If you are thinking about grabbing a couple new books to read over the summer, our library has some great ones to consider. Plus, they're free.
We've picked six from the shelves that might pique your interest, ranging from Christian ethics to fiction to theology. The library also holds many memoirs on faith, collections of poetry, Bible commentaries, as well as books for children and youth.
Come on over and check them out. No, literally, check them out.
Adam Hamilton's "Making Sense of the Bible"
"I love the Bible...and I wrestle with it. There are portions, if I'm honest, that I have questions about. There are statements on its pages that I don't believe capture the character and will of God. I'm guessing, if you're honest, you have questions, too. We're not alone. As a pastor I regularly hear from people who are perplexed, confused, or disturbed by something they've read in the Bible. This book is an attempt to honestly wrestle with the difficult questions often raised by thoughtful Christians and non-Christians concerning things taught in the Bible."
Ted Weber's "War, Peace, and Reconciliation"
This book invites Christians and churches into a conversation over how to think about war from the standpoint of faith. It asks how reconciliation, which is central to Christian life and doctrine, can engage the realities of war without surrendering its fundamental affirmations.
"Weber has done the Church an invaluable service in providing a distinctly Christian approach to the understanding of the ties of power among nations, often resulting in war...Weber's acute analysis and theocentric emphasis offer a much needed corrective to an unengaged pacifism or an engaged but graceless realism." James Laney
Marilyn Robinson's "Gilead"
Good novels on the spiritual life are hard to come by. This is one of the best. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this book tells the story of fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage in America's heart. It is told in the voice of small town Congregationalist minister John Ames, who writes to his son from his death bed. The prose is simple, but the wisdom in the words profound.
Rowan Williams's "Being Christian"
What are the essential elements of the Christian life? Not in terms of individuals leading wonderful lives, but just in terms of those simple and recognizable things that make you realize you are a part of a Christian community. This little book (only 82 pages!) is designed to help you think about four of the most obvious of these things: baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer.
"For Christians, to share in the Eucharist, the Holy Communion, means to live as people who know that they are always guests - that they have been welcomed and that they are wanted. It is, perhaps, the most simple thing we can say about Holy Communion, yet it is still supremely worth saying. In Holy Communion, Jesus Christ tells us that he wants our company."
Roberta Bondi's "Night on the Flint River: An Accidental Journey in Knowing God"
"...Pam, Jeff, and I had gone out intending to take a short, simple, and relaxing Sunday afternoon canoe trip on the Flint River not very far from Atlanta. Nothing turned out as we expected, however, and before long we were in trouble. During the long hours till dawn I truly believed that I was living out the last night of my life. This book recounts not just what happened on that October 18, but also something of my interior reflections as I stumbled along in the wet blackness with my two friends, expecting to die."
Richard Foster's "Celebration of Discipline"
Dividing the Disciplines into three movements of the Spirit, Foster shows how each of these areas contribute to a balanced spiritual life. The inward Disciplines of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study offer avenues of personal examination and change. The outward Disciplines of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service help prepare us to make the world a better place. The corporate Disciplines of confession, worship, guidance, and celebration bring us nearer to one another and God.