Everyone is talking about the 10 greatest Christian books out there, books so critical if you don’t read them, you might not be able to figure out this whole faith thing. They’re good books for the most part, but I can’t get over the fact that we same to recycle most of the same books, depending on the circles we’re in. The Evangelical Top Ten always seems to include Neibuhr, Phillip Yancey, a little Don Miller if you’re under 35, maybe some Miroslav Volf if you consider yourself nerdy, but mostly some Nouwen, Bruggeman, C.S. Lewis, maybe a little Richard Foster, and some Karl Barth. Not to sound like a broken record here, but I don’ t know if I have EVER seen a woman thoelogians name crack the top 10 on a list written by a dude. Rarely do you see liberation theology, feminist theology, womanist theology, or anything about racialization in the church make it, either.
I was chatting with my amazing husband the other night about the emergent church, sharing my frustration that it seems to be the same damn faces preaching the same damn thing. Basically, a new veneer on Christianity being used to justify the continuation of the same power and privilege that have driven the church in America for the past 200 years. The same books are being taught and read, the same folks invited to speak at all the conferences. As I’ve said before, it’s not a movement, but most of the time merely a makeover. If we were serious about considering change, here are a few books by brilliant people I really WISH all Christians would read and give the chance to impact their worldviews. A good book does not merely restate what you already know, it kicks your ass out of familiarity, brings challenge and will not let you rest as you are. Here’s my list for today, with a leaning toward Christianity, I’d probably have another one tomorrow.
J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account
Elizabeth A Johnson, She Who Is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse
Gilbert Bilezikian, Beyond Sex Roles: What the Bible Says about a Woman’s Place in Church and Family
Delores S. Williams, Sisters in the Wilderness
Dorothy Bass, Practicing our Faith: A Way of Life for a Searching People
Kwok Pui-Lan, Postcolonial Imagination and Feminist Theology
Sandra Schneiders, The Revelatory Text
Gustavo Gutierrez, We Drink from our Own Wells
Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination
Upcoming Conference outside the Evangelical Emergent Radar that looks great:
What do you wish Christians would read?