July 2019 Selection

July 2019 Selection

We are delighted to feature a new book by Messy Church founder Lucy Moore exploring the core values of this ministry; Kathleen Duffy’s exploration of  the work of Jesuit scientist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin;  a book by Miroslav Volf and Matthew Croasmun about what makes life worth living; and Tony Horsfall considers servant ministry.

This month’s selections also explore sustaining hope in an unjust world; progressive Christian parenting with a social-justice orientation; Paul’s letter to the Romans; and ministry to people who no longer need a God.

See the Ordering section below for information about ordering these titles, (including alternatives to using our PayPal shopping cart buttons). our postage charges and orders for overseas customers.

[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 28 June 2019]


God’s Word for Messy People:
31 Bible readings and reflections.
Lucy Moore.
Pbk 64pp. ISBN 9780857467492.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Do you want to go deeper in your journey as a Messy Church leader or helper, or are you just curious about what makes Messy Church a way of being church together?

This accessible booklet contains 31 short Bible passages, with a reflection on each passage by Messy Church founder Lucy Moore, exploring the core values of Messy Church and reinforcing the creativity, hospitality, joy, inclusivity and character of Jesus.

Servant Ministry:
A portrait of Christ and a pattern for his followers
Tony Horsfall.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780857468864.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Servanthood is something to which all believers are called, not just those in full-time ministry. This means that understanding what servanthood means is vital for the health and well-being of local churches.

Writing from many years of Christian teaching and mentoring, Tony Horsfall applies insights drawn from the Isaiah 42:1-9 to topics such as:

  • the motivation for service and the call to serve; valid expressions of servanthood and the link between evangelism and social action
  • character formation and what it means to be a servant
  • how to keep going over the long haul in the harsh realities of ministry, and 
  • the importance of listening to God on a daily basis and also over a whole lifetime

Retired and Inspired:

Making the most of our latter years
Wendy Billington.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780857467201.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Billington draws on her pastoral skills and life experience to ask the question: What is a Christian view of retirement? If we believe that life is a gift from God, should we not be viewing retirement as part of an integrated whole and see our latter years as part of God’s plan?

This book is intended for all to read: individuals preparing for retirement and in their retirement years as well as their families, friends, befrienders, carers and professionals.

Written in two sections, Uprooting the weeds’and Sowing the seeds, it includes questions for group discussion at the end of each chapter, followed by a meditative thought for the day and a closing prayer.

The Paradise Tree:
Personal Prayer through Poetry.
John Davey. Pbk 140pp.

ISBN 9781910519646.
Sacristy Press (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This creative mixture of poetry, prose and scripture, will challenge preconceptions about the nature of God, heaven, hell, intercessory prayer, and the relevance of human existence within the vastness of an unfathomable universe.

This book is about personal discipleship and giving witness to the presence of God to the world around us. It is about finding within our inner being the meaning of life itself and about our future destiny. To do this we need to reflect upon the life and witness of a man who lived 2,000 years ago and who, by his life of personal sacrifice to the needs of others in the name of love, gave visible expression to the reality and being of God, in the everyday life of humankind.

God of Violence Yesterday, God of Love Today?:
Wrestling honestly with the Old Testament.
Helen Paynter.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780857466396.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Do you find the violence in the Old Testament a problem? Does it get in the way of reading the Bible – and of faith itself?

Paynter faces the questions head-on and offers a fresh, accessible approach to a significant issue.

“In lucid prose Helen Paynter argues that violence featured in the biblical canon should not be ignored or denied but acknowledged and faced honestly. While history is played out in a broken and often violent world the author shows how the movement of scripture is toward God’s creative intention for healing and wholeness. Without providing final answers Paynter offers ways of interpreting even the most violent passages so that we may hear God’s word for today.”
John Meredith, Editor of Word & Worship

When in Romans:
An Invitation to Linger with the Gospel According to Paul.
Beverly Roberts Gaventa.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9781540960719.

Baker Books (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

When reading the book of Romans, we often focus on the quotable passages, making brief stopovers and not staying long enough to grasp some of the big ideas it contains. Instead of raiding Paul’s most famous letter for a passage here or a theme there, leading New Testament scholar Beverly Roberts Gaventa invites us to linger in Romans. She asks that we stay with the letter long enough to see how Romans reframes our tidy categories and dramatically enlarges our sense of the gospel.

With profound insights written in accessible prose and illuminating references to contemporary culture, this engaging book explores the cosmic dimensions of the gospel that we read about in Paul’s letter. Gaventa focuses on four key issues in Romans – salvation, identity, ethics and community – that are crucial both for the first century and for our own.

16 and a Half Ways to Upgrade Your Faith.
Bob Wallington.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780281078790.

SPCK (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

After the spiritual highs of a Christian retreat, it can seem like the rest of the year is spiritually downhill until the next conference or retreat. But what if there was a way to help make your faith life defy this downward spiral? What if you could leave the retreat and watch your spiritual life increase over the following year?

