Here is my most recent reading. I hope you find the list helpful. 

Philip W. Eaton, Sing Us a Song of Joy: Saying What We Believe in an Age of Unbelief. Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, an imprint of Wipf & Stock, 2018. This is my brand new book, long in the making, long in reflection about what we believe and how we talk about our faith up against the severe pressures of a secularized culture. I conclude with the Psalmist that we are called for our time to sing a song of joy.

Joy: 100 Poems, edited by Christian Wiman. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017. These poems, along with the marvelous preface by Wiman, will bring exceeding joy. What a joyous counterpoint to the drag of gloom that surrounds us. We find here points of startling radiance.

Dom Jean Leclercq, Alone With God. Bloomingdale, Ohio: Ercam Editions, 2008. Once more by the amazing monk Jean Leclercq, we probe deeply into the monastic pursuit of God, this time through the life and calling of the hermit. What relevance could the hermit possibly have for living life in our times? Leclercq seeks to answer with startling wisdom.

Jon McGee, Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. A very helpful reflection on the enormous influence of shifting demographics on the future of the university. I come away knowing the problem but missing the vision that leaders must craft for an innovative, alternative. Our situation, often called a crisis, will require imaginative leadership to shape new vision.

Michael Casey, A Guide To Living In The Truth: Saint Benedict’s Teaching On Humility. Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1999. The monastics taught the necessity of humility before contemplation, that the aim of monastic life is to love God and others but can only be achieved through the practice of humility. So much to be learned for those of us who are not monks.

Michael Casey, Toward God: The Ancient Wisdom of Western Prayer. Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1996. This is a fabulous introduction to contemplative prayer, that ancient practice of calming the clamoring ego so that we might come close to God and others.

Michael Casey, Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. Liguori, Missouri: Liguori Publications, 1995. The monastic tradition crafted a way of reading, especially the Scriptures, that was slow, intense, and spirit-filled. We have so much to learn from them as we pick up our own reading. This is a superb introduction to such a practice.

St. Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict. New York: Vintage, 1998. This stunningly beautiful, sixth-century classic, that captured, and at the same time launched, the great monastic movement that helped to shape an unfolding Christian Europe. This wonderful book can serve as a guide to simple Christian living and the practice of meaningful prayer.

The Cloud of Unknowing And Other Works, translated by A. C. Spearing. London: Penguin, 2001. This fourteenth-century work by an unknown author remains a readable classic on Christian spirituality. Truly an amazing work.

Saint John of the Cross, Dark Night Of the Soul, trans by E. Allison Peers. Garden City, New York: Image Books, 1959. One of the classic books on that demanding path taken by contemplatives as they seek an all-consuming encounter with God. This sixteenth century Spanish mystic writes with intelligence, psychological nuance, and great passion.

St. Teresa Of Avila, The Way Of Perfection, translated and edited by E. Allison Peers. Garden City, New York: Doubleday, 1964. Christian mysticism and contemplative prayer are the topics of this brilliant sixteenth-century Carmelite nun. Though her subject is deep spirituality, she doesn’t hesitate to take a swipe at Luther’s growing popularity.

Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer. New York: Image, 1969. Merton became quite known as a seeker of contemplative peace, eventually joining a Trappist monastery and taking a vow of silence. He was a prolific writer, a devoted monk, who sought to teach, inform, and change the way peopled lived.

Esther De Waal, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1984. This is a lovely book, reflectively sketching out the profound influence of St. Benedict’s Rule, the formation of the monastic movement, and a way of life that leads to spiritual fulfillment.

Esther de Waal, Lost in Wonder: Rediscovering The Spiritual Art Of Attentiveness. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2003.

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry. New York: Seabury, 1981.

Raymond Studzinski, Reading to Live: The Evolving Practice of Lectio Divina. Collegeville, Minnesota: Cistercian Publications, 2009. This is a thorough, generous introduction to this formative practice whereby we read Scripture and sacred writing on our paths of toward transformation.

