April Staff Picks

Ed:

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The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton

Cindy:

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Jesus of Nazareth by Benedict XVI

As we head towards Easter, this is a fantastic series to read. The first volume (of the three volume set) covers the time period from the baptism in the Jordan to the transfiguration, volume two concentrates on Holy Week, while volume three focuses on the infancy narratives. The books scour the gospels to find the true identity of Jesus and paint a compelling portrait of him. You cannot read these books without coming away with a richer and fuller knowledge and picture of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Dr. Heather:

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The Courage To Teach by Parker J. Palmer

The Courage to Teach is an insightful, and at times very funny, look at teaching. Palmer presents teaching as he experienced it, and in so doing, gives courage to his readers who have similar experiences.

Sheila:

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Preaching from Memory to Hope by Thomas G. Long

In this book Long looks at the necessity of memory and remembering in the context of preaching. He reminds us of eschatological hope, so that we remember that God’s people, the Church, has a past, a present, and a future.

Conner:

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Enchiridion by Epictetus

The title is not the only strange characteristic of this work. Epictetus, influenced  heavily by Stoic thought, here gives us a prescription for living. It suggests (in broad strokes) ways of comprehending what we call “good’ and/or “bad” elements of our lives. It intrigued me, because it offered answers without supplying an easy way out. Yes, you could consult the work for advice in making many decisions; however, its advice will offer you a new way of conceptualizing the problem, rather than providing a solution. It is not an ancient equivalent of a modern self-help guide. The essential distinction Epictetus makes in the work is between that which is within the control of one’s will, and that which is not. We may rightly ask in some cases where that distinction lies. Epictetus would likely respond by saying it is for us to intuit. In that way, this small book only aims to offer pathways to answers. I wouldn’t follow all of the Enchriridion‘s suggestions to their logical conclusions, but as a thought experiment, the work is interesting because of its quirks.

Carolyn:

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The End of Apologetics by Myron Bradley Penner

Arguing that most examples of Christian apologetics on offer today have been shaped and oriented toward modernity’s obsession with reason as the final arbiter of truth, Penner calls for a new form of apologetics for a postmodern context—apologetics that is both loving in its delivery and faithful in its witness.

Andrew:

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Ethics in the Presence of Christ by Christopher J. Holmes

Chris Holmes is a TST graduate currently teaching theology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. This is his most recent book.

Rev. Heather:

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Tokens of Trust by Rowan Williams

Tokens of Trust is a little book that raises big questions. Whether you are looking for a solid introduction to the Christian Faith or working out how to explain your odd choice to spend Sunday mornings in church, this book is well worth the read. Written in Rowan Williams’s unmistakable voice it walks you through the Apostle and Nicene creeds addressing questions of Theodicy (explaining good in the face of evil), exploring the person and significance of Jesus Christ, and looking at where the church fits into not only scripture but the contemporary world. It really is a fabulous read.
March Monthly Staff Picks May (part 1)
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