Summer is in full swing, which means one thing: Now is the time to perfect your summer reading list. As you compile your reading list, many of our Intersect contributors would like to recommend their favorites. We’ll share their recommendations over the coming weeks.
This week, we highlight books on work, culture, the prosperity gospel, women and homosexuality from Benjamin T. Quinn, David W. Jones, Ashley Gorman, Laura Thigpen and Jeremy Bell — so you can have a #FaithandCulture summer.
Work: The Meaning of Your Life: A Christian Perspective
by Lester Dekoster (Grand Rapids: Christian’s Library Press, 2010)
Benjamin T. Quinn: For a short but potent treatment on the importance of work for Christians, Dekoster’s little volume, Work: The Meaning of Your Life: A Christian Perspective, is perfect. Dekoster wastes no time getting to the heart of the matter making important biblical connections, mixed with historical insight and practical application for meaningful Christian work of all kinds. This book is written for all Christians, and can be read in half of an afternoon — perfect for the summer, with leftover time for a nap. Enjoy!
Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling
by Andy Crouch (Downers Grove: IVP, 2008)
Laura Thigpen: God is a culture-maker, and believers are called to be culture-makers, too. But do we really understand what that means? In this book, Andy Crouch gives a narrower definition of culture, and he explains how we make culture, influence culture, are influenced by culture and critique culture all from a gospel-centered understanding of God’s creation. I had a fairly good understanding of culture before reading this book, but after reading it I find myself being more precise in how I use the word “culture,” and, in turn, how I think about what culture is and isn’t. Culture is all around us, so for believers, understanding God’s role in and our call to culture-making is imperative to understand how to engage it for God’s greatest glory.
People to Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just an Issue
by Preston Sprinkle (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2015)
Jeremy Bell: This book will make you think. It will make you understand that all people are made in the image of God, and it will change the way you minister to those that struggle with sin — in this particular book, the sin of homosexuality. I warn you in advance that you must read the book in its entirety because if you don’t, you will miss the author’s biblical stance on homosexuality and his solution to help those engaged in this type of lifestyle.
Is the Bible Good for Women? Seeking Clarity and Confidence Through a Jesus-Centered Understanding of Scripture
by Wendy Alsup (Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2017)
Ashley Gorman: Reading this now. I’d recommend it because there are certain “verses of terror” that evangelical women either ignore altogether or are confronted with via skeptics. She deals with the “problem passages” that a lot of people shy away from. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen someone either say (or write online) that they could never follow a God who “condones” some of the things seen in the Old Testament. From what I’ve read so far, she frames the whole discussion in the grand narrative of Scripture and the person of Christ instead of taking isolated passages and explaining them away. I appreciate that she zooms out before zooming in.
Health, Wealth, and Happiness: How the Prosperity Gospel Overshadows the Gospel of Christ
by David W. Jones and Russell S. Woodbridge (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2017)
David W. Jones: This is an abridgment of our similarly titled full length book. The longer book, on which the abridgment is based, is the best-selling analysis of the prosperity gospel since its publication in 2010. In all its translations, more than 100,000 copies of this book are in print. In this book we not only offer a critique of the prosperity gospel, but also explore biblical teachings on wealth, poverty, labor, suffering, etc. Many of my posts on the Intersect website have been based on materials in the book. This new book is written to be accessible to laypeople and is designed both to gently confront advocates of the prosperity gospel, as well as to resource the church to stand against this growth false teaching in America and beyond.
What books are you reading this summer?