Ethically Minded: March Staff Picks Part 1

This month our staff picks are books that remind us to be ethical in some way.

Ed picked Being Consumed by William Cavanaugh. Ed picked this because it reminds him not to be consumed by consuming stuff.

consumed

Cindy chose God, Medicine, and Suffering by Stanley Hauerwas because “This is one of those rare books that leaves the reader changed, that touches both the heart and mind.”

medicine

Heather decided on After You Believe by N.T. Wright because “it is a book that reminds readers that changes in behaviour are intentional and take time — we learn to act differently.”

Believe

Carolyn chose Fear and Trembling by Soren Kierkegaard because Kierkegaard. In a longer reason, Carolyn wrote: “What would you do if God asked you to kill your son? It’s an intriguing ethical question. OR IS IT?!! The distinction between universalized ethics and religious faith may have never been so powerfully parsed as in this classic work penned by Kierkegaard’s pseudonym Johannes di Silentio.”

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Sheila picked Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald Sider. Sheila says “I am reading this to be challenged in my practice of generosity and to increase my awareness of hunger locally and globally.”

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Connor chose Confessions by St. Augustine because confession is what you do when you haven’t lived ethically.

augustine

Andrew chose Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It’s all about the title in this case.

ethics

Love Books — Staff Picks for February Part 2

Our staff picks for the second part of February are on the theme of love and relationships.

Ed suggests The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman because it is about showing love in relationships.

Chapman

Cindy recommends The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller because if you are married, you should know the meaning of marriage.

keller

Heather is reading Works of Love by Soren Kierkegaard because Carolyn had it as a staff pick so many times she decided to see what the fuss is about.

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Carolyn recommends It’s Not You: 27 (wrong) Reasons You’re Single by Sara Eckel because she thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and thinks all of you should read it too. Well, what she actually said was this:

You’re too picky. You’re desperate. It comes when you’re not looking for it. You need to put yourself out there more. When you’re single, it seems like everyone (including you!) wants to know the reason why… and wants to tell you how to fix the problem. New York Times journalist Sara Eckel sifts through the well-meaning but often hurtful and contradictory love advice dished out to singles by friends and family, delivering a message that is refreshing and freeing: maybe there’s nothing particularly wrong with us, maybe we just haven’t found love yet.”

not you

Sheila suggests The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis. Lewis, Love, how can you really go wrong? Sheila describes the book this way: “C. S. Lewis examines different kinds of love: Loves for the Sub-Human, Affection, Friendship, Eros, and Charity. He argues that all must be grounded in Agape (the love of God) to be expressed fully and rightly.”

Four Loves

Connor chose Eclipse of God by Martin Buber because it is about the RELATIONSHIP between religion and philosophy. (Clever, Connor, clever.)

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Finally, Andrew is reading On Marriage and Family Life by St. John Chrysostom. For a class. On Marriage.

Marriage and Family

February Staff Picks Part 1: Books We’re Reading for Lent

Cindy is reading God’s Wider Presence: Reconsidering General Revelation by Robert Johnson because she was intrigued by the premise of the book as found in the preface:

“What are we as Christians to make of those occasional encounters with God in our everyday lives that seem more real than everyday reality, more fundamental than everything else? . . . While not having to do with one’s salvation in any direct way, and occurring outside the church and without direct reference to Scripture or to Jesus Christ, such encounters for that is what they are experienced to be, are seen, heard and read as foundational to life.  This book attempts to think constructively—both critically and imaginatively—about such experiences.  What is the inherent value of God’s wider revelation, of experiences of God’s Presence not directly tied to our salvation?  And how are they to be understood theologically?”

johnston

Ed is reading Embracing Wisdom: The Summa theologiae as Spiritual Pedagogy by Gilles Mongeau because it is Prof. Mongeau’s newest book.

ebracing

Heather is (re)reading the Chronicles of Narnia. All of them. Because it is time to revisit Narnia.

