Sail into summer reading
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Let’s be honest. Have you ever secretly feared that after a few hundred or thousand years you might find heaven to be . . . boring? If so, consider reading Michael E. Wittmer’s Heaven is a place on Earth. Wittmer, a theology professor in Grand Rapids, Mich., debunks this concern with solid biblical exposition written in an accessible style. His premise is that we should enjoy and make the most of life on earth because heaven for us will be a new earth that retains and enhances the best features of our human existence. Along the way, Wittmer raises the value of everyday life activities alongside essential “spiritual” endeavors such as worship and evangelism. For me, this book was as groundbreaking as The Purpose Driven Life has been for so many Christians.
Consider pairing Wittmer’s book with one that focuses on vital spiritual disciplines. Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline may be the best–known book in this category in
recent times. Foster encourages the pursuit of the disciplines with a warm, sage-like spirit. Some similar ground is covered in John Ortberg’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted, though Ortberg’s writing is wittier and more anecdotal.
Another book that has breathed life into me—especially as a parent of young children—is Gary Thomas’ Sacred Parenting. The beauty of Thomas’ work is that it doesn’t heap on guilt or overwhelm with should-dos; in fact, rather than instructing parents on how to raise their kids, it brings out some of the ways that raising kids can spiritually shape the parents. It’s nice to know that parenting is good for parents, too.
—Since the beginning of the year, Adam
Forry ’99, who majored in history at Messiah College, has been serving as senior pastor of the Speedwell Heights Brethren in Christ Church in Lititz, Pa., after eight years as an associate pastor at New Joy Church in Ephrata, Pa. His favorite place to read is snuggled up beside his wife in bed.