Holy Week: Holy Bookshelves #3

4 Apr

Perhaps we have too many things to get finished in order to read…perhaps it’s just that we don’t know where to look.  All this week, the NCMA bloggers are providing you with some holy reading suggestions.  Modern day prophets and just a few normal people are highlighted as we continue to find books to add to your reading list.  Enjoy

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#16 Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God (Sybil MacBeth)

Every time I bring out the crayons or markers with my college students, they love it.  It gives them the opportunity to utilize a side of their brain that their coursework does not, and it reminds them of their childhood.  This easy to use book gives us another way to help our students practice prayer.  It’s simple and something they can do anywhere, anytime.

#17 Engaging God’s World: A Christian Vision of Faith, Learning, and Living (Cornelius Plantinga Jr)

Written By the former Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College, this is a lovingly written book specifically directed at undergraduates at Christian colleges.  While this is not the context I am in, I have found this book to be an excellent resource for use with Peer Ministers.  It covers the basics of (Reformed) Christian theology and presents it all through the lens of a Christian worldview, where the decisions we make about all aspects of our lives are matters of discernment, and education and career choices are regarded in terms of vocation.

#18 I Sold My Soul on EBay (Hemant Mehta )
For those of you who may have a Secular Student Alliance on Campus, this may be a good read. Basically, it focuses on the struggles of SSA founder Hemant Mehta’s struggle with faith. At an early age, Hemant  stopped believing in God.  However, Mehta is best known is being the “EBay Atheist” because he auctioned himself of to the highest bidder who would send him to church.  The book chronicles his visits to many churches.  While I struggled with many of Mr. Mehta’s thoughts and conclusions, I felt that this was a decent read.  It gave me some insight into my group on campus.  I feel as this book has helped us with to begin some great conversations.

#19 Sing You Home (Jodi Piccochet)

This NH author “explores the delicate boundaries of identity, love, marriage and parenthood.  What happens when the out side world brutally calls into question the very thing closest to our hearts: family?  Picoult gracefully brings the hidden tensions of life sharply into focus in this poignantly hones novel.”  She artfully collaborates with musician Ellen Wilber to compose a soundtrack that accompanies each chapter, so that you not only read but listen and hear your way through the book.

 #20  An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith (Barbara Brown Taylor)

“Taylor reveals meaningful ways to discover the sacred in the small things that we do and see, from simple practices such as walking, working and prayer.”  Taylor helps us to slow down, be patient, pay attention, live with purpose and practice reverence.

#21 Sex and the Soul (Donna Freitas)

Perhaps the most revealing book to date on the college hook-up scene.  If you don’t know what is going on with your students, this is the book to read.

#22 American Grace (Robert Putnum & David Campbell)

Nearly eleven years ago, Bob Putnum pronounced that people were doing thing alone…evening Bowling Alone.  His work has become a seminal classic, as Putnum seems to be well ahead of his field in articulating the realities of our culture.  In this 2011 work, Putnum & Campbell give an enormous amount of statistic data to help understand the diaspora of young adults from the church since around 1990s.  This book is essential for all higher education professionals as it might unlock some of the ways that we approach this post-9/11 generation.

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