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  • Writer's pictureJohn Morrison

Seven Summer Reading Recommendations

At ITM, we love to read and find summer to be a great time to sneak in an extra book or two. Our leadership team has compiled a list of books that we hope will give every reader under your roof something to enjoy this summer. Happy reading!

Jenn Heckman

The Green Ember, S. D. Smith

Lewis and Tolkein both advocated the importance of what they called “fairy stories” for children (and adults, too!), not because we need to be reminded that there is evil in the world but because we need to be reminded of our Christian hope that one day Good will triumph over evil. In this vein, The Green Ember follows two extraordinary rabbits, Heather and Picket as they seek to rescue their family and find themselves caught up in a much more dangerous saga. This book will resonate both with children and the adults who read it to them. Best read aloud to children 6+. Children 8+ could read on their own.

Dave Kiehn

The summer is a great time for me to grow as a pastor. I will spend the summer meditating on the pastoral office. Laniak’s work is more academic and traces the shepherd imagery from Genesis to Revelation. Chang’s work is written on a more popular level highlighting the pastoral practice of the great Baptist, Charles Spurgeon. I pray both will edify my soul and strengthen my understanding of the pastoral office while providing areas of improvement of my own pastoral ministry.

John Morrison

Formed in His Image offers a biblically-rooted and theologically-robust vision for spiritual formation as the way of life for believers. There is much to commend this book, but here are four particular highlights: (1) Ford’s approach is rooted in grace. He encourages growth in Christ that begins and is carried on by the grace of God in the gospel. (2) He emphasizes the important role of your local church in your spiritual formation. (3) He is imminently practical without becoming programmatic. (4) The writing is engaging and accessible to a wide audience. This is a great book to read as you consider how you might best grow and help others grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior.

This is a collection of poems by fifteen different contemporary North Carolina poets. While nearly thirty years old now, the book gives a glimpse into the culture of the Old North State that will resonate with anyone who has been able to enjoy time in the Land of the Long Leaf Pine. North Carolina author Clyde Egerton said it best in his endorsement of this work, “If you have never loved someone who died, or stepped through weeds, or drunk a Dr. Pepper, or worn a ring on your finger, then do not read this book. Otherwise, take it home. You will want to read it at least once a year, and you will find that each time it is new.”

Eric Mullis

As parents, we long to point our children to Jesus and to see the gospel take root deep in their hearts. Yet, homework and hectic schedules often seem to pull our families in a thousand directions, leaving little time in our daily lives for considering the things of God. In Habits of the Household, Earley offers practical advice on how we can parent day in and day out in a way that points our children toward the love of God.

Michael White

How is it that so many African Americans came to reside in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York? With vivid writing and engrossing detail, Isabel Wilkerson tells the story of America’s great migration through the lens of three individuals who left the Jim Crow south in pursuit of a better life. As our nation continues to grapple with the fruit of that not too distant era, Christians will be well served to know the history Wilkerson unfolds, in order that they might empathize with and engage a culture still coming to terms with its past.

In our day, cable news chyrons and headlines herald calamity, and Christians, in turn, are tempted to react to and withdraw from the culture. But Hannah Anderson points to a better way. All That’s Good urges Christians to recover the art of discernment, in order to see not just the brokenness, but also the beauty of God’s world. By attending to whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable, Christians can faithfully live as citizens of this world even as we wait for a world made new.

Happy reading!

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