2 more God books join the ranks

This week I read 2 new books in their entirety, “The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith” by Timothy Keller and “Losing God: Clinging to Faith Through Doubt and Depression” by Matt Rogers. 1st time I’d done that all year, I think; usually I read 5 or 6 books at a time, and takes months to finish.
Prodigal GodKeller’s new book is a much quicker read than Reason for God, and powerfully compelling to show how either our goodness or badness can separate us from God. It’s his classic sermon about the story of the two sons from Luke 15:11ff, culminating in Christ, with 2 additional chapters about the notions of home and feast. I think Keller is right to rename the parable as being about 2 sons, since Jesus’ himself starts the story with, “There was a man who had two sons“. The book sleeve described how the book’s written in his “trademark intellectual approach” — didn’t know it could be trademarked 🙂
Losing God Matt Rogers’ book tells his poignantly personal story about his bouts with doubt and depression. Best insight: that people are emotional, physical, and spiritual beings; there’s not one aspect more “important” than another. I love Matt’s honesty and vulnerability. I’m very sympathetic to him and find myself relating best to people who can put aside their masks. I was also drawn in by my familiarity with the Virginia Tech campus where his story also crosses.

I hope both Prodigal God and Losing God will join other popular books about God, like Keller’s Reason for God, Knowing God by J. I. Packer, Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist by John Piper, Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer, Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship With God by Dallas Willard, Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey, The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, Finding God by Larry Crabb …

There are other books about God, too. These are the top 7 on amazon.com sorted by relevance, using a keyword search of “God” with quotes; different results when unquoted):

  1. The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
  2. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  3. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  4. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe
  5. God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
  6. Society without God: What the Least Religious Nations Can Tell Us About Contentment by Phil Zuckerman
  7. Conversations with God : An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1) by Neale Donald Walsch

Top 5 books about God on amazon.com sorted by Bestselling:

  1. The Shack by William P. Young
  2. Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) by Stephenie Meyer
  3. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer
  4. The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick
  5. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel (Oprah Book Club #62) by David Wroblewski

I’m surprised to see the top relevant books are non-fiction, while bestselling ones are fiction. I loved The Shack, but don’t see me buying and/or reading much fiction in my life.

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6 Responses

  1. steph says:

    haha, i laughed at the same thing re: the keller book jacket. let's worry less about intellectualism for its own sake and let the text speak for itself. 🙂

    i'm finding it to be a quick read too but also one of the few i'll probably start over again once i'm done!

  2. steph says:

    haha, i laughed at the same thing re: the keller book jacket. let's worry less about intellectualism for its own sake and let the text speak for itself. 🙂

    i'm finding it to be a quick read too but also one of the few i'll probably start over again once i'm done!

  3. djchuang says:

    @Steph – I'm with you, that this book is worth re-reading time and again, because we can never get enough of the Gospel — it's not only the ABCs, it's the A through Z

  4. human3rror says:

    t.k. is the man. love that guy.

  5. erin says:

    Good lord(!), the publisher had the audacity in the press clippings to write “The Prodigal God uses a famous story of the Bible to redefine nothing less than the central Christian message for believers and skeptics alike.”
    Have they no shame?
    I'm so glad we finally get the central Christian message. All these years of Calvin, Luther, Kierkegaard and Barth have been killing us. Wretched people that we are, who will save us? Praise be to Keller. -or rather his publishers. lol! I'm sure Keller rolls his eyes at the advertising blurb, too. (Here I thought it was all about a gracious father and the pharisaic misunderstanding…)

    Roger's book looks compelling, can't wait!

    It 's fascinating that Keller's book ranks first, followed by Dawkins and Hitchens: somehow appropriate. It reads like dueling visions of the 19th century clashing in the public consciousness. That's not fair to Keller, I'm sure, but still.

  1. November 1, 2008

    […] ‘Losing God’ Posted by donaldkim under Society, Spirituality, Theology   DJ Chuang has up on his blog a plug for Matt Rogers’ Losing God: Cling to Faith Through Doubt and […]

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