Pastor Kadin's Fall Reading List

The seasons are changing and it’s getting cooler. It won’t be long until we’re warming ourselves by the fire. So I thought that it would be nice to start this fall by sharing some of the books I want to read and some of those that I have. I hope that you will find something from this list that perks your interest.


Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church by Rachel Held Evans

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn't want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals--church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to Church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

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Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People by Nadia Bolz-Weber

In Accidental Saints, New York Times best-selling au­thor Nadia Bolz-Weber invites readers into a surprising encounter with what she calls “a religious but not-so-spiritual life.” Tattooed, angry and profane, this former standup comic turned pastor stubbornly, sometimes hilariously, resists the God she feels called to serve. But God keeps showing up in the least likely of people—a church-loving agnostic, a drag queen, a felonious Bishop and a gun-toting member of the NRA.

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Kierkegaard: A Single Life by Stephen Backhouse

Kierkegaard, like Einstein and Freud, is one of those geniuses whose ideas permeate the culture and shape our world even when relatively few people have read their works. That lack of familiarity with the real Kierkegaard is about to change.

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Theologian of Resistance: The Life and Thought of Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Christiane Tietz

Since Dietrich Bonhoeffer's death in 1945, executed by the Nazis as a political dissident, he has continued to fascinate and compel readers as a theologian, witness, and martyr. In this new biography, Christiane Dietz masterfully portrays the interconnectedness of Bonhoeffer's life and thought, theology and politics, discipleship, witness, and resistance, tracing the path from his childhood to his imprisonment and execution. Brief, lucid, and imminently accessible, Tietz's new account brings Bonhoeffer's story and work to life in a vivid retelling, unfolding his important and widely read texts, and including new, previously unseen pictures.

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The Doubled Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Women, Sexuality, and Nazi Germany by Diane Reynolds

Few twentieth-century theologians have had a bigger impact on theology than Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man who lived his faith and died at the hands of the Nazis. Yet the true story of the women in this remarkable man's life has until now been obscured by a conventional narrative that has distorted their role. A highly readable but scholarly work of narrative non-fiction, The Doubled Life places Bonhoeffer's theology of love and sexuality within the context of his struggles with women, friendship, and the evils of Nazi Germany.

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Protestants Abroad: How Missionaries Tried to Change the World but Changed America by David A. Hollinger

Between the 1890s and the Vietnam era, many thousands of American Protestant missionaries were sent to live throughout the non-European world. They expected to change the people they encountered, but those foreign people ended up transforming the missionaries. When they returned home, they brought new liberal values back to their own society. Protestants Abroad reveals the untold story of how these missionary-connected individuals left an enduring mark on American public life as writers, diplomats, academics, church officials, publishers, foundation executives, and social activists.

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Paul: A Biography by N.T. Wright

 

In this definitive biography, renowned Bible scholar, Anglican bishop, and bestselling author N. T. Wright offers a radical look at the apostle Paul, illuminating the humanity and remarkable achievements of this intellectual who invented Christian theology—transforming a faith and changing the world.

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Inspiration and Incarnation: Evangelicals and the Problem of the Old Testament by Peter Enns

 

How can an evangelical view of Scripture be reconciled with modern biblical scholarship? In this book Peter Enns, an expert in biblical interpretation, addresses Old Testament phenomena that challenge traditional evangelical perspectives on Scripture. He then suggests a way forward, proposing an incarnational model of biblical inspiration that takes seriously both the divine and the human aspects of Scripture. This tenth anniversary edition has an updated bibliography and includes a substantive postscript that reflects on the reception of the first edition.

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The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say about Human Origins by Peter Enns

Can Christianity and evolution coexist? Traditional Christian teaching presents Jesus as reversing the effects of the Fall of Adam. However, an evolutionary view of beginnings doesn't allow for a historical Adam, making evolution seemingly incompatible with what Genesis and the apostle Paul say about him. For Christians who accept evolution and want to take the Bible seriously, this presents a faith-shaking tension.

Peter Enns, an expert in biblical interpretation, offers a way forward by explaining how this tension is caused not by the discoveries of science but by false expectations about the biblical texts.

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Memory, Grief, and Agency: A Political Theological Account of Wrongs and Rites by Sunder John Boopalan

By comparing Indian and U.S. contexts of caste and race, Sunder John Boopalan proposes that wrongs today are better understood as rituals of humiliation which are socially conditioned practices of domination affected by discriminatory logics of the past. Grief can be redressive by transforming violent identities and hostile in-group/out-group differences when guided by a liberative political theological imagination. This volume facilitates interdisciplinary conversations between theorists and theologians of caste and race, and those interested in understanding the relation between religion and power.

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Undomesticated Dissent: Democracy and the Public Virtue of Religious Nonconformity by Curtis W. Freeman

This book provides a sweeping intellectual history of the public virtue of religiously motivated dissent from the seventeenth century to the present, by carefully comparing, contrasting, and then weighing the various types of dissent―evangelical and spiritual dissent, economic and social dissent, radical and apocalyptic dissent.

Freeman offers dissenting imagination as a generative source for democracy, as well as a force for resistance to the coercive powers of domestication. By placing Bunyan, Defoe, and Blake within an extended argument about the nature and ends of democracy, Undomesticated Dissent reveals how these three men transmitted their democratic ideas across the globe, hidden within the text of their stories.

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Radical Sacrifice by Terry Eagleton

The modern conception of sacrifice is at once cast as a victory of self-discipline over desire and condescended to as destructive and archaic abnegation. But even in the Old Testament, the dual natures of sacrifice, embodying both ritual slaughter and moral rectitude, were at odds. In this analysis, Terry Eagleton makes a compelling argument that the idea of sacrifice has long been misunderstood.
 
Pursuing the complex lineage of sacrifice in a lyrical discourse, Eagleton focuses on the Old and New Testaments, offering an analysis of the crucifixion, while drawing together a host of philosophers, theologians, and texts—from Hegel, Nietzsche, and Derrida to the Aeneid and The Wings of the Dove. Brilliant meditations on death and eros, Shakespeare and St. Paul, irony and hybridity explore the meaning of sacrifice in modernity, casting off misperceptions of barbarity to reconnect the radical idea to politics and revolution.

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Love in a Time of Climate Change: Honoring Creation, Establishing Justice by Sharon Delgado

This book creatively adapts John Wesley's theological method by using scripture, tradition, reason, and experience to explore the themes of creation and justice in the context of the earth's changing climate. By consciously employing these four sources of authority, readers discover a unique way to reflect on planetary warming theologically and to discern a faithful response. The book's premise is that love of God and neighbor in this time of climate change requires us to honor creation and establish justice for our human family, for future generations, and for all creation.

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It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

 

Written during the Great Depression, when the country was largely oblivious to Hitler’s aggression, it juxtaposes sharp political satire with the chillingly realistic rise of a president who becomes a dictator to save the nation from welfare cheats, sex, crime, and a liberal press.

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Kadin Williams