become mere projects. And God did not intend for anyone to become our projects." Grateful this quote from my book, Overrated, is resonating with so many folks - individuals and  NGOs. / design by @preemptivelove .
May we keep working 
on ourselves 
even as we seek 
to change the world. 
To be about the latter 
without the former 
is the great temptation 
of our times.

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