Friday Five: Books R Us

Jan at RevGalBlogPals has enticed me out of the spectator seats and back onto the blogger playing field with today’s Friday Five.  Books do it for me every time!

Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith1.  What books have you recently read. Tell us your opinion of them.
I’m in a group that is reading Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity For the Rest of Us.  I do recommend it, although the lay people in our group don’t seem all that inspired by it.  On my last day off, I re-read Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert), a book that reminds me what spiritual journey looks like on a modern day seeker apart from the institutional church.

2.  What books are awaiting your available time to be read. 

At the top of my pile is War is a Lie (David Swanson), “a thorough refutation of every major argument used to justify wars, drawing on evidence from numerous past wars, with a focus on those wars that have been most widely defended as just and good.”
Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation3.  Have any books been recently recommended?  I’m looking forward to reading Carol Howard Merritt’s Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry for a New Generation.  I hope it will begin to answer the question raised for me by Eat Pray Love:  Wouldn’t it be great if the church was a place where spiritual seekers found God instead of having to give up church in order to find God?  I am all in favor of exotic locations as pilgrimage destination, though!

God on a Harley4.  What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best?

I don’t know if this is an official genre, but I’m sort of a sucker for modern-day morality parables.  The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) is a favorite, as is The Shack (William P. Young).  I also have enjoyed God on a Harley (Joan Brady), The Knight in Rusty Armor (Robert Fischer), The Dragon-Slayer with a Heavy Heart (Marcia Powers) and The Princess Who Believed in Fairy Tales (Marcia Grad).  If you ever see any of these on a dollar table at a book sale, grab it!

Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire5.  What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend (or condemn)?
I strongly recommend Rita Nakashima Brock’s latest book Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire.  It is a very life-giving look at the historical make-over, in art and story, of Jesus as shepherd in the earliest church to Jesus the very dead sacrificial lamb. She does some cool things with Song of Solomon, too!  Reading this takes me back to the thrill of seminary learning days.  Yeah, I know, I’m a total church and Bible geek! 

6 thoughts on “Friday Five: Books R Us

  1. I'm so glad you liked "God on a Harley"–when I read it about 15 years ago, I sent copies to so many people! It's so nice you decided to play FF today; I appreciate the names of authors and books you mentioned. I am making a list for future trips to the library!

  2. The Rita Nakashima Brock book sounds very interesting. As a layperson and a literature person, it's ben eye-opening for me to start to see how the bible has been filtered through so many layers and lenses that what we think is "sola scriptura" really is nothing like that.

  3. That particular Rita Nakashima Brock book has been on my shelf since it came out! I was excited to get it and read it and somehow it has just sat on the shelf! Probably in no small part that i'm in an uberconservative place and would not be able to just go and share!I will totally look for your modern day parable suggestions–I haven't read any of those. Thanks so much!Great play!

  4. I'm intruiged by your list and have taken some notes. I used to teach Arthurian legend so I'm going to look up those dragon, knight and princess books…

  5. You remind me that I need to read Saving Paradise, and wonder what I will agree and disagree with and grow from in it….I completely get her theological critique in Proverbs of Ashes, and yet have found ways to reclaim the cross in both my own life as a survivor and that of others facing injustice and oppression. And that feels more powerful in the end, for me, than discarding it–though I completely get people who need to do the latter.

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