Mid-September 2019 Selection

Mid-September 2019 Selection

This selection includes A Call to Joy encouraging  us to a greater depth of spirituality, advice on communicating church well today, a guide to early Christian writings and an exploration of a creed recorded by Paul whose claims were about the whole human race: there is no race, there is no class, there is no gender.

I’ve included two books on Methodism and the Wesleys – Jim Stuart’s The John Wesley Code (for which there is also a free study guide) and The Spirit of Methodism by theologian
Jeffrey W Barbeau.

And there are new collections of Henri Nouwen’s writings on Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety, and of Naomi Klein’s essays on climate change and ecological issues.

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 14 September 2019]

A Call to Joy:
Celebrating the God of Unconditional Love.
Terry Lindsley; Tina Rosekrans; Steven F. Deslippe
Pbk 172pp. ISBN 9780998104669.
Edit This One (2018).
[Allow 2-3 weeks]

  • Do you have questions about certain religious beliefs you’ve been taught?
  • Are you confused about what God wants or doesn’t want?
  • Do you know why you are here and what this lifetime is for?
  • Have you ever questioned what you believe?

If so, then you are being nudged to a greater depth of spirituality.

This book is a practical guide to finding the spirituality that works for you – and it may not involve organised religion. There are many valid paths to salvation and happiness. Enjoy the questions of life because looking for answers is what life is about and part of the journey.

So Everyone Can Hear:
Communicating Church In A Digital Culture
Mark Crosby
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780281082148.
SPCK (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

People rarely stay at or visit churches because of great teaching or amazing worship music – they stay because of relationships; they stay because of connections. Church leaders and members alike need to recognise that what they say and how they say it has the power to change someone’s life forever.

This book will help readers be more mindful of how they ‘communicate church’ both inside and outside of it within our digital culture today.

“As the Communications Director for Vineyard Churches (UK & Ireland), Mark has been hugely effective in shaping communication both within and beyond our movement across multiple platforms. His passion for Jesus and the Church, his strategic mind and his diligent study of current and emerging means of communication, combine to make what he has to say well worth listening to. In this book Mark demonstrates his ability to make the complex simple, providing practical tips which have the potential to transform the church’s ability to connect with those within and far beyond it.”  
John and Debby Wright, National Directors, Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

A History of Early Christian Literature.
Justo González.
Pbk 425pp. ISBN 9780664264444.

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

Beginning with the epistles of the earliest Christian writers of the second century CE, historian of Christianity Justo González, moves through apologies, martyrologies, anti-heretical polemics, biblical commentaries, sermons, all the way up through Augustine’s invention of spiritual autobiography and beyond.

He demonstrates how literary genre played a decisive role in the construction of theological meaning.

Covering the earliest noncanonical Christian writings through the 5th century and later, this book will serve as an indispensable guide to studying the theology of the early church.

The Forgotten Creed:
Christianity’s Original Struggle Against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism.
Stephen J Patterson.
Hbk 184pp. ISBN 9780190865825.

Oxford University Press (2018).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Long before the followers of Jesus declared him to be the Son of God, Jesus taught his followers that they too were the children of God. This ancient creed, now all but forgotten, is recorded still within the folds of a letter of Paul the Apostle. Paul did not create this creed, nor did he fully embrace it, but he quoted it and thus preserved it for a time when it might become important once again.

This ancient creed said nothing about God or Christ or salvation. Its claims were about the whole human race: there is no race, there is no class, there is no gender.

Christian theologians would one day argue about the nature of Christ, the being of God, and the mechanics of salvation. But before this, in the days when Jesus was still fresh in the memory of those who knew him, the argument was a different one: how can human beings overcome the ways by which we divide ourselves one from another? Is solidarity possible beyond race, class, and gender?

The John Wesley Code:

Finding a Faith That Matters.
James Stuart.
Pbk 212pp. ISBN 9780958268226.

Philip Garside Publishing Ltd (2008). $35.00.
[25 in stock].

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John Wesley was one of the best known figures of the 18th century. For 50 years he tirelessly rode the length of Britain preaching his message of ‘plain truth for plain people.’ He turned aside from a comfortable and well-provisioned life as a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford to live and work among the poor and needy.

Drawing on the best of current and historical scholarship, James Stuart traces the writers, theologians, people Wesley met and the key experiences that shaped Wesley’s ideas.

Stuart then revisits the enduring themes and other principles of Wesley and the early Methodists, to see how they can transform your life and practice, help you engage with doubts, inspire your theology, and help in finding a faith that matters for our lives today.

The eBooks include a free 12 session Study Guide. You can also
Click this link to download the free Study Guide.

The Spirit of Methodism:

From the Wesleys to a Global Communion.
Jeffrey W Barbeau.
Pbk 224pp. ISBN 9780830852543.

