Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I know, I know, you're wondering if I'm schizophrenic or something. I mean, my last post was titled "Contented" and in the space of a couple of days I'm posting another blog titled "Discontented"? I can assure you that it has nothing to do with the water or with being on two different continents over the last couple of days, so let me clarify: I'm thoroughly discontented with my effectiveness as a Christian! I so desperately want to make a difference in the lives of the people that I come in contact with. I want my Christianity to speak volubly without me ever saying a word, if that makes sense! As I've processed the impact of last Sunday's four services in London, the thing that stood out to me the most is the hunger of the people who responded to the message. The altar was full of people weeping and crying out to God for more. People who are, themselves, discontented with their Christian witness. This would appear to be a universal heart cry. So the question is, what do we do about it?

I've spent the summer reading some pretty amazing books that have completely 'ruined' me for good. These books seem to echo the same longing in my heart, but they go a little further and profer solutions to how they think we can change the way we do what we do, for greater effectiveness. While I don't necessarily endorse verbatim everything that's written in these books, I love their radical approach to a new way of doing church in a new and ever changing world that's looking for relevant answers to everyday questions.

Peppermint-filled pinatas reminds us that our neighbors aren't just the guys that live next door. The Shack radically challenges our view of what God looks like in any given situation. Unchristian 'undresses' the truth about how we are viewed by those whose impressions matter most if we are to make a difference in their lives. They like Jesus but not the Church explores similar ideas to Unchristian but brings its own unique perspective. Finally, I've been most impacted by a book titled Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. It's the story of a Rwandan genocide survivor who spent 91 days in a 3' by 5' bathroom with seven other women while being hunted by bloodthirsty killers who sometimes were perched right outside the bathroom window so that their deadly conversations were clearly heard by the hiding women. Are you discontented? Have you read anything lately that has 'ruined' you? Please share.


Ash said...

The Shack: Definitely a challenging book that got me talking w/ others around me...

Reconciliation by Benezir Bhutto: It was a intriguing, astounding/rivoting perspective on the Muslim world, why it acts as it does, for better or worse, and how democracy can work.

The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher: Was a very thought provoking approach to the issues good and bad in the "church system"-a comical fiction story that revisited some serious familiarity.

Jordan said...

Unstoppable Force
Wide Awake
Blue Like Jazz
Emerging Worship
Velvet Elvis
The Shack

Joseph said...

Thanks for the contributions guys.