Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Many Books

We read in Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Be warned, my son,. . . of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” I am not sure exactly what the writer was getting at here, but my initial response is to say “Amen” to the first part and “So?” to the second.

Anyone who knows me realizes that I like to read. I have certain categories that particularly appeal to me, but I occasionally venture outside of those areas to consider other genres. The greatest gift that someone can give me is to recommend a book that has been especially meaningful to that person.

I like to share books that I find interesting, helpful, formative, or instructive. At the top of my blog page, you will see a banner with “Ircel’s Recommendations.” If you follow that link to, you will find several categories.

First is a list of books that I am reading right now. Some of these are in progress or may just be sitting on my shelf (or on my Kindle) waiting their turn. These have usually been recommended by a friend, written by an author I respect, or I have stumbled across the title in an article or online and the topic sounds interesting.

I have suggested books in six other categories. “Missional Church” addresses the work of the church as the missio Dei or “mission of God.” These include classics in the field and some new additions. “Leadership” lists books that address this topic in the church, in secular organizations, or both. In the “Emerging Church” list, I have tried to highlight seminal thinkers who are not only observers but practitioners as well. “Postmodernism” means different things to different people, but the books listed here are accessible even to those who have little or no background in the subject. “Vocational and Spiritual Formation” books address the idea of what it means to be a Christian and how one can grow in discipleship. This has been an interest of mine for a long time, but my approach to it has evolved over the years. The books here reflect where I am now on the topic. Finally, I have always had an interest in how people work (or fail to work) together, so the “Organizations” category addresses this from a number of perspectives.

I hope you will take a look at these lists and give me some feedback. And, if you want to recommend a book, I would welcome it!

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