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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As I soaked in this breathtaking sunrise this morning above the clouds, I felt compelled to pray for so my places in America and around the world that are experiencing such pain, heartache, injustice, and violence. At times, it feels so overwhelming but in prayer, I was reminded of these words from John 16:33. As we keep striving, working, hoping, preaching, loving, truthtelling, reconciling, repenting, forgiving, dismantling, peacemaking, Kingdom building...may we fix our eyes on Christ: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33 Grateful for a very full weekend of ministry and preaching in Toronto, Canada (GTA). Such a privilege to partner with @worldvisioncan @wvcollective to advocate for the most vulnerable around the world. God is so gracious. A true honor to meet and encourage local pastors, lecture at Tyndale University & Seminary (photo), and preach at Richmond Hills Community Church, Compass Point Bible Church, and New City Church. Thank you, Lord, that you use broken and imperfect people like me to speak of Your love. Today, Minhee and I dropped off our eldest child at her college. We have been thinking and praying about this day for many years. On some days, we hoped it would never come. On other days, we couldn't wait for it to come. On some days, we prayed for time to stop and other days, we prayed with anticipation. 
After an entire summer of laughing it off, it hit us...hard...this week. Seeing all of her stuff laid out on the basement floor was the catalyst to a load of emotions.

After unloading the car and taking her stuff to her new home for this year and mindful that she might never live with us again; helping sort out her stuff, saying hello to her roommates...I wasn't sure what to do or say.

A flood of thoughts rushed my mind.

Is she ready?
Have we done enough?
Have we taught her enough? 
What if this? What if that?

And so we shared what we have shared with her the moment she began to understand words: "Remember who you are. Remember WHO you belong to. Remember what you're about. God loves you so much. Please hold God's Word and His promises close and dear to your heart. We love you so much and we are so proud of you." And with that, we said goodbye. Even if she may not be thousands of miles away, this is a new chapter for her and even for us. I kept it composed. Her roommate was staring at me. I didn't want to be that father. I have street cred to uphold. Another final hug. 
And I came home.
And I wept.
Forget my street cred.
I miss her. I love her.
She will always be my little baby.

I'm no parenting guru. I just laughed as I wrote that line. No, I'm stumbling and bumbling along but I'd love to share an ephiphany I learned not that long ago. Coming to this realization was incredibly painful but simultaneously, liberating. To be honest, it was the ultimate game-changer in my understanding as a parent seeking after the heart of God.

While there are many methods, tools, philosophies, and biblical principles to parenting, there is – in my opinion – only one purpose or destination.

Our purpose as parents is to eventually…release them. Send forth. For His glory. Met a friend and fellow pastor who I haven't seen in over 20 years. In him, I saw a glimpse of my future. While only 10 years older, his kids are married and he's now a grandfather of 3. His love for his wife and family were so evident and his passion for the Gospel has not wavered. It was so good to see someone a bit older still passionately serving the Lord with such joy and faithfulness. Lord, help me to keep running the race for your Glory. Happy wife.
Happy life. - Eugenius 3:16

I still remember that time, many years ago, when Minhee was pregnant with our first child. She had left her family and friends in Korea just two years before. Her morning sickness was horrible and when she finally had an appetite, she craved her favorite Korean food from certain restaurants in her neighborhood in Seoul, Korea. I had no way of getting that food from those restaurants so I actually said, "How about a Whopper? Big Mac?" Sorry honey. Eat away. You deserve it. I don't care if it sounds mushy but sunsets are one of my love languages. Seoul, Korea was amazing but WOW...what a breathtaking welcome back sunset by Seattle. Not ready to let go of summer.

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