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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Window seat. For the win. As leaders, we must not see ministry and family as competing commitments.  We must not sacrifice our marriage and kids for the sake of "ministry." How can we? Loving our families IS ministry & good leadership.

And on a side note, we took this goofy photo for Mother's Day last Sunday at @seattlequest. I was shocked! What in the world happened to our kids? Our 13 year old son blocked four of my shots on the basketball court yesterday. He's since been grounded... I fear that we ask God to move mountains, forgetting that God also wants to move us.

In fact, it's possible that we are that mountain. Time flies. The eldest is wrapping up her 1st year in college and the college tours have begun for the 2nd child. The youngest enters high school in the Fall. Can't say enough about how proud Minhee and I are of the kids - not just of their accomplishments but the people they are and are becoming.

But...man...we can't wait to party it up when we're emptynesters. Party at our house. It's going to be epic. Humbled. Grateful. Mindful of God's grace and faithfulness in my life. It's all grace... It's an unexpected honor to be invited back - even with some mini-drama - to @princetonseminary to receive the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award - exactly 25 years after starting my journey there as a student in 1992. Wow.

Princeton isn't necessarily for everyone. And to say that I loved everything about my experience would be misleading but it was very formative. Ir challenged me to examine why I believed in what I believed. It reminded me that God could handle my questions. It prepared me for a post-Christian context where I am not entitled to be heard but I had to earn the right to be heard, and of course, it taught me that all is good with a Philly cheese steak at Hoagie Haven.

No one is an island to themselves and I am certainly an example of that. Many people - women and men, young and old, and of many backgrounds - prayed, encouraged, mentored, and loved me along the way. Grateful for my professors at seminary, my many classmates, and the numerous fellow staff and co-laborers I've had the privilege of serving Christ with past and present. And of course, I'm forever inspired by my parents, my children, and my wife, Minhee. Thank you for your faith, hope, and love...and oh, for your patience. Only your family will know and see both the best and worst of you. They've seen my worst...and keep on believing in me.

Thank you again, PTS and President Barnes, for this honor. Then, today, and tomorrow...by God's grace, just striving to be faithful to my Lord and Savior...to preach and live out the convictions of the whole Gospel. Amen. So humbled and grateful to be with @catalystleader in Cincinnati to encourage leaders from all around the country about the invitation to Uncommon Fellowship.

Preached from John 4. We can talk, preach, sing, philsophize, liturgize, and spit rhymes about Samaria...but we still have to talk through Samaria.

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