chronicles

Carolyn is reading Forgotten Among the Lilies by Ronald Rolheiser because of a friend’s recommendation. She says “It has been the right book at the right time for me. Rolheiser reminds us that our lives will always hold elements of unfulfillment, both as lack and as excess. This unfulfillment is what propels us toward God, and is a timely theme for Lent.”

forgotten

Sheila is reading Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Brant Pitre. Sheila says “I am reading this book for Lent because Pitre examines the theme of Christ’s mission as Bridegroom of the Church, inviting his readers to engage in readings from the Old and New Testament as we look at the great mystery of the Passion of Christ.”

jesus

Connor is reading The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis because there’s something humbling about hearing your own flaws presented in such an engaging and comical way.

screwtape

Andrew is reading The Twenty-Piece Shuffle by Greg Paul. He calls it the best book he’s read in a long time.

twenty

How about you? What are you reading for Lent?

January Staff Picks: Winter Reading

Winter Reading seems somehow different from summer reading. Books should go well with hot drinks and snowy scenes somehow. Of course, what goes with firesides and hot drinks depends on the person. Here are the Crux staff’s Winter Reading picks.

Ed is reading The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything by James Martin, SJ

Jesuit

Ed claims he’s reading this “because the author signed the book for me (and I really enjoyed listening to his lecture at Regis College).

Cindy is reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

bonhoeffer

Cindy says she’s finally reading this book “because it’s been on my reading list far too long.”

Carolyn is reading The Sickness Unto Death by Soren Kierkegaard.

sickness

Of course, Carolyn frequently reads Kierkegaard. This time, she claims it is “because Winter is for Kierkegaard, and if you don’t believe me, listen to Tyler Lyle’s gorgeous song by the same name. January is a good month to confront the various forms of despair we live in.”

Heather is reading Not God’s Type by Holly Ordway

type

Heather is reading this book “because I like the cover, and I got it for Christmas.”

Sheila is reading The Divine Comedy by Dante.

dante

Sheila decided to read this epic “because I heard a great discussion on the book How Dante can Save Your Life on the radio, and this encouraged me to follow up on my long-held intent to read Dante’s epic. I did read “The Inferno” for school, but never went further, so I guess I’m also reading this to get out of hell.”

Connor is reading Wittgenstein: Duty of Genius by Ray Monk

genius

Connor says: “Long book? Of course it is! I’m reading it to add background to my study of Wittgenstein this coming term.”

Andrew is reading Unintended Reformation by Brad S. Gregory
reformation
Andrew is reading this (despite controversy) because “whether one agrees with his arguments or not, Brad Gregory’s  book needs to be taken into account.”

Giving Gifts

December Staff Picks Part II — Here are some more books we love to give.

Cindy is giving The Gardener by Sarah Stewart and David Small because “my granddaughter planted her first garden this year and was thrilled to see things sprout and grow. I think this children’s book will be a great gift for her.” (We hope none of Cindy’s family happens on gift spoilers on the blog!)

gardener

Ed likes giving Return of the Prodigal by Henri Nouwen because he feels like this is a book he can give to anyone.

prodigal

Heather suggests giving Home by Marilynne Robinson because she likes giving prize-winning fiction to unsuspecting relations.

home

Carolyn suggests John Jensen Feels Different by Henrik Hovland because “I gave this lovely Norwegian children’s book to myself recently, and I may give it to my goddaughter when she is a little older. If you don’t fall in love with John Jensen in 30 seconds, it’s not my fault, nor is it the fault of Hovland or his brilliant illustrator, Norwegian-Canadian Toril Love.”

different

Sheila suggests The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart because it is a good book. We all know that Sheila always suggests good books.

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Connor, following the colouring book trend, suggests giving All the Libraries Toronto by Daniel Rotsztain because “It’s fun, and another way to connect with Toronto’s growing library system.”

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Andrew suggests giving The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky because “Everyone should read at least one classic novel at Christmas time.”brothers