Recommendations for July 2013

7 July

Sometimes for a holiday read, you don’t want anything too heavy (avoirdupois) or too long but rather something that you can dip in to. Today’s featured book is a selection of 20 interesting essays entitled ” Best Christian Writing 2006.” Elders were introduced to one of these essays at their recent awayday and found it thought provoking. The essays are very varied and include film and art criticism as well as an interview with Eugene Peterson (of the Message fame) but what they all have in common is the ability to raise questions. A perfect book to use as a basis for discussion, even if it’s only with yourself!

14 July

The author if this week’s highlighted book also wrote a book which was shortlisted by the Royal Institution as one of the best science books ever written. However, talented chemist though he was, Primo Levi is probably better known for his autobiographical book“ Is this a Man” . Although it is the story of a holocaust survivor, only a small part of the book actually takes place in Auschwitz and overall it is an uplifting rather than a depressing story. Again, if one looks beyond the story itself, it raises questions about what defines ‘man’; where the boundaries lie; what morality is; what language is; what judgement is but leaves the reader to provide the answers .Also included in this volume is another of Levi’s books “The Truce”.

21 July

The Message is a book that we have highlighted before. However, it bears another mention. It is a very small volume that can be easily slipped into a handbag or a jacket pocket. One of the bookstall team confessed that she still prefers the King James version of the Bible over the NIV and this will never replace either of those. However, this volume which isn’t the whole bible but just the New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs helps you understand or at least interpret those bits of the Bible that you are uncomfortable with or have never really understood, notwithstanding lots of help on that score from the pulpit. This is a book to dip in to when you are struggling with a passage and don’t want to refer to a theological treatise.

28 July

This week’s highlighted book is not new but we think it bears looking at for that very reason. ” New Era, New Church” was brought out at the time of the Millennium and it set out ten challenges for the Church. How have we done so far? What should we be doing more of? How can we nurture our members? It might be useful for us as individuals or as groups within the church to look at the challenges and re-energise our efforts. We would encourage you to come and look at the book and other titles on the bookstall, and to whet your appetite we have set out the millennium challenges below:
• We will make you welcome
• We will be family-friendly
• We will make sure you can hear clearly
• We will be practical and relevant
• We will help you explore answers to your deepest questions
• We will offer you time to stop and think in a busy life
• We will help you make sense of the Bible and who Jesus is
• We will make sure your visit will be helpful but challenging
• We will help you discover for yourself God’s love, acceptance and forgiveness
• We will offer you the chance to make a new start