(REVIEW) Memorial Day is fast approaching, and with it comes the unofficial start of summer. Carefree days at the beach, baseball games and cookouts are all a big part of the season.
But the summer is also synonymous with reading — either on the beach or near the pool — so here are three new books to consider adding to your list.
While most seek mindless books to indulge in during this time of year, these three tomes about faith will make you think and reflect about yourself and the world around you.
1. ‘Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead and Love’
Are you ready to be a disruptive thinker? Exactly what that means and how to overcome the challenges in our daily lives is what this new book by T.D. Jakes (co-authored with Nick Chiles) is about. A pastor, entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author, Jakes uses “Disruptive Thinking: A Daring Strategy to Change How We Live, Lead and Love” (Faith Words) to help readers respond to chaos.
Jakes leads readers into a new way of transforming the world around us for good. The 272-page book examines the tools needed to create groundbreaking and meaningful change in your own life and in the world around you.
“Why do we need saving? Sometimes it’s because of the bad choices of someone else, such as a parent, spouse or particularly malicious boss,” Jakes writes. “But more times than not it’s because of the choices we make ourselves.”
This is more of a self-help book than a religious one (he does quote the Bible at times), but the tome’s conversational tone makes it a fun read. Jakes is a wonderful storyteller and his advice can resonate with anyone who want to transform great ideas into practice.
2. ‘The Saviour Syndrome: Searching for Hope and Meaning in an Age of Unbelief’
One argument for believing in God — and specifically Jesus — is that people desire a supreme being to help them make sense of the world. In fact, there are many reasons why people look for a savior, or a person who they believe can save them, from their problems.
The checklist includes the need for comfort, desire for a better world and the ability to overcome hopelessness. This search for the divine, something humans found in one form or another for thousands of years, has manifested itself most in the form of Christ over the past 2,000 years.
John Carroll, a senior fellow at Yale, tackles this very topic in his new book “The Saviour Syndrome: Searching for Hope and Meaning in an Age of Unbelief” (Sutherland House Books). In it, Carroll argues, “Christ the savior is no more. Gone is the Redeemer who, for two 2,000 years, forgave sin, made ordinary lives meaningful, and brought joy.”
Some may take issue with Carroll’s premise. It’s true people are less religious these days, but is Jesus really “assumed to be obsolete” like Carroll argues? In his 264-page book, Carroll sets forth to examine what humans are doing to find a replacement for Jesus. The book can be both depressing and informative, but its biggest problem for many Christians may be that its premise may be flawed.
3. ‘Treasuring the Goods of Marriage in a Throwaway Society’
Are you going to a wedding this summer or getting married yourself? If so, here’s a book you may want to either give away as a gift or buy yourself.
Written by theologian Peter Kwasniewski, “Treasuring the Goods of Marriage in a Throwaway Society” (Sophia Institute Press) has been released at the appropriate time given how many couples wed this time of year.
This 304-page book is essentially a guide that explores several areas, including the Catholic church’s teachings on matrimony and the priesthood. It draws on a variety of sources, including both ancient and modern, to uncover how spiritual growth connects to finding a spouse.
Kwasniewski elevates the dignity of marriage and family and pinpoints the evils that work against it, including pornography, divorce and abortion. This is a great book for those faithful Catholics who take marriage seriously or need a better understanding of why family is so essential in the modern world.