Reading List

“The burning of a little straw may hide the stars, but the stars outlast the smoke.”
— Voltaire

>click on links for a book review<


Bryan is currently reading: 

Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening, Cynthia Bourgeault
The Bible After Babel: Historical Criticism in a Postmodern Age,
John J. Collins
Cave, Refectory, Road: Monastic Rhythms for Contemporary Living,
Ian Adams
A Discourse on Inequality,
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality,
Richard Beck
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,
Michelle Alexander
The Great Code: The Bible and
Northrop Frye
The Careless Society: Community and Its Counterfeits,
John McKnight
Living Mission: The Voice and Vision of the New Friars,
ed. Scott Bessenecker

In the queue:
Diary of a City Priest,
John McNamee
Why Marx Was Right, Terry Eagleton
Rethinking Human Nature: A Christian Materialist Alternative to the Soul, Kevin Corcoran
Process Theology: A Guide for the Perplexed,
Bruce Epperly
Reading Derrida / Thinking Paul
, Theodore Jennings Jr.
Capitalism and Religion, Philip Goodchild

Recently Read:
Radical Optimism, Beatrice Bruteau
Awareness, Anthony deMello
Stephen King
Confessions of a Bible Thumper: My Home-Brewed Quest for a Reasoned Faith, 
Michael Camp
Moral Man and Immoral Society, 
Reinhold Niebuhr
The Church is Flat, Tony Jones
The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate, 
John H. Walton
Walden Two, B.F. Skinner
A Being Darkly Wise, 
John Atcheson
The Future of Faith, Harvey Cox
Community in the Inventive Age, Doug Pagitt
To a God Unknown,
John Steinbeck
All That We Share, Jay Walljasper
The Word, Irving Wallace
Church in the Inventive Age, Doug Pagitt
Whose Community?  Which Interpretation?:  Philosophical Hermeneutics for the
Church, Merold Westphal
It’s Really All About God, 
Samir Selmanovic
Living in the End Times, 
Slavoj Zizék
Property: For People, Not for Profit – Alternatives to the Global Tyranny of Capital, 
Ulrich Duchrow & Franz Hikelammert
Achieving Our Country, Richard Rorty
Planting Missional Churches, 
Ed Stetzer
The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins, Peter Enns
Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith, Anne Lamott
In the Beauty of the Lilies, John Updike
Rabbit, Run, John Updike
Not Sure: A Pastor’s Journey From Faith to Doubt, John Suk
Other: Loving Self, God and Neighbour in a World of Fractures, Kester Brewin
Problems with Atonement, Stephen Finlan
The Evolution of Faith,
Philip Gulley
Deep Church: A Third Way Beyond Emerging and Traditional,
Jim Belcher
 Stephen Baxter
Banned Questions About the Bible,
ed. Christian Piatt
Mercury Falls
, Robert Kroese
The Human Faces of God: What Scripture Reveals When It Gets God Wrong (and Why Inerrancy Tries To Hide It),
Thom Stark
The Lost Letters of Pergamum, Bruce Longenecker
The Age of Doubt: Tracing the Roots of Our Religious Uncertainty, Christopher Lane
War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Saint Paul: The Foundation of UniversalismAlain Badiou
Introducing Radical Orthodoxy,
James K.A. Smith
Razing Hell,
Sharon Baker
Love Wins,
Rob Bell
Tortilla Flat,
John Steinbeck
In Search of Paul
John Dominic Crossan and Jonathan L. Reed
Speaking of Sin: The Lost Language of Salvation,
Barbara Brown Taylor
Fall to Grace: A Revolution of God, Self, and Society
, Jay Bakker
The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity, Slavoj Zizek
What Matters?  Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth, Wendell Berry
To Change the World, James Davison Hunter
The Kingdom of God is Within You, Leo Tolstoy

