1. God’s Word in Human Words by Kenton Sparks. I am currently reading this, about a third of the way through. I bought it with an Amazon gift card I received for Christmas. So far I have enjoyed engaging with it, though it is difficult to consider some of the things proposed. Sparks is himself an evangelical, believing in the inspired and authoritative nature of Scripture. And, in this book, he is looking to help other Christians understand how to engage with historical criticism’s claims regarding the biblical text.
2. The Story of Christianity by Justo Gonzalez. I have had this book down on my ‘reading list’ for a long, long time. I picked it up this past year, read the beginning pages, and then never picked it up again. I read this two-volume work about nine years ago when I took two semesters of church history. But I am interested in reading and studying more on church history, so I want to go back and start with this work.
3. The Passion of the Western Mind: Understanding the Ideas That Have Shaped Our World View by Richard Tarnas. I originally read this in university in a philosophy class, but I want to go back and re-read it to refresh my memory in regards to the development of western thought, at least from a non-Christian’s perspective. I don’t think I paid too much attention to the book when I had to read it some ten years ago.
4. Theology After Darwin edited by R.J. Berry and Michael Northcott. After engaging with Denis Lamoureux’s book, I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution, I want to reflect more upon the theological issues that arise if evolution was the process by which God chose to create and Genesis 1-2 is, therefore, not a ‘literal’ account of origins.
5. An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination by Walter Brueggemann. Here is a Christian scholar engaging with all the critical issues surrounding the authorship, historicity and literary factors of the Old Testament Hebrew Bible. Sparks (whom I mention in #1) has been good. This might be the last work I engage with on the issue of Christian beliefs in light of historical criticism, at least for a while.
6. The Evangelical Universalist by Gregory MacDonald (pseudonym for Robin Parry). Parry gets the pseudonym name from two of the most prominent Christian universalists in Christian history – Gregory of Nyssa and George MacDonald. Evangelical universalism does not teach that all are saved regardless. It rather teaches that, by the work and grace of Christ, all will ultimately be saved by Christ. Most are aware of Rob Bell’s contribution this past year, which I reviewed here. I think Parry-MacDonald’s will be a little more theologically substantive. And, though I reckon I would not fully agree with every point, I still believe the theology is worth engaging with, not running from it.
7. Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet by Jonathan Merritt. I purchased this book a year and a half ago, but I have still not dipped into it. I want to read it in an attempt to understand more of the ‘green’ issues of the day.
8. The Fourth Book of The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini. I had been awaiting this book for quite some time. It finally came out a couple months ago. I recently purchased it and am now 300+ pages into the 850-page book.
10. The Litigators by John Grisham. I am a Grisham fan. I’ve read all his works. So I need to ‘catch up’ and read his most recent release.