Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia is a new book from Intervarsity Press. In the book, the authors look at seventeen inspiring people hoping to introduce the pivotal Christian leaders in Africa and Asia who had tenacious faith in the midst of deprivation, suffering and conflict. Spanning a century, from the 1880s to the 1980s, their stories demonstrate the vitality of the Christian faith in a diversity of contexts. It is also a companion to Mark Noll’s award-winning book The New Shape of World Christianity: How American Experience Reflects Global Faith.

This past fall, amazon announced the new kindle 3. And its price of $139 for the non-3g version. For someone who reads a lot, that reduces the ROI to less than a year’s worth of book buying. That was the tipping point for me, so I put in a request for a new kindle as a Christmas present. And as sure as the sun rises in the East, I received one.

Let me first say that I love it. It is a great addition to to my toy collection.

As I read my first book on it, however, I noticed some changes in my reading and how it will continue to change my reading.

Elaine Heath argues that the church is in a dark night of the soul. It has thus lost its prophetic voice–its effectiveness in proclaiming the good news of redemption. Rather than resisting or decrying this state of affairs, the church, says Heath, ought to embrace its situation as a starting point to renew its vitality and consequently, its witness. A solution is proposed in the wisdom and contemplative spirituality of the great saints and mystics–people such as Julian of Norwich, Ignatius of Loyola, Phoebe Palmer, Henri Nouwen, and others.