The Light Is Winning

the light is winningI recently received a copy of Zach Hoag’s newest book, The Light Is Winning: Why Religion Just Might Bring Us Back to Life. Thanks to Zondervan / HarperCollins for sending a review copy!

Hoag’s new title launches right in with his own story, mainly how his family up and moved from Florida to join a cult in Texas. That’s one great quality to the book – the transparent display of vulnerability, giving us a glimpse into his own story. Not just in becoming part of a cult, but also one of a pained relationship with his father, an inner-battle with his own identity, and a failed church plant he started in Burlington, Vermont, the least religious city in the US.

Yet, in it all, Zach also uses that story to help us understand his main thesis: that the light is winning and that light is religion itself. Continue reading

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Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington

up from slaveryAs my cohort recently launched into its third year of the Doctor of Missiology program at Fuller, we were asked to read a biography or autobiography of a person who related to our ministry-professional context.

I work within higher eduction, particularly a modern music and ministry college, Visible Music College. As far as I know, there are not a lot of biographies/autobiographies that relate to the area of music and ministry higher education. I was aware of the U2 biography, Walk On: The Spiritual Journey of U2. But, at the recommendation of our college’s President, I choose to read Booker T. Washington’s Up From Slavery. Continue reading

Canoeing the Mountains

canoeing the mountainsI’m currently reading a fantastic book on leadership by Tod Bolsinger: Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory.

I imagine in past years I would have steered clear of such books, mainly because I would have seen them as a bit too business-oriented. However, what has drawn me to this book (other than it being a part of my doctoral studies) is that it’s centered in the primacy of relationship, while giving keen insights on Christian leadership. It still recognizes that there are business aspects within a Christian organization (though Bolsinger calls it biology over and above business), but there is much more insight here than “how to run a Christian business.”

Just a brief introduction to the main thrust of the work. Continue reading

Top Reads of 2016

Old books

It’s time for an annual tradition here at The Prodigal Thought. I’m listing my top reads of the year for 2016. Some of these books I have reviewed; some of them I’ve simply posted an article on particular points that struck me from the book. Either way, I have left links to read more of my thoughts on the books.

The list comes in no particular order. Continue reading

Prophetic Dialogue

prophetic-dialogueToday I finished a book on mission entitled, Prophetic Dialogue: Reflections on Christian Mission Today. The work is offered by two Catholic missiologists, Stephen Bevans and Roger Schroeder.

I will go ahead and say this up front: This has been one of the best books on mission that I have ever read. It is spot on in considering many of the missional practices needed in our world today.

It’s thesis?

That mission should be walked out as prophetic dialogue. If mission is to be properly effective, it must embrace both sides of the mission coin, being both prophetic and dialogical. Continue reading