What I’ve been reading lately

Above is a photo of my actual desk at my home study as it appears right now. It’s an old drafting table that I found in a hipster repurposing store and threw in my rusted out 1978 Chevy short box the kids call “Chuck the Truck” (once my kids name a vehicle, it is a family member and I can never sell it).

Right now I’m writing the Resurgence book, which is due the same weekend as Good Friday and Easter this year. The deadline is coming up fast, which means I don’t have time to come up with many blog posts. But as I’ve been writing, people (and by people I mean two nerdy guys with seminary degrees who get more excited about footnotes than sporting events) asked me what I was reading as I work on the next book, so I thought I would simply share my erudite (yes, I had to Google the spelling for that one) reading list:

Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics

By Ross Douthat

A great book from a New York Times columnist and Catholic, and endorsed by Tim Keller. All it’s missing is a rabbi with a parrot walking into a bar and we’ve got the makings of a good joke.

The Great Evangelical Recession

By John S. Dickerson

A pastor and good writer breaks down the state of evangelicalism. Don’t read this book before bedtime as it could give you nightmares.


By Seth Godin

A short book with some interesting insights on the self-organizing groups made possible by new technology from a guy who would make a good bobblehead (just throwing it out there, Seth).

The Courage to Be Protestant

By David F. Wells

I like reading David Wells’ stuff a lot, even though he laughed at me when I showed up to take a photo with him at a Desiring God conference wearing a black shirt with a skull on it.

Signs Amid the Rubble

By Lesslie Newbigin

I’ve always appreciated Lesslie Newbigin’s missiology. Also, he reminds me of Tupac, as somebody keeps releasing new works after his death.

Civil Religion in America

By Robert Bellah

I pulled up an old essay from the noted sociologist Robert Bellah that I had to read in college back in the antediluvian phase of humanity.

The American Evangelical Story

By Douglas Sweeney

Since I am both American and Evangelical, and since I love a good story, this one seemed right for me.

The Intolerance of Tolerance

By D. A. Carson

Don Carson is Yoda smart. Anytime you can find a book with word play in the title, you should buy it because words are fun to play with (by the way, don’t you just love creamy ice cream?).

Simply Christian

By N. T. Wright

If you want any hipster to read your book, you have to quote N.T. Wright at least four times and use the words “organic,” “holistic,” “missional,” and “community” very often. Also quote bands no one has heard of led by guys who live in condos but dress like loggers for no apparent reason.

Fatherless America

By David Blankenhorn

As a dad, this one feels like a punch in the soul to read.


By Michael Kimmel

This is a non-Christian book about the epidemic of young guys with the Peter Pan Syndrome, who aren’t ready to raise a baby because they are babies.

Soul Searching and Souls in Transition

By Christian Smith

I will buy and read anything from Christian Smith. He’s a brilliant sociologist with a great first name.

The Book of Acts

I found this really old book with a section in it called “Acts.” I have found this Acts book very helpful.

There are numerous chapters from other books and a pile of articles I’m reading as well. Some of them are scholarly so the footnotes in the book look very official.

The soundtrack that I listen to while typing this book has included a lot of Social Distortion, Death Cab for Cutie, 16 Horsepower, Sunny Day Real Estate, Placebo, The Replacements, The Forecast, Interpol, The Decemberists, Johnny Cash, The Gaslight Anthem, Neil Young, The Posies, R.E.M., Thrice, Vigilantes of Love, and Metallica’s black album (Jesus says don’t judge, it’s in the Bible).

The Resurgence book releases in October-ish with Tyndale. It will be a good hose in search of a big bees nest.