I have now been tagged by Bob Robinson who was tagged by Scot McKnight, who was tagged by Steve McCoy. Now, I usually hate this stuff, but since Bob is a nice guy and I have never met him, I thought I would honor the request.
1. One book that changed your life:
I was going to say Loving God by Charles Colson because this book introduced me to a new level of faith as a college student (his late 80s and early 90s books were not angry diatribes against society and for the election of Republicans). However, Charles and I have changed dramatically in the past decades. The most important book for me of the past 10 years is Coercion by Douglas Rushkoff, which every Christian leader needs to read and allow to influence the way they look at church and do it (it has almost nothing to do with church though).
2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
The Moral Vision of the New Testament by Richard Hays. I keep coming back to this book to remind myself how I need to interpret the New Testament. His chapters on homosexuality, abortion and violence should be read by every pastor (and preached) and cultural leader. I would like to preach again whenever I read this book.
3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
The Lord of the Rings trilogy in one leather bound volume. I am looking for a large number of pages, along with a great story arch and complexities to take my mind off the inpenetrable boredom. I cannot think of many books to keep me going for such a long period. The only comparable book I can think of is The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (again I am thinking volume- I would finally be able to take the time to read it without being distracted by life and shorter easier novels).
4. One book that made you laugh:
Amongst the many, I pick the latest. Spanking the Donkey by Rolling Stone (and former The Nation) correspondent Matt Taibbi. Taibbi follows the 2004 election from New Hampshire through November, usually with the Democrats, whom he knew would lose based upon the ineptitude of their strategy (hence the title). He takes time to work undercover for the Bushies in Orlando, wear a gorilla suit to a Kerry campaign stop ("I will stop wearing this costume when your candiate stops being full of *%#%"), assume the identity of an adult film director to work for Clark and take drugs to handle Edwards' speeches. If you get angry at the farce we call a 2 party system and the elections, please read the book (at least read the description on Amazon).
Publishers Weekly calls it "a compelling, and somewhat chaotic, mix of reporting, anecdote, social commentary and rant. "
5. One book that made you cry:
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. His experiences in a concentration camp make up the first half of this important book. It is harrowing. I would have mentioned Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker, but we listened to it on tape, so that cannot count (I am pretty sure).
6. One book you wish had been written:
Straight Talking Presidency by John McCain. In his account of embarassing the Religious Right and their minions in the 2000 election through his defeat of George W. Bush (which caused Karl Rove to repent and join the priesthood) and Al Gore, McCain reminds us of how parties can work together for the greater good. His account of the last minute stoppage of hijackers on 9-11 and subsequent toppling of Islamist dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq through Reagan-esque sabre rattling but no armed confrontation make us realize how great it is to live in this nation. The chapter on a Marshall Plan for the Middle East and Africa, in which we attempt to bring those countries out of poverty and into the 21st Century through development reminds us why America is so popular abroad.
7. One book you wish had never been written:
The Late Great Planet Earth by Hal Lindsay. While Bob took care of the Bible version which influenced this heinous book, I mention the book that brought this terribly heretical and popular theology to the masses.
8. One book you’re currently reading:
Almost done with Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America: An Evangelical's Lament.
9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
Everyman by Philip Roth
10. Tag 5 others:
I am going to go with people who read alot and others may not know of, but have good things to say.
James Wilcox (who will tag Fletch)
Jeff Gentry (who will tag Dustin)
Will Samson (somebody let him know since he does not read my blog)
Mike Houghton (so he will post something)
Rudy would have trumped one of these, but he is on hiatus.