The Eagle & Child Notable Books

My favourite books of those I read this year:

Theology: T.F. Torrance, The Mediation of Christ.

This book changed my outlook on faith. There is a lot of solid material in this book, but what stood out for me in particular was his take on  “pistis Christou” (Greek for either “faith in Christ” or “the faith/faithfulness of Christ”). I had not heard of this distinction before. It started me down a road reflecting on the nature of faith.

Philosophy: James A.K. Smith, Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?: Taking Derrida, Lyotard, and Foucault to Church

This book introduced me to Radical Orthodoxy, which is very interesting. Also, while I wasn’t fully convinced by all of Smith’s arguments, I do think it is a good introduction to postmodernism for Christians who are uncomfortable with it. He engages Derrida, Foucault, and Lyotard in relation to theology and church practice. I would give this to people who have fear or misunderstanding of postmodern thought.

Sociology/history: Rodney Stark, The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries

The subtitle explains what the book is about. It’s a study from a sociological perspective. Fascinating read.

History: Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of the Private Life

I love Bill Bryson. It doesn’t matter what he writes–and he’s covered linguistics, travel, science, and now ordinary matters of the home–I love it all and I’ve read it all.

I took smug delight in the fact that I bought his new book in England before it was published in North America. In fact, I also read it before it was published in North America.

It’s a book about the history of the house (they weren’t always 1000 square foot buildings with 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, kitchen, etc.) and its various common contents. This may sound like boring subject matter, but this is Bill Bryson, folks. In his hands, nothing is boring.

Fiction: David Lodge, The British Museum is Falling Down

A pleasure to read, and funny. I started leafing through it one day when I was bored and I couldn’t put it down.

Literature: Shusaku Endo, Silence

This was a textbook for my survey of Christian history class. I had read Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory this summer and thought it was good. Silence is similar in many ways to The Power and the Glory, only better. It instantly became one of my favourite novels of all time. Very moving and thought provoking.

It was one of the “textbooks” for my survey of Christian history class and it generated way more discussion–and more passionate and animated discussion–than all the other books for that class combined.

One thought on “The Eagle & Child Notable Books

Comments are closed.