Three Partially-Read Books

stack of 3 books beside sunflowers

Sounds like a ringing endorsement, doesn’t it? But I do recommend the ideas in all three books, and if you take a look at one or all of them you may find that you want to finish it/them. I feel sometimes that certain books make their main point in the introduction and then the rest of the book is just amplification that goes on too long, and that’s my opinion of two of these selections. The third one is really excellent all the way through (or at least as far through as I got) and so meaty that I couldn’t listen to too much of it at once, Then my checkout expired. I do plan at some point to go back to it and finish.Here they are in alphabetical order. The Moore book is the “meaty” one. They’re all available as audiobooks at my library.

Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Moore.  MoBook cover for Onward, Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel by Russell Mooreore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention and has been a stalwart voice for reason and Christian conviction during this past election season. I do plan to check his book back out and finish it, but what I have listened to so far has been great. If you read this blog and you don’t consider yourself a Christian but you wonder what that term really means, look no farther than this book. And if you do consider yourself a Christian, reading this book may wake you up to aspects of your life in which you’ve given in to the culture instead of, as Moore says, engaging with it. He is challenging and Scriptural, and he has a wealth of illustrative material from his many years in ministry.Christianity is strange. We are “a peculiar people.” Moore lays out this strangeness and urges Christians to remain distinct without being distant.

Book cover for What Money Can't Buy, The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J Sandel

What Money Can’t Buy:  The Moral Limits of Markets by Michael J. Sandel.

Sandel’s book reminds us free-market conservatives that there are some issues that can’t just be left to the free market. There are reasons why you can’t sell legally off one of your kidneys. Or sell one of your children, for that matter. Or your vote. (Hmmmm…….)

But Sandel looks at other, murkier ideas. Should lobbyists be able to hire people to stand in line in their place to attend a Congressional hearing? What about ticket scalpers? Should they be allowed to flourish freely? What can and cannot be bought and paid for?

You have to be willing to follow complex chains of reasoning here. Ultimately Sandel’s arguments deal with individual freedom vs. the common good. I’m sure at some point he deals with the whole thorny issue of public education. Take a look or a listen!

Emotional First Aid:  Healing, Rejection, Guilt, Failure by Guy WinchEmotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, by Guy Winch. available as a Kindle, hardback, paperback, and audiobook. The audiobook is read by the author, which I always like.

You’ll notice that earlier this week I posted Dr. Winch’s TED talk. His book is really fascinating, mainly because of his abundant use of stories from his psychology practice. The only reason I didn’t keep going through the entire book was that after awhile his advice all started sounding the same, because it is. But that doesn’t mean that his advice isn’t worthwhile. Indeed, it’s excellent, and so obvious that you have to wonder why we’re so clueless about our emotional health. We know how to handle a cold, but we don’t know how to handle a bad mood or feelings of rejection. Sad!

So I’d highly recommend that you read at least the first chapters, or, if you’re dealing with some specific emotional issue in your own life, to skip to the section that most concerns you. Either way, you’ll gain valuable insights.

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