John Elliott Lein

Writer, Artist, Designer and Theology Nerd

Reading Log—Beginning in 2013

I've decided to keep a reading log of relevant books here.


  1. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. [Incomplete]
  2. Wakabyashi, Allen Mitsuo. Kingdom Come: How Jesus Wants to Change the World
  3. Platt, David. Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream.
  4. Cole, Neil. Search and Rescue: An Urgent Call to Make and Multiply Disciples.
  5. ---. Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens. [Incomplete]
  6. George, Timothy. Faithful Witness: The Life and Witness of William Carey.
  7. Roxburgh, Alan. Missional: Joining God in the Neighborhood.
  8. Frost, Michel, and Alan Hirsch. ReJesus: A Wild Messiah for a Missional Church.

2014 (in Germany)

  1. Talbott, Thomas. The Inescapable Love of God.
  2. Parry, Robin. The Evangelical Universalist. [Incomplete]
  3. Bell, Rob. Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.
  4. ---. Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith
  5. ---. What We Talk About When We Talk About God. [2x]
  6. Tongol, Joshua. So You Thought You Knew: Letting Go of Religion.
  7. Wright, NT. The Challenge of Jesus.
  8. Lewis, C.S. Mere Christianity
  9. Losch, Dale. A Better Way: Make Disciples Wherever Life Happens.
  10. Wood, John. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World.
  11. Bahnson, Fred. Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith. [2x]
  12. Bahnson, Fred, and Norman Wirzba. Making Peace with the Land: God's Call to Reconcile with Creation.
  13. Corbett, Steve. When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself.

June - December 2014 (back in USA)

  1. McLaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christianity.  [2x]
  2. Wright, NT. The New Testament and the People of God. [waiting on a co-reading partner]
  3. Webber, Robert, and Lester Ruth. Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail.
  4. Yaw, Rev. Chris. Jesus Was An Episcopalian (And You Can Be One Too!): A Newcomer's Guide to the Episcopal Church.
  5. Borg, Marcus J. Convictions: How I Learned What Matters Most. [2x]
  6. Enns, Peter. The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It.
  7. Borg, Marcus. The Heart of Christianity. [2x]
  8. Cahill, Thomas. The Gift of the Jews.
  9. Rohr, Richard. Falling Upwards: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life. [2x]
  10. Merton, Thomas. Seven Storey Mountain.
  11. Schaeffer, Frank. Crazy Love: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.
  12. ---. Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to Give Love, Create Beauty and Find Peace.
  13. Borg, Marcus. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time.
  14. Kushner, Harold. Living a Life That Matters.
  15. Lee, Justin. Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate.
  16. Chu, Jeff. Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America.
  17. Vines, Matthew. God and the Gay Christian.
  18. Robinson, Gene. God Believes in Love.
  19. Scroggs, Robin. New Testament and Homosexuality.
  20. McLaren, Brian. A New Kind of Christian.
  21. Corey, Benjamin. Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.
  22. Brueggemann, Walter, and Tod Linafelt. An Introduction to the Old Testament. [reference]


  1. Taylor, Barbara Brown. An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith.
  2. ---. Learning to Walk in the Dark.
  3. Evans, Rachel Held. Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions.
  4. ---. Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church.
  5. Crossan, John Dominic. The Greatest Prayer.
  6. ---. The Power of Parable: How Fiction by Jesus Became Fiction about Jesus
  7. Crossan, John Dominic and Borg, Marcus. The First Paul: Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church's Conservative Icon
  8. ---. The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus's Final Days in Jerusalem.
  9. Chilton, Bruce. Rabbi Jesus.
  10. Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century.
  11. Pagitt, Doug. A Christianity Worth Believing In.
  12. Heschel, Abraham. Sabbath.
  13. Tickle, Phillis. The Great Emergence.
  14. McLaren, Brian. Why did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?: Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World.
  15. Martin, Dale B. Sex and the Single Savior.
  16. McLaren, Brian. Naked Spirituality. [Incomplete]
  17. ---. We Make the Road by Walking. [for our weekly Cottage Group]
  18. Spong, John Shelby. Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile.
  19. ---. Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World.
  20. ---. A New Christianity for a New World: Why Traditional Faith is Dying & How a New Faith is Being Born.
  21. Marsden, George. Fundamentalism and American Culture.
  22. Levine, Amy-Jill. Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. [August 2015]
  23. Butler-Bass, Diana. Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.
  24. Rohr, Richard. Immortal Diamond.
  25. Jenks, Gregory C. The Once and Future Bible. [August 2015]
  26. Capon, Robert Farrar. The Astonished Heart: Reclaiming the Good News from the Lost-and-Found of Church History [2x]
  27. Escobar, Kathy. Faith Shift
  28. Armstrong, Karen. Through the Narrow Gate.
  29. Newell, J. Phillip. Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality.
  30. Watts, Alan. The Wisdom of Insecurity: A Message for an Age of Anxiety (Sep 2015)
  31. Pausch, Randy. The Last Lecture. (Sep 2015)
  32. Manning, Brennan. All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir (Sep 2015)
  33. Moore, Thomas. A Religion of One's Own (Oct 2015)
  34. Wiman, Christian. My Bright Abyss. 
  35. Palmer, Parker J. Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation. (Oct 2015)
  36. Spong, John Shelby. Eternal Life: A New Vision. (Nov 2015)
  37. Moore, Thomas. Care of the Soul (Nov 2015)
  38. Levoy, Gregg. Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life. (Nov-Dec 2015)
  39. Nouwen, McNeill, and Morrison. Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life.
  40. Rollins, Peter. The Divine Magician: The Disappearance of Religion and the Discovery of Faith



Currently Reading:

  • Merton, Thomas. New Seeds of Contemplation. [taking my time]
  • Brueggemann, Walter. The Prophetic Imagination.
  • Willard, Dallas. The Divine Conspiracy.
  • Armstrong, Karen. Saint Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate.
  • Caputo, John. What Would Jesus Deconstruct?