The Soul of Desire: Discovering the Neuroscience of Longing, Beauty, and Community by Curt Thompson
To some people, the desire to be known might not come as a shock. However, God used this book powerfully to expose my innermost desire: to be known by Him and the people around me. Curt Thompson writes poetically, eloquently, with sophistication and depth that only the most artistic neurobiologists could write. Thompson masterfully weaves faith, psychology, and the world’s beauty into a rich and profoundly moving tapestry of transformative meaning for the indigent and broken Christian.
When Everything’s on Fire: Faith Forged from the Ashes by Brian Zahnd
If my Christian journey can be defined by one word for the last few years, that would be deconstruction (and reconstruction). Deconstruction has become increasingly popular lately, and Brian Zahnd is a clear voice through the flames when your faith seems to be burning down around you. Zahnd writes with intelligence, wisdom, and prophetic vigour as he reflects on his journey through the fire while bringing together some of the most critical voices of the past and present. Zahnd encourages the deconstructing Christian to commit to reconstruction and that Jesus is worth clinging to.
Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe
Climate change is arguably the biggest threat to humanity; as Christians, we are obligated to play our part. Katharine Hayhoe is a passionate climate change scientist who loves Jesus just as much as she loves the world he created. It is a part of her mission to help churches see the importance of living out our Genesis 1-2 mandate and care for the world as intended. This book helps the already converted and the sceptic bring together seemingly opposing worldviews so that they may live faithfully and with urgency.
How to Inhabit Time by James K. A. Smith
In this book, James K. A. Smith writes to help us (as the blurb describes) develop a sense of temporal awareness. Many Christians, even just people in the west, lack the ability to live wisely in our cultural and historical moment. I’m still working my way through this book. Still, Smith writes with philosophical sophistication, historical awareness and sharp cultural discernment as he moves the reader away from their own individualistic perception of history and into how to be influential kingdom-minded people in their moments of history.
I was reluctant to put this book on my list, not because I don’t think it deserves to be in my top five, but because when I finished the book, I wasn’t entirely sure what I had just read. Sabbath is a classic Jewish work on the “architecture of time.” For Heschel, the sabbath day was the day in which every other day led to. It was this sacred temple in time that allowed God and his creation to come together in a kairo-protest of the worldly powers that be.