5 Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer can be a great opportunity to invest some time into good reading material. What’s on your list this summer? We have a few recommendations!

*Note: The Amazon links provided are unaffiliated and the180 receives no benefit from purchases of these books.

Peter Scazzero, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (2008).

“Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.”

Even though Pete was pastor of a rapidly growing church, he did what most people do: avoid conflict in the name of Christianity, ignore his anger, sadness, and fear, and live without boundaries. Eventually God awakened him to a biblical integration of emotional health, a profound relationship with Jesus, and spiritual disciplines that Christians have practiced throughout the history of the church. A must-read!

A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God (1948).

“Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one.”

Written by an important figure in the Christian & Missionary Alliance tradition (the denomination to which the180 belongs), this book is an enduring Christian classic which will resonate in the heart of anyone longing for a deeper experience with God. An invitation to think deeply about your faith even as you come alive to God's pursuit of you, this book is a devotional masterpiece.

James K.A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016).

“Too often we look for the Spirit in the extraordinary when God has promised to be present in the ordinary.”

Smith causes us think about the "why" of the habits and rhythms that define our days. These habits, which we rarely think about, can tell us a lot more about what we love, desire, and want, than the answers we might give out loud. In fact, we might not realize that we truly are what we love–and that there are powerful ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices.

Marilynne Robinson, Gilead (2004).

“Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life.”

Marilynne Robinson's fictional novel traces the autobiography of the Reverend John Ames, an elderly pastor in smalltown Iowa, who knows that he is dying of a heart condition. At the beginning of the book, Ames explains that he is writing an account of his life for his seven-year-old son, who will have few memories of him. Gilead is a captivating, poetic novel which invites you to ponder on the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

John Ortberg, All The Places to Go … How Will You Know?: God Has Placed Before You an Open Door. What Will You Do? (2015).

“Very often God’s will for you will be ‘I want you to decide,’ because decision making is an indispensable part of character formation. God is primarily in the character-forming business, not the circumstance-shaping business.”

John Ortberg is a bestselling author and pastor with a degree in clinical psychology. As a pastor, John’s teaching centers around our everyday life with God and how God cares more about who we are becoming than what we do. All The Places to Go will open your eyes to the countless doors God places before us every day, teach you how to recognize them, and encourage you to step out in faith.

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