Saturday, June 18, 2005

From meme to you

meme (mm) n. A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another.

Milton Stanley at Transforming Sermons channeled his inner evil grade school teacher and "tagged" me for the book meme. He did this in spite of my peaceful protests (a preemptive measure in case anyone was thinking of me). Asking me about my book collection and reading habits is a little like asking an actor about their politics. I don't want to offend those who honor an otherwise fruitful blog practice, so I relent and comply.

Total number of books I've owned ever:
I have four or five large, unpacked boxes of books, and a medium-sized bookshelf with about 200 hundred books stacked like so much litter. How many books is that? I'm living proof that reading inspires more questions than answers.

Last book I bought: Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan B. Allender. I bought it for a friend.

Last book I read: The First Epistle to the Corinthians by Dr. Gordon Fee. I've owned this book for quite some time, but decided to revisit it as I work through the chapter. I didn't realize Fee wrote it, because I recently asked a friend to recommend some of Fee's better work. I'm not one to collect commentaries, but this is an outstanding help. My only warning is Fee's insights are hard to escape once you've entertained them. I think that's a good thing, but I'm sure there are some that would be challenged by his work here. His treatment of 1 Cor 14:34 has given me many hours of contemplation that I've yet to resolve.

Five books that mean a lot to me:
1. Galations. This is a rudimentary book to some, but it unchained me when I was still young in the Lord and prone to enslavement to the Law. It has remained helpful when discussing God's word with members of various cults.
2. Classic Christianity by Bob George. I pulled this off my father's shelf one day and kept it. Like Galations, it helped me return to my evangelical roots. It is written in a simple language a teenager could understand, and relates the very Gospel message I had heard but not received as a child.
3. Life After God by Douglas Coupland. I suspect this novel written in the form of journal letters from a father to his young daughter would be a hit with many bloggers. Coupland's insight falls short of true Christian expression, but Christians should appreciate the conclusions Coupland draws about man's sinful state. It's also helpful to understand the heart of the Emergent Church movement -- the protagonist is exactly the kind of person they state a mission to reach.
4. Empowered Evangelicals by Rich Nathan and Ken Wilson. This book, I think, highlights all the strengths of what used to be the Vineyard movement. We'll call it "Vineyard DNA." The book in a nutshell: You don't have to divide the Word from the Spirit.
5. Gospel of the Kingdomby George Eldon Ladd. I consider this the basis of my own theology. I don't swallow it and digest it whole; I take it in pieces and measure each bite. While I am quite different in view than a few of the extremes of Ladd, this book remains the inspiration for my own theological pursuit.

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