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

“I felt my heart strangely warmed.” That was how John Wesley described his transformational experience of God’s grace at Aldersgate Street on 24 May 1738, an event that some mark as the beginning of the Methodist Church.

Yet the story of Methodism, while clearly shaped by John Wesley’s sermons and Charles Wesley’s hymns, is much richer and more expansive. Methodist theologian Jeffrey Barbeau provides a brief and helpful introduction to the history of Methodism – from the time of the Wesleys, through developments in North America, to its diverse and global communion today – as well as its primary beliefs and practices.

With Barbeau’s guidance, both those who are already familiar with the Wesleyan tradition and those seeking to know more about this significant movement within the church’s history will find their hearts warmed to Methodism.

The Preacher’s Bible Handbook.
Jr O Wesley Allen ed.
Pbk 354pp. ISBN 9780664263072.

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

When it comes to understanding a passage in the Bible, context is everything.

  • What historical events surround a book’s composition?
  • What larger literary unit is a given passage part of?
  • What central themes explored by the book touch on the verses in question?

If we don’t know the answer to questions like these, we are ill-prepared to speak to – and especially preach about – a passage’s meaning. Allen aims to meet this need for extra help in preparing the sermon.

Essays on each of the biblical books introduce the most relevant historical, literary, and theological facts about the book. Each is designed to aid the preacher in setting the stage for a sermon on any passage in the Bible.

Belief series
A Theological Commentary on the Bible
Martha L. Moore-Keish.
Hbk 205pp. ISBN 9780664232641.

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

In the Letter of James, the writer sends encouragement to the early church, in the midst of the struggles and strife that marked its early days.

Theologian Moore-Keish guides the reader through this brief but important letter, most known for its discussion of the importance of actions to make a true life of faith.

The volumes in the Belief series offer a fresh and invigorating approach to all the books of the Bible. Building on a wide range of sources from biblical studies and the Christian tradition, noted scholars focus less on traditional, historical and literary angles in favour of a theologically focused commentary that considers the contemporary relevance of the text.


Following Jesus:
Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety.
Henri Nouwen.
Hbk.144pp. ISBN 9780281083558

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

At one of the lowest points in his life, Henri Nouwen gave a series of lectures on the importance of following Jesus in an age of anxiety. This new work from the archives of the Nouwen estate draws on those talks.

Nouwen writes eloquently about calling and purpose, fear and hope and explains why, with so many choices available to 21st century seekers – including atheism and secularism – the greatest reward for those looking for fulfilment is to choose belief in God. Along the way he offers warm, insightful, practical spiritual practices to help readers navigate the narrow, sometimes arduous, but ultimately fulfilling road of conviction and faith.

Jesus and the Dead Sea Scrolls:
Revealing the Jewish Roots of Christianity.
John Bergsma.
Hbk 272pp. ISBN 9781984823120.

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

Award-winning scholar John Bergsma’s intriguing book reveals new insights on the Essenes, a radical Jewish community predating Christianity, whose existence, beliefs, and practices are often overlooked in history books. He reveals how this Jewish sect directly influenced the beliefs, sacraments, and practices of early Christianity and offers new information on how Christians lived their lives, worshipped, and eventually went on to influence the Roman Empire and Western civilisation.

Looking to Hebrew scripture and Jewish tradition, Bergsma helps to further explain how a simple Jewish peasant could go on to inspire a religion and a philosophy that still resonates 2,000 years later.

Inhabited by Grace:
The Way of Incarnate Love
William O Daniel Jr.
Pbk 144pp. ISBN 9781640651906.

Church Publishing (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

  • What does it mean to inhabit the life of liturgy?
  • What does it mean to be inhabited by Christ?

This book offers a way to rethink what we do when we pray, so that we do not so much call on God for help but join in a conversation. Readers will learn how to think about God through good habits and practices, how posture effects our perceptions of God and Christ, how feasting on Christ in the Eucharist shapes our understanding of the body – both our individual bodies and the body of the Church.

Readers will recognise the connection between the tables of their homes and the Communion Table, relating daily life with Eucharistic life.

On Fire:
The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal.
Naomi Klein.
Pbk 288pp. ISBN 9781982135737.

Simon & Schuster (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Bestselling author Naomi Klein makes the case for a Green New Deal, explaining how bold climate action can be a blueprint for a just and thriving society.

In lucid, elegant dispatches from the frontlines of contemporary natural disaster, Klein pens surging, indispensable essays for a wide public: prescient advisories and dire warnings of what future awaits us if we refuse to act, as well as hopeful glimpses of a far better future.

This expansive, far-ranging exploration sees the battle for a greener world as indistinguishable from the fight for our lives, On Fire captures the burning urgency of the climate crisis, as well as the fiery energy of a rising political movement demanding a catalytic Green New Deal.

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.

Are you looking for a specific book?

Please also ask us to find any other books you are interested in. We will give you a price and time to deliver. Emailing us atbookspgpl@gmail.com works best.