Shaver’s Books, a small bookstore here in Huntsville, recently announced it was going out of business. I guess smaller, family-operated bookstores like Shaver’s can’t really compete with the mega-chain Books-A-Jillion’s of the world. Score another loss for the little man, I guess.
Anyway, when we heard that Shaver’s was closing it’s doors, my friend Taylor and I began making semi-regular visits, waiting for the prices to reach bargain-basement levels. (I’m all about the little man, but I gotta save up my pennies, too, you know.) For a smaller store, Shaver’s had a fairly impressive section of religious texts. I’m not talking about the banal pop-theology drivel you find at your local LifeWay chain. I’m talking about good stuff: Anchor Bible Dictionary, Raymond Brown’s commentary on the Gospel of John, N.T. Wright, Richard Foster, etc. I could go on and on, but you get the point. I had a little extra coin I’d been sitting on for a little while, so I decided to splurge on a few choice items. Among my purchases:
- The Sunflower by Simon Weisenthal. I’ve heard about this book for years and I definitely wanted my own copy. Weisenthal, a concentration camp survivor, recounts his experience when a dying Nazi SS soldier asked him for forgiveness for his crimes against the Jews. Weisenthal’s gripping narrative forces his readers to examine their own views on justice and mercy.
- Paul and What Paul Really Said by N.T. Wright. Wright is one of the more prolific theologians around today. His analysis is always thorough and enlightening. Anything by Wright is a welcome addition to my library.
- The Wounded Healer by Henri Nouwen. Nouwen’s metaphor has become something of a mental model of ministry for me. A must read for any minister.
- God In Search of Man by Abraham Joshua Heschel. Writing from a distinctly Jewish perspective, Heschel proposes a theocentric, rather than anthropocentric, reality. God has always been about the business of creating a people for Himself. Heschel proposes that humanity is best understood from God’s perspective, from “the top down” as it were. Who God is has direct bearing on who we are. Looking forward to reading this one.
- The Challenge of the Disciplined Life by Richard Foster. Every one of Foster’s writings challenge me. This one can be read as a companion piece to Celebration of Discipline or by itself.
- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Paul Brand and Philip Yancey. Renowned surgeon Dr. Brand and esteemed writer Philip Yancey combine on a fascinating exploration of the human body. Even in the most minute details, our bodies themselves declare the glory of our Creator God.
I can’t wait to delve into these books. I’ll have about a 3 week reprieve in between grad readings. I’ll probably devour The Sunflower first and then move on to either Wright or Foster. Any of you ever read any of these? Anything you’re reading right now that you’d recommend?