God Over Good is an approachable, relatable, personal book about faith and doubt. I've been a long-time listener of Luke's podcast, "Newsworthy with NGod Over Good is an approachable, relatable, personal book about faith and doubt. I've been a long-time listener of Luke's podcast, "Newsworthy with Norsworthy," so many of the main points and the stories were familiar. But since I'm somewhat late to this (about 3 years post-publication), they still seemed fresh.
I appreciate Luke's honesty and vulnerability, which is definitely not easy to do in writing, much less for someone with a podcast audience and an active preaching ministry. But it's his honesty that makes it work. Luke doesn't really sugar coat anything. He, like many of us, has been disillusioned with God and on the brink with his faith. Speaking from experience as a minister, that's a very precarious situation to be in. It can be downright scary.
If you read this book, be prepared to have many of your assumptions challenged. Through the power of story-telling, Luke is able to get us, his readers, to lower our own defenses, question our own preconceptions and expectations we have about God, and follow him on a journey to rediscover the beauty and the mystery of God revealed in Christ.
Overall, I think this book is needed more and more among our church members and pastors. When churches go into survival mode, the demand for adherence to "secondary" beliefs becomes a harsher battle ground. I'm afraid the dominoes have started to fall for many in our congregations. It's time for a paradigm shift of what faith actually means and looks like going into the 2020s and a post-pandemic world.
I highly recommend God Over Good and Luke's podcast, Newsworthy with Norsworthy....more
This was the first Mark Batterson book I've ever read, and I gotta say - it was exactly what I needed. It's not your typical "biblical manhood" kind oThis was the first Mark Batterson book I've ever read, and I gotta say - it was exactly what I needed. It's not your typical "biblical manhood" kind of book. He addresses key virtues that every man (or really every person) should develop, including childlike wonder and true grit - two virtues you rarely hear about together. I never felt like he was making me question my manhood. He simply challenges us to keep going on the journey God has given us.
What I really appreciate is the second section of the book - Make the Man. As a father of two young boys, this was exactly the kind of inspiration I need to help my sons on their own path toward manhood. His ideas about a "year of discipleship" are invaluable.
I think this book did for me what "Wild At Heart" was supposed to do. This is a great book for individual men and dads to read on their own, but it would also be a great book to process with other men or even with your wife and kids....more
Prayer in the Night is one of those rare books about prayer that doesn't really feel like a book about prayer. Other prayer-focused books I've read tePrayer in the Night is one of those rare books about prayer that doesn't really feel like a book about prayer. Other prayer-focused books I've read tend to leave me feeling guilty for not praying correctly or not making it as much of a habit in my life. Warren doesn't do that. There is not an ounce of prayer-shaming in this book. If anything, I appreciate her honesty about struggling with prayer in the difficult times.
I was unfamiliar with the Compline prayer, since I am not from a tradition that values the Book of Common Prayer. The way she used this Compline prayer to structure her chapters made it easy to follow along. It also forced her to deal with some of the tougher questions of faith, particularly theodicy, i.e. the problem of evil. The way she handled theodicy was very accessible and not too heady.
Every page is dripping with empathy, humility, and a real concern to connect with her readers. I appreciate her honesty, vulnerability, and insights. I'm sure this is a book that will be quoted in many a sermon for years to come....more
This is one of those books that packs a big punch in a small package. Although Thurman wrote this in the late 1940s, it could have been written withinThis is one of those books that packs a big punch in a small package. Although Thurman wrote this in the late 1940s, it could have been written within the last several years. The situations he describes and the psychological motivations behind the actions of the disinherited seem as though he were writing this in response to the George Floyd riots of 2020.
Thurman gives deep insights into the mindset of the disinherited. Fear, deception, and hatred all blend together and feed each other to create a perfect storm of civil unrest, violence, aggression, contempt, and prejudice. If this book doesn't spark empathy towards others, especially those of other racial or socio-economic demographics, then I don't know what else will.
Since the time of his writing, we have indeed come a long way. We have desegregated. We have passed the Civil Rights Act. HOWEVER, while we can change laws, we haven't done a good job of changing hearts.
In light of everything that happened in 2020, if you are one who is seeking to broaden your understanding of racial issues plaguing America - this is one that must be added to your reading list. I'm grateful that this book was part of a local ministers book club we started this year. Definitely check it out, and have a pen ready. You will want to underline and jot down notes....more