What I'm Reading: A Sampler

There are a number of books that have moved around the house--from my desk to nighstand to coffee table to front porch and back to my desk--for which I can't provide a proper review, but which deserve some "props." So here's a bit of a clearinghouse post about some great stuff that I've been dipping into since late spring.

Lauren Winner's Real Sex: The Naked Truth about Chastity (Brazos, 2005) is a bold and extremely helpful book. Having worked with "college & career" ministries in several different churches, it became clear to me that many evangelicals lack a really robust, positive theology of sexuality. This book goes a long way toward changing that.

Is the Reformation Over?: An Evangelical Assessment of Contemporary Roman Catholicism, by Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom (Baker Academic, 2005). Asks a great question, and then provides a nice blend of journalistic reporting and theological insight. Encouraging and hopeful about where the relationship between Rome and evangelicalism is at, and where it's headed, yet also honest in its assessment and critique.

My thinking here might be slightly biased since the author is a dear friend, but I think that Amos Yong's The Spirit Poured Out on All Flesh: Pentecostalism and the Possibility of Global Theology (Baker Academic, 2005) has just set a new standard for pentecostal theology. Amos' knowlege of theological and philosophical literature is global in its scope, and just downright daunting in its depth. This is the book on pentecostal theology that non-pentecostals should read.

While I'm a bit critical of how glibly and faddishly the notion of "empire" is thrown around by theologians and leftish religious pundits, one will find a judicious, well-researched account from theologian Gary Dorrien in Imperial Designs: Neoconservatism and the New Pax Americana (Routledge, 2004).

Of course, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince was also on my nightstand for a few days. I was a bit disappointed with how little the story really moved forward, but was glad to see that Dumbledore confirmed some of my own predictions about prophecy in the series.