James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing The Presence Of God. New York: HarperOne, 2004.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy For Christians In A Post-Christian Nation. New York: Sentinel, 2017. This book is about Christians living faithfully in an age of militant secularism by separating into distinct Christian communities. The model is St. Benedict in the sixth century at the time when Rome was collapsing. Controversial, not always right, in my opinion, but an important book.

Jean Leclercq, O. S. B., The Love Of Learning And The Desire For God: A Study of Monastic Culture, trans by Catharine Misrahi. New York: Fordham University Press, 1961. This may be the third time I have read this extraordinary book. This consummate scholar writes with such eloquence because he believes whereof he writes. Anyone hoping to understand the monastics—their writing, their culture, their experience of God—this is a fundamental, and oh so delightful, starting point.

Roland H. Bainton, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1950. This remains a classic biography of Luther and the launching of the Reformation.

Martin Luther, Selections From His Writings, edited by John Dillenberger. New York: Anchor Books, 1961. An outstanding collection of Luther’s great texts.

Jean Calvin, A Little Book On the Christian Life, translated by Aaron Clay Denlinger and Burk Parsons. Orlando, Reformation Trust, 2017. These selections from Calvin’s great Institutes, were published in this short form in the sixteenth century when Calvin was still completing his monumental work. This is a delightfully fresh translation.

Brad S. Gregory, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2012. This extraordinary scholarly work lays out the unintended consequences of Reformation thought: hyper-individualism, hyper-pluralism (even relativism), ultimately secularism. At times discouraging reading, this book calls us to examine the enduring heart intended by the great Reformers.

Eric Metaxas, Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God And Changed The World. New York: Viking, 2017. This hot-off-the-press biography is a lively reading of the complicated life of the man who set it all in motion.

Carlos M. N. Eire, Reformations: The Early Modern World, 1450 – 1650. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2016. This is a big, sprawling book demonstrating that there was a lot going on before Luther and after, which we must acknowledge as reformations rather than one reformation. I balk sometimes at the secular overlay on original spiritual vigor and hesitate as well the too-easy trashing of medieval, Catholic spirituality.

Richard J. Mouw, Abraham Kuyper: A Short and Personal Introduction. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 2011. From my friend, Rich Mouw, on the important teaching of Kuyper, the Dutch reformer from the nineteenth century, who encouraged Christians to be fully engaged in the cultures in which we live. Of course, Rich has lived this calling for his own life as an exemplary follower of Kuyper.

Peter Marshall, The Reformation: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. An overview in short form, the Reformation comes alive in all its rich detail. Out of my own biases about the Reformation, Marshall shortchanges the vibrant spiritual and theological issues that lie at the heart of the matter.

David Zahl, “500 Years After Luther, We Still Feel the Pressure to Be Justified.” Christianity Today Online, December 30, 2016, an outstanding article republished last week online, capturing the deep personal need for grace. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/january-february/pressure-to-be-justified.html?utm_source=ctdirect-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=9487961&utm_content=545513650&utm_campaign=email&start=6.

Carlos Eire, “Martin Luther: The Wrath Of God,” First Things Online, 10/31/17, one of those fine articles by Catholic writers on the week of the 500th celebration. https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/10/martin-luther-the-wrath-of-god.

George Weigel, “Which Reformation? What Reform?”, First Things Online, 10/25/17, as always with Weigel, a deeply insightful Catholic reading of the Reformation, reflecting on what the Church lost or misplaced and what needs, then and now, to be re-formed.  https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2017/10/which-reformation-what-reform.

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010. A fabulous recent book on the risk and reward of living the Christian life fully. A farmer’s wife with six children, this woman is brilliant, amazing, an incredible stylist. Very moving to me.

Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return Of The Prodigal Son: A Story Of Homecoming. A reread for me, but this is Henri Nouwen at his best. This book is about the gospel story as seen through the eyes of Rembrandt’s great painting on the prodigal son. Just beautiful, reflective, deeply meaningful.

