Category Archives: Books & Culture

What we read this summer

Usually summer reading lists appear at the start of the season, but this year we asked EFC staff (The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada is the publisher of Faith Today), what they have already read this summer. So far. In no particular order, here is what we’ve been reading these past six weeks or so.

The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan
Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America, Jeff Chu
Gender Roles and the People of God: Rethinking What We Were Taught About Men and Women in the Church, Alice Mathews
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series, Michael Scott
(re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints and Sinners,  Bruxy Cavey
Jesus and Nonviolence: a Third Way,  Walter Wink
A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve,  by Mother Teresa, editor Brian Kolodiejchuck
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
The Narnia Chronicles, by C.S. Lewis
Jubilee, by Margaret Walker
My Promised Land: the Triumph and Tragedy of Israel,  by Ari Shavit
Love Giving Well: the Pilgrimage of Philanthropy, by Mark Petersen
Planted, by Leah Kostomo
The Art of Memoir, by Mary Karr
War, by Sebastian Junger
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, by Ann Patchett

And of course, we are all reading Faith Today. If you  haven’t subscribed yet, do it today so you won’t miss a single story. Do you know about our risk-free trial subscription offer?

 

The Shack: Sometimes Ramshackle, But With a Solid Foundation

Movie Review by Bruce Soderholm

It was pretty much inevitable that a version of The Shack, the bestselling novel by Canadian-born author William Paul Young, would find its way to the big screen.

Any book boasting worldwide sales numbering close to 20 million has, in the lingo of the publishing and film industry, a huge platform – a large base of people likely to want to see the film. That said, the motivation to bring this project to screen is much less about its money-earning capacity than the passion of its supporters. The fruit of that labour debuts this weekend in theatres across North America.

What follows is a review of the film intended to assess its merits as a film and not, as much as possible, to be an assessment of its theology or its utility as an outreach tool.

Continue reading The Shack: Sometimes Ramshackle, But With a Solid Foundation

To Inspire Your Summer Reading

She will never get through them all, but this is Karen Stiller’s summer reading pile, gathered from one awesome yard sale!

For avid readers, there is just something about the summer. Some little hint of permission to read thick, juicy paperbacks that smack of vacation time. Maybe it’s extra time available to read a theological work that builds your spirit, even if you’re reading it on a chaise lounge. Or, better yet, maybe it’s both. Maybe your summer reading includes play and pray?

We asked some of our Faith Today family and EFC colleagues to let us peek at their reading lists. Maybe it will inspire your own reading this summer?

Aileen van Ginkel is vice president, ministry services at the EFC. Here’s her ambitious (and a little bit intimidating) list:

Leading in Disorienting Times, by Gary Nelson and Peter Dickens
The Courage to Teachby Parker Palmer
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Friere

Craig Mcartney writes the Inspiring Ideas and Note Worthy sections of Faith Today. Here’s what he is planning to read this summer:

Bible (obviously) [we love that he said ‘obviously!’]
Happy Happy Happy  by Phil Robertson  from Duck Dynasty)
Life, God, and other Small topics  by Eric Mattaxas
The Mission of God’s People by Christopher Wright
Letters and papers from prison a collection of Dietrich Bonhoeffer writings
And various books on riflery and precision shooting

Patricia Paddey is a senior writer for Faith Today.

Here’s what’s on her bedside table awaiting her attention:

Learning To Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor
The Excalibur Parchment by Barrie Doyle (Our book club’s next selection)
Making The Best of It: Following Christ in the Real World by John Stackhouse
The Imitation of Christ -by Thomas A. Kempis
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard
A Writer’s Space by Eric Maisel
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

Robert White is a writer for Faith Today, and takes cool pictures. Here is his summer reading pile:

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Rick Hiemstra is director, research and media relations for the EFC

“I’m always trying to understand what is going on in the church and in culture. I like to read books that others have already digested, and come with their recommendation. These four came recommended to me by people I respect for their insight. (Looks pretty gloomy just reading all the titles together, doesn’t it? As I read I’ll just take comfort in the fact that Christ “upholds the universe by the word of his power.)”

What Is the Mission of the Church? By Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert

Powers of Darkness: Principalities & Powers in Paul’s Letters, by Clinton Arnold

Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism by Ran Hirschl

Charisma: The Gift of Grace, and How It Has Been Taken Away From Us by Philip Rieff

Bill Fledderus is a senior editor with Faith Today. He shares his summer reading picks:

This summer I am preparing to teach a course at Redeemer University College that I haven’t taught before, so I will be reading over books such as Inside Reporting, Newswriter’s Handbook, The Elements of News Writing and News Writing. Guess what the course is about!

For fun, I hope to re-read Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, a historical fantasy set in early 1800s England. I stumbled on this lengthy novel as an audiobook at the library a few years ago, and look forward to reading the paper version. It’s slow-moving in spots, but it offers a fascinating otherworldly experience with remarkable period detail, memorable characters and a compelling alternative mythology.

As a gift I recently received the novel Lila by Marilynne Robinson, the acclaimed Christian literary author. It’s the third of three novels set in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, and undoubtedly beautiful and thought provoking.

Lastly, I am also trying to keep up with some of the books my sons like to read, and so I am currently in the middle of Book 8 of the Ranger’s Apprentice series by Australian novelist John Flanagan. These semi-medieval adventures continue for at least three more books, and then there is the related Brotherband Chronicles, so I don’t think I will be free of Will, Halt, Horace and friends for a while.

We hope that you will include Faith Today as part of your summer reading! Let us know what you plan to read over the next few months.