Arts & Culture

Books We Like (and Think You’ll Like, Too)

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Editor’s note: Welcome to the first installment of IFWE’s “Books We Like.”

We want to share with you the books we’ve read and enjoyed that we think you’ll like, too.

Today, Alexander Bouffard, IFWE’s strategic relationships manager and hardworking flowcharter, shares what’s been on his bookshelf.

When Helping Hurts, Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

My wife and I would like to go on a mission trip, and we want to avoid making it just a spiritual vacation. We would like to, as Corbett and Fikkert say, “do short-term missions without doing long-term harm.” Reading this book has helped us think through how to do missions well. Get it here.

Divine Sex: A Compelling Vision for Christian Relationships in a Hypersexualized Age, Jonathan K. Grant

While this book’s cover, which features the name in very large print, makes me uncomfortable reading it on the metro, this 2016 Christianity Today Book Award winner offers great insight into spiritual formation in our hypersexualized culture.

Grant’s expansion of James K. A. Smith’s Cultural Liturgies project has helped me think about how I am being shaped consciously and unconsciously by our culture.

His chapter titled “We Are What We Acquire” was especially helpful. At IFWE, we talk a lot about the best parts of capitalism. This chapter takes a hard look at one of the less appealing outgrowths, consumerism. Specifically, Grant addresses how the way we consume products negatively affects the way we form relationships and view others. If we aren’t careful, we can begin to view people as easily replaceable products and not as people with inherent dignity. Get it here.

Elantris, Brandon Sanderson

I picked up Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris a few weeks ago because it is the only book set in his fictional universe, the Cosmere, that I haven’t read yet.

While the book reads slower than his other novels, interactions between the religions featured in the story have been one of its best aspects. Without giving too much away, the story features a high priest tasked with converting an entire nation. Reading the strategies he employs to inspire conversions and influence culture has been interesting to contrast with the modern church. Get it here.

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