Skip to content

A Reflection on Summer Reading

August 16, 2008

One of my goals this summer was to get a good amount of reading done that I wouldn’t normally do for school. While I didn’t get as much done as I would have liked (of course), here are the top 3 from books that I found most helpful, influential, and inspirational from this Summer: Truth in Religion by Mortimer Adler.

A quick read that provides a philosophical explanation for the exclusivity of religion. It is not written in order to promote Christianity as the one true way to God, but is instead an explanation of the problems with universalism and inclusivism by focusing on the exclusive nature of the truth claims made by each religion. It’s helpful to the Christian to communicate the exclusivity of Christ in a culture where tolerance is king.

Good quote:

“In the sphere of all matters subject to individual thought and decision, pluralism is desirable and tolerable only in those areas that are matters of taste rather than matters of truth. Preferences with regard to cuisine, dress, patterns of dance, social manners, artistic styles, do not raise any questions of truth. Where that is the case, pluralism has always existed on earth, not only in different societies and cultures, but sometimes also within a single society or culture […] But with regard to matters that belong in the sphere of intellect, matters involving truth not taste [such as religion], a persistent pluralism is intolerable” (2-3). 2. Walking from East to West by Ravi Zacharias.

This is the autobiography of Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias. He tells his story of how he went from living in India as a young man who couldn’t attend a university because of his poor grades (and as a result attempted suicide) to becoming one of the greatest Christian thinkers of our generation. More than anything, the book reflects that Christianity is not simply a “cultural phenomenon” that results of one growing up in America, but instead God is working in the Eastern world as well.

Good quote:

“It strikes me that as I pen these acknowledgments, I am minutes away from landing in Chennai on a visit. It also happens to be my birthday today – quite fitting, I think. As I set foot on my native soil again, I am reminded in its sights and sounds and smells and everything else this land represents to me, whether of pain or in the brain, that the marvel of the work of God in all this is that He planted in me the roots of order for my calling. But my hungers went unfulfilled until I found Him” (40). 1. The Supremacy of God in Preaching by John Piper.

Maybe I enjoyed this the most because it was a short, powerful read. In typical John Piper fashion, he makes God’s glory the ultimate priority in ministry, but also includes practical insights into one’s preaching ministry.

Good quote:

“It is not the job of the Christian preacher to give people moral or psychological pep talks about how to get along in the world. When that is needed, someone else can do it. But most of our people have no one, no one in the world, to tell them, week in and week out, about the supreme beauty and majesty of God” (15).

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Matthew permalink
    August 18, 2008 9:58 am

    check out your usage of the word “due” in the first sentence…not acceptable Barley. jk

  2. August 18, 2008 10:12 am

    I don’t know what you’re talking about…… haha, it’s been corrected. Thanks, buddy, I’m a moron.

  3. August 26, 2008 6:39 pm

    Thanks for the book recommendations and the powerful video of Ravi Zacharias. Our country continues to be blessed with an abundance of truth–for those with ears to hear! Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: