Wednesday morning Book Group Inspiration

I’m a part of our church’s Wednesday morning social justice book group.  This is a great community, with a wide range of views, all accepted.    Here are some recent reads from the group:


Greg Boyle’s Tatoos on the Heart:  This is a favorite of mine because it’s really about the hope of an entrepreneur.   Boyle is a Catholic priest in LA devoted to helping hundreds of gang members find jobs.  Instead of “job hunting”, he builds businesses and employs gang members.  He’s likely the largest employer of gang members in the country!  His businesses range from silkscreening to tattoo removal, though not surprisingly, plumbing didn’t succeed!  He shares very real stories on our culture and poignant views of the gang culture.  You will be moved to rethink  your judgements on  gang members  and what one person can do to solve a huge social issue.

Unknown-2Jim Wallis’ On God’s Side:  Wallis advocates for Washington to capture the best from each side of the political aisle.  He advocates for the positive value of personal responsibility  from Republicans and the positive value of social responsibility from Democrats.   I read the chapter on economic system reform with skepticism, but then was inspired by some new thinking on how to help young people navigate this system and get better jobs.  More to come on that front!


Reza Aslan is an Iranian-American writer and professed “scholar of religions,” though he is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the UC Riverside.  Zealot explores the historical Jesus, sharing the political, social and religious systems in place at the time of Jesus.  One comment from our group:  do all Jesus’ biographies portray a Jesus that is similar to the author?  It’s a quick read though not necessarily an easy one.

My next reads include Switch by the Heath brothers and Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation.  Let me know what you are reading!



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