Books come and go. I have a huge stack of books that I have read but have not had the time to review or mention on the blog. Most of them will disappear into oblivion and a few will stay kicking around in our consciousness. In my world, there were three books released last year that are still being discussed, debated, and digested. OK Rob Bell's book on hell is still getting spanked. But these 3 books have generated some valuable discussion on how the world could be different and is already being made different.
Here are 3 books from 2011 that you should have read if you are interested in changing the world.
1. Economics of Good and Evil: The Quest for Economic Meaning from Gilgamesh to Wall Street by Tomas Sedlacek condenses his PhD studies into this fascinating book that covers the global recession, the foundations of economic theory, and a fresh look at the Bible. I have friends who lead a weekly study of this book in China. Tomas will be speaking at some of my favorite festivals in Europe this year so you can meet him, as I did last year in Prague.
2. The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business by Umair Haque highlights the reformation in business where 'EVIL' companies like Walmart and Nike are deciding to become 'good", reforming themselves and beginning to create "betters" that will benefit the whole of society, not just their own bottom line. Yes, even Walmart!!! Although this book deals primarily with business, the challenge to move from "thin" value to "thick" value is something that non-profits and ministries will also appreciate.
3. Sacrilege: Finding Life in the Unorthodox Ways of Jesus by Hugh Halter.
The first two books deal with economics which I believe is THE conversation of 2011 and 2012, as the world rights itself from the corruption and financial disaster that threatened to topple it. It's a pity the church has had such a tiny voice in this process.
The third book, Sacrilege, deals with the movement of God's people as they attempt to go beyond being "missional, to kick some sacred-cow ass, to deconstruct their own Ned Flanders version of Christianity and to actually enter the world in tangible ways to allow God's Great Economy to take hold.
Author and activist Hugh Halter has been my friend for over a decade and he is always challenging me further. Sacrilege is his best book. He told me it was the "best book ever written other than the bible and outdoor magazine!" Which is not true - Outdoor magazine has more pictures. But its a great book and one that is still spurning conversation. Ed Stetzer recently interviewed Hugh regarding this book and its contents.
I want to highlight a few things in Hugh's book but will do it soon in another post dedicated to the subject.