C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy: The Shape Of My Early Life. This is Lewis on his early life, through boarding school, up to his eventual coming to faith. I love this book. Sometimes surprisingly honest, revealing. Of course it is all things Oxford and the English way of reading, talking, and living.

Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism. We are unfortunately nostalgic for older eras of success, whether liberal or conservative. Levin lays out new territory, without nostalgia, to move us out of our fractured state of affairs.

Robert D. Putnam, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. The focus is on how kids are growing up in America today: A tragic crisis for kids, a dangerous crisis for our country out ahead. This is a powerful book.

Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State Of White America, 1960-2010. A brilliant, fresh understanding of what is tearing us apart and what might bring us together again.

Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine And What Matters In The End. An incredible assessment of what we are doing wrong for older people facing the end of life. A fresh vision to make life more decent to the end.

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air. This author, a brilliant physician and researcher, dies while writing the book. Stunning reflections from diagnosis through the final days. His wife actually finishes writing the book. Very moving.

Shusaku Endo, Silence, trans by William Johnston. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company, 1969. This is a re-read for me before traveling to Japan in the summer of 2017. Truly a haunting book about a harrowing time for Jesuit missionaries in the sixteenth century Japan.

Perry L. Glanzer, Nathan F. Alleman, and Todd C. Ream, Restoring The Soul Of The University: Unifying Christian Higher Education In A Fragmented Age. Downers Grove, Illinois: IVP Academic, 2017. Quite a fabulous new book in the lineage of so many who have written strong and thoughtful books on the value of the Christian college and university. The authors trace the historical unfolding from unity of purpose and identity in the beginnings, through various stages where cracks in unity began to appear, on into our own age of the modern university with clear indication of a fractured soul. The book is a passionate plea and a visionary plan to find unity of purpose and identity for the Christian university in a fragmented age.

T. Wright, The Case For The Psalms: Why They Are Essential. Here is the great N. T. Wright again, this time on Psalms. Seems there are so many good books on the Psalms—this is certainly one of the best.

Wendell Berry, Hannah Coulter. If you haven’t read Wendell Berry, this is a wonderful book. A short, delightful novel on Berry’s favorite topic, both the value of the farm and the dying of the family farm in America. Here we find some of the people who are struggling through these disheartening changes. Very touching.

Suzanne M. Wolfe, The Confessions of X. We all know from St. Augustine’s great book Confessions that he kept a mistress for many years. He had a child by her. This, of course, before he became a priest and the famous Bishop of Hippo, from which he launched the history of European Christianity. True story—but we know nothing about the amazing life of this woman. Suzanne Wolfe sets out to fill in this glaring historical gap by writing a wonderful novel about who X might be. If we only knew her. Well, now we do. Beautiful, Suzanne.

David McCullough, John Adams. McCullough is a must read on American history. He loves this history. He loves his country. He believes we all should know this history. He has a ton of books, but this is one of my favorites. Reads like a novel. Just fabulous. McCullough is just out with a new book The American Spirit: Who We Are And What We Stand For, a collection of speeches he has given along the way. It is a spirited encouragement to learn the amazing figures of the history of our country. There are some great surprises in this book.

  1. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. New York: HarperCollins, 2016. This book is well worth reading to understand the forgotten crowd in our country that has been passed over. It’s about the personal tragedies of a collapsing culture. A good book.

Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal. New York: Farrar, Straus And Giroux, 2013.

Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Dutton: New York, 2014.

Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

  1. T. Wright, The Day The Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. New York: HarperOne, 2016.

Peter Brown, Augustine Of Hippo: A Biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967, 2000.

Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays. New York: Penguin, 2016.

Francois Mauriac, What I Believe, translated by Wallace Fowlie. New York: Farrar Straus, 1963.

Sally Read, Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016.

  1. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1950.
  2. S. Lewis, Readings for Meditation and Reflection, edited by Walter Hooper.

Pierre Manent, Beyond Radical Secularism: How France and the Christian West Should Respond to the Islamic Challenge.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, In Quiet Light: Poems on Vermeer’s Women.

