Recent Reading: Politics & Bible

Politics are everywhere; I have yet to spend more than a few seconds scanning my social media feeds before encountering a political remark. Political experts are everywhere; 99% of the political remarks I read and hear are communicated as though the communicator is a subject matter expert.  In reality, of course, most are simply people who have strong feelings about their particular perspectives. Political writing is particularly popular.  As a non-expert, I have read three books this year Read More …

Top 10 Books of 2015

Welcome to the sixth annual edition of my top books of the year. To qualify for the list, the book must be published in 2015, I must have read the book, and the content of the book resonated with and significantly enriched me and/or my understanding of the subject. Diana Butler Bass Grounded: Finding God in the World - A Spiritual Revolution Ron Clark Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success in Work and Life John Dominic Crossan How to Read More …

October Book Recommendations

After years of writing hundreds of book reviews, I shifted to monthly book recommendation lists some time ago when my life responsibilities made the work of full length book reviews difficult.  In response to a more recent life shift, I present this month's list as the final edition in this format. (5+) Grounded: Finding God in the World-A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass (HarperOne, 2015) (5.0) Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing by Reba Riley (Howard Read More …

August Book Recommendations

During the month of July I went through what had become a rather large pile of physical books and list of electronic books I had intended to read by mid-year.  I managed to read 16 such books and gave away around an equal number.  The top ten I read that were published last year or this year follow. (5+) Beyond Resistance: The Institutional Church Meets the Postmodern World by John Dorhauer (Exlporation Press, 2015) (5) Move Your Bus: An Extraordinary New Approach to Accelerating Success Read More …

July Book Recommendations

During the month of June I read five books that I recommend.  All were published either last year or this year: (5) There's a Woman in the Pulpit: Christian Clergywomen Share Their Hard Days, Holy Moments, and the Healing Power of Humor edited by Martha Spong (SkyLight Paths, 2015) (4.5) Teams that Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership by Ryan T. Hartwig and Warren Bird (IVP Books, 2015) (4.5) From Tablet to Table: Where Community is Found and Identity is Formed by Read More …

June 2015 Book Recommendations

My reading the last month has included a number of texts published this year (2015), including (5) Religion in the Oval Office: The Religious Lives of American Presidents by Gary Scott Smith (Oxford University Press) (5) Contemporary Churches: Spiritual Transformation of Congregations by Louis F. Kavar (Louis F. Kavar) (4.5) My Church is NOT Dying: Episcopalians in the 21st Century by Greg Garrett (Morehouse Publishing) (4) Walking with Jesus: A Way Forward for the Church by Pope Read More …

May 2015 Book Recommendations

This month my reading list included many volumes that challenged my thinking and expanded my knowledge. Shown below are my ratings for the new volumes (those published in 2015): (5+) Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam (Simon & Schuster) (5) How to Read the Bible by Harvey Cox (HarperOne) (4.5) The Great and Holy War: How World War I Became a Religious Crusade by Philip Jenkins (HarperOne) (4.5) Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving and Finding the Church  by Read More …

Review: Did God Kill Jesus?

Meet the Author I have quoted Tony Jones on this blog a few times (Proposed Inaugural Benedictions, The Future of Seminary Education, and Incarnational Christian) over the years.  Tony is is an ordained minister in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches with a Ph.D. from Princeton Seminary (2011) best known for his role in helping launch what has become known as the emergent church movement.  Currently he serves as theologian-in-residence at Solomon’s Read More …

April 2015 Book Recommendations

Over the last few weeks several pastors have told me that they have a growing list of things they plan to do after Easter, including catching up on their reading.  Whether or not you have slowed your reading pace during Lent, I encourage you to consider reading one or more of the following books.  As has been my custom for around a year, my ratings are given on a scale of 1 to 5. (5) One Nation Under Gods: A New American History by Peter Manseau (Little, Brown, and Company, Read More …

Top 10 Faith Enriching Books

Since launching this blog in 2009, I have reviewed over 150 books and recommended nearly 100 more.  Starting in 2010, I have published annual lists of my top books published each year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014). Each year, I have concluded alphabetical top ten lists with the two books that had the greatest impact on my own faith journey during that year.  Together these ten volumes create a list of my Top 10 Recently Published Faith Enriching Books: Diana Butler Read More …