I had become preoccupied with 9 verses in 2 Peter 1, and used the more than 200 pages in this book to unpack them. It’s one of my most ambitious books, and the one that shaped my own spirituality most profoundly.
Hidden in Plain Sight: The Secret of More (Thomas Nelson, 2007) (Thomas Nelson, 2007)
The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring Sabbath (Thomas Nelson, 2006) (Thomas Nelson, 2006)
I wrote this during a sabbatical leave, which was the perfect setting for writing about Sabbath days and Sabbath hearts. In part, I document how my own drivenness nearly threw me over a cliff, and how discovering Sabbath brought me back to sanity. The book unfolds Sabbath?s gifts, and offers a practical approach to Sabbath-keeping.
This was my first book, and it’s close to my heart. It’s really a book of spiritual disciplines for Jonahs: God-evaders who want to become God-chasers. I coined two phrases in YGiTS that have had far-reaching impact: ‘Borderland’, which describes half-in, half-out Christianity; and “the Holy Wild,” which describes life to the full with the God who is not safe, but good. YGiTS is really a sustained invitation to leave Borderland and live in the Holy Wild.
Things Unseen: Living in Light of Forever (Multnomah, 2002) (Multnomah, 2002)
I was struck by how often I heard the comment, :You don’t want to be so heavenly minded you’re of no earthly good. ” I started to wonder if such a person existed. I knew many people so earthly minded they were neither of heavenly nor earthly good, but the heavenly minded people I knew were, to a person, generous, kind, joyful, and very effective. So I set out to write about that, and about the difference heavenly mindedness makes in the day to day & how a keen sense of forever invigorates the here and now. This book is the result.
The Holy Wild: Trusting in the Character of God (Multnomah, 2003) (Multnomah, 2003)
I wanted to write about the classic attributes of God in a pastoral, not an academic, way. Particularly, I was piqued by the question, If God is [fill in the blank: just, loving, merciful, kind, and so on] what difference should that make when I [fill in the blank: face death, declare bankruptcy, lose a friend, spend money, etc.]. This is theology for the everyday.
This was a very different book for me. It’s my longest (to date), weighing in at over 300 pages, and my most personal. It came out of deep pain (the death of a close friend), and through that an even deeper discovery of Christ’s sufficiency for all things and in all things. The book’s two central insights – that our hearts have seasons, and that we need rhythms to move through those seasons well – have changed the way I look at spiritual formation.
Your Church is Too Safe: Turning the World Upside Down (Zondervan, 2012) (Zondervan, 2012)
This is my “sequel” to Your God is Too Safe – it stands alone, but it speaks to the whole body of Christ the message that Your God is Too Safe spoke to each follower of Christ: that God is not safe, but he’s good (C.S. Lewis), and that he invites us – his church – to receive his power to be formed in his character to accomplish his work for his glory. This book is a manifesto for the church to live more faithfully, generously, and dangerously. It is both a theology and a manual for turning the world on its head.