Monday, December 30, 2013

Authors & Books that have shaped my life

Some friends tagged me on facebook with their best reads/must reads.  I'm following their lead here - with a little more by way of explanation.

If this is supposed to be a "Top 10 list" - I failed.  I had to start with the first three, though I haven't read them in years.  They shaped my teenage identity and set a path and trajectory for my life.

The next, Top 10 (4. to 13. on my list) are presented more or less in sequential order for "when I met them" in my life and how they shaped a trajectory or identity or rame to my sense of self today.  [Ironically, I don't remember a single textbook from my undergraduate college experience.  This has caused me to realize that as a professor, I would do better (and I try already!) to introduce students to good authors, more than just having them read certain books.  Good authors will shape my student's lives for a lifetime, where they may forget a particular textbook or title.  I think I do this already - but I'll be more intentional about it now.]

In many ways - these authors have been "conversation partners" and "mentors" to the ideas that frame my existence.  It's quite a powerful thought, really - and the reason I thank Walter Brueggemann every year when I see him - truly!

Then, a few that don't make the "top" list and yet they have been influential in my life.  Some day my kids might read this, and want them to "know how I became me," so I'll share here. 

"Top" list . . . ordered both by sequence in my life's experience and influence.

1.  Knowing God by J.I. Packer
2.  Holy Sweat by Tim Hansel
3.  Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
4.  Walter Brueggemann (everything) - Old Testament Theology:  Testimony, Dispute, Advocacy
5.  Paul Hanson (many) - The People Called: The Growth of Community in the Bible
6.  God: A Biography by Jack Miles
7.  Rene Girard (many) - his ideas framed the basis of my dissertation.
8.  Walter Wink (many )- Naming(Unmasking)[Engaging] the Powers
9.  Unveiling Empire:  Reading Revelation Then & Now  by Wes Howard Brook
10.  Wendell Berry (everything)- Jayber Crow
11.  Ched Myers (many) - Binding the Strong Man
12.  Willard Swartley (many) - Covenant of Peace
13.  N.T. Wright (everything) - The Resurrection of the Son of God

Notables for many reasons & interests:

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