October 2019 Selection


October 2019 Selection

I hope you enjoy this varied selection. The Inner Level (sequel to The Spirit Level) looks at how society ought to be managed for the benefit of all. Jim Wallis’ Christ in Crisis urges us to return to the way of Jesus. Seeing Light and The Word Made Flesh explore the development of ideas about Jesus.

There is a new collection of Maori myths, guides to studying the Bible in a year, an instruction book of computer programming for children, and Alya Mooro’s memoir of life as a Middle Eastern woman living outside the usual stereotypes.

We have copies on hand of Rosie Staite’s Tried and True Resources for All-Age Worship Vol. 2, and Adult Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions by Anne Stephenson, who is currently assisting the Royal Commission looking at this area.

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[Prices, stock levels and estimated delivery time for titles on this page were last updated on 1 October 2019]

Christ in Crisis:
Why We Need to Reclaim Jesus.
Jim Wallis.
Hbk 320pp. ISBN 9780062914767.
HarperOne (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

 “Christians have often remembered, re-discovered, and returned to their obedient discipleship of Jesus Christ – both personal and public – in times of trouble. It’s called coming home,” Wallis reminds us.

While he addresses the dividing lines and dangers facing America, the religious and cultural commentator’s focus isn’t politics; it’s faith.

As he has done throughout his career, Wallis offers comfort, empathy and a practical roadmap. Christ in Crisis is a constructive field guide for all those involved in resistance and renewal initiatives in faith communities in the post-2016 political context.

By pointing to eight questions Jesus asked or is asked, Wallis provides a means to measure whether we are truly aligned with the moral and spiritual foundations of our Christian faith.

Seeing Light:
A Critical Enquiry into the Origins of Resurrection Faith.
Peter Gant.
Pbk 316pp. ISBN 9781789590470.

Sacristy Press (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Based on a close reading of a wide range of Jewish and early Christian sources, the author explores how faith in the resurrection developed in the Early Church and what believing in the resurrection might mean for 21st century people.

The picture that emerges is sharply at variance with conventional Christian understandings. What is usually regarded as the “Jewish background” becomes the foreground. The Gospels, previously central to any discussion of the resurrection, are only one source among many that give an account of faith in the risen Christ. Very early traditions embedded in the earliest Christian texts move to centre-stage. Resurrection faith emerges when visions of Jesus, already exalted in heaven, begin to interact with theological faith-interpretations of the “Jesus event.”

A Theory of Everything (That Matters):
A Brief Guide to Einstein, Relativity, and His Surprising Thoughts on God.
Alister McGrath.
Hbk 240pp. ISBN 9781496438072.

Tyndale Momentum (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Einstein himself gave careful thought to the deepest questions of life. His towering intellectual status means he is someone worth listening to when we think through the big questions of life:

  • Can science answer all our questions?
  • Why is religion so important in life?
  • How can we hold together science and faith?

McGrath examines the life and work of Einstein, explaining his scientific significance and considering what Einstein did and did not believe about science, religion and the meaning of life.

A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the role of faith in a world where science and technology govern our lives.

Unteachable Lessons:
Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught
(and Why That’s Okay).

Carl McColman.
Pbk 160pp. ISBN 9780802875754.

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

Carl McColman, a leading author of books in spirituality, says that Christian spirituality must be “caught” rather than “taught.”

Using engaging and disarming stories from his own life, he gently leads readers toward a recognition that although the wisdom of the past is worth reading, hearing or reading, others’ experience of God is ultimately no substitute for opening our own eyes, ears and hearts to God.

The God Revolution:
How Ideas About God Radically Changed During the Modern Era.
Keith Hill.
Pbk 232pp. ISBN 9780473187637.

Attar Books (2017).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

It’s a long journey from “God be with you” to “the Force be with you.”

Hill examines the social, intellectual and religious changes that have occurred since 1620, when Frances Bacon first proposed the scientific method, through to today when theologians are grappling with God in the context of our current vision of a mind-bogglingly immense universe.

He surveys the key ideas of historical thinkers who have shaped our modern view of reality, and the contributions of contemporary thinkers who are exploring ways of situating God in the modern world.

The Year of the Bible:
A Guide to Reading Scripture.
Newly Revised.
James E Davison.
Pbk 80pp. ISBN 9780664265427.

Westminster John Knox (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

This popular, comprehensive Bible-reading program for individuals and group study offers a sweeping introduction to biblical themes and concepts. Complete with a detailed reading schedule for every day of one year, The Year of the Bible leads participants to a better understanding of Scripture and a greater sense of community within the church.

Newcomers to Scripture and long-time Bible readers alike will find their Christian faith enhanced and feel a sense of accomplishment from reading the Bible in its entirety.

The Year of the Bible is suitable for participants in a congregational program or anyone who wants a well-designed program to read through Scripture in the course of one year.

The Year of the Bible – Program Guide.
Newly Revised.
James E Davison.
Pbk 112pp. ISBN 9780664265434.

Westminster John Knox (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

Davison helps congregations put the program together and keep it going when enthusiasm flags.

The Spirit Level:
Why Equality Is Better for Everyone.
Kate Pickett, Richard Wilkinson.
Pbk 374pp. ISBN 9780241954294.

Penguin (2011).
[Allow 3-4 weeks]

The Spirit Level is one of the most influential and talked-about books on society in the last decade. This updated edition now includes a new chapter on the controversy the book has ignited.

This ground-breaking book, based on years of research, provides hard evidence to show:

  • How almost everything – from life expectancy to mental illness, violence to illiteracy – is affected not by how wealthy a society is, but how equal it is
  • That societies with a bigger gap between rich and poor are bad for everyone in them – including the well-off.
  • How we can find positive solutions and move towards a happier, fairer future

Urgent, provocative and genuinely uplifting, The Spirit Level has been heralded as providing a new way of thinking about ourselves and our communities and could change the way you see the world.

