Two Handed Warrior Books of the Decade, by Gary & Sue Stratton

Inspired by Margaret Feinberg’s list of 10 beautiful books of the decade in yesterday’s post, Sue and I put our heads together over dinner at Outback and came up with our own twenty (popular) books on the two themes of Two Handed Warriors—Culture Making and Faith Building. (Hey, there’s two of us, so we get ten each, right?) Of course, a few were written before the 2000’s, but we didn’t get around to reading them until this decade. Read our lists and let us know what we missed. It drove us crazy leaving out so many great books.


Culture Making and the Arts

  1. Walking On Water (1980) Madeline L’Engle
  2. The Love of Learning and the Desire for God (1988) Jean Leclerq
  3. The Courage to Teach (1997) Parker Palmer
  4. The Dying of the Light (1998) James T. Burtchaell
  5. Divided by Faith (2001) Michael O. Emerson & Christian Smith
  6. Imagine (2001) Steve Turner
  7. The Rise of Evangelicalism (2003) Mark Noll
  8. Culture Making (2008) Andy Crouch
  9. Outliers (2008) Malcolm Gladwell
  10. To Change the World (2010) James Davidson Hunter


Faith Building and Spiritual Formation

  1. The Renovation of the Heart (2002) Dallas Willard
  2. Blue Like Jazz (2003) Donald Miller
  3. Repenting of Religion (2004) Greg Boyd
  4. The Jesus Creed (2005) Scot McKnight
  5. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (2006) Pete Scazzero
  6. unChristian (2007) David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons
  7. Kingdom Triangle (2007) J.P. Moreland
  8. A Credible Witness (2008) Brenda Salter McNeil
  9. Not the Religious Type (2008) David Schmelzer
  10. Surprised by Hope (2008) NT Wright

What’s on your list?

Gary & Sue

11 Replies to “Two Handed Warrior Books of the Decade, by Gary & Sue Stratton”

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life has long been one of my favorite movies. As I watched the movie again, I realized that that George, like many of us, ends up being guided down a path that is not his own path or plan. Because George so desperately wants to experience a new life, outside of his hometown, we see his frustration as he is pulled back to Bedford Falls because God has another path or plan for him. We may believe that he stays because of fate or because ethically he just can’t say “no” to the townspeople. And, maybe this is true. However, I believe it is true because it is God’s calling for George. You might say it is in the “wiring” for George. There have been times in my own life that things just seem to fall into place, even when I have not really worked for them. Other times, there have been situations when I may push and push for a certain something and things work out differently than I had hoped, but end up even better. When it comes to Potter, even though it seems that he is almost acting as the devil by causing so much pain for George, maybe this too is part of God’s plan for George. When Potter feels no remorse even though he caused the crisis in George’s life (the $8000 missing) and then takes things even farther when he calls the authorities, it pushes George to the limit. The last nail in the coffin happens when Potter tells George that he is worth more dead than alive it is absolutely appalling. This sends George off the deep end and straight to the bridge. I wonder how many people experience something similar to this. When we see people do crazy and horrible things it makes me wonder what happened previously. I know that there are times when I do some crazy things that I may not have done if it were not for something happening earlier. Luckily, as in George’s case, God steps in and corrects my path.

  2. Melissa, You're right. Yes, we're addicted, and, yes, we should have put Nouwen's The Genesee Diary on the list. It is the only Nouwen book I read for the FIRST time in the 2000's (the rest were in the 80's and 90's). It was very influential on me, but Sue hasn't read it yet so it didn't make the final cut. Thanks for chiming in, Gary

  3. Melissa via Facebook

    When I first read your post I thought you said "got any addictions to these books." Yes, I am quite addicted to my books-

    I can't quite imagine a book list void of Henri Nouwen…

  4. Good lists – though it does seem like Garber's Fabric of Faithfulness should be included, and perhaps the recent trilogy by James Bryan Smith (The Good and Beautiful Series). But it is impossible to include them all!

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