Those close to me know that I always ask for books for Christmas. Its nerdy, I know, and I think it annoys my wife, but I do it because I get stocked up for the following year. So Amber bought me my first two books:
- Foolishness to the Greeks by Leslie Newbigin – I always encourage my family to buy me used copies and this one is used. I love it because it is full of underlined sections and commentary by the previous owners. Newbigin argues that Christians must now approach the western world as a mission field. The book was written in the 1980s and from what I can gather from other books I have read on the subject, is one of the foundational books for missional theology and the missional movement.
- The Great Giveaway by David Fitch – Fitch is one of my favorite bloggers. I remember the first time I found his site he had a post up about politics and Zizek, which in my mind, any pastor/theologian who engages Zizek in a constructive way is worth respect and worth reading. The book is essentially about how the modern evangelical church has given away so much of what it means to be the church (be it to big business, parachurch organizations, psychotherapy, or consumer capitalism) that it has become barely distinguishable from other societal institutions.
So these are the first of hopefully many that I will be reading in 2009!
One of the great things, perhaps the greatest thing, about the internet is the amazing availability of information. Certainly this has and will continue to impact and change the way my generation approaches the world and understands the world. New innovations are constantly furthering and making more readily available information on just about anything. Just off the top of my head I can think of a basic time line in innovation – America Online, Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia…
Since college my use of the internet has evolved, the existence of this blog is probably the biggest example. I love to search and read blogs of all types around the internet. I also listen to a lot of podcasts. I already love macs (they are amazing! My wife and I have had the same laptop for 4 years now and love it!) so the advent of podcasts was genius!
Now, Stanford University has taken everything to another level! ITunes has a special section labeled iTunes U, a special section where universities can post material and podcasts. I have downloaded a couple of the Stanford podcasts before and enjoyed the topics that they presented. Now, however, they have expanded their presence. They have hundreds of different lectures on iTunes now on topics ranging from the historical Jesus to sustainable entrepreneurial leadership! They are posting entire courses! And they are not just lectures on antiquated material. They are posting what seems like every conference, forum, or lecture taking place on campus that has to do with very contemporary issues. For example, I have been listening to round table forums on health and energy issues confronting the world today and the importance of entrepreneurship in solving these issues!
So, in short, I feel like going out and buying a Stanford sweater!