How Movies Helped Save My Soul by Garreth HigginsIs there more to going to the movies than just mindless entertainment? Author Gareth Higgins, avid moviegoer and film critic, says there is. How Movies Helped Save My Soul is a guidebook for looking at films and finding hidden spiritual truths. With chapters on fear, God, justice, love, power, and more, Higgins teaches how to make sense of the spiritual by looking at films with a new perspective. From The Matrix to Magnolia, Fight Club to Field of Dreams, Higgins takes the reader through more than 200 films that, if looked at the right way, just might change lives. Movie buffs and novices alike will find much to enjoy, provoke, amuse, challenge and confound in How Movies Helped Save My Soul.
My Review: Still in progress! I'll let you know what I think when I'm through, but so far I love it. Pick up a copy and read it with me!October 2011
Nurturing The Nations by Darrow Miller
"Our world is filled with nations that are impoverished largely because half of their people—the female population—are disenfranchised. But this is not just a book about women; it is a book that deals with the intersection of three seemingly very different subjects: women, poverty and world view.
Nurturing the Nations explains how the ideas that societies embrace create healthy or impoverished cultures and supports that theory with information regarding domestic violence, murder and pornography. The book addresses one of the greatest causes of worldwide poverty, the lie that men are superior to women. In noting that the world view of a culture frames how it understands women and men, various paradigms are studied, such as Hinduism and Animism, showing how they lead to the abuse and hatred of women.
This topic cannot be addressed without studying the Trinity as a model for male-female relationships. Servanthood, submission and the transcendence of sexuality are all discussed based on the idea that male and female were created equal in being but different in function. The book concludes with a look at the history of women in the Old and New Testament—how they were established as the co-laborers of men in the development of creation and the liberating challenge Jesus issued to the sexist culture of his day.
Nurturing the Nations is for Christians who are interested in the issue of poverty; missionaries; relief and development workers; and Christians who are working with poor and abused women."
My Review: I was nervous that this would be another argument for so-called "Biblical Feminism," which I'm not a huge fan of, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book is packed full of true Biblical wisdom regarding the Creation Mandate, the hierarchy of authority within the Trinity as it pertains to our human relationships, and the potential we have as believers to see whole cultures and societies healed and reconciled through Truth. This is by far the best book on worldview and women that I've ever read and it currently lands in my Top Three Non-Fiction Books of All Time list.
Follow Me To Freedom by Shane Claiborne & John M. Perkins"Re-imagine Leading and Following in a World Longing for True Justice, Compassion and Freedom Followers of Christ yearn to see the world changed in compassionate, positive, effective ways. As prophetic voices, Shane Claiborne and John Perkins lead the way in this move to be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus. One is young, a self proclaimed reformed redneck who grew up in the hills of Tennessee and now lives in inner city Philadelphia and the other is decades older, an African-American civil rights leader who was almost beaten to death by police in Mississippi, and went on to found a reconciliation movement and counsel three American presidents. Claiborne and Perkins draw on more than a century of combined following and learning, activating and leading. Together they craft a timely message for ordinary people willing to take radical steps to see real change happen. In Follow Me to Freedom, Claiborne and Perkins lead the way toward justice for all, unfolding a proven strategy as ancient as the patriarchs of faith and as fresh as the needs of every human heart. Starting with Moses as a model, they re-imagine leading and following in a world desperate for true social justice, compassion and freedom. They offer practical ways to internalize and live out God’s promise of freedom in the twenty-first century. Followers of Christ will not only be inspired but also catalyzed into action, and the world will never be the same."
My Review: Besides being a little bit repetitive (these are just written conversations after all), I found it to be fresh and Biblically sound. This is a great book for any YWAMer or anyone who's living in community with other believers. It was very interesting to have the multi-generational, multi-sub-cultural perspectives that Shane and John are able to offer as leaders on opposite ends of the spectrum. Worth reading!
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
"Beloved, profoundly moving account of the author's marriage, the couple's search for faith and friendship with C. S. Lewis, and a spiritual strength that sustained Vanauken after his wife's untimely death."
My Review: Has easily become one of my favorite books. If you appreciate the writing style of C.S. Lewis, you'll equally enjoy the utterings of Vanauken. This true-life love story will move you and inspire you. A must-read!
A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller"Years after writing a best-selling memoir, Donald Miller went into a funk and spent months sleeping in and avoiding his publisher. One story had ended, and Don was unsure how to start another.
But he gets rescued by two movie producers who want to make a movie based on his memoir. When they start fictionalizing Don's life for film-changing a meandering memoir into a structured narrative-the real-life Don starts a journey to edit his actual life into a better story. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years details that journey and challenges readers to reconsider what they strive for in life. It shows how to get a second chance at life the first time around."
My Review: Incredible! I highly recommend any and all of Miller's books, but I insist that you at least read "Blue Like Jazz" before you pick this one up. Incredible insight into the innate longing in every human being for stories: to hear them, to witness them, and to be apart of them. So many great quotes and revelations.