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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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Thanks for your prayers. 
I have numerous stories to share but for now, the following came up in every conversation with Iraqi/Syrian refugees:

1 Have tea with us. Or coffee. Or juice. Or something with lots of sugar in it. Or better yet, all of the above.
2 We want peace. We want security. 
3 We hate ISIS. 
4 We just want to go home.
5 Please don't forget us.

Please don't forget them... Father, please bless and protect these Iraqi and Syrian "refugee" children that have already endured so much. Protect their hearts and mind from unfathomable trauma. Plant seeds of hope and vision in their lives. And as we pray for them, teach us how to advocate for them. Amen. "We don't call them refugees. We call them relatives. We don't call them camps but centers. Dignity is so important." -  local Iraqi priest whose church has welcomed many "relatives" to their church's property

It's always a privilege to be invited into peoples' home for tea - even if it's a temporary tent. This is an extended Yezidi family that fled the Mosul, Iraq area because of ISIS. It's indeed true that Christians were targeted by ISIS and thatbstory muat be shared but other minority groups like the Yezidis were also targeted. Some of their heartbreaking stories included the kidnapping of their sister. They shared that their father passed away shortly of a "broken heart." The conversation was emotional but afterwards, we asked each other for permission to take photos. Once the selfies came out, the real smiles came out.

So friends: Pray for Iraq. Pray for the persecuted Church. Pray for Christians, minority groups like the Yezidis who fear they will e completely wiped out in the Middle East,, and Muslims alike who are all suffering under ISIS. Friends: I'm traveling in the Middle East this week - Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. (Make sure you follow my pics/stories on IG stories). Specifically, I'm here representing @onedayswages to meet, learn, and listen to pastors, local leaders, NGOs, and of course directly from refugees from within these countries - including many from Syria.

For security purposes, I haven't been able to share at all but I'm now able to start sharing some photos and stories. For now, I'll be sharing numerous photos through my IG stories and will be sharing some longer written pieces in couple months when ODW launches another wave of partnerships to come alongside refugees in these areas. Four of us are traveling together also for the purpose of creating a short documentary that we hope to release early next year.

While I'm on my church sabbatical, it's truly a privilege to be able to come to these countries and to meet local pastors and indigenous leaders that tirelessly pursue peace and justice, and to hear directly from refugees. I've read so many various articles and pieces over the years and I thought I was prepared but it has been jarring, heartbreaking,  and gut wrenching. In the midst of such chaos, there's hope but there's also a lot of questions, too.

I hope you follow along as I share photos, stories, and help release this mini-documentary. Please tag friends that might be interested.

Please pray for safety, for empathy, for humility and integrity, for divine meetings. Pray that we listen well; To be present and not just be a consumer of these vulnerable stories. That's my biggest prayer.

Special thanks to @worldvisionusa and @worldrelief for hosting us on this journey. 9/11
Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.

Today, I had some gut wrenching and heart breaking conversations about war, violence, and peacemaking. Mostly, I listened. Never in my wildest imagination did I envision having these conversations on 9/11 of all days. I wish I could share more now but I hope to later after I process them for a few days.

But indeed: Never forget.
And never stop working for peace.
May it be so. Amen. Mount Rainier is simply epic. There's nothing like flying in and out of Seattle.

#mountrainier
#seattle
#northwestisbest

my tweets

  • Boom. Final fishing trip. Grateful. A nice way to end my 3 month sabbatical. #catchandrelease twitter.com/i/web/status/9… || 1 day ago
  • Christians: May we be guided by the Scriptures that remind us, "Seek first the Kingdom of God" and not, "Seek first the kingdom of America." || 1 day ago
  • Every convo with Iraqi/Syrian refugees included: 1 Have tea with us 2 We want peace 3 We hate ISIS 4 We want to go home 5 Don't forget us || 4 days ago
  • Back safely from Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan to assess @OneDaysWages' partnerships & to film mini-documentary on refugee crisis. So many emotions. || 4 days ago
  • Pray for Mexico. For those mourning loved ones. For those fighting for life - even under rubbles. For rescue workers. Lord, in your mercy. || 4 days ago
  • Don't underestimate what God can do through you. God has a very long history of using foolish and broken people for His purposes and glory. || 6 days ago