Summer reads

We asked the faculty what are they reading this summer and what they would recommend. Here is what they said:

  • Donna Lazenby:
    • After Whiteness: an Education in Belonging, by Willie James Jennings
    • A Promised Land – Barack’s Obama (autobiography)
  • Jamie Davies:
    • Macaskill, Grant. Living in Union with Christ: Paul’s Gospel and Christian Moral Identity (Baker Academic, 2019)
      This is one of the best books I’ve read recently, and I’ve been recommending it to everyone. Macaskill explores the implications of Paul’s emphasis on being “in Christ” for the Christian life, and how we understand personhood in Paul’s thought. Really, though, it’s a book about practical theology. He looks at this important theological theme of “union with Christ” in Paul’s writings, exploring this in relation to the sacraments of baptism and eucharist, with huge implications for what we mean by human identity, ethics, and pastoral care.
    •  Webster, John. Christ Our Salvation: Expositions and Proclamations. (Lexham Press, 2020) This is my devotional reading this summer, a collection of the late John Webster’s sermons, and one of those great “pick up and put down” books. His preaching, like his scholarship, is precise, profound, and deeply rooted in Scripture and the theological tradition. It seems like a word is never wasted, and some of these sermons have burned long in my thinking and praying for weeks after I read them. I never got to hear Webster preach, but I’m very grateful that this aspect of his ministry has been preserved as well as his excellent theological scholarship.
  • David Firth:
    •  Duane Garrett’s The Problem of the Old Testament
  • Howard Worsley:
    • ‘Who are the Celtic Saints?’ By Kathleen Jones or
    • ‘Mission in the Twenty-First Century’ by Andrew Walls and Cathy Ross or
    • ‘The British and Irish Lions, The Official History 2020’
  • Helen Collins:
    • Esau McCaulley – Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope – I’m really appreciating his love of scripture alongside a commitment to the importance of different lives experiences when reading
    • Beth Allison Barr – the Making of Biblical Womanhood (Jamie has perhaps already recommended this) – really inspiring accounts of powerful medieval women of faith of which I was unaware.
    • Amos Yong – The Spirit of Creation: Modern Science and Divine Action – I’m currently wrestling with a charismatic perspective on ‘the supernatural’ and thinking through how this aligns with a theology of creation, and so this book is helping
    • Fiction – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah – fascinating, disturbing and moving insights into migrant experiences of the USA and UK.
  • Steve Walton:
    • Among the five books I think every theology student should read is this outstanding brief (80 pages) study by Richard Bauckham, showing that the NT authors present Jesus as sharing the divine attributes of the one true God: God Crucified: Monotheism and Christology in the New Testament, (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1998); also available as part of his fuller book Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and Other Studies on the New Testament’s Christology of Divine Identity (Grand Rapids/Cambridge: Eerdmans, 2008).
    • I’ve greatly enjoyed reading this novel on my Kindle app over the summer break, engaging with what might have happened to five children killed during a Second World War bombing raid on London. We visit their lives at intervals over the following 70 years. It’s well written and engaging, and in places, the author’s Christian perspective comes through, although not obtrusively. It’s been long-listed for the Booker Prize: Francis Spufford, Light Perpetual (London: Faber, 2020).
  • Sean Doherty:
    • I am reading/have recently read and recommend
    • Gentle and Lowly (late to the party but I am reading this as a devotional and absolutely loving it)
    • A Christian Guide to Environmental Issues – Martin and Margot Hodson
    • Christopher Landau, A Theology of Disagreement
    • Isiorho, David, Mission, Anguish and Defiance: A Personal Experience of Black Clergy Deployment in the Church of England (Wipf and Stock, 2019) – on Perlego
    • Timothy Tennent, For the Body: Recovering a Theology of Gender, Sexuality, and the Human Body
    • Chine MacDonald, God is Not a White Man

Honourable mention – David Firth’s new book Joshua

If there are any books you’ve been reading that you think everyone must know about let us know!

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