Everyone seems to be talking about deconstructionism these days. Everyone. And especially Christians.
The book Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism from philosopher James K.A. Smith was very helpful in introducing postmodern (and, subsequently, deconstructionist) thought to me. To summarize Smith’s reflections on the writings of the father of desconstructionism himself, Jacques Derrida:
Having traveled to the UK for the holidays to visit my wife’s family, I am a little late with my annual post of the top books I read for the year. Still, her is my 13th annual posting of my top reads for the year. The list is in no particular order.
I was introduced to John Mark Comer maybe a year or so ago through his podcast with Mark Sayers, This Cultural Moment. My sense is that Comer and Sayers really have their finger on the “cultural moment” we currently find ourselves in as citizens of the Western, and American, setting. Western Europe is already there, and has been for a long time. Some major urban metropolitan areas of the US are also. But more and more, we are emerging as a postmodern, post-Christian context in America, though places like the Bible Belt where I reside are white-knuckling to hold on to a “Christianized” past. Their podcast has been so good that I now have my students listen to it in courses related to mission and ministry.
With that, not too long ago, I picked up John Mark Comer’s recent book Live No Lies. He also has a podcast connected to the book as well.
The focus of the book is how to properly recognize and resist the three enemies of the soul – the world, the flesh, and the devil. I know, I know. Sounds fundamentalist, doesn’t it. Preaching against those wicked enemies.
The Enneagram is the personality fad of today. It’s everywhere, and especially within Christian circles. Some love it; some roll their eyes at it; and some still may not know what it is.
I have been personally studying the Enneagram for the past three and a half years and believe it to be a unique personality typing system. Of course, there are many other personal and professional typing methods available—Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, StrengthsFinder, and DiSC profile, to name a few. Still, I’ve not yet found a tool as helpful in understanding not just the what or how of one’s personality, but also the why. It gets into the nitty-gritty of the motivation behind why we live and view life the way we do. This creates a helpful framework of understanding self, as well as understanding others. I’ve found it so unique that I have made it part of the curriculum in a leadership class I teach.
One book that I have recently revisited is Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram, by the Calhoun’s and Loughrige’s. Alongside Chris Heuertz’s The Sacred Enneagram, it is one of my favorite’s thus far. I particularly enjoy the emphasis of utilizing the Enneagram for spiritual formation. Not that the Enneagram is some intrinsically Christian tool. But it is a tool nonetheless, one that I believe can help with understanding self – how one was created, what pains (and trauma) we are dealing with, all in order to connect with our loving Creator and find wholeness.