Tried and True Resources
for All-Age Worship Vol. 2.
Rosie Staite.
Pbk 192pp. Colour photos throughout.

ISBN 9780473471255.
Rosie Staite – NZ (2019).
[Allow 10 days].

Here are lots of ideas that work for Making the Point today: Gospel themes, The Seasons, values & social justice, Times of Celebration, Prayer Resources. Great for all who work in ministry – churches, schools, at home with children & young people.

This second volume includes a comprehensive section on Coping with the Sadness which covers: Community Funerals, Remembrance Services and a Liturgy for closing a Church building when relocating a congregation.

“Rosie is offering us a comprehensive work from her own very wide experience in diverse communities, from a range of traditions. I look forward to using Tried and True Volume 2 for services, retreats, spiritual direction – it has practical ideas to explore a living and grounded faith with both young and old.

…this material has all been used, in congregations like the ones to which many of us belong: smaller, with a range of people, whose faith needs both encouragement and fresh language for what they often instinctively know but cannot easily express.” Rev Dr Jenny Dawson

Adult Sexual Abuse in Religious Institutions:

Faith seeks understanding.
Anne Stephenson.
Pbk 86pp. ISBN 9781927260517.

Philip Garside Publishing Ltd (2016).

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When sexual abuse of adults by clergy and spiritual leaders comes to light, religious institutions need robust procedures in place to deal with offenders and support victims.

Based on her long experience in ministry working with sexual offenders and their victims, and the training she has undertaken, Anne Stephenson shares the wisdom she has gained, including:

  • Characteristics of sexual offenders to be aware of.
  • Suggested procedures to deal with offenders and support victims when a complaint is made.
  • The victim should only have to tell their story once, so they are not re-victimised by having to retell their story many times.
  • The police should be involved.
  • Mediation between the offender and victim does not work.
  • Sexual offending in a religious institution is a breach of the duty of care that the clergyperson or leader has towards the victim. As such, it should be treated with the same seriousness as a breach of professional ethics in other fields.
  • A victim can have a good future, (it may be hard won), and be a survivor.

While earthed within the Christian tradition, this book is for all faith communities, traditions and cultures. Anne hopes that everyone in the ‘dance of life’ will find something within this book to assist them in their understanding and then take responsibility for their own situation.

Beyond Literal Belief:
Religion As Metaphor.
David Tacey.
Pbk 258pp. ISBN 9781925009798.
Garratt Publishing (2015).
[1 in stock, then allow 3-5 weeks].

Tacey, a professor of literature, reveals the mystery of biblical language in a voice that is accessible, open and public. The Bible is closer to poetry than history. Its images are meant to resonate in the soul and direct us toward transcendent realities.

He shows that, with the aid of contemporary thought and depth psychology, we can re-read religious stories as metaphors of the spirit and the interior life. Moving beyond literal thinking could save religion from its greatest enemy, itself.

The Greater Freedom:
Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes.
Alya Mooro.
Pbk 256pp. ISBN 9781542041218.

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

Egyptian-born and London-raised, Alya Mooro grew up between two cultures and felt a pull from both. Part memoir, part social exploration, this is a book for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

Through countless interviews and meticulous research, as well as her own unique experience, Mooro gives voice to the Middle Eastern women who, like her, don’t fit the mould. Women under pressure to conform to society’s ideals of how a woman should look and behave, what she should want and be. Women who want to think and act and love freely, without feeling that every choice means ‘picking a side.’ Women who are two things at once and, consequently, neither.

The Courage to See:
Daily Inspiration from Great Literature.
Greg Garrett; Sabrina Fountain.
Hbk 376pp. ISBN 9780664263089.

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

Book lovers know there is something sacred in the stories, poetry and insight of even the most secular books.

This 365-day devotional celebrates the beauty of literature and its ability to illuminate elements of the Divine present all around us.

Pairing excerpts from more than 200 literary works with thought-provoking scriptures and brief prayers, this spiritual guide invites readers to draw closer to God through the words of both classic and modern authors.

The Word Made Flesh:
A Theology of the Incarnation.
Ian A. McFarland.
Pbk 250pp. ISBN 9780664262976.
Westminster John Knox (2019).
[Allow 2-3 weeks].

Most theologians believe that in the human life of Jesus of Nazareth, we encounter God. Yet how the divine and human come together in the life of Jesus remains in question.

McFarland contends that we need to not only affirm the humanity and divinity of Christ but also treat them as equal in theological significance.

To do so, he draws on the ancient christological language that points to Christ’s nature, on the one hand and his hypostasis, or personhood, on the other. And with this, McFarland begins one of the most creative and ground-breaking theological explorations into the mystery of the incarnation undertaken in recent memory.

Activist Theology.
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza.
Pbk 150pp. ISBN 9781506424644.

Fortress Press (2019).
[Allow 3-4 weeks].

“Jesus resisted a religion that served as chaplain to the empire. Karl Marx insisted a philosophy must not end at description but genuine change. Henderson-Espinoza demands a theological exile until religion returns to the streets.

In Activist Theology, you get a full-throated and enfleshed vision of a theology worth living. We know that a beautiful memoir can move us. A fiery sermon can inspire us. A brilliant vision can seduce us. Activist Theology is all three and more.

Henderson-Espinoza has written a book I didn’t know I needed. Tell them ‘thank you’ in advance and get it today.”
Tripp Fuller, creator and host of Homebrewed Christianity podcast

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 at bookspgpl@gmail.com works best.