Go Deeper with Recommended Reading

The response to the last few episodes of The Christian Civics Podcast has been very encouraging, but we know that these interviews only scratched the surface. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet, now’s a great time to catch up. Links to the episodes we’ve published this spring and summer are all below. If you’re already caught up and want more, we have recommended reading for each interview—including books suggested by the guests themselves—below!

Episodes: “Embodied Encounters,” “Good Friday…” and “Practicing For Heaven”
(Dr. Curt Thompson)

Part OnePart TwoPart Three

What causes that tightening in our stomach we get when we get into an argument about politics? By weaving together science, theology and rock-solid relationship counseling, this three-part interview with Dr. Curt Thompson helped us understand our own reactions to political conflict, cast a vision for reacting more biblically and gave us practical ways to grow into that vision.

Books by Dr. Thompson

Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices…
The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves

Those interested in learning more about the interplay between our biology and our Christian spiritual life are encouraged to read Dr. Thompson’s well-received books on the topic.

Came Up In Conversation

The Gospel in a Pluralist Society by Lesslie Newbigin

During our talk, Dr. Thompson brought up missionary and theologian Lesslie Newbigin. Since Newbigin is one of my favorites, this is a great chance to commend his most influential book. A generation of church planters have been either directly or indirectly influenced by Newbigin’s thoughts on how the church can maintain and expand its witness in a changing world.

Curt Recommends

You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit by James K.A. Smith

Dr. Thompson mentioned that we swim through a cultural milieu, and that culture has an affect on us. James K. A. Smith offers us a timely reminder that we aren’t just shaped by what we think and believe, but by what we do, as well. We may not even realize that the routines that shape our days are also shaping our hearts, but learning to identify them and how they are forming us is the first step in following a new pattern.

Episode: “Refuge and Asylum”
(Rev. Chris Sicks)

Listen Now

We don’t always release episodes that tie into hot-button issues being debated by the national media, but when we do, it’s usually by accident. This long-delayed interview with a Virginia pastor was conducted by our friends at Ministry to State, and highlighted powerful stories of God’s church acting as Jesus’ hands and feet in a very local way.

Came Up In Conversation

Tangible: Making God Known Through Deeds of Mercy and Words of Truth

Rev. Sicks ended the interview by sharing a letter from a jaded atheist. Years of atrocity and violence had convinced him that “God had quit this world,” but the church’s hospitality toward his son changed his mind. If you’d like to read the letter for yourself, pick up this book by Rev. Sicks, which includes the letter in its entirety.

Episode: “Losing Power is Painful” (Bill Henson)

Listen Now

What if God has something bigger in store for us than winning an election?

Over the past twelve years, Bill Henson has been helping ministry leaders navigate and witness within a culture that has changed at a breakneck pace. We sat down to talk about his work, but ended up talking about witnessing effectively from a position of weakness.

Bill Recommends

People To Be Loved: Why Homosexuality Is Not Just An Issue by Preston Sprinkle
Us versus Us: The Untold Story of Religion and the LGBT Community by Andrew Marin

Bill has spent a dozen years equipping pastors for ministry to people who identify as LGBT, and when we asked him to recommend books for people interested in learning more about the topic, these are what he recommended. Both books work to offer readers a broader perspective on sex, sexuality and history.

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