Mid-July 2022 Book List

Mid-July 2022 Book List

Our featured book for this newsletter is Sacred Nature by Karen Armstrong. She shares practical steps to help us develop a new mindset to reconnect with nature and rekindle our sense of the sacred.

In Everyday Ubuntu, Mungi Ngomane, granddaughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, offers a guide to the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu, or the idea ‘I am only because you are,’ a way of living harmoniously with all people.

Brave Church by Elizabeth Hagan helps congregations talk about controversial topics with sensitivity to those who see the world and have experienced life differently from themselves.

Topics of other new books in this selection include:

  • The Holy Possibility of Harmony and Synergy in the Face of Change
  • Embracing God’s Faithfulness in Late Life
  • Launching a New Worship Community, and
  • Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everything

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 25 July 2022]

Sacred Nature:
Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World.
Karen Armstrong.
Pbk 288pp. ISBN 9781847927101.

The Bodley Head (2022).
[Allow 4 weeks.]

An urgent manifesto and a practical guide on how to change our relationship with nature, by one of the world’s leading writers on religion and spirituality.

In this hugely powerful book, Karen Armstrong argues that if we want to avert environmental catastrophe, it is not enough to change our behaviour: we need to learn to think and feel differently about the natural world – to rekindle our spiritual bond with nature.

Taking themes that have been central to the world’s religious traditions – from gratitude and compassion to sacrifice and non-violence – Armstrong offers practical steps to help us develop a new mindset to reconnect with nature and rekindle our sense of the sacred.

Sacred Nature reveals the most profound connections between humans and the natural world. It speaks to anyone interested in our relationship with nature, worried about the destruction of our environment, and searching for new ways of thinking to shape the action needed to save our planet.

Here are quotes from the book that Philip highlighted when he read it:

“…myth makes no sense unless it is translated into practical action.”

“This strong sense of inherent sacrality recurs in nearly every religious tradition.”

“But it is what is required of us as we face our current environmental crisis . We must re-form our attitude to nature and that will entail sacrifice.”

“When they become habitual , physical rites gradually create inner habits of reverence.”

“If we want to halt the environmental crisis , we need first , like Coleridge , to seek a silent receptiveness to the natural world , bringing it into our lives little by little every day .” 

Also on this topic:

Awhi Mai Awhi Atu: Women in Creation Care
Edited by Silvia Purdie

Leading Together:
The Holy Possibility of Harmony and Synergy in the Face of Change.
Bryan D Sims.
Pbk 220pp. ISBN 9781955142120.

100 Movements Publishing (2022).
[1 in stock, then allow 3-4 weeks].

In a complex and changing world, what kind of leaders must we be? Drawing from biblical principles, leadership theory, and more than 20 years of coaching leaders and teams, Sims reveals a Christ-centered vision for shared leadership.

“In an era of highly disruptive change and the all-too-public moral failures of celebrity leaders in evangelicalism, we clearly need to reboot the system around more biblically resonant themes. For Bryan, kenosis, servanthood, perichoresis, and liminality are more than metaphors, they are doorways into an ancient-yet-new understanding of the leadership task. This outstanding book by my friend and colleague Bryan Sims could not be more timely!”

Alan Hirsch, author on missional theology, spirituality, leadership, and organization; founder of the movement leaders collective

Everyday Ubuntu:
Living Better Together, the African Way.
Mungi Ngoman.
Hbk 240pp. ISBN 9780062977557.
Harper Design (2020).

[Allow 3-4 weeks.]

The definitive guide to the Southern African philosophy of ubuntu, or the idea ‘I am only because you are,’ with lessons on how to live harmoniously with all people from Mungi Ngomane, granddaughter of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“This book will open your eyes, mind and heart to a way of being in the world that will make our world a better and more caring one.” Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Ubuntu is a Xhosa word originating from a South African philosophy that encapsulates all our aspirations about how to live life well, together. It is the belief in a universal human bond: I am only because you are. And it means that if you are able to see everyone as fully human, connected to you by their humanity, you will never be able to treat others as disposable or without worth. By embracing the philosophy of ubuntu and living it out in daily life it’s possible to overcome division and be stronger together in a world where the wise build bridges, not walls.

