Summer is often a time when we can slow down and do things we really enjoy. For me, one of those things is reading. It’s been a while since I suggested some good summer reading for you, so I’ll take the opportunity to do that now. Of course, you could read these at any time of the year you wish! But here’s a short list of books that will help build your faith and encourage you in your growing walk with the Lord. I put this list in our church’s summer edition of the newsletter.
Ruth Haley Barton, Invitation to Silence and Solitude (InterVarsity Press, 2010)
Ruth Haley Barton, Sacred Rhythms (InterVarsity Press, 2006)
Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership (InterVarsity Press, 2008)
These three books by Barton give a good introduction to practical ways to be formed spiritually in the Lord. It is her video study we’re doing throughout much of June and July at St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton. I have heard her speak in person, and her writing is just as compelling. She has been a ground-breaking writer in the field of spiritual formation for many Christians. Her writing style is easy to read and you’ll find great helps for building your faith.
Michael Mangis, Signature Sins (InterVarsity Press, 2008)
Mangis’ thesis in this book is that the seven “deadly” sins, as they once were called, can be seen as the foundational sins from which our typical sin patterns emerge. It’s likely, he says, that we each have a “signature” sin from among the seven. What we often find ourselves confessing is not sin but symptoms of sin, and that, as Dallas Willard said, we tend to engage in sin management more than anything else. Each chapter closes with useful questions for reflection, and there is a group study guide at the back.
Robert Mulholland, Invitation to a Journey (InterVarsity Press, 1993)
While this book is by no means new, it is an excellent overview of what it means to be formed in Christ. Mulholland correctly identifies that our spiritual formation is not something we do just for ourselves, but that it happens for the sake of others.
These are just a few books that can accompany you to the real or virtual hammock this summer. Enjoy the rest, and remember to keep growing!