Summer Reading

Every summer I try to read a couple of books that are not directly related to school. However, since I am not a college graduate, I am not necessarily tied to that guideline; at least before I start seminary. Last summer I started reading Eric Metaxas biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and only in the past few weeks did I finish it. (500 pages in conjunction with school reading tends to slow you down) Further, a group of us read portions of John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion and would meet occasionally to discuss it. Unfortunately the group did not decide what to read this summer, so I am on my own.

The categories I usually try to read from are Biography, Classic, History, and Theology. Perhaps the list below will spur you on to some summer reading as well. Happy Reading! Here are this summers selections:

1) Dual Citizens: Worship and Life between the Already and Not Yet by Jason Stellman (Theology)

Synopsis: “Stellman wrestles with the implications of the Christian’s dual citizenship in the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man, showing that the great challenge for believers today is maintaining their distinctiveness as redeemed people. Believers are free to participate in culture (though the Bible guides the way they participate), but they must not so immerse themselves in it that they obscure their true identities.”

2) The Unquenchable Flame: Discovering the Heart of the Reformation by Michael Reeves (History)

Synopsis: “The Unquenchable Flame, a remarkably accessible introduction to the historic era, brings to life the movement’s most colorful characters – Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, the Puritans – and examines their ideas, showing the profound and personal relevance of Reformation thinking for Christians today.”

3) The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (Classic Literature)

Synopsis: “The still, radiant center of an ambitious and remarkable novel, Prince Myshkin – the idiot – stands above and apart from characters who vividly and violently embody the passions and conflicts of nineteenth-century Russia. An almost comically innocent Christ figure, Myshkin is a ‘wholly beautiful man’ in a land of sinners, a man whose faith in the power of beauty contrasts sharply with the materialistic mores of his society.”

4) Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand (Biography)

Synopsis: “Months of solitary confinement, years of periodic physical torture, constant suffering from hunger and cold, the anguish of brain-washing and mental cruelty – these are the experiences of a Romanian pastor during his fourteen years in Communist prisons. His crime, like that of thousands of others, was his fervent belief in Jesus Christ and his public witness concerning that faith. Meeting in Homes, in basements, and in woods – sometimes daring to preach in public on street corners – these faithful souls persisted in their Christian witness knowing full well the ultimate cost of their actions. This is their story – a classic account of courage, tenacious faith and unbelievable endurance. This history of the Underground Church reflects the continuing struggle in many parts of the world today.”