These 14 lessons from the Rainbow Nation are an essential toolkit to helping us all to live better, together. In stories that recognize our common humanity, our connectedness and interdependence, Everyday Ubuntu helps to make sense of the world and our place in it.

Exploring ideas of kindness and forgiveness, tolerance, and the power of listening, it shows how we can all benefit from embracing others. Including practical applications and mindful exercises, it is an inspirational guide to a more fulfilling life as part of the large family to which we all belong.

From Dry Bones to Living Hope:
Embracing God’s Faithfulness in Late Life.
Missy Buchanan.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780835819763.
Upper Room (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Buchanan brings spiritual light and nourishment to people in the later years of life.

Each chapter opens with an intimate, prayerful lament to God from the perspective of the older adult who longs for spiritual renewal and purpose. The authentic voice of lament establishes credibility with older readers who yearn for others to empathize with their struggles.

The second part of each chapter, Cultivating Hope, guides them to God’s perspective on aging and specific actions they can take that lead to hope and joy.

Sola Mysterium:
Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everything.
Keith Giles.
Pbk 186pp. ISBN 9781957007182.

Quior (2022).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.

We cannot talk about God with any degree of certainty, because God is, by definition, a Being who transcends imagination, expectation and comprehension. What we know is this: there is more of God to know than any of us will ever fully know in this life.

 So, let’s begin by embracing the mystery of Christ to discover the endlessly unfolding beauty of uncertainty.

“Reading Sola Mysterium I felt like Jesus’ live listeners must have as he shared new sacred awareness based on old sacred texts. Keith Giles invites us to trust the Word hidden in the mystery of our hearts, and does so by integrating the Bible with science and Spirit. I love it.” Amazon review by Doug Wilson, Palliative Care Physician

Click here to listen to a recent podcast interview with Keith Giles:


Remaking the Church in Our Founder’s Image
(Revised & Updated).
Michael Frost; Alan Hirsch.
Pbk 228pp. ISBN 9781955142137.

100 Movements Publishing (2022).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

We live in a fractured and divided world. Nationalism and political extremism are rife in the church, scandals involving well-known Christian leaders are on the rise, and ideologies and idolatries abound. Badge and brand are espoused more than servanthood and sacrificial love.

In this timely revised and updated edition, Frost and Hirsch get to the root of these issues, exposing the many ways we have formed Jesus in our own image and co-opted him for our own agendas.

ReJesus is a clarion call to re-centre our lives on Christ so that we might become a people who look, act, think, and sound like Jesus. Now more than ever, our world needs a church remade in our Founder’s image.

Brave Church:
Tackling Tough Topics Together.
Elizabeth Hagan.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9780835819367.

Upper Room (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

In today’s deeply divided world where discussions can quickly become heated and uncivil, churches need to learn how to talk about sensitive issues. Our society needs brave churches where people can talk about the real struggles they are experiencing without fear of being dismissed, shamed, or judged.

 Brave Church helps congregations talk about controversial topics with sensitivity to those who see the world and have experienced life differently from themselves. It guides readers to think through how they can foster conversations about such challenging topics as infertility/miscarriage, mental health, domestic violence, racism, and sexuality.

In this 6-week small-group study, pastor Elizabeth Hagan weaves personal and theological reflections with scripture, discussion questions, and real-world examples to move readers from exploration to action. Brave Church includes a Leader’s Guide and suggests resources for further reading and action.

God at Work in the World:
Theology and Mission in the Global Church.
Lalsangkima Pachuau.
Pbk 167pp. ISBN 9781540961365.

Baker Academic (2022).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Pachuau proposes an understanding of the theology of mission that is comprehensive and theologically faithful by addressing several key theological themes: the Trinity – the incarnation – soteriology – ecclesiology and gospel-culture relation.

