We're just over halfway through the Summer and the "dog days" of August are looming just around the corner. As he leaves for the rest of his time away, Rev. Dr. David D. Young is excited to share this summer reading list of books from his own personal collection.
Got a flight or long road trip coming up this Summer? Maybe you're just looking for a good book to settle into a hammock with. Either way, we've got you covered with this mix of old favorite and newer books. Check it out and consider making a run to the library or your local bookstore! Several of these titles are also available from our Church Library! Call numbers included below.
Oldies, but Goodies
When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold Kushner
Why, God? It's a question most, if not all of us have asked at some point in our lives. When a loved one falls suddenly ill, when we see tragedies on the news, when we lose someone close to us. It's a question that Harold Kushner also asked when his three year old son was diagnosed with progeria, an extremely rare degenerative disease that meant the boy would not live beyond his teens. In this book, originally published in 1981 and since read by over 4 million readers, Kushner shares his own experiences and offers advice for finding hope and clarity in times of grief.
Church Library Call Number: 296.3 KUS
Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl
This memoir from Victor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor and Psychiatrist, tells of the extraordinary tragedy and hardship that he endured while laboring in four different camps, including Auschwitz. Though Frankl survived, his brother, parents and pregnant wife all died during the Holocaust. Through his own experiences and in interviews with others, Frankl developed his theory of logotherapy, which teaches that meaning, not pleasure, is the single most driving force in human life.
Church Library Call Number: 150.9 FRA
The Will of God, Leslie D. Weatherhead
Leslie Weatherhead was the Minister at City Temple in London from 1936 until his retirement in 1960, a span of time that included the tumultuous World War II era. During WWII, London was subjected to an unending series of bombings that destroyed much of the city, including City Temple. The Will of God includes five sermons that Rev. Weatherhead shared to guide his congregation through the doubt and questioning that comes with loss and sorrow.
Church Library Call Number: 252 WEA
I and Thou, Martin Buber
Martin Buber was a prominent twentieth century philosopher whose works concerned everything from politics and art to Jewish mysticism, biblical studies and human encounters. I and Thou is one of Buber's best known works and examines the ways that our human relationships bring us closer to God. Buber discusses the different ways that we relate to things and each other and introduces the "I-Thou" and "I-It" dichotomy.
The Way of the Heart, Henri Nouwen
Originally published in 1981, this book invites readers to follow a spiritual path based on the teachings of St. Anthony and ancient Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers. The path is comprised of three stepping stones-- Solitude, Silence and Prayer. Widely regarded as an essential Christian scholar, Nouwen crafts a way through the anger, stress and anxiety of the world and encourages readers to seek the love, peace and humility that bring us into a more authentic relationship with God and one another.
More Contemporary Readings
The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg
In The Heart of Christianity, renowned Scholar Marcus Borg revisits the heart of Christianity and suggests that the basic tenets of a Christian life-- faith, being reborn, the kingdom of God, the gospel of love-- are relevant and important in today's world. Written during a period of turmoil and change for the Church, this book provides a glimpse into the essence of Christianity and passionately argues that living a Christian life still makes sense.
Church Library Call Number: 230 BOR
When God is Silent, Barbara Brown Taylor
This book is a collection of Lyman Beecher Lectures in Preaching delivered by Taylor at Yale Divinity School. In these collections, she examines God's silence from different perspectives-- considering how preachers speak to those who seek words from God as well as the "voice of God," and lack thereof, in scripture. Using passages from the Old Testament, Taylor poitns out how Jesus used and created silence in his teachings.
Prayer, Richard Foster
Prayer is one of our most powerful practices as Christians. Sometimes we pray together, sometimes we pray privately. We may pray when seeking guidance, healing or blessing. We may pray as an act of thanks or out of joy or sorrow. Whenever we pray, argues Foster, coming to prayer is like coming home. In this book, Foster shares different forms of prayer and explains how prayer can change us, bring us closer to God, and encourage creative and passionate ministry to others.
Church Library Call Number: 248.3 FOS
That We May All Be One (Covenant, Hospitality and the Expanding Identity of the United Church of Christ), Mary Susan Gost
Mary Susan Gost served the UCC as Associate Conference Minister, Executive Director of the UCC Coordinating Center for Women in Church and Society, and Conference Minister for Northern California Nevada. Her extensive work in the UCC caused Gost to consider-- who is the "we" in the UCC? This book examines the founding vision of the UCC and asks how we function as a Church in the world. Gost discusses the organizational structure of the UCC and how that relates to our identity and motto-- "that they may all be one."
Credo, William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
A credo is, simply, a written statement of beliefs that guide our actions. We oftentimes use them as a part of Worship Services as creeds. William Sloane Coffin, Jr. was a Presbyterian minister and longtime activist who dedicated his life to peace, sexual equality and other social justice issues. As such, Credo is a fitting title for his autobiography, a book that recounts his life and shares lessons on faith, politics and justice.