All it takes is a simple look at nature and life to realize that once a living thing stops growing, it begins to die. Even our aging bodies keep growing. Most of our body systems continue to replace cells, prompting some to state that fairly regularly there is a “new you.” I am fascinated by how I can return to some of my favorite places in nature over and over, never exhausting what I see in the vistas before me. Life is deep, and we never completely learn all there is to know about it.
Why then do we stop learning about God? Why does it seem to be our lot as human beings that once we get to a certain understanding of God, we are comfortable stopping the learning, growing process? I am not an art aficionado, but I am amazed at folks who will study the same painting for years and years, and in the process, often discover some nuance, new color, lighting or stroke that helps them to understand the picture more deeply.
Sunday, January 22, I suggested exposing yourself to new authors and books which would give you some new ideas about God and God’s work in the world. As I was preparing for that sermon, I thought about the books and authors that have helped my faith and understanding of God grow. Below I share a small list of those authors and books which I have found inspiring, encouraging, challenging, and at times, profound.
You may find that some of these books really help you. You may not be moved at all by others. That is okay. God loves and created wondrous variety! The point is, I hope to encourage you to expose yourself to new ideas and thoughts about God, and in so doing, be helped to grow deeper in your faith and in your walk with Him.
The Ragamuffin Gospel Brennan Manning
When We Talk About God…Let’s Be Honest R.Kirby Godsey
A Long Obedience In The Same Direction Eugene H. Peterson
Sabbath – Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives Wayne Muller
New Seeds of Contemplation Thomas Merton
Thoughts In Solitude Thomas Merton
Shaped By God’s Heart-The Passion and Practices of Missional Churches Milfred Minatrea