March 2020 Selection

March 2020 Selection

This month’s selection includes new books by popular writers Robin Myers, Margaret Silf, Lucy Moore, Thomas Piketty and Matthew Fox. The books cover searching for faith, 40 days of meditations, starting to read the Bible, calls for reshaping how our economies are run, and a fresh look at Thomas Aquinas.

There are also a lovely picture book of images of God, a boxed set of 7 of C.S. Lewis‘ books and a small group study on the book of Acts.

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 28 Feb 2020]

Saving God from Religion:
A Minister’s Search for Faith in a Skeptical Age.
Robin Meyers.
Hbk 240pp. ISBN 9781984822512.

Convergent Books (2020).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

People across the theological and political spectrum are struggling with what it means to say that they believe in God.

In this ground-breaking, inspiring book, Robin R. Meyers shows how readers can move from a theology of obedience to one of consequence. He argues that we need to stop seeing our actions as a means for pleasing a distant God and rediscover how God has empowered us to care for ourselves and the world. Meyers captures how the struggles of ordinary people hint at how we can approach faith as a radical act of trust in a God who is all around us, even in our doubts and the moments of life we fear the most.

“In this book of stories from four decades of ministry, Meyers powerfully captures what it means to believe in a God who’s revealed not in creeds or morals but in the struggles and beauty of our ordinary lives. In unrelenting detail, he shows how all of creation is anointed with the presence of God, before leaving us with the hope that such anointing might also include us.” Richard Rohr, author of The Universal Christ

Picturing God.
Ruth Goring.
Hbk 40pp. ISBN 9781506449395.

Beaming Books (2019).
[Allow 3 weeks].

With poetic language and gorgeous handcrafted mixed media-collages and mosaics, Picturing God brings to life the many metaphors for God found in the Bible.

God is the light, living water, a father, a mother, clothing, a rock, wind, comforter, a door, the Good Shepherd, and more. Poet and artist Ruth Goring invites children and adults alike to revisit the beautiful imagery found in Scripture and provides an opportunity for children to develop their imagination about who God is.

At the end of the book, a list of Bible references is provided for each image depicted for families to look up and learn more about the Bible’s many ways of picturing God.

Soul Journey:
With scripture and story towards the best we can be – daily readings suitable for Lent or for any time of the year.
Margaret Silf.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9780232534429.

Darton Longman + Todd (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

The spiritual journey can feel like a climb up a beautiful mountain that we have admired from afar. It looks easy from a distance, but the closer we approach, the harder it appears, until we are on the rockface and struggling to find our way to the top.

Soul Journey is a day-by-day companion to help you find the Way, to be revitalised and to discover fresh horizons.

Margaret Silf offers 40 daily meditations on passages from the Bible, and a reflection on the journey travelled so far for each Sunday. It has been written both for those who regularly undertake a Lenten study and for those for whom the season is not familiar. All are welcome on this journey – a journey not just for Lent, but for any time and season.

Surprised by the Parables:
Growing in Grace Through the Stories of Jesus
Michelle Lee-Barnewall.
Pbk 176pp. ISBN 9781683592990.

Lexham Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Jesus’ parables can’t simply be interpreted, they must be experienced.

Lee-Barnewall explores the ancient context these parables drew from. These stories of grace reveal many of the mysteries central to God’s character and understanding the ancient world behind them will help us see the parables from a new perspective.

In the gospels, Jesus used parables to teach transformative lessons and convey deep spiritual truths about the kingdom of God. But he often used them to confront and challenge his audience as well, forcing them to open or close their hearts to the kingdom.

Jesus understood the power of stories, but there are some things lost in translation when we try to interpret those same stories thousands of years removed from their original context. The unexpected twists and surprises in the parables might be missed by a modern audience because they’re unfamiliar with the underlying points of reference.

What’s in the Bible (for me)?:
50 readings and reflections.
Lucy Moore.
Pbk 112pp. ISBN 9780857467607.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Where do you start with reading the Bible?

Here’s the perfect gift for Messy Church families and others new to Bible reading – a booklet of 50 bite-sized Bible passages, selected to cover the wide span of the Bible story across Old and New Testaments, with a reflection on each passage by Messy Church founder Lucy Moore.

Written in a user-friendly and jargon-free style, this book will encourage individuals and families alike to start reading the Bible and find out what it has to say to them. It explores the big journey of the Bible. And maybe, as we see the bigger picture, it will help us understand our own journey.

How to Read the Bible:
…so that it makes a difference.
Michael Parsons.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780857468093.

Bible Reading Fellowship (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

To read and engage with the Bible, we first need to understand the story, the styles of writing and the approaches we find in the text.

Parsons encourages readers to look at the whole biblical storyline before demonstrating ways of approaching individual texts.

Topics along the way include understanding different genres, the importance of narrative, imaginative reading, praying the Bible, difficult passages and what to do with them, and how to apply scripture to our own lives.

The Third Pillar:
The Revival of Community in a Polarised World.
Raghuram Rajan.
Pbk 464pp. ISBN 9780008276300.

William Collins (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

From one of the most important economic thinkers of our time, a brilliant and far-seeing analysis of the current populist backlash against globalization and how revitalising community can save liberal market democracy.

Rajan offers a way to rethink the relationship between the market and civil society and argues for a return to strengthening and empowering local communities as an antidote to growing despair and unrest.

Rajan outlines a big-picture framework for understanding how three key forces – the economy, society, and the state – interact, why things begin to break down, and how we can find our way back to a more secure and stable plane.

