7 fascinating books [for your summer reading list]

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. director of family ministry at st. edward's episcopal church. president of fistbump media, llc.

June 7, 2010

Summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. And I love to read! With a few other things in my life slowing down temporarily I’m starting to work on my summer reading list.

I know that the books in this list will make me laugh, cry, think, create, and challenge me in many ways that I know I need to be challenged right now. It’s a list of books that I’m really excited about, so I thought I’d share it with you.

So take a look, let me know what you think, and share what stuff is making your reading list this summer. I’d love to hear what you plan to get into and why! And you’ll have an opportunity to get a free copy of one of these books (details at the end of this post).

Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle: Living Fully, Loving Dangerously

Author: Kent Annan

Synopsis: This book, released before the earthquake in Haiti, is about Kent’s journey to living and working with some of the poorest people in the world.

Why it’s on my list: Kent seems to be an amazing storyteller, and has an incredible story to tell. Some of the things that he’s come to realize about the message of the Bible, and his resulting experiences will inspire and challenge anyone who dares to open these pages.

Want more?: book review: following jesus through the eye of the needle
And even more?: following jesus into haiti [an interview with @kentannan]

Love Mercy: A Mother & Daughter’s Journey from the American Dream to the Kingdom of God

Author: Lisa Samson & Ty Samson

Synopsis: A mother and daughter share the story of a trip to Africa that transformed their lives forever. Fighting an AIDS epidemic in a place overwhelmed by heart-wrenching poverty forced them to change and grow in ways that they never expected.

Why it’s on my list: Everyone I know who has touched this book has walked away in tears, and with a strong desire to sell everything and move to Africa. It’s apparent that the stories and experiences shared in this book are life-changing… not just for the people who wrote it, but also for those who read it.

Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism

Author: Phillip E. Johnson & John Mark Reynolds

Synopsis: Written by a couple of brilliant, scholarly minds this book draws the Christian (and atheist) into a real conversation where we put everything on the table. It’s not as much of an attack on the principles of the New Atheism as it is an invitation to address some real, cultural issues.

Why it’s on my list: I enjoy a book like this that deals with real issues that face the church today, and the New Atheist movement is one that has launched a full-scale attack on the church. I believe that we (Christians) should always be ready to have intelligent conversation about these types of issues.

Want more?: book review: against all gods

Exponential: How You and Your Friends Can Start a Missional Church Movement

Author: Dave Ferguson & Jon Ferguson

Synopsis: The key (as the authors of this book would propose) to the church winning the battle is that we (Christians everywhere) become more missional. This book provides a blueprint for starting a movement in the church that results in exponential growth.

Why it’s on my list: Being heavily involved in ministry in my church, I like to stay current with trends and thought happening with other church leaders. This idea of a missional church is one that’s gaining momentum, and this seems to be one of the landmark books on the subject.

Barbies at Communion: and other poems

Author: Marcus Goodyear

Synopsis: It’s hard to describe this one any differently than how it’s described on amazon.com… A collection of poems about Barbie dolls, theology, quantum physics, etc.

Why it’s on my list: I keep promising myself that I’ll get more in touch with my artistic side. So I’m picking this one up from my friend (and boss from HighCallingBlogs.com) Marcus Goodyear, because I really dig the poetry that I’ve seen from him so far.

God in the Yard: Spiritual practice for the rest of us

Author: L.L. Barkat

Synopsis: This 12-week course tells a unique story, but it will also invite you to personal growth. You’ll find various options for discovery and participation: free writing, writing response, physical and mental play, and blogging (or alternatives).

Why it’s on my list: This one comes from my other friend (and boss from HighCallingBlogs.com) L.L.Barkat. And no, I’m not trying to suck up to either of them, but I sincerely appreciate their work! I’m grabbing this one because it looks to be a promising handbook for building a deeper connection with our God.

The Christian Atheist: Believing in God but Living as if He Doesn’t Exist

Author: Craig Groeschel

Synopsis: In his latest book, Craig deals with this issue of the cafeteria-line Christian. The Gospel of Jesus isn’t a pick-and-choose theology, but one that asks us to fully believe in Him and Who He Is.

Why it’s on my list: Everyone I know who has looked at this book is raving over it. This seems to be one of the hottest books of the season, and for good reason. Craig is the real-deal, and his message is spot-on. I expect this book to challenge me and call me out for where I may not be fully living as Christ asks me too.

So that’s it! This is what I’ll be trying to work through this summer! Not too bad, huh?

I also want to give a shout out to a few books that were mentioned on the Facebook page when I asked what everyone is reading…

What do you think of this list? What are you reading this summer? Leave a comment below, and you’ll be automatically entered for a random drawing to win a FREE copy of The Christian Atheist!


  1. L.L. Barkat

    About that bonus… ; – )

    Hey, thanks for the good words!

  2. John J VOlk

    I am always looking for good Christian books to read. Thank You very much for this Summer reading List. Please also enter me into your contest. On Twitter I am gort999.

  3. @bibledude

    LOL… no bonus required, it's cool enough that I get to work with someone who I admire so much (and that goes for Marcus too)… I can't wait to get my copy from Amazon and start digging into it!

  4. @bibledude

    You are entered John! I'd love to hear what you think if you get the chance to read any of these books…

  5. Sean Wrench

    LOVE the list Dan, thanks so much…always love your suggestions! I'd LOVE to win Craig's book !!

  6. @bibledude

    Thanks Sean! I'm actually almost done with Annan's book 'Following Jesus Through the Eye of the Needle'. I'm seriously considering doing that one as one of my group blogging projects that I know you like, especially since I'm going to Haiti later this Summer.

  7. Duane Scott

    I'm reading The Christian Atheist and doing a blog carnival each Wednesday on a new chapter. Stop by my blog in two days and read some if you are interested. It's a GREAT book!

  8. @bibledude

    I keep hearing how awesome it is. So I'll definitely swing by to check out what you've got going on with the book!

    I also know that he (Groeschel) did some teaching with his church on the topic, and you can probably find the sermons in the livechurch.tv archives.

    Can't wait to get into my copy, and I'm glad that I have an extra to give away here…

  9. goodwordediting

    I hope you enjoy the poems, Dan. Thanks for listing my little book. We are grateful to have you with us on the team.

  10. @bibledude

    that 'little book' is for me one of the most anticipated books of poetry since @bradleyhathaway's 'all the hits, so far'! i really look forward to diving into the poetic mind (and heart) of THE marcus goodyear!

    i feel blessed to be on the high calling team with you guys, and love being a part of spreading the vision of such a wonderful ministry! thank you!

  11. amyinperu

    hey, I've heard about a lot of these… especially the insider ones 🙂

    I have a whole mess of books at my bedside, I'm plodding through. I'd love to be entered, I also have a US address if necessary.

    amy in peru

  12. @bibledude

    This is definitely a worthwhile stack of books, especially with the ones from @thehighcalling folks! I've already finished a couple of the ones on this list, and haven't been disappointed yet!

  13. Fifth Street Mama

    I've just read Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.

  14. @bibledude

    I haven't read that one myself yet, but I hear that it's a GREAT book!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 fascinating books [for your summer reading list]

by Dan King time to read: 5 min