Suggestions for your summer reads
In his regular offering at this time of year, Andy Goodliff selects seven books that will help us think about our Christian faith - and there's something for all ages.
Read Andy's suggestions from 2021, 2020 and 2019
1. The Apostles' Creed for all God’s Children by Ben Myers and Natasha Kennedy
This is a beautifully written book on Christian belief by Ben Myers with wonderful illustrations by Natasha Kennedy. It asks questions like — Who is God? Where does the world come from? Where will I go when I die? Where is Jesus now? and then taking the different articles of the Apostle’s Creed, helps children (and adults) trust in the God of Jesus.
Nearly every page ends with ’that’s what I believe.’ A book to be read and re-read.
2. Whistlestop Tales Around the World in 10 Bible Stories by Krish and Miriam Kandiah
This books shares ten Bible stories featuring characters from around the world — Iraq, Jordan, Sudan, Italy, Turkey, and more.
It is a book aimed at children, but is a reminder to adults that the Bible is a global book that God draws people from different countries and cultures into his story then and still today.
Read a review here
3. Young, Woke and Christian: Words from a Missing Generation edited by Victoria Turner
In this collection of essays young Christians offer insight into their views on a range topics — climate crisis, race, disability, sexuality, food poverty, mental health and more. The book aims to say there are Christians in this missing generation (20s to early 30s), and it's time for the church to listen more carefully to them and the things they care about.
An insight into the way young Christians see the world, which will challenge and provoke — but cannot and should not be ignored.
Read a review here
4. More Things in Heaven and Earth: Shakespeare, Theology, and the Interplay of Texts by Paul Fiddes
Paul Fiddes has been busy lately. This is a third book, joining one on the philosopher-novelist Iris Murdoch and one on C. S. Lewis. More Things in Heaven and Earth is an exploration of Shakespeare’s plays revealing them to be religious, spiritual and theological texts.
Like in previous works, Fiddes believes that what we think and believe about God and the work of God can be helped by reading and experiencing great literature. For any Shakespeare fans, this book will help you see his plays in a new light, and perhaps your theology too.
5. This Sacred Life: Humanity’s Place in a Wounded World by Norman Wirzba
Norman Wirzba is one of the best thinkers out there on ecology and environmental ethics (see also his important book Food and Faith.) This recent book explores three questions — what kind of place is planet Earth? what kind of being is a human being? How should humans live?
Wirzba’s attempt to answer them engages with scripture, theology and ecological works to argue that life is rooted and sacred, in which we are called to be a creative and healing presence.
6. Singleness and Marriage After Christendom by Lina Toth
This is a timely and helpful book which at its heart wants to challenge what is called the ‘romance of the nuclear family’ and ‘the obligation of coupled love’ by returning to scripture and early Christianity for a different vision of singleness, marriage and family life.
This is the kind of the book that may help us have different conversations on the vexed questions of sexuality. Toth wants to offer a view of love and happiness that affirms those who are single and those who are married where all can flourish in the church.
Read a review here
7. Sabbath by Nicola Slee
This will be one of my books for the summer. It's been out a few years, and although aware of it, I’ve not read it, but several friends have recommended it. Slee explores how we might live Sabbath in a church and world where we are so driven by activity and outcomes.
Andy Goodliff is minister of Belle Vue Baptist Church, Southend-on-Sea
He edits Regent’s Reviews, based at Regent’s Park College, Oxford.
Cover thumbnail photo | Claudia Wolff | Unsplash