Books I’ve Authored
About You: Fully Human Fully Alive
This book takes up a few themes that I’ve wrestled with since the 1960’s. First, I’m fascinated by our universal sense of human longing. As Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.” But I also find a disconnect between this longing and the way the gospel is typically described as the pathway to going to heaven when we die. For me the disconnected was bridged when I heard the Hans Rookmaaker phrase, “Jesus didn’t come to make us Christian; Jesus came to make us fully human.” The idea that Jesus came to make us fully human seems to me consistent with the New Testament and resonant with our cultural longing. I think in the Fall we were lessened creatively, spiritually, intellectually relationally and morally. The good news is this: God has set in motion a plan to restore everything that unraveled in the Fall. He desires that we be restored to our full humanity, creatively, spiritually, intellectually relationally and morally The book has been either
The Culturally Savvy Christian
A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite [Paperback]. Selected by Kirkus Reviews for their 2007 Religion and Spirituality edition as an incisive critique of contemporary culture and religion. This is a really important book. It shows how starting in the 1960’s American popular culture degenerated into a superficial enterprise driven by amusement, celebrity, propped up by marketing and new distribution technologies. It then shows how evangelical sub-culture became an even shallower more insipid version of popular culture. I then explore what it looks like to go deeper in faith and to relate to culture as aliens, ambassadors and creative artists. I really like this book.
Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters
I was having coffee with Ed Winkle after watching a Star Wars prequel Ed said something to the effect that his generation was ready to get serious about faith, but that my generation (boomers in the 1960’s) had talked about a radical Christian lifestyle, but had sold out to the American dream: second home, second wife etc. I quipped, “So your generation wants to be Jedi Christians and mu generation filed to produce a Yoda.” A few weeks later I was speaking at an IMAGE JOURNAL event and Juliana Gustafson from Jossey-Bass was there. I told her about the book I wanted to write about what it means to be culturally savvy as Christians. She asked what else I was working on, and figuring they wanted me to be working on something else, I mentioned the Jedi idea. She anted it immediately (as did seven other publishers). I loved writing this book. It follows the path of Lke Skywalker from a clueless teen to becoming a Jedi Master and shows the parallels with becoming a mature follower of Jesus. Each chapter has quotes from Star Wars and the Christian faith tradition.
Too Christian, Too Pagan
How to love the world without falling for it. This is my first book and some would say my best! This book has become a cult classic among missional and emergent church types. The publication came about as follows: I was hosting my national show, had a sizeable audience, and some publishers thought I could sell books, regardless of whether or not I had anything to say. I wanted to talk about my own journey. Since coming to faith I had stayed very connected to the culture and as a result was perceived as too irrelgi0us by many of my religious friends. My irreligious friends on the other hand, were sometimes put off by my commitment to following Jesus. I was considered “too Christian” by many of my irreligious friends and “too pagan” by many of my religious friends. I take comfort that Jesus walked the same line.