This week, I am beginning to lean into my research and writing for my hermeneutics class. It has me craving non-fiction reads, so you’ll see that most of my reading has been in that category.
It’s Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst. I have already kind of talked about this book in my post three books on suffering. So, if you’re looking for more detail, definitely check that post out. This book is a book about disappointment with God, and about how we react when bad things happen. She goes through some of her personal story of crisis and she does her best to help and encourage those who are going through pain. There are parts of the book that were really beautiful and that I appreciated, but there were other things about the book that I found flawed and difficult. Still, if you’re looking for encouragement and a reminder that, even when you’re disappointed with God, you are still loved by him, this is perhaps a worthy read. (book 52 of 2019)
Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in Their Faith, Family, and Future by Kara Powell and Steven Argue. Powell and Argue acknowledge that parenting, once considered an eighteen year endeavor, really stretches far beyond that. Most children growing up in the Millennial and iGen generations are not fully launching into their marriages, careers, and new households until closer to the age of 30. With that in mind, Powell and Argue in collaboration with a series of interviews with parents, have divided the teen and young adult years into three stages. These stages begin with learning (13-17), exploration (18-23), and focusing (23-29). As their children traverse through these stages, it should be the goal of adults to go through the stages of teaching, guiding and becoming a resource to their children. With that mind, Powell and Argue develop both general guidelines and some specific ideas of how to interact with teens and young adults along the way.
I think that this book is a veritable treasure trove in parenting the modern teen and young adult. More than anything, this a book of advice in how to let go of control over your child, letting go without becoming overly distant. It’s a difficult balancing act, and as my oldest child just turned fourteen this week, it is something that I expect will heavily figure into my next ten to twenty years of relationship with my children. Powell and Argue give much advice on how to build your relationship with your children and how to love and support, even when you disagree with their decisions and lifestyle choices. This was truly helpful. (book 53 of 2019)
The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull. There’s a new candy shop in town, and four friends come into the shop looking for some sweet treats. They get a little more than they bargain for when they meet Mrs. White. As they start doing some little jobs for her, she begins to give them candy with magical powers. Soon though, the friends begin to feel that some of the tasks are morally questionable and that maybe Mrs. White isn’t the sweet old lady that they thought that she was.
We listened to this on Audible and really enjoyed it. I do not think that the ending, the bad guy or anything like that was ever in question in my mind. However, I enjoyed the journey to the ending and how the author has them fight the bad guy in the book. Even better was when all four of my children said it was a five star book. (book 54 of 2019)
Unraptured: How End Times Theology Gets It Wrong by Zack Hunt. Zack Hunt spent most of his youth waiting on the rapture. He spent his spare time studying ends times prophecy, watching prophecy shows on Christian networks and arguing the rightness of his views with anyone who would listen to him. After suffering a crisis of faith in college, Hunt began to “unrapture” his faith as he learned to focus on the important things. Instead of focusing on the end times, Hunt began to focus his faith on the things that truly mattered.
I totally could get the first half of Hunt’s book, as he talked about his teenage years trying to prove himself right, his fears of being left behind and his own crisis of faith. In some respects, Hunt and I have solved our crises of faith in different ways, and I find myself in disagreement with his focus and exegesis of Matthew 25. However, I do agree with him that an unhealthy focus on end times prophecy is a recipe for an unforgiving and unloving theology. I also do not claim to know what my actual beliefs on the end times are beyond the fact that I know what was taught in my church growing up. It’s an area where I’ve outgrown my fears of being left behind, and other than being determined not to pass on that fear to my children, I have not made it a focus of my personal theology. This book also inspired me to write about my reading of Tim LaHaye, and you can learn more about my personal viewpoints if you visit that blog post and read it. (book 55 of 2019)
That’s about it for this week. I’ll be back soon with a fresh back of books!!