A Bible (NRSV)
I am a self-confessed Bible nerd. I argue with it, cry with it, sing with it, am enriched by it.
Wendell Berry, The Selected Poems
Berry’s poems remind me what is beautiful in the woods & in our hearts & demand that I resist whatever diminishes the beauty.
Will Campbell, Brother to a Dragonfly
Bro. Will’s autobiography called me, when I was a young (twentysomething) minister, to confess the challenges of being a southern, white Christian. I read it entirely on a rainy Saturday & cried when I was done.
Joan Chittister, Wisdom Distilled from the Daily
Sister Joan enabled me to see the myriad ways this culture blinds me to faithful living which is simple, meaningful, & peaceful, though far from easy.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ
While reading this book I asked myself, “Now, why is it I’m not a Buddhist?” My quick answer was, “Because I really do love Jesus.” But the question itself shows how Thich Nhat Hanh helped me appreciate Buddhism.
Kathleen Norris, Cloister Walk
Norris’ book was, for me, a funny & profound expression of the trials of poets, prophets, & other spiritual “fools” whom I aspire to join.
Mary Oliver, New & Selected Poems (vols. 1 & 2)
Mary Oliver’s poems summon my thoughtful, even prayerful, consideration of all of life: trees, flowers, ponds, animals, ocean, love, faith, grief, prayer, worship… all of life. And she accomplishes this summons with the most beautiful language ever.
Parker Palmer, Let Your Life Speak
I could fill this list with Palmer’s books but chose this one for its insightful question: is the life I am living the same as the life which longs to live in me?
Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev
Potok’s novels gave me an insider’s view of 20th century Judaism. This particular novel showed me how much people of faith have in common even when their religions are different. It is also a great story.
Dorothee Soelle, The Silent Cry
Soelle drew her theology from her experiences as a scholar, woman (feminist), German (the Holocaust happened in her homeland among her people), poet, peace activist, and first world Christian. The result is a theology that is profound, personal, real, moving, and challenging.