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He simply breathed, al all of us do, the toxic cultural air of a disenchanted world in which the mark of sophistication is to reduce wonder to banality. Even more, the acids of intellectual urbanity turn sacrifice into delusion, generosity into greed, and love into self-aggrandizement. In academic circles, this is called “the hermeneutics of suspicion,” meaning that things are interpreted to reveal that they are not in fact what they appear to be. At least things that seem to suggest the true, the beautiful and the good are not what they appear to be. They must be exposed and debunked if we are to get to “the truth of the matter.” The false, the self-serving, the ugly and the evil, on the other hand are permitted to stand as revealing “the real world.”

Reverence is vulgar; irreverence is chic.

An Excerpt from Death on a Friday Afternoon by Richard John Neuhaus, Basic Books, 2000.

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Some Books You Might Want to Read (2)

Here is another list of books you might want to invest in. I try to read a book a week. Seminary makes this a difficult discipline, but I try. When I am really busy I read one of those cardboard books in my daughter’s room. If I feel really motivated I will read two. Elmo can be very philosophical, especially his biography about potty training. So outside of some cardboard Elmo, here is your next trip to the bookstore:

The Jesus Way – Eugene Peterson (Highly Recommend)
The Contemporaries Meet the Classics on Prayer – Leonard Allen
The Path of Celtic Prayer – Calvin Miller
Uprising – Erwin McManus
The Gospel According to Jesus – John McArthur
Culture Shift – Al Mohler
Back to Jerusalem – Paul Hattaway
There is a God – Anthony Flew (This one is a headache waiting to happen, but a must read!)
The Art of Personal Evangelism – Will McRaney
Unlearning Church – Michael Slaughter
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson (If you read Calvin Miller’s Unfinished Soul he writes a parable entitled “Red Book, Blue Book”, this was my attempt at a blue book. My review is that it was way better than the movie but unfortunately not as clean).

By the way, “Red Book, Blue Book” is not necessarily about reading books about vampires, but it is about widening your scope a bit, reading some things that offer different ideas, that are written from a different point of view. Unlearning Church can be a blue book in my circles, or squares; but I thought it was fantastic.

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A Few Good Books You Might Want to Read

Here is a list of some books I have enjoyed over the past few months. This doesn't mean I agree with everything in them or with the people who wrote them. It just means they challenged me and I appreciate what they had to say.

A Contrarian's Guide to Knowing God: Spirituality for the Rest of Us - Larry Osborne
Soul Cravings - Erwin McManus
The Barbarian Way - Erwin McManus (I read this one about 2 years ago, but had to mention it, awesome!)
Eat This Book - A Conversation on the Art of Spiritual Reading - Eugene Peterson
Prayer- Finding the Heart's True Home - Richard Foster
Joseph - A Man of Integrity and Forgiveness - Charles Swindoll

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