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P C Books I Have Read


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There are good ones (to me!).


Jesus Before Christianity by Albert Nolan.


The Gospel According to Jesus by Stephen Mitchell.


Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time- Marcus Borg


When We Talk About God Let's Be Honest- R. Kirby Godsey.....this one is one of the greatest books I've ever read. I had to buy a second copy because the first had too many highlights in it. The book radiates grace.


How to Believe in God- Clark Strand


A Faith Worth Believing In- Tom Stella


Common Sense Christianity- C. Randolph Ross


Wisdom Jesus- Cynthia Bourgeault

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Guest billmc

Thanks for sharing this list, Rennyo! The only ones on your list that I've read is "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time" and "Common Sense Christianity", both books that I would highly recommend also.


And, because of your list, I ordered "When We Talk About God, Let's Be Honest" this morning! I absolutely LOVE books written by Christians that the Christian communisty subsequently labels as "heretical"! It usually means that the author has somehow either 1) presented new avenues for growth and understanding or 2) goes back to the spiritual teachings of Jesus. ;)

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I always appreciate hearing what PC books people have found the most meaningful.


Albert Nolan is an author we don’t hear mentioned often, but I was glad to be reminded of his excellent interpretation of the gospel. Might check out his two more recent books.


Stephen Mitchell – offers some unique perspectives on Jesus’ personality.


Marcus Borg – that one is still my favorite work of his also.


I had never heard of Tom Stella, Kirby Godsey or Clark Strand, but after looking at the kindle sample I’ve been reading Strand’s book -- intriguing blend of Pure Land Buddhism and biblical analysis.


Randolph Ross’ book, which is on line, was discussed here chapter by chapter a couple years ago -- here’s the link




Cynthia Bourgeault – really admire her work on contemplative traditions. The book I have by her is The Wisdom Way of Knowing.


Thanks again for sharing.

Edited by rivanna
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  • 3 weeks later...

Some books I've read and enjoyed.


The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg. I found this very helpful. I especially liked his explanation of different types of faith.


Saving Jesus from the Church by Robin Meyers. Strong condemnation of the church's tendency to focus on beliefs in specific doctrines as opposed to taking actions as taught by Jesus.


The Powers that Be by Walter Wink. Very interesting call for non-violence in the world. I especially liked his new explanation of how the "turn the other cheek" lesson is subversive rather than submissive.




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My favorite PC books in no particular order:


A History of God, The Bible-A Biography, and The Case for God-Karen Armstrong.


Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary, The First Paul, Reading The Bible Again For The First Time, The God We Never Knew-Marcus Borg


Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography-John Dominic Crossan


The First Week and The First Christmas-co-authored by Crossan and Borg


The Gnostic Gospels and The Origin of Satan-Elaine Pagels


The Future of Faith-Harvey Cox


And I'm not sure if this is PC because I'm not sure what his religious beliefs are, but I think many progressive Christians could enjoy it but also Who Wrote The New Testament? by Burton Mack.

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After seeing Robin Meyers’ book in Kenneth’s post, I took another look at it. His voice is one of the most convincing and comprehensive of any PC author I’ve ever read, and includes the evolutionary perspective as well. His style is thought-provoking – a few samples --

“When I was a kid, the message Jesus is the Answer was ubiquitous… the message should be Jesus is the Assignment. The operative question is not Do you love Jesus? but Has Jesus ever been a radically disturbing and transforming presence in your life?

What would happen if we accepted original blessing over original sin and stopped trying to prove our worthiness? What if we took seriously Paul Tillich’s counsel, accept the fact that we are accepted?

We did not drop from the sky to do battle with our fallen nature; rather we have crawled up out of the sea to work the garden, to protect our young, to contemplate the gifts and obligations of higher consciousness. What does it mean to be human, to ask questions, to solve problems, to make art, and ultimately to discover the most sublime gift of all – love?

Much preaching today is framed as an invitation to God to come into our story, but the biblical invitation is radically different: we are being invited into God’s story.

In the Sermon on the Mount, there is not a single word about what to believe, only words about what to do.

The bible is a conversation…As in the book of Job, even when things seem hopeless, the dialogue must continue. Hope vanishes when we stop talking to one another.

There is the creedal road of the Fall and redemption, original sin and the Savior. But before the fourth century, there was the road of enlightenment, wisdom, creation-centered spirituality and transformation. This is the road less traveled, that seeks not to save our souls but to restore them.”

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I love Philip Yancey's writing. I don't necessarily see him as PC, but he is definitely taking the right road in terms of bringing diverse Christians together.


If anyone is interested in challenging themselves with a diversity of Christian writings I suggest googling Christianity Today Book Awards, which have been given since 1999. There are so many compelling works that are offered as being the best of each year in a range of subjects - apologetics, christian life, spirituality, history, etc. For me, it's been a way to see the diversity of Christian thought which cannot be dismissed if you consider yourself a reasoning and tolerant person. There are books that will make your blood boil, but ones that will make you say "Aha, is that what Reformed theology is about, too?"

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  • 3 months later...

For those who like Robin Meyers – I see he has a new book out, The Underground Church: reclaiming the subversive way of Jesus.


One that I keep learning from, is Richard Rohr’s Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality. Marcus Borg’s interpretations of the bible have been so helpful to me, and Rohr’s Catholic / Franciscan perspective (also Evolutionary Christianity) makes a nice complement to Borg’s Protestant approach. They arrive at the same place (as I see it) from different paths. A few samples from this book –


We have made the bible into a bunch of ideas about which we can be right or wrong, rather than an invitation to a new set of eyes.


The bible’s primary concern is mystical, not moral.


The I-Thou language is a way of speaking quite different from the I-It relationship, where everything is functional, impersonal, earned.


When God divided light from darkness, he did not call it “good” …The work of the bible will be about putting those seeming opposites of darkness and light, heaven and earth, flesh and spirit, back together in one place. They have never really been separate.


In the beginning was the relationship…I consciously take this pattern of God as a dynamic communion of persons as the central template and pattern of all reality. It is interesting that physicists, molecular biologists and astronomers are often more attuned to this universal pattern than many Christian believers.


We start with tribal thinking; we gradually move toward individuation through chosenness, failure and grace; then for those who walk fully through the first two stages, there is a breakthrough to non-dual consciousness or the unitive way.


Universalism (non- groupthink) is the point of the whole book of Jonah.


On the cross of life we accept our own complicity and cooperation with evil, instead of imagining that we are standing on some pedestal of moral superiority….We live in the in-between, holding the tensions, discovering the paradoxes, we are the contradictions visualized by the geometric image of the cross. We bear the ambiguity, the inconsistency and brokenness of all things, instead of insisting on dividing reality into good guys and bad guys.


We cannot ever get worthy, but we can get reconnected to our Source.

Edited by rivanna
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I recently read a nice little book that made me feel glad - 'An Awakening Within' by a Joseph ...... (the name of the author escapes me :) ).


An engaging short novel, it's an easy read which left me feeling 'at ease' that all is well.




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