Books for tricky questions


Here’s a thought provoking question: think of your key objection to a theory, any theory or belief system. Now ask yourself this question. If that objection was removed to your satisfaction would you accept that theory/believe?

This is not as dumb a suggestion as it might seem. It’s a way of revealing to yourself what your real position is and whether you are using excuses not to do things, not to behave to people in certain ways, not to believe certain things.

And because I have a particular bias of course,  here is selection of books I would recommend for investigating the thornier issues and theological problems people have with Christianity eg unChristian Christians, miracles, the cruelty of life, politics.

Knock yourself out!

When Christians Get It Wrong by Adam Hamilton – a useful book for all Christians, a humble acknowledgement of the offense we often cause and suggestions for self-awareness, with answers for those for whom Christians themselves are the key objection to Christianity.

The Meaning in the Miracles by Jeffrey John – Explanations and positionings and prayer approaches for/to the supernatural elements of the stories of Jesus, together with some remarkable social insights such as Jesus’ approach to homosexuality (not bothered by it) and his active rejection of inherited hatred and nationalism. Brilliantly thought provoking.

God In All Things by Gerard Hughes – Reflections on death, suffering, Christian unity and desire amongst other things.

The Fidelity of Betrayal by Peter Rollins – one for the intellectuals, but mostly for those who most fundamentally doubt. An exploration of how doubt and absence is absolutely at the heart of what is means to be a Christian.  “What if the only way of finding real faith involved betraying it with a kiss?”

Subversive Manifesto by Jonathan Bartley – I’ve mentioned this book before but it’s so good I don’t mind mentioning it again. God as political with a small p, how media and party politics attempt to polarise issues that should be aPolitical and how it is impossible to be a Christian without being political – well you tell me how else you are going to stop exploitation and support the alien, the orphan and the oppressed.

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