Scott Black Johnston: Summer Reading 2014


Summer is upon us. Huzzah!!

With the promise of long days, tall glasses of iced tea (fresh mint in mine!) and blessed moments of respite comes one of the great pleasures in life: summer reading.

Here are a few of the things in my hammock-ready stack:










Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer  (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013)

A few ago years, Christian Wiman, a well-known poet and the editor ofPoetry magazine, was diagnosed with cancer. While undergoing treatment, Wiman formed a friendship with a pastor in Chicago and re-engaged his Christian faith. In My Bright Abyss, Wiman wrestles with mortality and the beautiful truths of our tradition.

You may remember that My Bright Abyss was on my reading list last summer, too. It's here again because this book will be the focus of FAPC's congregational reading project this fall. Wiman will be at FAPC speaking and signing books on Nov. 9. Pick up a copy now: I recommend reading My Bright Abyss a few pages at a time ... like a devotional ... or a poem.  









Francis Spufford, Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense  (HarperOne, 2013)

Recommended by my dear friend Constance, this book is a wild, often hilarious, stream-of-consciousness rant against some of the sillier critiques of religion. More importantly, it is a testimony to what it really feels like to inhabit the inner emotions of Christianity. Spufford is smart, edgy, funny and wonderful.


Leif Enger, Peace Like a River  (Atlantic Monthly, 2002)  

I have had this on my stack for a while, and now that J.C. Austin is recommending it, too, I am ready to commit. It is, I have been told, a religious road-trip novel set in Minnesota and North Dakota. Perfect!






N.T. Wright, Surprised by Scripture: Engaging Contemporary Issues (HarperOne, 2014)  

New Testament scholar and theologian N.T. Wright always makes me think. I am eager to dig into his latest.

If you have a book to recommend, I still have room on the stack. Please post your faves and raves here. Like introducing someone to a new friend, there are few things better than the suggestion of a good read.

From Scott's blog, Sharp About Your Prayers