Whether positively or negative the things that we spend our time engaging with have a powerful influence. Several years ago Donald Miller spoke at a men’s retreat I was at, and he shared about a time when he started watching Entourage (cable television show). After several months of watching that show he noticed his thoughts were different. He was a more violent person, and also prone to look at women differently. Not much had changed in his daily routine, except watching a different television show.
We all inherently know that what we take in helps shape our thoughts and attitudes, but most often we never take the time to evaluate it. Putting together this list helps me evaluate.
Following my post in October I received a lot of comments personally and through other venues based on this post, so I thought I’d post another one based on what books, music, movies, and other media I’ve been consuming with some of my free time.
- The Call (Os Guinness)-I’ve kicked around the idea of writing a book on calling for quite a while, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to dive in. Calling tends to be such an insular topic, driving us to think of ourselves more than others. Even when discussed from a Christian perspective, I feel focusing on it too much, can cause more harm than good. What I appreciate about this book from Guinness is that he handles the subject with its needed nuance, helping the called understand the full weight of being called by the Caller.
- Surprised By Hope (NT Wright)- Yes, I am 5 years late to this party, but I arrived nonetheless. Wright’s work here is a worthy and necessary read, because it provides a theological foundation for why Christians should engage the world around them with the hope of Christ. Overall the book is exceptional, and should be a first read when considering the implications of our understanding of heaven.
- Oh Gracious Light (Brett McCracken)- Focused on the Advent theme of light within darkness, Brett does a wonderful job of not only relating this to his own life, but showing us the hope of God Incarnate, despite the brokenness we see and feel.
- Evangelical Retreat? (Russell Moore)- I found this to be a compelling vision of prophetic distance and prophetic engagement of culture.
- Upcoming reads: Jesus Feminist, Glorious Ruin, and a few books on preaching.
- 12 Years a Slave– Best actor. Best director. Best film. Save your Catching Fire $$$ and spend it here instead.
- Gravity– Hard to call this a movie, it’s more like a 90 minute roller coaster, especially when seeing it in 3-D. I loved it, but I also went in expecting an experience, not what we often think of as a movie.
- Mud– I’m not much of a southern film genre guy. I don’t know the south well, beyond Huckleberry Finn, that is. But I found this quite enjoyable. Are those deemed evil as bad as we assume? What kind of love lasts in an evil world?
- Page CXVI “Advent to Christmas” My friends that make up this band have always done a masterful job of presenting timeless songs in ways that please current audiences. They’re not appreciated for their music like they should be.
- Future of Forestry “Advent Christmas” Not sure there’s another band out there that has consistently done a great job with Christmas music. To be honest, I’m not a fan of Christmas music, but I can listen to this all day long.
- Brady Toops– It’s just so good.