No idea comes out of thin air, and mine was no different. Listed below are the books that were most important to developing The Tuning Station.
“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves.”
Ender’s Game is one of the most popular books of all time, and was even made into a major motion picture in 2013 (that did little justice to the novel, I’m afraid). The story’s themes of empathy and understanding had a huge effect on me, and I’ve incorporated those ideas into the very fabric of The Tuning Station.
Blue Like Jazz
“Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.”
Reading this book was a life-changer; seeing Miller’s gentle treatment of people damaged by religion set the tone for what I wanted to accomplish myself. The idea that a person who is angry at religion, rails against God and openly disbelieves, is a loved child of God, worthy of our own love and respect, is sadly controversial – but expresses the very purpose of Jesus Christ as well as I’ve ever heard.
“Anger is the right response to something that is so wrong. But don’t let the anger and pain and loss you feel prevent you from forgiving him and removing your hands from around his neck.”
While I don’t agree with many of this novel’s proclaimed theologies, I’ve always loved it for its approach to a difficult topic in a way that generated untold thousands of worthy discussions among Christians. It is, at its core, a beautiful depiction of grace.
Passport through Darkness: A True Story of Danger and Second Chances
“…we think being a Christian means to go to church on Sunday and trying to be good through the week. Now I see it means suffering, being willing to let the hard things happen to you, so that God can use us to do His work on this earth!”
This is the incredible true story of Kimberly Smith, a normal woman who risks her life as a missionary in war-ridden Sudan. The stories she tells are heartbreaking – sometimes, so tragic they’re hard to read. Her tale shows exactly what it can mean to give oneself to God’s calling, and inspired two chapters in The Tuning Station.