marilyn bookI’m on a bit of a reading binge this summer.  K2 is doing the summer reading program through our county library and I’ve decided to re-live my childhood and do the same.  I keep a list of what I read on this blog that I’m sure every single one of my five readers have perused.  In case you haven’t, here are three I recently finished that I think everyone of you should read.

Velvet Elvis  Rob Bell of Mars Hill wrote this book a couple of years ago.  Bell has a fondness for all black wardrobes and goofy glasses but has written a compelling book about being a Christian today.  You should read this because it will push you to think about what you really believe and possibly even reconsider all the stuff you learned in Sunday school over the years.  And if you never went to Sunday school it will help you put some words to your faith.  And if you don’t have faith, you might find yourself reconsidering.

Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation by Carol Howard Merritt , should be read by every pastor, elder, deacon, church leader.  period.  I often find Alban books to be a bit thin when it comes to theological reflection but this is not one of them.  The intent of the book is to challenge churches to think about how they minister to “young adults” but I think it is a challenge of how to minister. period.  Read it.  Now.

Finally, Salvation on the Small Screen?  24 Hours of Christian Television is hilarious.  And thoughtful.  And entertaining.  Nadia Bolz-Weber is the mission developer for House for All Sinners and Saints.  Here was her challenge: to watch 24 hours of TBN – the Trinity Broadcasting Network.  Maybe it is something only pastors do, but there are times Jeff and I will find ourselves actually watching one of the shows on the network and being, well, a bit snarky.  Okay, more than a bit.  Bolz-Weber is snarky, too, but she is also thoughtful and does the hard work of taking her criticisms and turning them back on her own theology and practices.  That is a good practice for all of us.  Even if it does hurt.  Ouch.