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SummerReading
Featured Book

Blue Like Jazz

(Thomas Nelson)

Red Moon Rising

(Relevant Books)

Orthodoxy

(Ignatius Press)

The Practice of the Presence of God

(Whitaker Hous)

The Shack

(Windblown)

 
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Commentary

Five Books of Great Spiritual Journeys

By Jesse Carey
Interactive Media Producer


CBN.com - Here are five “Spiritual Journey” books that are entertaining and offer insight into following Christ.

Blue Like Jazz by Don Miller

It’s the book that inspired a generation of twenty-somethings to rethink how their own faith could impact others. Don Miller’s 2003 self-described “non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality” follows his own wandering journey—from his questions about what living out faith looks like, to seeing how Christianity in action can change a community.

The author recounts of his story of figuring Christ’s teachings for himself as he reaches out to spiritually-seeking students at Reed College in Oregon. The result is a modern description of what Paul discussed when he told the church in Philippi to “work out your salvation.” The book became such a hit that Miller recently teamed with former Christian music industry giant Steve Taylor (who is now a filmmaker) to begin work on a movie adaptation of the story.

Red Moon Rising by Pete Grieg and Dave Roberts

In 1999, a group of young, radically-minded Christians met in obscure buildings among the cold cities of the U.K., taking shifts in a cycle of 24/7 prayer. Red Moon Rising is their story. The book follows Pete Grieg and a group of mostly young believers who become united by their passion to see other Christians unite around the world in constant prayer.

Part memoir, part prayer journal, part guide, Red Moon Rising is a deeply inspiring read. Along with prayers, prophecies and Biblical promises of revival, the book also recounts how the movement was ignited, from the humble origins of the 24/7 meetings which swept through communities in the U.K., to the global spread of prayer that connected communities around the world in passion to cry out for God.

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton

First published 100 years ago, G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy remains one the great works of Christian apologetics. A true literary great (he’s been praised by everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles to C.S. Lewis and Philip Yancey), Chesterton’s book is both deeply personal and universally accessible at the same time.

Throughout the relatively slim book’s 170 pages, Chesterton explains—with his signature humor and allegorical style—why all of the great mysteries of life can be solved by finding one’s true purpose in God. Orthodoxy makes such a compelling case for a personal relationship with Christ that it has been credited as one of the primary works that led to C.S. Lewis converting to Christianity. But don’t expect the breezy style of books like Blue Like Jazz; Chesterton’s prose is layered and poetic—be ready to dig deep to draw out the spiritual insight.

The Writings of Brother Lawrence

A 17th Century monk, Brother Lawrence is a somewhat unlikely figure to have become such an influential writer in comparison to some of his Christian literary counterparts, but its his humble lifestyle that provided him with such profound insight. Born Nicholas Herman, he became a monk after a unique spiritual encounter while serving in the army as a young man.

A collection of his letters, prayers and journal writings was collected and published after his death and became the classic work, The Practice of the Presence of God. In it, Brother Lawrence discusses how he’d learn to commune with God even while performing the mundane duties he was assigned to in the monastery kitchen. Lawrence found that despite intense times of spiritual focus and meditation, which were part of every monk’s life, encountering and communing with God was not limited to times of formal worship.

Another great book for those wanting to learn more about Brother Lawrence and his insight in a lifestyle devoted to relationship with Christ is Steve Case’s God Is Here. Case helps to put some of Lawrence’s writing into a more modern context and helps explains how the details of Brother Lawrence’s 17th Century life can still be relevant even today.

The Shack by William Paul Young

Controversy. Intrigue. Insight. The best-selling novel about a father who has a strange encounter with God after the tragic loss of his daughter created a storm of praise and criticism for its bold characterizations of a loving God. It’s an entertaining book that both challenges your faith and attempts to characterize the nature of our Heavenly Father.

Though the book is a work of fiction, its descriptions of God (who visits the main characters in the form of a woman), left some Christians readers uneasy. Not everyone may agree with everything in the story, but William Paul Young’s book is a compelling read, and delves into the topics of tragedy, sadness and why a loving God allows bad things to happen—even if parts are the book are challenging.


Jesse Carey is the Interactive Media Producer for CBN.com. With a background in entertainment and pop-culture writing, he offers his insight on music, movies, TV, trends and current events from a unique perspective that examines what implications the latest news has on Christians.

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