Wednesday, July 03, 2013

[key books related to exclusion and embrace]

Here are some key books which I've been reading related to the themes of this blog:

Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation*
Miroslav Volf
Very profound!
Academic. I read it through twice and still only understand a quarter of it. However, I am regularly re-reading portions of key chapters to better understand it.
Quotes on this site

Where the Edge Gathers: building a community of radical inclusion*
Yvette A. Flunder
(Pilgrim Press, Cleveland, 2005)
A remarkable book written from Bishop Flunder's experience in building a church of and for people at the margins.

cover of "generous spaciousness: responding to gay Christians in the church" by wendy gritter
generous spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church.*
Wendy VanderWal-Gritter
Accessible, personal, well-thought-out.

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality*
Richard Beck
Quotes on this site

Jesus and the Disinherited*
Howard Thurman
A must read for anyone following Jesus in this world!

A Spacious Heart: Essays on Identity and Belonging
Judith M. Gundry-Volf and Miroslav Volf
(Trinity Press International: Harrisbury, PA. 1997)
Very good.
Fairly accessible.

Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha  and Mohammed Cross the Road?
Brian McLaren
Very accessible.
Quotes on this site

just hospitality: God's welcome in a world of difference
Letty M. Russell
Stretching and eye-opening. Letty Russell "redefines the commonly held notion of hospitality", and "maintains that true hospitality is a process that requires partnership with the “other” in our divided world. The goal is “just hospitality,” that is, hospitality with justice." (from Amazon description).
Very readable, especially in the way it introduces the reader to new concepts and ideas with many examples drawn from Letty's experiences with women's groups from around the world.

Making Room: Recovering Hospitality as a Christian Tradition
Christine D. Pohl
Good overview of historical perspective on hospitality.
Sample 1 Sample 2

Allah: A Christian Response
Miroslav Volf
Intriguing and well written. A good example of how to explore and discuss a challenging topic in a way which is respectful and thorough.

Books related to exclusion and embrace, which are primarily personal stories:

Fall to Grace: a revolution of God, self and society*
Jay Bakker
Easy reading. Personal story.

jesus freak: feeding, healing, raising the dead
Sara Miles
Fascinating personal story of her experiences working with people in need.
Very accessible.
Description (includes some sample quotes)

The Cross in the Closet: one man's abominable quest to find Jesus at the margins
Timothy Kurek
Fascinating personal story of one man's decision to "walk in the shoes of the very people he had been taught to shun."

Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint
Nadia Bolz-Weber
Easy to read and very interesting.

Pure Scum
Mike Sares
The story of Scum of the Earth - a 'vibrant church full of artists and skater punks'.
Easy to read with some good ideas and concepts sprinkled throughout, but not that well written.

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs.-Christians Debate
Justin Lee
Not read.
Highly recommended by others.

Future reading:

Vulnerable Faith: Missional Living in the Radical Way of St. Patrick
Jamie Arpin-Ricci
(March 2014)
"In this book the life of St. Patrick meets the spirituality of the twelve steps. Jamie Arpin-Ricci sets before us a vision of Christian community characterized by loving vulnerability, sacrificial generosity and a radical welcome of the stranger." (Richard Beck's comment on the book).
Amazon page

Learning to Interpret Toward Love: Actually Embracing People of Different Sexuality (in the kind of churches where they haven't been)
Peter Fitch, St. Stephen's University, NB
Haven't read this one, but hear good things about it and have it on my "read soon" list

Oriented to Faith: Transforming the Conflict over Gay Relationships
Tim Otto,
(Wipf and Stock, 2014)
Includes intriguing discussion of the "traditional family," and how Jesus disrupted the concept of family that existed in his time.
Publisher's Site
Book Site

Making Friends among the Taliban: A Peacemaker's Journey in Afghanistan
Jonathan Larson
(Herald Press, 2012)
One quote: 'His Afghan friends claimed, “In the greatest commandments of our scripture–to practice humility; to be generous to widows, the orphans, and the poor; and to be selfless and persevering in the search for justice and peace–Dantri was more Muslim than we Muslims.”'
Book site (includes trailer, sample chapter, study guide and more).
Review with memetic focus (at Raven Foundation)

When Heaven and Earth Collide: Racism, Southern Evangelicals, and the Better Way of Jesus
Alan Cross
"When Heaven and Earth Collide is an investigation into what went wrong in the American South in regard to race and religion-and how things can be and are being made right. Why, in a land filled with Christian churches, was there such racial oppression and division? Why didn't white evangelicals do more to bring racial reconciliation to the South during the 19th and 20th centuries? These questions are asked and answered through an exploration of history, politics, economics, philosophy, and social and theological studies that uncovers the hidden impetus behind racism and demonstrates how we can still make many of the same errors today-just perhaps in different ways. The investigation finally leads us in hopeful directions involving how to live out the better way of Jesus with an eye on heaven in a world still burdened and broken under the sins of the past." (Amazon blurb).

Dear White Christians: For those still longing for racial reconciliation
Jennifer Harvey
(Eerdmans, 2014)
Publisher's page

Love Never Fails :: Building Bridges Between the Church and the Gay Community (provisional title)
Michael Kimpan
(IVP, 2015).

Disarming Scripture: Cherry-Picking Liberals, Violence-Loving Conservatives, and Why We All Need to Learn to Read the Bible Like Jesus Did
Derek Flood
(MetaNoia, 2014)

Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the hidden forces that keep us apart
Christena Cleveland
(IVP, November 2013)
Publisher's description
Review by Rachel Held Evans

This page will be updated on an ongoing basis as I read more books. If you've been reading books related to exclusion and embrace that might be of interest to me and others, please let us know in a comment!

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