Here, youth pastor Bob Wallington practically sets out how you can make your faith come alive once you’re back into the regular routine of school, homework and church on Sundays. In bitesize chunks, Bob explores ways of reading the Bible, taking time to reflect on God, asking for prayer, developing a prayer life and getting involved with church.

In the Mystery’s Shadow:
Reflections on Caring for the Elderly and Dying.
Susan H Swetnam.
Pbk 168pp. ISBN 9780814663622.

Liturgical Press (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

As our lifespans continue to grow longer, millions of people every year spend time caring for the elderly and dying – some as professionals, some as volunteers, and some through their loving but demanding care for parents, spouses, or other family members or friends.

Swetnam draws on her experience serving thousands of ill and dying clients, often in hospice programs, as a certified massage therapist – and also on her experience of caring for her own husband, who died young of cancer. She explains how this sometimes difficult work offers not just the fulfilment of giving comfort to people who need it, but also moments of breath-taking wonder, moments that hint at the untold complexity of being human and affirm our sacred connections with each other.

She writes of the hard lessons caregivers learn about themselves, while at the same time knowing the strange and humbling sense of being used in the service of God’s love. Insightfully connecting end-of-life care with the liturgical year, Swetnam invites those who care for the sick and dying, whether professional or volunteer, to stay awake to the sacred implications of their labours.

Giving Up Without Giving Up:
Meditation and Depressions
Jim Green.
Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9781472957450.

Bloomsbury Continuum (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A simple, intelligent guide to meditation and contemplation for those dealing with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Drawing on his experience of meditation within both the Buddhist and Christian contemplative traditions, as well as his own times of personal loss and bewilderment, Jim Green offers us a moving account of just how this wisdom practice can accompany each of us as we make ‘the gentle pilgrimage of recovery.’

He offers a thorough and practical approach to our times of personal desolation, centred on the practice of meditation, showing how we can learn to treat ourselves and each other with care and compassion.

Wisdom’s Feast:
An Invitation to Feminist Interpretation of the Scriptures.
Barbara E Reid.
Pbk 164pp. ISBN 9780802873514.
Eerdmans (2016).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Reid begins by presenting feminist methods of biblical interpretation and explaining why they are important, giving attention not only to gender perspectives but also to race, class, and culture as determinating factors in how one understands the biblical text. She then presents fresh, readable feminist interpretations of selected Old and New Testament texts. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions for group or personal use.

Making feminist interpretation of Scripture understandable, compelling, and usable, Wisdom’s Feast will be valuable to any readers hungry to learn from the rich insights of feminist biblical scholars. 

New Vision for an Old Story:
Why the Bible Might Not Be the Book You Think It Is
Anne Robertson.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780802874573.

Eerdmans (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

When Anne Robertson asked a bunch of people on the street what came to mind when they heard the word Bible, she was met with a flood of mixed responses – words like wisdom, lies, faith, rules, ancient history, bigotry, poison and many more.

What she realised was that we all read the Bible through filtered lenses, according to our varied expectations of what the Bible is or should be. But, says Robertson, the Bible is primarily God’s story – a story of relationship, community, and love.

Robertson’s New Vision for an Old Story gives readers the right lenses to see beyond the printed page to the God who encounters us in dynamic relationship and transforms our lives. The very nature and message of Scripture are rooted in incarnation. When we need to navigate community, truth, fear, and suffering, the Bible – God’s own story – can guide us through it all.

Sustaining Hope in an Unjust World:
How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up.
Timothy Charles Murphy.
Pbk 128pp. ISBN.9780827235434.

Chalice Press (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

In our faithful work toward building a better world, we may often feel we’re losing the battle. The poor get poorer, the vulnerable continue to be abused, and justice for all is a distant dream. No matter how hard we work, nothing changes. Some days, we wonder if God is even still with us in the fight.

But what happens, in our striving for social justice, when we discover that God offers us something entirely different than the promise of victory? In this love letter to the disheartened activist, pastor Murphy reflects on his own journey of disappointments and despair and rediscovers a faith – and a God – who inspires us to continue fighting, even when it feels like we’re losing the battle.

In Sickness and in Health:
Love, Disability, and a Quest to Understand the Perils and Pleasures of Interabled Romance.
Ben Mattlin.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9780807063422.

Beacon Press (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A frank, humorous exploration of interabled dating, love, and marriage.

Through conversations with more than a dozen couples of varying abilities, ethnic backgrounds, and orientations, Mattlin sets out to understand whether these pairings are as unusual as onlookers seem to think.

Reflecting on his own experience he wonders:

  • How do people balance the stresses of personal-care help with the thrill of romance?
  • Is it possible that the very things that appear to be insurmountable obstacles to a successful relationship – the financial burdens, the physical differences, the added element of an especially uncertain future – could be the building blocks of an enviable level of intimacy and communication that other couples could only dream of?

