Faith Today asked a variety of Canadian Christian leaders about what they hope to read over the more relaxed summer season. Read on for the initial responses!
By Eric Frans, National Director of Philanthropy, World Relief Canada:
I can’t wait to get a bit of personal time this summer to read! I was given JJ Abrams book, S., for my birthday in March and it has sat on my shelf impatiently waiting for summer. It might be the last “real” book I read as I move more towards my Kindle and e-books. This book cannot be read in e-format as it includes quite a few physical inserts – postcards, newspaper clippings and such things that other readers have “left in the book.” I can only hope the book lives up to my exponentially building expectations! (Though IMHO, JJ Abrams rarely underwhelms.)
In addition, I am hoping to finish The Economics of Food by Patrick Westhoff – it’s an overview of how feeding and fueling the planet is affecting food prices globally. It’s a tricky subject with a lot of subjective perspectives, but one that’s important to get a handle on.
Finally, I want to spending the waning daylight of summer with Poor Economics by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Our board of directors at World Relief Canada dug into this book as a group this year, and it will be fodder for discussion at the next board meeting, so I had better be ready!
By David H. Johnson, President, Providence University College, Providence Theological Seminary:
In the area of leadership I will be reading John Kotter’s book Accelerate and Henry Cloud’s Boundaries for Leaders, and rereading Joanne Soliday’s Surviving to Thriving: A Planning Framework for Leaders of Private Colleges & Universities.
I also plan to find and read a couple of books on Islam. And just for fun, I will read Emanuel Tov’s Textual Criticism of the Hebrew Bible.
Of course, there is always the reading that comes across my desk in the form of newsfeeds, newspapers, magazines and journals. I am very thankful for every opportunity God give us to read and grow – and summers in particular are a gift!
By Margaret Gibb, Founder & Director, Women Together:
As any book lover will tell you, “A best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”
This summer, while I enjoy my deck and flowered back yard, I will delve into three books which were recommended by friends with an emphatic “You gotta read this book!”
I will step into another world and another space of time when I read Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking – A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya Von Bremzan. Part memoir, part cookbook, part social history, this is a gripping story of a one woman’s relationship with a country she fled and a moving tribute to her legacy and incredible mother.
My interest in biographies and spiritual development will be peeked by Nabeel Qureshi’s story: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. His journey from Islam to Christianity is dramatic, complete with friendships, investigations and supernatural dreams. He currently works with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. I always love to re-learn that the Holy Spirit cannot be boxed by religion, dogma or traditions.
One of my favourite pastor writers is Timothy Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. I tackle his books with a 6-inch ruler, pen, post-it flags and side notes. In Generous Justice, he “explores a life of justice empowered by an experience of grace: a generous, gracious justice.” A timely book for today’s world!
By Dave Toycen, President & CEO, World Vision Canada:
Jimmy Carter’s latest book, A Call To Action, Women, Religion, Violence and Power, addresses many significant issues of our time. His thoughtful decency and common sense is matched by a Baptist layperson’s reflection on the Bible. His courage and insight continues to challenge long-held attitudes that make life problematic for the human race.
Watch for Darrell Johnson’s new book on the beatitudes. It’s a fascinating and thorough read on what many consider the most insightful teachings of Jesus. Darrell is the senior minister at the First Baptist Church in Vancouver. You will find encouragement in the applications that inform our everyday lives.
Eugene Petersen’s daily devotional book Living the Message is my current favourite. I have read it every year for the past decade and it still refreshes me every day. He has a wonderful edge that challenges the cultural onslaught to make us better consumers rather than caring, compassionate, disciplined human beings that follow Jesus. Add to this that he is a poet with passion and curiosity. His words dip and dive in wonderful, uncomfortable ways.
If you are a real Petersen fan, be sure to also track down the lectures he delivered at Regent College a number of years ago that describe how The Message Bible came to be. Enjoy!
By Brian Magnus, Bishop, The United Brethren Church in Canada
This summer I’ll be reading a little bock by John Kuypers called T” Subtitled “Jesus’ Sensible Way to Be Happy,” this book is based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:5, “First take the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
You can find out more about it, and order a copy, at innerpeacemission.org