I write a Christian book review post about once a year. The last post I did highlighting Christian books was here: https://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/08/10/three-books-of-importchristian-book-reviews/. I would like to share a few books I have recently read and loved with you today! Here we go!
Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality by J. Phillip Newell, the Warden of Spirituality for the Anglican diocese of Portsmouth. One of the foundations of Christian life is the ability to achieve stillness and to listen. This book is divided into sections on Listening for the Goodness (looking at the maligned Pelagius), Listening within Creation (Eriugena), Listening for God In All Things (the Carmina Gadelica), Listening with the Imagination (using the writings of George MacDonald), Listening and Acting (George MacLeod), and Two Ways of Listening (The Apostles John and Peter).
Where God Happens: Discovering Christ In One Another by Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. Excellent look at the Desert Fathers and spiritual searching.
Abiding: The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book 2013 which talks about abiding in body, abiding in mind, abiding through care, and abiding in relationships. This books weaves together how we abide in God’s will through many stories – stories of St. Benedictine, stories of South Africa and Congo, Michael Ende’s Momo, and St. Macrina.
Encountering The Mystery by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. I love this book, and have re-read it over and over. Whilst specific to Orthodox Christianity, it also touches on issue that all Christians should be thinking about. My copy has a lot of underlined parts in it and notes in the margin. Highly, highly recommended.
Defeating Sin: Overcoming Our Passions and Changing Forever by Fr. Joseph David Huneycutt. This is an Orthodox book geared toward a broader audience of Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican readers. It takes about the Fall from an Orthodox perspective, struggle in the Christian life, Transformation and has some beautiful meditations and prayers in it. Excellent read from a perspective of sin not often heard enough in the Christian world: the view of the Early Church Fathers.
Two books by Fr. Anthony M. Coniaris, one of my favorite Orthodox writers: Confronting and Controlling Thoughts According to the Fathers of the Philokalia ( a must read for all Christians, and especially for those struggling with depression and those interested in understanding the thought of “watchfulness” as a basis for spiritual life) and Do Something Beautiful for God, a great read with our current pop culture. I have read and re-read these.
Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica. This book, compiled by the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, brings in the teachings of Elder Thaddeus on such topics as family life, humility, serving God and neighbor, on monasticism, faith, inner peace, the spiritual realm. A wonderful book!
On the list next: The Way of the Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way, a Russian classic; and The Person in the Orthodox Tradition by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos Hierotheos.
Please share your favorite Christian reads!