He brings a global perspective to mission theology, grounding it in the missio Dei as well as in the notion of contextual theology, and points the way forward with a new understanding of mission – no longer as “the West to the rest” but as Christians of every place reaching out to unbelievers wherever they may be found.

Pachuau explains that theology of mission is related to theology as a discipline and recognizes recent critiques of “missions,” offering a compelling response rooted in the very nature of God.

God at Work in the World will appeal to professors and students of mission and intercultural studies as well as missionaries and mission leaders.

Liberating Church.
Brandon Wrencher; Venneikia Samantha William.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781666730043.

Cascade (2022).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

While the North American church grapples with an eroding position of privilege in society, there is a liberating vision of church from the margins. This manifesto defines eight marks of liberating churches that were identified through research of antebellum hush harbours.

Hush harbours were the covert gatherings of enslaved Africans to worship and organize for change free from the surveillance of plantation Christianity. Liberating Church explores how the marks of antebellum hush harbours are being lived out now in several faith communities.

This book offers a guide for anyone who wants to embrace innovative models for building spaces of faith and activism with structural critique and spiritual power.

“There are tons of books on church innovation. Liberating Church is one of the first to centre on Black religious experience. The faith communities profiled here remind us that God is indeed doing a new thing. If we move past our preconceptions and listen carefully, we just might recognize it.”
Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Columbia Theological Seminary

Leading Others.
Mac Lake.
Pbk 290pp. ISBN 9781733372756.

100 Movements Publishing (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

In this insightful training guide, Mac Lake brings 35 years of experience of coaching church and organizational leaders. Biblically grounded and loaded with practical examples and questions to spark thought, discussion, and application, Leading Others will help leaders to personally grow in their relationship with Christ and enable them to develop the skills required to lead others well.

Designed not just to impart information but to bring transformation, this book covers 8 key areas essential for effective leadership. An ideal resource for churches that want to help develop leaders of groups and teams, this training guide equips people with the character and the competencies to step into leadership.

Stuff That Needs To Be Said:
Essential Words on Life, Death, Faith, Politics, Love, and Giving a Damn.
John Pavlovitz.
Pbk 276pp. ISBN 9780578682501.

Westminster John Knox Press (2020).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Over the past few years, John Pavlovitz’s blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, has become a virtual hub for millions of people from all over the world, drawn there by his clear, compelling words on compassion, equity, love, and justice. This expansive, like-hearted community transcends race, orientation, gender, religious tradition, political affiliation, and nation of origin – and finds its affinity in the deeper place of our shared humanity, which is the True North of his writing.

This collection lovingly pulls together some of John’s most widely-read and most beloved essays on faith, politics, grief, and the elemental parts of being human. It is an encouraging, inspiring, challenging storehouse of “stuff that needs to be said.”

“John’s writing speaks to anyone with a brain and a compassionate heart. As a Jew, I would not have expected to be so pulled in by the words of a Christian pastor, but I find his blog posts and previous books to be both powerful and spot on. I am profoundly moved by his writing.” Barbara Berkley

“John Pavlovitz tells it like it is – and as it should be. He cares more, advocates more, and nurtures more than any one person should be able to. Whether reading his social media posts or meditating on his reflections, I am uplifted and challenged to be a better human.” Carol Hawley

Launching a New Worship Community:
A Practical Guide for the 2020s.
Paul Nixon; Craig Gilbert.
Pbk. 240pp. ISBN 9780881779554.

Upper Room (2021).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

For many churches, the call to make disciples comes with a realization that the church’s current worship opportunities do not reach certain groups in their surrounding community.

New worship services offer the most promising strategy for renewing established churches and planting new worship communities. In a post-pandemic world, churches will be challenged to reach new people with the gospel and to help them meet in a way that is meaningful to them.

Accessible to ministry professionals and lay leaders, Launching a New Worship Community is a comprehensive guide to starting a new worship community – whether that means an established church beginning a new worship service or a church start-up designing its first worship offering.

The authors, writing with a team of church planting experts, provide practical advice rooted in solid academics, theology, and real-world experience. With this guide, readers will have the tools they need to begin and sustain a new worship community.

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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