As a person reading here on a Vineyard website, you probably know about “tension” all too well. We live in the now and
the not yet. God On Mute
by Pete Greig
is an incredible work by a man passionate about prayer (Greig started the international ministry 24/7 Prayer
) and his journey of struggling with suffering in the midst of that.
Greig asks the timeless questions of what it means to suffer and to pray and to suffer through the silence because your prayers seem unanswered. This silence, Greig relates, is the hardest thing. The world collapses. Then all goes quiet. Words can’t explain, don’t fit, won’t work. People avoid you and don’t know what to say. So you turn to Him and you pray. You need Him more than ever before. But somehow…even God Himself seems on mute. In this heart-searching, honest and deeply profound book, Pete Greig looks at the hard side of prayer, how to respond when there seem to be no answers and how to cope with those who seek to interpret our experience for us. Here is a story of faith, hope and love beyond all understanding.
This book is perfect for any leader wanting to look into prayer in a deeper way and especially on the not-so-popular side of the suffering pray-er. While you’re ordering it, throw his first book Red Moon Rising
in there for good measure too...God On Mute @ Amazon
God On Mute @ Book Depository
Perhaps, instead of wasting this recommendation by giving you all the review details that you can just Google for anyway, I will just sum the need for this book up with a simple, yet profound quote from my own life.
The setting is this: Myself and my friend, J.R., are having one of our infrequent coffee meet ups in a cafe in Auckland when this gem happened.
Me: “I have just been reading Desmond Tutu’s book, No Future Without Forgiveness” - it’s amazing.”
J.R. : “My mum says that’s not a book for every Christian to read - it’s a book for every human to read.”
She’s right, it is. That’s the end of this review.No Future Without Forgiveness @ Book Depository
No Future Without Forgiveness @ Amazon
There is tinsel going up in shopping complexes around New Zealand, which leads some of us to think, “What do I want for Christmas this year?” Meanwhile, the more cynical viewer may be thinking, “Tinsel already? Good to see the consumerism-machine is rolling along nicely still…”
It’s with the former thought I get the pleasure of introducing today’s What should be on your bookshelf: Christmas Wish-list Special.
I will leave the latter to another time perhaps.
A book wish-list is the perfect thing to start and conveniently leave lying around for your other-half to find. Good options include:
- The “wish-list as a bookmark” slipped into the book your other-half is reading currently.
- The “wish-list fridge magnet” popped next to the fridge door for that subliminal marketing.
- The “wish-list that I threw out, but oh whoops - you found it” lying next to the bin, but not in it.
- The “wish-list that is hinted to by leaving the BookDepository page of that book open in the web browser” trick.
I’m sure you get the point. But what should you be asking for? That’s where I am here to help. I put together my own top-five for your convenience. In no particular order they are:
- If you are into controversial-then-when-you-read-it-it’s-not-so-bad-after-all, then Love Wins by Rob Bell is probably right up your alley. (Especially good if you are a N.T. Wright Surprised by Hope fan.)
- If you want something leather-bound to match you leather sofa, and your leather wallet, then ESV Study Bible has become one of the best in the business.
- After something classic-feeling, yet something modern at the same time? Brian McLaren’s new A Naked Spirituality is rumoured to be perfect.
- If you like authors who wear sports-coats and do speaking addresses to the staff of Google, then The Reason for God by Tim Keller might be something to add.
- A magazine subscription to Neue for the whole year will make your coffee table well stocked with a fantastic leadership magazine for those “I was killing time, flicking through this magazine, when I read this article that was so good I tore it out” moments.
So, there’s the help with the books - but getting the wish-list safely in the hands of your other-half, I can’t help you there.By Dan Sheed