Monday, May 18, 2009

Books, Books, and some Rob Bell

Well it seems we are coming to the time to discuss what our next book will be! There were two suggestions raised at yesterday’s gathering.

The first is So You Don’t Want to Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman:

If you recognize those names, it's because these are the guys who brought us The Shack. The book uses a fictional plotline to make some really important points about our attitude towards church. (I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I find myself with a bit of a ‘tude towards church, and I could use some healthy corrective). It really explores house churches and other offshoots of traditional congregations, and uses the character’s struggles to help us see some benefits and pitfalls of non-traditional church communities.

The second suggestion is the book A Deadly Misunderstanding by Mark Siljander.

Siljander is a former Republican, uber-Religious Right congressman that had a huge change of heart about the world when he started really exploring the Muslim/Christian divide. He talks about his work in the Middle East, as well as his attempt to clear up a lot of misunderstandings (deadly ones, hence the title, get it? =b) about the Muslim faith, and the stereotypes that they have about us. It’s a great gateway sort of book, because it really gets us talking and thinking about how our stereotypes of other people and other religions is often as inaccurate as theirs are about us. It’s a great reminder to get us to treat others as members of a common humanity.

Anyway, I’ve got to say, I’ve read both of the books and they’re pretty awesome. If anyone has any other suggestions for great group reads, then by all means throw your hat in the ring! Just leave a comment on this post. We still have several more weeks of Jesus for President, so we have some time to decide.

Also, (last thing! I promise!), yesterday in talking about creative nonviolence in Shane’s book, I mentioned that I have a sermon series done by Rob Bell a few years back called “Calling all Peacemakers” that is pretty mind-blowingly awesome. I’ll put it on my USB and bring it to the post-Memorial Day gathering, but in the meantime if you like you can play them online if you follow the links below, or you can buy the series at the Mars Hill website. Put them on your iPod, listen to them in your car, at the gym, folding laundry or whatever – they’re some of the best teachings I’ve heard on articulating a Jesus-like viewpoint towards creative nonviolence. (Plus, Rob is funny and entertaining. And very, very smart.)

Again- comment if you have a book suggestion!

1 comment:

maventheavenger aka jamie said...

Great ideas. I missed meeting on Sunday...but had to celebrate my mom's birthday with the family.
I also wanted to throw out a smaller read by Richard Rohr called Everything Belongs. It's about contemplative prayer.