Thumbing through the early May Christian Century, I saw the quote, “It is hard to think of a serious Christian not being a reader”. That is something of a loaded statement, given many sociologists think western society is evolving into a post literate one where media allows for transmission of knowledge in ways that the ability to read is no longer necessary. Some might say this is a “flattening” of the world, given literacy rates in some parts of the world. And yet, we are still considered “People of the Book.” Reading, hearing, and experiencing Scripture is central to who we are as Christians in the Protestant tradition.
The same could be said about reading, in general. Whether you use an e-Reader, tablet computer, smartphone, or printed book reading is part of who we are. I always enjoy asking people what are they reading. I have to be very careful asking that around fellow clergy, it usually winds up being a list of the most recent church leadership pontificals.
So what are you reading? What’s on your summer reading list? Here’s some of mine:
- Unholy Night by Seth Grahame-Smith. The same author of Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies as well as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. This is the first of his books I’ve read, intrigued by the way he plays with the tradition of the Three Wise Men while leaving the Holy Family as Sacrosanct, even giving Balthazar a mystical experience.
- Toxic Charity: How Churches and Charities Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It) by Robert D. Lupton. The title, as long as it is, seems to say it all. It comes recommended from a friend.
- Christianity After Religion. Diana Butler Bass’ response/ follow-on from Phyllis Tickle’s Great Emergence and Harvey Cox’s The Future of Faith. Following on from General Conference, I want to read on “what’s going on in culture”.
- The Sense of An Ending. Julian Barnes’ 2011 Man Booker Prize-winning novel. For my inner anglophile.
Book club, anyone?