- On The Road With Saint Augustine by James K. A. Smith
Already one of my favourite theologians, James K. A. Smith, the author of “Desiring the Kingdom” and “How (Not) to Be Secular” delivers another timely book for the wayward soul. Smith brilliantly lays out and takes apart modern existentialism (the Western meta-narrative) while being sympathetic to the restlessness of the human heart. Restlessness Smith argues is a part of the human experience, it’s a part of our nature. However, the never-ending journey is not our home. Instead, God is. This book is a must-read for those, like me, who find themselves at the crossroads of life without a map or a guide. This book is for the exiles and sojourners who can’t settle and especially for the Christian who has become disillusioned with Western Existential Christianity.
2. Old Testament Theology For Christians by John H. Walton
You may not know it, but there is a fight happening right now on the fields of theology to uphold the Old Testament. John H. Walton (one of my favourite Old Testament scholars) enters the fray with this timely book. Author of the Lost Word series, a commentary on Genesis and many other great books on the Old Testament, this book in particular stresses the importance of not divorcing the Old Testament from the New Testament, instead, seeing the continuity and relevance of the Old Testament for Christians. Furthermore, Walton challenges our readings of the Old Testament as he invites us to leave aside our modern notions of how Scripture should be read and instead, interpret it on its own terms. A must-read for any serious student of the Old Testament.
3. The Unseen Realm by Micheal S. Heiser
In his book “The Unseen Realm” Heiser focus’ on ancient near eastern context to help uncover what the Bible has to say about the spiritual realm, angels, demons and even God Himself. Meiser argues that ancient Israel lived in a polytheistic world and that particular worldview would have informed the way they understood these things. Heiser does so with a lot of research, precision and grace as he tackles this difficult topic. Another must-read for those wanting more insight into what the Bible has to say about the spiritual realm and its inhabitants.
4. In The Shelter by Padraig O Tuama
Padraig O Tuama is a poet and theologian (albeit a liberal one) who writes with a lot of insight into the nature of humanity. Despite the things I disagree with him over, I feel like he’s one of those people we can learn a lot from.
5. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
A great book if you’re into historical fantasy. Set in old Russia, the story follows the life of a young girl Vasya who can communicate with mythological creatures of tales she was told as a child. The book itself explores the conflict between Christianity and the old stories and folklore of Russia as Christianity dominates Russian life. Exceptionally fascinating and even though Christianity is painted to be the bad guys in the story, it serves as a reminder to those of us who would use religion for the wrong reasons (something we’re all privy to). I highly recommend it.