Love Wins: A Community Dialog

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of weeks you have no doubt caught wind of the firestorm of controversy that surrounds Rob Bell’s new book Love Wins. In his latest release, Bell addresses traditional ideas about Heaven and Hell and asks his readers: “Will only a few select people make it to Heaven? And will billions and billions of people burn forever in Hell?” Even though the book has yet to be released, the questions Rob Bell has raised have set off a firestorm of criticism around the internet. Justin Taylor labeled Bell a “Universalist” … Continue reading Love Wins: A Community Dialog

We’re entering a film contest!

Some of you may remember that, back in July, Don Miller sent me an advanced copy of his latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It was a book that I really enjoyed reading and have since passed on to others. Don’s book really challenged me to consider the type of story I was telling with my life, and to make changes that would help me tell an even better one. It also helped me realize that, as a parent, it should be my passion to help my children tell the best story possible with their own lives. … Continue reading We’re entering a film contest!

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

When two filmmakers approached Donald Miller about making a film adaptation of his best-selling memoir Blue Like Jazz he was given the opportunity to do something most of us never get to do; He edited his life. That experience caused the always introspective Miller to consider the story his life was telling. If his experiences needed to be edited to make for a more compelling film, why not simply apply those same story telling principles and live a story worth telling? Examining his life from the vantage point of a storyteller causes Miller to go on an inward journey. A … Continue reading A Million Miles in a Thousand Years – Donald Miller

I just totally made Donald Miller LOL!

One of the things I love about Donald Miller’s writing is his off-center sense of humor. On more than one occasion I’ve been known to laugh out loud at something he has written in one of his books. (For example:, his comparison of the Christian faith to penguin sex.) Well, today I was able to return the favor. It’s a long story involving a silly little contest he held on his blog yesterday where readers were asked to look at a photo and try to come up with a funny explanation for it. Apparently I was the big winner. My … Continue reading I just totally made Donald Miller LOL!

Donald Miller wants your input!

Donald Miller is currently putting the finishing touches on his latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, which is set to be released in September. And even though the pre-release copies are already in the hands of reviewers and critics, he’s looking for feedback and suggestions on ways he can improve the book’s first few chapters. You can download a copy of it here and post your feedback on his blog. I skimmed it quickly this afternoon and found myself laughing, reflecting on my own life and thinking new thoughts about God. Since that’s what Miller sets out … Continue reading Donald Miller wants your input!

Anyone want a free book?

Mudpuppy sent me this link the other day, but I just got around to looking into it now. Basically, if you call Catalyst at (888) 334-6569 and talk to one of their “concierges” they’ll send you a book. Plain and simple. There are four you can choose from. I thought it was a bit weird that Seth Godin’s book Tribes was one of the books you could choose to receive from a church leadership ministry because: a) He isn’t a Christian. b) He’s a marketing guy. He writes about marketing, not Jesus. But I read his blog every day, so … Continue reading Anyone want a free book?

Racial Reconciliation & the Church

With all of the talk of racial reconciliation that is taking place in our county following Sen. Obama’s speech, I thought it might be a good opportunity to recommend two books I read recently that helped shape my perspective on the issue – particularly as it pertains to the Church. Reconciliation Blues: A Black Evangelical’s Inside View of White Christianity Despite political strides toward racial reconciliation since 1964, many blacks feel that nothing has really changed since Jim Crow days. Some also worry that the church—which should be leading efforts in racial reconciliation—is one of the worst offenders in fostering … Continue reading Racial Reconciliation & the Church

Reading for Change

Alright, so there seems to be more than enough interest to justify this experiment. We’ve set up a stand-alone blog for the group which can be found at http://readingforchange.wordpress.com. We’re kicking things off on Monday, February 11th – that gives you the entire weekend to track down the book. We’ll be discussing a new chapter each day. If you come late to the party, don’t worry, you can choose to start from the beginning or pick up the conversation at any point. If you’d like to participate, feel free to stop by and introduce yourself to the rest of the … Continue reading Reading for Change

Everything Must Change…

My buddy Tim and I are planning a little online reading collaborative based on Brian McLaren’s latest book Everything Must Change. We’re inviting others to join us in the adventure. We’re hoping that other bloggers, readers, and lurkers will participate as we journey through this book as a community. We’re still working our way through the details, so stay tuned. But in the mean time… Any interest? Continue reading Everything Must Change…

Boomsday

I learned a great number of things from reading Boomsday, the latest political satire offering from Christopher Buckley (Thank You for Smoking). Not the least important of which was that blogging can be hazardous to your health – not to mention the health of the entire “boomer” generation. In his latest novel Buckley tackles the looming collapse of Social Security. The story takes place a few short years from now. As more and more “boomers” enter retirement age, living longer due to (insanely expensive) advances in healthcare and technology, the burden to support these loafers falls evermore on the shoulders … Continue reading Boomsday

Books in rotation…

I had some time to kill between appointments this afternoon so I made a visit to the library. I haven’t done much reading since we moved back to Rochester, and my brain is starving for attention. I came out with the following three books. Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America – Ronald J. Sider Just Generosity calls Christians to examine their priorities and their pocketbooks in the face of a scandalous tendency to overlook those among us who suffer while we live in practical opulence. This holistic approach to helping the poor goes far beyond donating … Continue reading Books in rotation…

Jim & Casper Go to Church

Ever wonder how “outsiders” view the various ways in which we go about “doing church?” That’s precisely what Jim Henderson set out to discover in his latest book Jim & Casper Go to Church. Over the course of several months Jim – the ex-pastor – and Casper – the professed atheist – set out on a grand experiment. The two of them visited over a dozen of the most prominent – as well as some of the more obscure – churches in America undercover and shared their thoughts about the experience with one another. The purpose was to give Christians an inside look at … Continue reading Jim & Casper Go to Church

Rob Bell: Sex God

Rob Bell’s new book titled Sex God is scheduled to drop sometime in March. According to the subtitle the book explores “the endless connections between sexuality and spirituality.” Needless to say, I’m intrigued. And it will probably sell a bazillion copies based on the title alone. I read the first chapter – titled “God Wears Lipstick” – yesterday. The folks at Zondervan have made it available for free download. Upon first glance it seems like a page-turner. His talk of the “new humanity” sort of creeps me out, but when taken in context I couldn’t find anything objectionable or particularly … Continue reading Rob Bell: Sex God

Lessons on fatherhood from a dude that never had one

I just finished To Own a Dragon – the latest title by the increasingly popular Christian hipster author Donald Miller. The book is a collection of thoughts on Miller’s experiences growing up without a father. It is co-written/inspired by his mentor John MacMurray. I wasn’t sure what to expect to gain from reading this book. I partly expected to read a couple hundred pages of “Boy, life sure was hard without a dad. It sucked.” I personally come from a home where my father was not only present, but took an active role in helping shape my faith from an … Continue reading Lessons on fatherhood from a dude that never had one

All is not well in Jesus Land

I just finished reading Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres last night and I still find myself struggling to process it all. The book is a heart-wrenching memoir of her life in a strict Christian household in the Midwest. It chronicles the struggles she faced in dealing with her overbearing mother and emotionally absent father; but it also speaks to the experiences of her two adopted brothers who were the only African-Americans in the community. She talks openly of her hellish adolescence during which her home was the source of great physical, emotional and sexual abuse. She speaks candidly of her … Continue reading All is not well in Jesus Land