"Chrysalis"

Chrysalis (Faith in an Emerging Culture), by Alan Jamieson, is a book that’s hard to fit into an exact category. The back of the book proclaims: Have you ever felt that the very things that once inspired and nurtured your faith now seem lifeless and perhaps even frustrating? I guess it says something about my journey over the last few years that such a book appealed. 🙂 Anyway, it’s essentially a book about change. About drastic, radical, all consuming change that leaves some without any faith, and some with a far deeper, more complex, and real faith. Other authors refer […]

"Jesus wants to save Christians"

Rob Bell is rapidly becoming one my heroes. The nooma DVDs are an inspiring breath of fresh air, and the books of his I’ve read – Velvet Elvis: Repainting the Christian Faith (on Amazon) and this one ( Jesus Wants to Save Christians (on Amazon)) have been excellent. He has studied the 1st Century Jewish culture extensively, and brings alive the teachings of Jesus in an amazing way. I find that a lot of what he says just Makes Sense, and he avoids the “theological fancy footwork” that some people seem to employ to make parts of the bible say […]

Basic Types of Pastoral Care and Counselling, Howard Clinebell, SCM Press, 1984. A very interesting and helpful book – quite daunting in many ways, but very illuminating as to the particular pastoral role that clergy have, and the crisis points that we all face in life. This is clearly a book that needs proper study to get the most from it, as it is fairly practical. There are a number of techniques presented on how to listen and counsel effectively, and good ideas for practical responses in a church setting. These include; The “six dimensions of wholeness” – Mind, body, […]

"Labyrinth"

Labyrinth, by Kate Mosse, was a book I was really looking forward to reading. I was hooked by The Davinci Code (even if it annoyed me by being utter drival from a factual point of view), and was under the impression Labyrinth was going to be even better. In this regard I have to confess I was a little disappointed. Now don’t get me wrong – I enoyed reading it, and the missus will testify that I had my nose stuck deep into it. But somehow the language wasn’t as engaging, I found it quite confusing and hard to follow […]

"The Lovely Bones"

I read The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold, many moons ago, and yet in the last few months it seems to have made a comeback, regularly appearing in the “Top 10” shelves in Smiths, or being read by people on the train. Let’s be frank – this is not a nice book, deeply disturbing with no holds barred about the rape and subsequent murder of the book’s subject, one Susie Salmon. Let’s just say I was glad I read it before our little boy was born! I should probably also mention that, being so long ago, some of the details […]

"The Eyre Affair (Thurdsay Next)"

The Eyre Affair, by Jasper FForde, is a very odd but brilliant book that takes you on something of a magical mystical tour to an alternate reality of modern England, where Dodos are not extinct, certain people have special talents (like being able to move through time, or enter into the text of a book), and in general the normal understanding of reality doesn’t hold much sway. Oh yes, and the arts rule the world – French Impressionist riots, anyone? Our heroine, Thursday Next, is a Literary Detective, spending her days chasing down fake and stolen manuscripts of books. Enter […]

Strangely billed as a children’s book, Mark Haddon tells the story of Christopher Boone, a 15 year old with Asperger’s, who finds a neighbour’s dog murdered, and sets out to solve the case. The book is written as Christopher’s diary, and gives a real insight into the mind of a child with this condition. There are frequent forays into maths and logic, but the emotional detachment is extraordinary – Christopher is seemingly incapable of understanding what other people are feeling. Oliver Sachs (who turned his wife into a hat, or something) found it very funny – I’m not sure funny […]

"The street bible"

The street bible by Rob Lacey is a complete reworking/summary of the Holy Bible in modern (street) language for those who “have never read the Bible, or have read it too much”. I have personally found it quite inspiring, particularly how he works the four gospels into a single narrative (although the disciples being called “Drew”, “Jim”, “Jonno”, etc was a litle disconcerting at first!!) The book kicks off in the Old Testament, with a whistle-stop tour of the books of the Bible, in canon order, but with the relative timings of the events in the book explained. I thought […]

W Wordpress