Roundup: Top 100 spiritual books, optional motherhood, sheep, and God’s praise-seeking

“100 Writers of Faith”: Several years ago, Image journal compiled a list of the top 100 Judeo-Christian-faith-inspired literary works of the twentieth century. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve read only one on this list! (Night by Elie Wiesel) I don’t read much fiction these days, but I know it has a lot to offer us spiritual folk. Maybe I’ll start by making my way down this list. . . . Do you have any specific recommendations, whether included here or not? Silence and Gilead have been on my to-read list for some time, but other than those?

“26, Unmarried, and Childless” by Amanda Bast: Bast questions whether life really starts and ends with getting married and having kids: “What if my ultimate goal has nothing to do with marriage or kids or a career? What if my aim was to love people well, and to fully embrace the gifts I’ve been given? Would that be enough? What if my life goal was to simply run the race, to be called a good and faithful servant at the end of it all? Maybe that would mean marriage and children and a thriving career, but maybe it wouldn’t. Is it ok if it doesn’t?”

“Why I Decided Not to Have Kids” by JaJa Yang: This article is similar to the one above but is written with firmer conviction from the perspective of one who has purposefully chosen not to have children. “This assumption of child-bearing as the default for all women is troubling,” Yang says. Not all Christian women are called to be mothers; God has not given all women this desire, this gift, and we need not be ashamed if we don’t have it. Yang says she wishes the church would recognize the important role that childless women (even those who fill this role by choice) play in the body of Christ.

“Dumb, Directionless, Defenseless” by Tim Challies: A few weeks ago I posted a hymn about the Lord as our shepherd, based on Psalm 23. Challies digs into this biblical metaphor to better understand what it means.

“Why God Is Not Vain to Seek Praise”: God wants us to tell him how great he is. Isn’t that a bit egomaniacal? C. S. Lewis says no, God has our enjoyment in mind. In the video below, John Piper reads the passage that changed his life, from C. S. Lewis’s Reflections on the Psalms. See also “God Is Not an Idolater,” a short devotional by Piper on the same topic.

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