What emerges is a candid glimpse into the challenges and joys of interabled love – from the first blush of sexual awakening to commitment and marriage and through to widowhood.

Parenting Forward:
How to Raise Children with Justice, Mercy, and Kindness.
Cindy Wang Brandt.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780802876034.

Eerdmans (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

A progressive Christian parenting book with a social-justice orientation.

Brandt equips Christian parents to model a way of following Jesus that has an outward focus, putting priority on loving others, avoiding judgment, and helping those in need. She shows how parents must work on dismantling their own racial, cultural, gender, economic, and religious biases in order to avoid passing them on to their children. “By becoming aware of the complex ways we participate in systems of inequality or hierarchy,” she says, “we begin to resist systemic injustice ourselves, empower our children, and change our communities.”

Parenting Forward is a robust and accessible guide to breaking the cycle of authoritarian, fear-based parenting in favor of a paradigm that pursues and celebrates equality, autonomy, and fully embodied health and wholeness.” Rachel Held Evans from the foreword

Whence and Whither:
On lives and living.
Thomas Lynch.
Pbk 240pp. ISBN 9780664264918.

Westminster John Knox (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Thomas Lynch, funeral director, poet and author, has an uncanny knack for writing about death in ways that are never morbid, always thoughtful, often humorous, and quite moving.

From his account of riding in the hearse at the funeral of poet laureate Seamus Heaney, to his recounting of the funeral for a young child in the 1800s, to his compelling essay about his own mortality, Lynch always finds ways to make sense of senseless things, as he ponders what will come next.

Francis of Assisi’s Sermon on the Mount:

Lessons from the Admonitions
John Michael Talbot.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9781640601727.
Paraclete Press (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Talbot applies the timeless words of St. Francis to our troubled times. In the United States and across the world, we are experiencing polarisation, anger and violence. But God is still in control, and it is important to dig deep into our Christian heritage in a way that speaks to all people. St. Francis is one of the great saints who somehow reaches across all divides, touches hearts and souls, and brings spiritual peace.

Talbot explores Francis’s Admonitions 28 teachings that are among the most beautiful and troubling of the saint’s writings. Covering sacramental theology of the Eucharist, to communal issues of consecrated life, to very private aspects of faith and devotion, these Admonitions provide clear and radical road signs to the destination on our spiritual journey in Christ.

A Living Gospel:
Reading God’s Story in Holy Lives.
Robert Ellsberg.
Pbk 192pp ISBN 9781626983250.

Orbis (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

“In this beautiful book, Robert Ellsberg shares the gift of the saints; not unreachable, perfect people, floating in prayer, but real human beings who lived close to the ground, who sought to follow Jesus despite their own flaws, their moods, their moments of doubt and disbelief; in other words, people like us.

Robert’s own life has been shaped by his encounters with such figures. Isn’t that the way it is for all of us? We come to know Jesus through those who love him. And through their witness we find the courage to take one step, and then another, along his path of discipleship.”
Sister Helen Prejean, author

For the Life of the World:
Theology That Makes a Difference.
Miroslav Volf; Matthew Croasmun.
Hbk 208pp. ISBN 9781587434013.

Brazos (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

In this provocative new contribution to public theology, world-renowned theologian Miroslav Volf and Matthew Croasmun explain that the intellectual tools needed to rescue us from our present malaise and meet our new cultural challenge are the tools of theology. A renewal of theology is crucial to help us articulate compelling visions of the good life, find our way through the maze of contested questions of value, and answer the fundamental question of what makes life worth living.

The question of what makes life worth living is more vital now than ever. In today’s pluralistic, post secular world, universal values are dismissed as mere matters of private opinion, and the question of what constitutes flourishing life – for us, our neighbours and the planet, is neglected in our universities, our churches and our culture at large. Although we increasingly have technology to do almost anything, we have little sense of what is truly worth accomplishing.

The Pastor in a Secular Age:
Ministry to People Who No Longer Need a God.
Andrew Root.
Pbk 320pp. ISBN 9780801098475.

Baker Academic (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Through an abundance of examples, Root explores how this secular age has impacted the identity and practice of the pastor, obscuring his or her core vocation: to call and assist others into the experience of ministry. He turns to Old Testament texts and to the theology of Robert Jenson to explain how pastors can regain the important role of attending to people’s experiences of divine action, offering a new vision for pastoral ministry today.


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Other recent email newsletters

Click here for:
Year C – 2019 Devotional, Worship and Preaching resources

And click here for links to our other recent selections.

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We have over 150 titles loaded on Trade Me, many of which are now reduced to $5.00 or less (but only while stock lasts). These are all in stock now. 50 are listed as auctions at any one time. They are all Buy Now only, so order straight away to secure your books. The listings last 5 days, so come back every few days to see a fresh list.
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Check out the Publish your book with us page on our website, which explains how we can work with you to publish your book in print and as an eBook.