Who’s Reading What? is a new feature at Lifeway Pastors. Each month we will survey 8-12 pastors, business leaders, theologians, professors, writers, and other culture shapers with these four questions:
What are you currently reading?
Who is the author?
Which genre is it?
Why are you reading it?
No reviews. No summaries. It is a quick list to help expand the borders of your intake.
Dr. Thom Rainer, President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources
What: American Icon
Who: Bryce G. Hoffman
Why: The book tells the story of the turnaround of Ford under the leadership of Alan Mulally. Some of the most poignant points could be applied to other organizations, including churches.
D. A. Horton, writer; pastor of Reach Fellowship LA
What: Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective
Who: Justo L. Gonzalez
Which: Theology, Hispanic Studies, Social Science
Why: Being Latino, I feel our theological contributions have been niched and not heard. I want to glean from historical insights in order to be more effective in the context where I’m pastoring (Los Angeles/Long Beach).
What: One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology
Who: Jarvis Williams and Thomas Schreiner
Why: The ethnic tensions in America are thick and the Church needs to respond with compassion and biblical clarity. I always appreciate the work of Dr. Williams and Schreiner’s contributions are icing on the cake.
Laurie Nichols, Director of Communications, Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College
What: Embrace: God’s Radical Shalom for a Divided World
Who: Leroy Barber
Which: Christian Living
Why: We live in a very divided world, which instead of moving in direction of unity, actually seems to be taking steps backwards. I think this is a practical read to remind us to reach out all those God made—even those different from ourselves—for the good of both ourselves and for God’s kingdom.
What: The Scarlet Pimpernel
Why: It’s a classic, and who doesn’t love a classic? Plus, it’s a story of a savior-figure who rescues many innocent people from the guillotine—a story that can be used to transfer into faith conversations.
Rasool Berry, Leadership Pastor, Bridge Church, Brooklyn, NY
What: Free at Last?: The Gospel in the African-American Experience
Who: Carl F. Ellis, Jr.
Why: To sharpen my understanding of the implications of the gospel in the issues of justic, race, and culture. Free at Last? examines the African American plight for equality thorough their understanding of the gospel call for justice and answers the question “What effect has the Christian gospel had on African American aspirations?”
Bruce Ashford, Professor of Theology and Culture, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
What: Confident Pluralism
Who: John Inazu
Which: Politics and public life
Why: I am fascinated with how American evangelicals can be witnesses in the political realm, even as evangelicals are now a minority in a pluralistic nation. Inazu’s book focuses on our plurality and on how we as citizens can live peaceably together despite entrenched differences.
What: The Fractured Republic
Who: Yuval Levin
Which: Politics and public life
Why: I am disturbed by the deeply divisive and even toxic nature of politics and public life in the United States, and interested in how we can carve out a better path for the future. Levin is a conservative who does this well. He’s like C.S. Lewis, only for politics instead of theology.
Cassie Curtis, Lecturer, First Year Writing Program at NC State; Worship leader
What: Just Mercy
Who: Bryan Stevenson
Why: Books like To Kill a Mockingbird sparked an interest in race/class power relationships and the systems that maintain them. Stevenson offers a first-hand narrative of the injustices that still persist in our judicial system.
John Blake, Senior writer/producer, CNN.com
What: Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration
Who: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Why: I love history and have long been curious about why Western Europe proved to be such adept, and ruthless, colonizers. Why did they have the drive and ships to cross the ocean in the 15th century rather than the Chinese, or Africans, or even the indigenous people in the Americas?
Carol Pipes, Editor, Facts & Trends magazine
What: Generational IQ: Christianity Isn’t Dying, Millennials Aren’t the Problem, and the Future is Bright
Who: Haydn Shaw
Why: For the first time in history, we have five generations in our churches. This has created a unique set of challenges for the church. I’m hoping to gain insight to each generation’s values, worldview, and view of God.
Marty Duren, Executive Editor of Lifeway Pastors
What: Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed
Who: Douglas Axe
Which: Science/Life Sciences/Evolution
Why: It’s a sound contribution to the Intelligent Design vs Naturalism debate.
What: Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health
Who: H. Gilbert Welch, M.D.
Which: Science/Medicine/Public Health
Why: To help understand the complex world of medicine, insurance, and health as we live through my wife’s breast cancer diagnosis.
What are you currently reading, who’s the author, and why are you reading it? Tell us in the comments.