This post, by Cherith Fee Nordling, my colleague at Northern Seminary, provides book suggestions — post seminary — on theology with a twist toward diversity and theology.
A beautiful little book that covers the heart of the Christian story, theologically and biblically, that also offers great questions and a concise bibliography at the end of each short chapter.
Heresies and How to Avoid Them. Why It Matters What Christians Believe. Ben Quash, Michael Ward (editors).
These are great chapters, written by pastors, that address some of the ever-present heresies that mess with our Christian thinking and relation to God and the world. They explain the origins, key aspects, and implications of these heresies (like thinking Jesus has a human body but a divine mind/will, or that there is hierarchy in the Trinity) that infiltrate the church and leave a theological, biblical, devotional mess in their wake, and that need to be regularly sought out, exposed, and replaced by the gospel of the Incarnate Lord.
Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female and Intersex in the Image of God. Megan DeFranza.
Megan’s book is enlightening, challenging, pastorally provocative and a thoughtful entry point into what is indeed a non-negotiable conversation for God’s image-bearing people. Prepare to think and pray differently for and with the heart of God.
Jesus and the Disinherited. Howard Thurman.
A short classic written in the 70s, this irenic, wise and helpful book, from Thurman’s non-white perspective, lets us reconsider the power dynamics of what is ’normal’ and ‘Christian’ in our contexts.
Christianity Rediscovered. Vincent Donovan. This is a beautiful story of a priest (Donovan), an African tribe, and our wise, hospitable, missional God. Donovan is forced to ask vital questions and look for new expressions of God’s presence that offer deeply relevant hope (his reflection at the end engages with Paul’s missional life and letters).
Emerging Adulthood and Faith. Jonathan Hill.
OK, time to stop bashing the millenials and the church-related myths about them. This small, great book by sociologist Hill is an eye-opener in terms of where millennials fit in U.S. church (the stats are not what we think), how to identify and understand the gifts and longings of this generation and how to submit to the vital, necessary offering they bring in this season of church history.
The Story of Christian Theology, Roger Olson.
Fasten your seat belt, take a deep breathe, and take the roller coaster ride that is the life of the church through history. When we get caught up our current church issue, trend, or fog, we need a reminder of God’s faithfulness to his church, and the church’s struggle to be a faithful witness to the Triune God throughout her lived history. There is much to be learned from the long perspective of the church’s family photo album (post Scripture), with many of the same questions, similar challenges, and equally crazy contexts in which we are called to listen and live faithfully today.