What We Are Reading and Listening To
This is a place for all the folks you know and love at Signal Pres to let you know what’s been on their desks and nightstands recently, and what they have been listening to lately.
These are things that have shaped how we think about the Christian life, faithfulness to Jesus in the world, and resources that are simply so good that we wanted to share. We’ll have book copies for sale in Woodward Hall on Sunday morning (cash and check), and it’s possible we might schedule a one-off “book club” gathering to talk about what we liked about it. If you are interested in a book club, contact Joey. Check out this month’s picks below!
Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America
by Michael O Emerson and Christian Smith – $16 Woodward Hall
One of the most hardest but most valuable things I’ve ever learned about what it looks like to apply the Gospel to relationships is this: the problem starts with me. In friendship, work, marriage, parenting – in everything – the work for change starts internally with me. This is not to deny that I’m sinned against as much as I sin against. But the Gospel invites me to take the initiative, to search within, and to wear the heavy mantle of a peacemaker.
Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America has been for me an invitation to apply this principle in how I think about the call to reconciliation we have as followers of Jesus. If you are like me, you have good will and good intentions in abundance, but maybe you’ve noticed that conversations about race can be difficult and full of false starts and invisible walls that keep them from proceeding. White and black people look at race very differently, and perhaps even more surprisingly white and black Christians think about race very differently. This book has helped me to understand why that is, has helped me to see (even just a little bit) with the eyes of my black brothers and sisters, and prodded me to think about what next steps should be for me and for us as a congregation.
This is the kind of book I’d love to read with other folks. If you’re interested, email me.
Sex Education Curriculum for Families and Parent Conversation Guide
by Rooted Ministry – FREE
We live in a world with a whole lot of tension around differing views on who can get married, who should be attracted to who, and who you have sex with and when you do that. As a church we actually believe that:
- What God gives us in the Bible is true and it is meant to teach us the truth about Him for our faith and practice.
- God has tons to say about being a human being as a man or woman, sexuality, relationships, marriage & the like.
Rooted Ministry has produced four 10-minute Sex Education Podcasts for both students and parents. They are basic, solid & easy to listen to. The hosts of the podcasts do a good job of not giving you their opinions but lay out what God has to say in His Word. The idea for these episodes is for both students & parents to listen to the podcasts on their own. Then, after listening to the episodes, parents and students can discuss the content together. There is also a conversation guide meant to be a starting point for fruitful conversations between parents and students about sexuality.
I know these conversations are awkward and sometimes tense but our perspective on this stuff matters! Lean in, keep learning, admit you don’t have all the answers but are committed to seeking truth because your students need you to talk about this in an open & honest way so that they feel the freedom to ask questions and share honestly too!
Click here for the guide and more information.
The Bark of the Bog Owl (The Wilder King Trilogy)
by Jonathan Rogers – $12 Woodward Hall
This is Book 1 of an outstanding trilogy that was recommended to us several years ago for our oldest son and has been a favorite for all of our children ever since. It is great for 8-12 year olds, boys or girls, or as a read-aloud for the whole family. The protagonist is a twelve-year-old shepherd named Aidan who longs for adventure, but most of his days consist of tending sheep, writing songs, and daydreaming. Adventure finds him when he hears the bark of the bog owl for the first time, saves a Feechie-folk boy named Dobro Turtlebane from a panther, hears a mysterious prophesy, and is allowed to take supplies to his brothers who are at war. When Aidan arrives at the battlefield, he discovers a giant who insults the One God. Aidan volunteers to fight him, and at that point, the story begins to sound familiar as it parallels the life of King David. This is a great book to facilitate discussion with children about faith and making decisions because all of our decisions matter.
Past Staff Picks: