Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Able To Leap Tall Books In A Single Bound

I'm certainly not faster than a speeding meme - I got tagged by Alfred & thus must write a blog post or I'll end up breaking the chain. Next thing you know, I'll end up forwarding copies of this to everyone in my address book with the note to "Send it to ten friends if you love Jesus." Sigh - I'll cut the sarcasm & just get on with it.

One Book that Changed My Life

Avoiding the obvious answer (the Bible), I'd have to go with John Eldredge's Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul. While I don't agree with him 100%, he managed to write a book that helped me deal with years of struggle with what it means to be a "real man." Dismiss him if you want, but the things he wrote resonated with my heart.

One Book I've Read More than Once

Just one? Sheesh... well, I'll go with something unusual then. How about Reggie McNeal's The Present Future: Six Tough Questions for The Church? I chose this one because I first read it last November... and have managed to read it two more times since then. It's probably the most convicting book on the realities of church life & growth I own.

One Book to Bring to a Desert Island

This one's easy... a NIV/Message parallel Bible. (Think the prophets are dull? Read through Ezekiel in The Message - yikes!)

One Book that Made Me Laugh

Weirdly enough, I'll go with a comic book collection here. The early run of Justice League from the late 1980's (written by Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis) is not only good super-hero comics... it's laugh-out-loud funny. The collection of the first seven issues is Justice League: A New Beginning.

One Book that Made Me Cry

Hmm... like Alfred, I'm more likely to cry at movies than at books. There are, of course, expections - I was pretty well shredded by Saint Ben by John Fischer. (The sequel, The Saints & Angels Song, is pretty good, too - but nowhere near as good as the first book.)

One Book I Wish I'd Written

There are a number of books I wish I'd written - anything by J.K. Rowling (for artistic & financial reasons) would work for me. But I have to pick just one book, so I'll go with Erwin McManus' Chasing Daylight (formerly titled Seizing Your Divine Moment.)

One Book I Wish had Never been Written

I can think of games that I wish had never been published (Pokemon Master Trainer) and TV shows that I wish had never been made (The Bachelor)... but books? I'll have to go with The Soul Winner's Guide published by Gideons International. Look, I'm a huge fan of the Gideons - these guys give immense amounts of time & financial resources in order to get Bibles to anyone who wants one. They also do a great job of introducing people to Jesus Christ - but this particular publication is strong-arm sales tactics grafted onto the amazing news of the Gospel. It sickens me to think that someone would memorize & practice this canned presentation (complete with appropriate hand guestures!) in order to communicate the living, breathing truth of Christ's love, sacrifice & power.

Whew, jumping off my soapbox now.

One Book I'm Currently Reading

Harry Turtledove's Ruled Brittania, which I'm about to give up. In fact, I've done that with the last couple of Turtledove's novels - his wild & interesting alternate history ideas (in this case, a Spanish/Catholic-controlled England in the time of Shakespeare, provoked to revolution by the plays of you-know-who) don't actually seem to turn into readable novels. I guess The Guns of the South fooled me.

One Book I've been Meaning to Read

I've got a bag full of stuff I need to read - so I'll just pick one. Is Belief in God Good, Bad or Irrelevant? - which is a conversation between a history professor who is a follower of Christ & the frontman of Bad Religion.


Scott, Paul & Jeremy, you're up - let's see what church history related weirdness Scott throws at us!


Anonymous said...

from some of your choices and the ones from those that "tagged" you, it seems like this is a "let's see how obscure I can be" contest. But, I'll give it a shot when I have time.

Scott Rushing said...

I don't know if its weirdness, but I have my list up on my blog now. Thanks for the list Mark, this actually was fun.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the book reviews/views. Have you tried any Ted Dekker books? I highly recommend the Circle Trilogy.


Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

I've enjoyed some of Dekker's books more than others... but they all have interesting premises even if the books themselves don't live up to them.

With you, Ben, I'd highly recommend the Circle Trilogy. I also liked Blink a lot. Obsessed was decent, as was Three.

OTOH, I'd avoid House, the book he co-wrote with Frank Peretti. It starts out with some very interesting & spooky stuff, and then degenerates at the end.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the suggestions. I have actually read all of his books except his first published trilogy (Tears of Heaven or something like that). I am looking forward to Saint.

Another interesting author to check out is Tim Downs.