  1. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy: The Shape Of My Early Life

Larry Siedentop, Inventing The Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism

Dawn Eden, Remembering God’s Mercy: Redeem the Past and Freed Yourself from Painful Memories.

Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.

Robert D. Putnam, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State Of White America, 1960-2010.

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, How To Grow Old: Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life.

Paul Tillich, The Shaking Of The Foundations.

Nocolas Berdyaev, The End Of Our Time.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Michael D. O’Brien, Island Of The World.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Halakhic Man.

David Brooks, The Road To Character.

Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine And What Matters In The End.

Donald Hall, Essays After Eighty. This truly distinguished poet writes this thin volume of essays about life in his eighties. Life isn’t easy, we find, and yet his mind, as it has always been, is alert and attentive. There is much in Hall’s life that is not to admire, as he readily admits. And looking back is not always a happy journey. But we admire him for his honesty, marvel at his tenacity, and revel in language that is true and authentic.

Dietrich Von Hildebrand, My Battle Against Hitler: Faith, Truth, And Defiance In The Shadow Of The Third Reich, translated and edited by John Henry Crosby with John F. Crosby.

Dietrich Von Hildebrand, Humility: Wellspring Of Virtue. What a delightful reflection on the chief virtue, according to Hildebrand, humility. These pages are philosophical in nature. They are written, of course, by the German, Austrian, American philosopher who was chased out of Germany with the rise of Hitler. He was a fierce, outspoken opponent of the National Socialist power that was sweeping the world with its brutality, racism, and inhumanity. Through it all he maintained this attractive posture of humility.

Oh, so many great things to read. Here is a list of books I’ve just finished. Wonderful books all. 

Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal. New York: Farrar, Straus And Giroux, 2013.

Timothy Keller, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. Dutton: New York, 2014.

Frederick Buechner, Telling Secrets. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.

The Cloud of Unknowing And Other Works, translated by A. C. Spearing. London: Penguin, 2001.

Suzanne M. Wolfe, The Confessions Of X: A Novel. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2016.

James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing The Presence Of God. New York: HarperOne, 2004.

Esther de Waal, Lost in Wonder: Rediscovering The Spiritual Art Of Attentiveness. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2003.

Esther de Waal, Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1984.

Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer. New York: Image, 1969.

N. T. Wright, The Day The Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion. New York: HarperOne, 2016.

Peter Brown, Augustine Of Hippo: A Biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967, 2000.

Rod Dreher, The Benedict Option: A Strategy For Christians In A Post-Christian Nation. New York: Sentinel, 2017.

Mary Oliver, Upstream: Selected Essays. New York: Penguin, 2016.

St. Benedict, The Rule of St. Benedict. New York: Vintage, 1998.

Thomas Keating, Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Way of the Heart: Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry. New York: Seabury,1981.

Francois Mauriac, What I Believe, translated by Wallace Fowlie. New York: Farrar Straus, 1963.

Sally Read, Night’s Bright Darkness: A Modern Conversion Story. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016.

Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016.

Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2010.

J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. New York: HarperCollins, 2016.

C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. New York: HarperCollins, 1950.

C. S. Lewis, Readings for Meditation and Reflection, edited by Walter Hooper.

Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Return Of The Prodigal Son.

C. S. Lewis, Surprised By Joy: The Shape Of My Early Life.

Pierre Manent, Beyond Radical Secularism: How France and the Christian West Should Respond to the Islamic Challenge.

Marilyn Chandler McEntyre, In Quiet Light: Poems on Vermeer’s Women.

Larry Siedentop, Inventing The Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism 

Dawn Eden, Remembering God’s Mercy: Redeem the Past and Free Yourself from Painful Memories. 

Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic: Renewing America’s Social Contract in the Age of Individualism.

Robert D. Putnam, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis.

Charles Murray, Coming Apart: The State Of White America, 1960-2010.

Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, How To Grow Old: Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life.

Paul Tillich, The Shaking Of The Foundations.

Nocolas Berdyaev, The End Of Our Time.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

Michael D. O’Brien, Island Of The World.

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Halakhic Man.