What I Thought I Knew,
Alice Eve Cohen
The Confessions, Leo Tolstoy

The Wife and Other Stories,
Anton Chekhov
Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now,
W. Howard-Brook, A. Gwyther
Jesus and the World of Judaism,
Geza Vermes
Paul Among Jew and Gentile
Krister Stendahl
The Existential Jesus,
John Carroll
The Parables: Jewish Tradition and Christian Interpretation
Brad H. Young
Poet & Peasant: A Literary-Cultural Approach to the Parables in Luke, Kenneth E. Bailey
Parables as Subversive Speech: Jesus as Pedagogue of the Oppressed, William Herzog
The Invention of Air, Steven Johnson
The First Paul:  Reclaiming the Radical Visionary Behind the Church’s Conservative Icon, Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan
Life is a Miracle: An Essay against Modern Superstition, Wendell Berry
Violence, Slavoj Zizek
Preaching Re-Imagined,
Doug Pagitt
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, Philip Pullman
The Complex Christ, Kester Brewin
What Would Jesus Deconstruct?, John Caputo
A New Kind of Christianity, Brian McLaren
The Seven Storey Mountain, Thomas Merton
Patience with God, Frank Schaeffer
Existentialism is a Humanism, Jean-Paul Sartre
Grace (Eventually), Anne Lamott
Jesus Wants to Save Christians, Rob Bell and Don Golden
Where God Was Born, Bruce Feiler
The God We Never Knew, Marcus Borg
Working on God, Winifred Gallagher
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg
Dumbing us Down, John Gatto
How (Not) to Speak of God, Peter Rollins
Does God Exist?, Hans Küng
The Fidelity of Betrayal, Peter Rollins
The Birth of Christianity, John Dominic Crossan
The Shaping of Things to Come, Frost & Hirsch
Liberating the Gospels, J.S. Spong
Objective and Subjective Christianity, S. Kierkegaard
The Reason for God, Tim Keller
Pure Reason and the Question of God, Immanuel Kant
The Confessions, Jean Jacques Rousseau
Of Miracles, David Hume
Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John Locke
Candide, Voltaire
Dynamics of Faith, Paul Tillich
The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why, Phyllis Tickle
The Heart of Christianity, Marcus Borg
The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins
A New Christianity for a New World, J. S. Spong
The Secret Message of Jesus, Brian McLaren
Jesus: A New Vision, Marcus Borg
Deeper than Darwin, Jon Haught
A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn
Constantine’s Sword, James Carroll
The Chosen, Chaim Potok
Citizenship Papers, Wendell Berry
God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome Then and Now, John Dominic Crossan
No Place Left to Bury the Dead, Nicole Itano
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
Subversive Orthodoxy, Robert Inchausti
The Globalization Gap: How the Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Further Left Behind, Robert A. Isaak
A History of God , Karen Armstrong

Paul and Palestinian Judaism, E.P. Sanders
From Jesus to Christ, Paula Fredriksen
Christology in the Making, James D.G. Dunn
Beyond Belief,
Elaine Pagels
God’s Funeral: The Decline of Faith in Western Civilization, A.N. Wilson


5 thoughts on “Reading List

  1. Bryan, there are not enough novels on this list! Try the Maddaddam triilogy by Margaret Atwood. Start with Oryx and Crake. Great reading! If you need fiction with a heavy theological bent (and a great story about different kinds of faith) try 36 Arguments for the Existence of God, by Rebecca Goldstein. If it must be non-fiction, try something less theological but with great implications for thinking theologically–Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman. We should all think more slowly!


  2. Maybe I missed it on the list but I would recommend “Deer Hunting with Jesus” on the reading list. The language is salty and irreverent but the fair view of economics should be required reading for Christians.


  3. Hi Brian,

    I am Lead Pastor at the first presbyterian church in Jackson, MI. One of our church members just opened a microbrewery in town and I would like to start a Pub Theology group there. I would like to get some spiritual direction from you on the best practices to make this happen.

    Jim Hegedus


    1. Hi Jim-
      Thanks for stopping by. Glad to hear of the new microbrewery and plans for a Pub Theology group!

      Love to chat a bit about it. Feel free to contact me via email at bryan [at]



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