The ‘third pillar’ of the title is society. Economists all too often understand their field as the relationship between the market and government and leave social issues for other people. That’s not just myopic, Rajan argues; it’s dangerous. All economics is actually socioeconomics – all markets are embedded in a web of human relations, values and norms. As he shows, throughout history, technological innovations have ripped the market out of old webs and led to violent backlashes, and to what we now call populism.

Capital and Ideology.
Thomas Piketty.
Hbk 1104pp. ISBN 9780674980822.

Belknap Press (2020).
[Allow 3 weeks].

Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century galvanized global debate about inequality. In this audacious follow-up, he challenges us to revolutionise how we think about politics, ideology, and history. He exposes the ideas that have sustained inequality for the past millennium, reveals why the shallow politics of right and left are failing us today, and outlines the structure of a fairer economic system.

Our economy, Piketty observes, is not a natural fact. Markets, profits, and capital are all historical constructs that depend on choices. Piketty explores the material and ideological interactions of conflicting social groups that have given us slavery, serfdom, colonialism, communism, and hypercapitalism, shaping the lives of billions.

Piketty argues for a new “participatory” socialism, a system founded on an ideology of equality, social property, education, and the sharing of knowledge and power.

Hidden Music

[Colour throughout].
Maryam Mafi; Azima Melita Kolin.
Pbk 192pp. ISBN 9780008387167.

HarperCollins (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This new collection of translations of poems by Rumi, is beautifully packaged and illustrated with paintings and Persian calligraphy. An ideal gift.

Jalal-uddin Rumi was born in what is now Afghanistan in 1207. His poetry has inspired generations of spiritual seekers, both from his own Sufi school and well beyond. His poems speak to the seeker and the lover in all of us. He is one of the world’s most revered poets and spiritual teachers.

The Tao of Thomas Aquinas:
Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times.
Matthew Fox.
Pbk 280pp. ISBN 9781532093418.

iUniverse (2020).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

“Matthew Fox’s exciting book on Thomas Aquinas breaks new ground in appreciating the great saint’s spiritual depths and practical wisdom. Aquinas comes through as a real brother to Francis of Assisi and a real champion for our times as humanity faces eco destruction and massive extinctions. This handbook offers a guide for all humans to stand up, be counted and make a difference.” Richard Rohr, author of Divine Dance

Catching Up with the Spirit.
Matthew Skinner.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781501894558.

Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Learn to experience God’s faithfulness and guidance by joining the journey with Jesus’ followers.

Skinner explores six key themes that illustrate the ways in which reading the book of Acts is capable of igniting our imagination about the character of the Christian message, the work of God’s people (the church), and the challenges of living faithfully in a complex and changing world.

Additional components for a six-week study include a DVD featuring Matthew Skinner and a comprehensive Leader Guide. See below.

Click here for a short video introduction to the book by author Matthew Skinner.

Acts (Leader Guide):
Catching Up with the Spirit.
Matthew Skinner.
Pbk 64pp. ISBN 9781501894572.
Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

 Acts (DVD):
Catching Up with the Spirit.
Matthew Skinner.
DVD US region format.
ISBN 9781501894596.
Abingdon Press (2020).
[Allow 4 weeks].

The six-session DVD features Matthew Skinner guiding participants through the study. The video sessions are approximately 10-12 minutes in length and, when combined with the six book chapters, make an ideal six-week group study. All videos sessions are closed captioned.

Click here for a free video clip of the first study session.

The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics:
Boxed Set – 7 books.
CS Lewis.
Pbk 1584pp. ISBN 9780007500192.

William Collins (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

C.S. Lewis’s works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year, appealing to those seeking wisdom and calm in a hectic and ever-changing world. Each volume is written with the lucidity, warmth and wit that has made Lewis revered as a writer the world over.

Lewis is unrivalled in his ability to disentangle the questions of life. His writings offer hope, wisdom and a true understanding of human nature.

The boxed set comprises: Mere Christianity – The Screwtape Letters – Surprised by Joy – The Four Loves – The Problem of Pain – The Great Divorce  – Miracles.

Stewards of Eden:
What Scripture Says about the Environment and Why It Matters.
Sandra L. Richter.
Pbk 168pp. ISBN 9780830849260.

IVP Academic (2020).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Richter cares about the Bible. She also cares about creation. An expert in ancient Israelite society and economy as well as biblical theology, she walks readers through passages familiar and not-so-familiar, showing how significant environmental theology is to the Bible’s witness.

She then calls Christians to apply that message to today’s environmental concerns.

Though modern political alliances may tempt readers to sever Christian faith from environmental stewardship, in this concise and accessible book, Richter urges us to be driven by God’s values instead.

Earthkeeping and Character:
Exploring a Christian Ecological Virtue Ethic.
Steven Bouma-Prediger.
Pbk 208pp. ISBN 9780801098840.

Baker Academic (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Addressing a topic of growing and vital concern, this book asks us to reconsider how we think about the natural world and our place in it.

Steven Bouma-Prediger brings ecotheology into conversation with the emerging field of environmental virtue ethics, exploring the character traits and virtues required for Christians to be responsible keepers of the earth and to flourish in the challenging decades to come.

He shows how virtue ethics can enrich Christian environmentalism, helping readers think and act in ways that rightly value creation.

“Steven Bouma-Prediger continues to establish himself as a significant, creative voice in Christian earthkeeping. As my students wrestle with the complexities and bleakness of the ecological crisis, they often ask, ‘What can we do?’ This book highlights the centrality of being for Christian discipleship. Christ-centered ecological virtues become the foundation of a healthy Christian ethic and lifestyle, thereby offering renewed hope in this uncertain age.” Daniel L. Brunner, Portland Seminary

Each month we choose a selection of titles that we think you will find stimulating and satisfying to read. So come back to the Monthly Selections section of our website regularly.


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