Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday Presbybloggers Book Club

Welcome to the Presbyterian Bloggers Book Club hosted by Quotidian Grace and Justice Seeker! On the first Thursday of each month we plan to discuss a different book of interest to members of the blog ring. In order to give those who are interested in participating time to read the book in advance, we will post a schedule of the books chosen for the club.

Our first selection is The Shack by William P. Young. This self-published book has been a surprise best-seller and drawn both praise and criticism for the author’s depiction of the Trinity. Eugene Peterson compared it favorably to John Bunyan’s classic allegory Pilgrim’s Progress. What is your reaction to it? Join us on September 4 for what we hope will be a lively discussion.

We want your thoughts on the next book club selections. Here is a list of suggestions that we have put together. We’ve tried to include a wide variety of books that have been recommended by Presbybloggers. Please let us know in the comments which you would like to see on the schedule and also give us your suggestions. If you would be willing to host a book club discussion, please leave word in the comments and give us your contact email so we can follow up.

QG and Justice Seeker suggest:

The Alto Wore Tweed by Mark Schweizer. Justice Seeker was intrigued with Presbyblogger Avdat's mention of this book on his blog: “This is the first in a series of light-hearted mysteries that are a very funny look at the life of the church and its people. The protagonist is a police chief who also serves as music director for the local Episcopalian congregation...The licks it gets in on Re-imagining style liturgical innovations are deadly and hysterical.”

Take This Bread by Sara Miles. This is a memoir of conversion told by a woman who was formerly an atheist. Sara Miles came to faith when she wandered into a small Episcopal church in her San Francisco neighborhood and took communion. Afterwards she established a food pantry in that church and then a network of food pantries all over the city. This book is well written and inspiring. Here’s a link to QG’s review.

The Other Six Days: Vocation, Work and Ministry in Biblical Perspective by R. Paul Stevens. About a year and a half ago Kruse Kronicle spent a tremendous amount of time and thought in lengthy posts about this book, chapter by chapter. Justice Seeker doesn't think that his posts got the attention that they deserved, and can't imagine any concept more critical to the Christian faith than how we live out our call to radically different lives while living what are in many respects perfectly normal lives. We’re suggesting that we read this book, taking advantage of the work done at Kruse Kronicle, and spend some time discussing what vocation, work and ministry really mean in the lives we live.

The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson. From QG’s review of this novel: “Gideon Mack, is a Church of Scotland pastor who doesn't believe in God. His "testament" recounts his troubled life and ultimate encounter with the Devil, who rescued him from what should have been a fatal accident... Robertson is a superb writer. He explores the difference between faith and belief, salvation and redemption, and revelation and madness in this compelling tale.”

Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli. According to Church Geek, “ This book was recommended to me by another 'solo pastor' working in a small church, and it does not disappoint. I really like Yaconelli's approach to youth ministry, especially his consideration that much of what we do with youth is designed to manage our anxiety about them. In contrast, the author outlines an approach to youth ministry that values kids for who they are. . . reminding us that they have things to teach us. You don't have to work with youth to get something out of this book. Much of what is written transcends youth ministry and outlines a great approach not only to pastoral ministry but to living the Christian life.”

So, Fellow PresbyBloggers--what say YOU? Would you like to discuss any of these books or would you like to suggest alternatives? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

Bookishly yours,
Quotidian Grace and Justice Seeker


John Shuck said...

I would love to discuss with other Presbys, Joel Primack and Nancy Ellen Abram's book, The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Cosmos.

Mignon's Dad said...

I vote for Contemplative Youth Ministry: Practicing the Presence of Jesus by Mark Yaconelli.

Jim Barker

thechurchgeek said...

All of these are great, my preference would be for either CYM or The Other Six Days.