7 books to read this summer..

Whether it's a staycation on your allotment or whether you are managing to get further away, enjoy some great reading over the summer.

Here are 7 suggestions from me:

1. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Cromer

Cromer points the figure at ‘hurry’ as being the root of both our spiritual poverty and the toxicity of the modern world. ‘Love, joy and peace are incompatible with hurry,’ he says. ‘The danger is that…we skim our lives instead of actually living them.’

If you read only ONE book this summer, make it this one!

2. Finding God in the Waves by Mike McHargue

'Through the lens of neuroscience, McHargue makes his case for valuing religion not for its factual explanatory power but rather for its ability to give meaning to human existence . . . For those who fear science will rob them of both God and Christian community, this work may offer much-needed hope that Christianity and science can coexist.' - Publishers Weekly

This book is very well written and is a compelling read. Although raising lots of questions for Christians, it’s ultimately an inspiring story of one man’s honest and humbling journey of faith.

3. We need to talk about race by Ben Lindsay
From the Church’s complicity in the transatlantic slave trade to the whitewashing of Christianity throughout history, Christians have a lot to answer for when it comes to race relations. In this book Ben Lindsay, a pastor in an Anglican church in South London, offers insights into the experience of black people who belong to white majority churches.

4. The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of the Lord's Prayer by John Crossan

Revd Gary Piper is preaching four sermons on the prayer that Jesis taught us – from 26 July to 16 August inclusive. You’ll be able to find the sermons on our YouTube channel here https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyg4khXVk1RZ4QLh3_RrSYg?view_as=subscriber

Read this book and prepare to hear and understand this familiar prayer in ways you never did before. Crossan is one of the world's leading experts on Jesus and his times and provides just the right amount of historical detail and literary insight to draw out the enduring richness and relevance of Jesus' words for today.

5. The First Paul by Crossan and Borg

Ever struggled to get your head around Paul - the apostle and accredited author of thirteen letters in the New Testament canon? How can this man, on one hand, preach that we are all one in Christ (and shouldn’t make distinctions between male and female, slave and free) and yet, on the other hand, say that women must be submissive to men and slaves should live in ‘fear and trembling’ of their masters?

This book really helped me to understand Paul’s letters and teachings – both those that are indisputably written by his own hand and those almost certainly added to or written in his name by the early Church.

6. Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon

This is a short, very readable book on how to make the most of your innate creativity. It’s a fun read but it’s also full of wisdom and insight. And will unleash your creative spirit!

7. Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement

This is a wonderful novel that I read a few years ago. It’s not ostensibly about prayer, God or faith. But it touched me deeply and I’m not sure why.

The book is set in the mountains of rural Mexico. Ladydi is in her early teens and knows that being a girl is dangerous. Especially a pretty one. If the Narcos hear there is a pretty girl on the mountain, they steal her. So when the black SUVs roll into town, Ladydi and her friends hide in the warren of holes scattered across the mountain, safely out of sight. Because the stolen girls don’t come back.