April review at the monthly column: Spiritual formation

typewriter.jpgNear the end of April, I did a blog post announcing some wonderful new books on spirituality, such as the new Richard Foster, a new Brian McLaren (the first in the Ancient Practices series), a new one on praying the daily offices by Robert Benson, and a similiar, fabulous one on being attentive to God throughout the day by Leighton Ford. There were some blog discount specials offered, too, as I recall. 

 I promised I would describe these fantastic, rich books a bit more in an upcoming monthly column, and I realize I’ve never directed you to that long piece, naming other books and reviewing some other new ones, too (like the new John Eldridge—betchaya want to know what I say about that, now, doncha?)  Check it all out, here. I trust it will be good for your soul.

By the way, this week, I’ve read more carefully the most recent Gary Thomas, called The Beautiful Fight: Surrendering to the Transforming Presence of God Every Day Your Life (Zondervan; $14.95) (the title is a
nod to an Orthodox phrase, actually.) This was just fabulous and I can’t recommend it strongly enough. As usual, Thomas show he is ecumenical and widely read, and yet utterly reliable theologically, pleasantly written with lots of moving, faith-filled stories.  Four stars, that one.  I read it along side good, challenging, stuff by
Dallas Willard (I’m listening to Renovation of the Heart on CD, too) and the very useful and wide-ranging, really smart book that I call “spirituality as worldview formation”, Metamorpha: Jesus as a Way of Life by Kyle Leeson Strobel (Baker; $14.99.)  I didn’t mention these in the April column, since they aren’t brand new, but they would have fit in nicely.

And this, just in today, so obviously not listed–but I think I will have to blog about it eventually:Sacred Chaos: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life You Have (IVP; $15.)  In the review article I mention the Formatio line of books which IVP has released, and this is the latest in that imprint.  Of it, Gary Thomas writes, “Sacred Chaos is a sacred gem…her best work yet, a tour de force of real-life spirituality.”

Even as you read my remarks about formation, prayer and the inner life, perhaps you will pray for us.  In the last few days, we’ve be asked by customers to assembly recommendations on everything from thoughtful books about the gnostic and alternative “gospels” to serious and Christian resource on domestic violence.  One customer had a terrible tragedy befall a young college age friend, another asked for help with how to help a young believer develop interests in stuff other than the rapture.  Never a dull moment, here, and we feel like we are often in over our heads, suggesting books that are, thankfully, wiser than we.  Pray for our staff, our family, our customers.  Thanks to one and all for supporting good books and good bookstores.  Don’t forget to read that April column.  The May on will be up soon, and it will be interesting!

Hearts & Minds 234 East Main Street Dallastown, PA  17313  717-246-3333