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Great Reads!

All the books below are available at Hearts and Minds Books. My friend, Byron Borger, will be at many major conferences geared for students with a huge book table. I don’t know a more book savvy and discerning person around today. His website will tip you off to some of the most penetrating things in print. He gets the Kingdom of God and he loves the reading and thinking life. How much closer to perfection can you get?

You can order these and many other books from his online order page. If you order directly from this blog and say in the order box on the Hearts and Minds order page, “The Geezer sent me”, or something to that effect, Byron will take 20% off the price.

Finding God at Harvard – Kelly Monroe Kullberg. Lays to rest the myth that God is absent from the secular university. Great stories. My personal all-time favorite university book. Also a good intro to the Veritas Forum.

How to Stay Christian in College – J. Budziszewski. Good overall overview. Especially good for incoming freshmen. Campus vets will already have a handle on some of this.

Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life and Learning – Derek Melleby. Good for both undergrads and grads. Raises the big issues and questions dealing with them in a pithy, tight little book. Nice intro to the people at the  College Transition Initiative and the Coalition for Christian Outreach, good people known for their Jubilee Conference.

The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness – Derek Melleby and Donald Opitz. Good on developing the Christian mind. Get this one under your belt if you’re thinking of grad school or maybe in the middle of it.

The Fabric of Faithfulness – Steve Garber. Steve Garber may be the Yoda for this student generation. He works at the Washington Institute and also shows up prominently at Comment Magazine. Simply Get this and chew slowly.

Comment Magazine – A quarterly magazine/journal done by Cardus, a Canadian Christian think tank. Much of the writing introduces new voices on the Christian thought scene, many still in college or grad school. Some freshly out. Stretches thought in unusual directions. Steve Garber and Byron Borger show up here also.

Revival – A People Saturated With God – Brian Edwards. Spiritual awakening and revival rise as important concerns among today’s students. Since none of today’s students have lived through a large scale spiritual awakening, how do you get a handle on it to generate living hope?

God On Campus; Sacred Causes and Global Effects – Trent Sheppard. Trent has good blood lines for this topic and gives a solid thumbnail on revival on campuses over the last 250 years.

Shining Like Stars; The Power of the Gospel in the World’s Universities – Lindsay Brown. Traces some of the recent history of the International Fellowship of International Students (IFES). InterVarsity to many of us. Especially good at showing the amazing impact of university student ministry outside the North American setting. Strong and visionary.

Revival; A People Saturated With God – Brian Edwards. An oldie you can score cheaply as used but you’ll need a fire-proof suit to wear while reading it.

Campus Aflame – J. Edwin Orr. No one book show more clearly how powerfully God has moved on campuses. Orr, with two earned doctorates, is the Dostoevski of all historians of spiritual awakening. His personal life backs his scholarship.

Dynamics of the Spiritual Life – Richard Lovelace. Jesus Freaks from all over the world flocked to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary north of Boston back in the Seventies. They came to study under Lovelace, an eccentric Harvard PhD in spiritual theology. He wanted to ground a generation of new Christians as to how the faith worked. He succeeded more than he could have imagined.

The American College Town – Blake Gumprecht. Anyone doing student ministry or who loves college towns, big or small, will not put this one down easily. It’s a one-of-a-kind look at the different facets of local and nationwide cultural influence of college towns. Geography meets philosophy meets cultural analysis – all the basic food groups are right in there.

Thriving at College – Alex Chediak. A new book on the block and well worth your time. He’s a prof who also spent some of his spiritually formative years in internship with John Piper. His sections on relationships stands as some of the best I’ve seen in print for college students.

Surprised by Oxford – Carolyn Weber. A memoir tracing Jesus Christ’s drawing a young woman to Himself in a place where many doubt faith can survive. Great writing telling a story with honesty and humor. A joy to read for those who love the university and/or love watching  Jesus Christ capture a heart.

The Culturally Savvy ChristianDick Staub shares out of his many years surveying popular culture helping us discern God’s fingerprints in ways that our lives work in harmony with what God does rather than blurring those fingerprints so others can’t see them. Readers have told me that this is especially good for those active in the arts in any way.

College Ministry in a Post-Christian Culture – Steve Lutz. Steve does three great things in this book. He puts biblical truth underneath some sharp sociological analysis. He make it fun to turn the pages; He’s an engaging writer who earns and holds attention. And third, he’s in the trenches himself so this is no ivory tower speculation. You can’t beat that first hand “boots on the ground” feel of those who write from inside.

Serious Dreams: Bold Ideas for the Rest of Your Life – Steven Garber, Richard Mouw, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Amy Sherman, John Perkins, Byron Borger. A lot of these books would be for entering freshmen and/or undergrad students. But this one is a beauty for college seniors facing the “Now what?” question.

After College: Navigating Transitions, Relationships and Faith – Erica Young Reitz.  The book just above is about launching upon graduation. This is about connecting. It’s hot off the press and I’d be hard pressed to think of a better title out there on the topic.

Don’t Waste Your Life – John Piper. What started as a sermon has become a mark of calling for a generation. It will be difficult to rest content with nothing more on our plate than desires for our own perpetuated comfort and convenience.

40 Days of Decrease – Alicia Britt Chole. Written as a guide for Lent, this is a book that will read us. For anyone who needs a spiritual housecleaning anytime, this has a concentrated depth we will find in few other places.

Anonymous: Jesus Hidden Years and Yours – Alicia Britt Chole. How to stay useful in the hand of God over years as opposed to just minutes? The one person who can blow up everything the Holy Spirit both has and wants to do inside us and through us lives just inside our shirt collar. What to do about them? Read this, especially if we have any thought of going into ministry in any way. Or if we just want Jesus to use the snot out of us.



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