Recommended Reading

5883-William-Nicholson-Quote-We-read-to-know-we-re-not-alone

These books and their authors represent the “cloud of witnesses” that have helped me realise I am far from alone on this journey. I have learnt and grown so much from reading each one of these books. I highly recommend these titles for believers and doubters alike.

  • Rachel Held Evans’s books Faith Unraveled and Searching for Sunday were a great starting point and I had many “Me, too!” moments when reading about her struggles with faith.
  • 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian by Guy P. Harrison. “Every Christian on the planet should read this book. They will be pleasantly surprised by Harrison’s respectful tone and sincere desire to enlighten. Far from an attack or a series of arguments, this book explains, in plain English, why some people are skeptical of Christianity. This book is nothing less than a rare opportunity to close the gap between believers and nonbelievers, and to bring more light and tolerance to the world.” -Peter Boghossian, Instructor of Philosophy, Portland State University
  • Peter Enn’s The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read it  helped me see the Bible in a different light. Far from being the inerrant Word of God, the Bible is an ancient collection of stories, poems, historical narratives, parables etc written by men (no women – an illustration of the patriarchal culture from which the scriptures were written) about God’s dealings with humanity, as they saw it through the lens of their particular worldview.
  • Faith Shift: Finding Your Way Forward when Everything you Believe is Coming Apart, by Kath Escobar. Must read for every “doubter, misfit or dreamer who has ever felt alone in the church.”
  • Life Beyond Belief: A Preacher’s Deconversion by Bob Ripley. A minister for thirty years, Bob Ripley finally confronted his questions and admitted he no longer believed in the Bible. A beautifully written, searingly honest account from a much-beloved pastor.
  • Bart D. Ehrman’s book God’s Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question, is a must read for every Christian who struggles with the question of suffering. “For renowned Bible scholar Bart Ehrman, the question of why there is so much suffering in the world is more than a haunting thought. Ehrman’s inability to reconcile the claims of faith with the facts of real life led the former pastor of the Princeton Baptist Church to reject Christianity. In God’s Problem, Ehrman discusses his personal anguish upon discovering the Bible’s contradictory explanations for suffering and invites all people of faith—or no faith—to confront their deepest questions about how God engages the world and each of us.”
  • More fascinating books by Bart D. Ehrman which give great insight into the New Testament: ForgedHow Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee; Misquoting Jesus: The Story of Who Changed the Bible and Why
  • Why I Left, Why I Stayed by Tony Campolo and Bart Campolo. When the beloved son of a leading evangelical preacher becomes an atheist, they embark on a journey of each trying to understand the other’s perspectives and to find common ground for the sake of their relationship. This book documents their conversations as they grapple with their different outlooks. It is an extraordinary book, and a wonderful model of how families can deal with great differences of belief in a loving, respectful way that preserves and even enriches their relationships.
  • Girl at the End of the World: My Escape from Fundamentalism in Search of Faith with a Future by Elizabeth Esther. “I was raised in a homegrown, fundamentalist Christian group—which is just a shorthand way of saying I’m classically trained in apocalyptic stockpiling, street preaching, and the King James Version of the Bible. I know hundreds of obscure nineteenth-century hymns by heart and have such razor sharp “modesty vision” that I can spot a miniskirt a mile away.” This book is by turns hilarious and heart-breaking.

 

(This post was updated on 30/12/2017)

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