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Five Books that Shaped Me in 2012

I set a goal of reading 52 books this past year. I fell short by 3, but I’ll show myself a little grace since I’m reading a lot of books that are assigned to me, and take a little bit longer to push through. I thought I’d share five of which shaped me in some way this past year. Don’t judge.

  1. To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World by James Davison HunterAt first, this book frustrated me. I think because it made my brain hurt. But after some reflection, I changed my mind. One of the keys to his book is that we, as the church, should be “faithfully present” wherever God has planted us.
  2. The Road Trip that Changed the World: The Unlikely Theory that will Change How You View Culture, the Church, and, Most Importantly, Yourself by Mark SayersSayers put into words what I was observing wihtin our collegiate ministry at the time. He speaks with his finger on the pulse of culture and the church, and pastors, along with leaders should invest in this quick read.
  3. You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith by David KinnamanEvery pastor, minister, leader and parent should read this book. It communicates exactly what is going on with your high school student is experiencing in relation to the church and their faith. This book helps explain why, on many levels, the church is not doing what she should be doing to train up the next generation.
  4. Think Christianly: Looking at the Intersection of Faith and Culture by Jonathan Morrow - Morrow’s emphasis is on how specifically we should be thinking within the culture. He shared strategic ways we can speak about the life Jesus has to offer when the culture presents the opportunity. After each chapter, he provides practical tips as to how to accomplish this. Very practical, and helpful.
  5. One Nation Under God?: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America by John D. WilseyIf you’ve every thought that America was a “Christian” Nation, then you need to read this. In fact, every American Christian should read this. He states things, historically, that I’ve thought, but didn’t know where to source them – he does that for you. I’ve recommended this book to so many people, I think I should receive commission.

Were there any books that shaped your thinking this past year?