I asked a few TGC staff members to share what they plan to read this summer and why. Maybe something here will provoke your interest. Feel free to share what you plan to read this summer, too
Collin Hansen, editorial director (Twitter):
- Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided By Politics and Religion: We often argue as if only our position makes any sense. Needless to say, such arguments usually fail to compel opponents similarly convinced of their perspective. I'll be looking for insight about why we disagree and how Christians can more effectively tells our story in the public square.
- Charles C. Mann, 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created: The best history books upset our simplistic and often misguided understanding of the past. That's what I'm hoping to learn from the talented and insightful Mann, who previously brought the pre-Columbian Americans to life in his book 1491.
- Adam Hochschild, To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918: By the time we remember the horror of war, it's often too late. I'm eager to learn from Hochschild about the protestors jailed for opposing the war that was supposed to end all wars. What did they understand that we so often seem to miss?
Kathleen Nielson, director of women's initiatives:
- Bo Giertz, The Hammer of God: Justin Taylor called this trilogy of novellas "the best Christian novel you've never heard of." I had indeed never heard of it---but was captured after a quick Kindle download and a read-through of the powerful opening in which a smart young pastor is called to minister to a dying man and finds neither the faith nor the words to do it. I look forward to following Giertz not only into the world of his native Sweden but also into the deeply human drama of living out true Christian faith.
- Vern Poythress, Inerrancy and Worldview: Answering Modern Challenges to the Bible: Poythress is great at making complicated things clear. Recently studying the book of Revelation, after diving deep into parts of Greg Beale's magnificent commentary, I regularly stopped to come up and get my bearings, often using Poythress's much shorter and extremely helpful The Returning King: A Guide to the Book of Revelation. His newest book promises to deliver wise and widely applicable thinking about inerrancy. The promise sounds good to me.
- Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: I may be one of the few who haven't yet read it. My book club friends have it first on the list for next fall. We all need to hear true stories of courageous people, and this sounds like a remarkable one. Louis Zamperini. . . competitor in the 1930 Olympics. . . World War II pilot. . . POW under the Japanese. . . it's probably one of those that could keep you up at night.
John Starke, editor (Twitter):
- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: Shamefully, I've read other books and essays by Dillard, but never the book that made her famous and won her the Pulitzer Prize.
- Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival: J. I. Packer says our age has never seen a "more powerful or profound treatment of revival" than the one by Lloyd-Jones. I'm hoping to be stirred by past accounts and pray that God would do it again.
- Athanasius, The Life of St. Anthony: The world of monks and hermits can seem alien, but the spiritual life of St. Anthony influenced Christians for a millennium after he died. I have the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers edition, which is an expensive set. You can purchase it individually through Paulist Press, but I can't give any assurance on the quality of the translation.
Joe Carter, editor (Twitter):
- Herman Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics: Abridged in One Volume: Theologian John Frame says, "Bavinck's Reformed Dogmatics has been the fountainhead of Reformed theology for the last hundred years." Rather than the four-volume masterwork, I'll be reading the one-volume abridged edition because summer---like my attention span---is woefully short.
- P.G. Wodehouse, The Most of P.G. Wodehouse: Essential beach reading for those of us who don't like beaches---unless the beaches are in England in the 1920s. Wodehouse is not only the best prose stylist in the English language, he's also one of the funniest.
- Rene Girard, The Scapegoat: I love Big Idea books, and this work by a French Catholic anthropologist on the "scapegoat process" is one of the most intriguing: Society has a tendency to collectively transfer guilt onto a sacrificial victim, leading to the ultimate scapegoat process---the death of Christ.
Andy Naselli, administrator of Themelios (Twitter):
- Kevin DeYoung, The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness: DeYoung emphasizes what some who hold a Reformed view of sanctification tend not to emphasize: effort (i.e., Spirit-powered, gospel-driven, faith-fueled effort). And it helps that he can flat-out write.
- Philip Bosman, Conscience in Philo and Paul: A Conceptual History of the Synoida Word Group: I'm reading a lot on the conscience these days as I prepare to teach a course called "Theology of the Conscience" this fall. It's such an important topic. I hope to coauthor a book on it within the next few years with missionary J. D. Crowley.
- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: or, There and Back Again: Don't tell my daughter Kara this, but she's getting a collection of Tolkien books and audiobooks for her birthday in June. We'll start with this one. We've been living in Narnia since last Christmas, so I thought we might try moving to Middle-earth.