From God, to God

Publishers issue a steady stream of books for daily devotional or inspirational reading. These four stand out because they draw on sources that are worthy of rereading and pondering:

The matrix

You shall be called the repairer of the breach” said Isaiah, “the restorer of the streets to live in” (58:12). Isaiah’s imploring became reality in the life of Robert McAfee Brown, a solid “repairer of the breach.” Bob Brown was also a gifted storyteller.


On a rainy Georgia night near the end of the Civil War, a soldier named Arly, who is more interested in survival than piety, addresses God about his young companion Will, who “thinks an army at war is a reasonable thing. . . . He thinks we live in a sane life and time, which you know as well as I is not what you designed for us sinners.”

Take and read

When it emerged in the 1980s, the Irish rock group U2, with its lead singer Bono, displayed a spiritual passion that countered the big-haired, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” synthesizer pop of that era. The band was sincere and idealistic, and its lyrics sidestepped the standard topics of sex, parties and relationships.