What I’m Reading: April 2020

The Coronavirus Quarantine of 2020 was in effect for my April reading list. I didn’t complete any books in March, mostly because I was working on the first two books listed here. I made up for that in April. I also read my first works of fiction this month as I needed some escape from the stress and frustration of quarantine. Without further ado, here is the list.

  • Renovation of the Heart (Dallas Willard) | I’ve been in ministry for 19 years and this is the first Dallas Willard book I have read. I’ve attempted The Divine Conspiracy several times but it never gained any traction. If you are interested in Spiritual formation in your life- this is the book for you. Mostly accessible, Willard is a philosopher and it feels like it at time. None-the-less, this is a five-star book and one that will remain influential in my life and ministry.
  • Stamped from the Beginning | Ibram X. Kendi | This book traces the history of racist thought over the course of American history. I have been committed to read books that challenge me to look differently at the world, especially when it comes to my “white-ness.” I believe this is necessary to walk alongside our brothers and sisters of color. Stamped from the Beginning was eye-opening as Kendi walks the reader through American history through the eyes of five individuals and how racist/anti-black thought has been pervasive, and continues to be so. I highly recommend the book!
  • Francis Asbury: Prophet of The Long Road| Ezra Squier Tipple | This is a 105 year-old biography on Francis Asbury, one of the first Bishops in The Methodist Church. Asbury was instrumental in helping the early Methodist church become a movement and shape church and society in the early days of America.
  • The NIV Application Commentary: James | David P. Nystrom | Background reading for my online study on James.
  • The Reappearing Church: The Hope for Renewal in the Rise of Our Post-Christian Culture | Mark Sayers |Mark Sayers is one of the smartest people I’ve listened to. His podcast, This Cultural Moment, is a must-listen. His previous book, The Disappearing Church made the case for the church to be different from culture in the world- thus disappearing. In this book, he makes the case that secularism waning, and like the tide going on, something else will come in. Sayers believes that will be a new and fresh movement of the Holy Spirit. There is great content in the book that is made difficult to read because of the publisher’s layout decisions. Once you get by that, the book is worth reading.
  • The Big Idea: Aligning the Ministries of Your Church Through Creative Collaboration | Dave Ferguson, Jon Ferguson, Eric Bramlet | A book on working collaboratively to design big ideas for church worship.
  • Star Wars: Bloodline | Claudia Gray | I listened to the audiobook and there were several times when I remained in my car to finish a section or chapter. Claudia Gray is becoming one of my favorite Star Wars authors (Timothy Zahn is the GOAT). She gives a great story on Princess Leia that has depth while remaining familiar.
  • The NIV Application Commentary: Letters of John |Gary Burge |Background reading for my online study on the letters of John.
  • Divergent | Veronica Roth |I needed some fiction to read and the Divergent series has done the trick of a fun read. I’m late coming to the Divergent game. There are a lot of great themes in the book, along with some holes. But in all, this was a great beginning to the series.
  • Insurgent | Veronica Roth |Book #2 was not as good as the first book. There were some tweaks in the main characters, Tris and Tobias, that made some added changes. This book was a little slower. It may have succumbed to the “middle book/” syndrome with a story that lacks some clarity or focus.

Did you read anything good during the first month of quarantine? Share it in the comments!

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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