Beyond Belief,by Elaine Pagels, Random House, 2003. Shows how the impulse to seek God overflows the narrow bounds of a single tradition, encouraging us to “seek, and you shall find.”
The Dishonest Church, by Jack Good, Rising Star Press, 2003. ”An unblinking look at the reasons behind the decline of the mainline churches, and a prescription for a remedy: honesty!” Suitable for laypersons and clergy.
A Credible Jesus: Fragments of a Vision, Robert W. Funk, Polebridge Press, 2002. Looks at the bits and pieces of evidence of Jesus’ extraordinary vision, and examines ways in which that vision can serve twenty-first century people searching for meaning in a very different world than the one Jesus inhabited.
Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but not Literally, by Marcus J. Borg, HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. A leading biblical expert provides a bold new understanding of scripture that respects both tradition and reality.
A New Christianity for a New World, John Shelby Spong, HarperSanFrancisco, 2001. Explains why traditional faith is dying, and how a new faith is being born.
Open Christianity: Home by Another Road, by Jim Burklo, Rising Star Press, 2000. Provides a contemporary path to a Christian faith for those who have been offended by traditional Christianity, but who admit to a spiritual hunger.
Remedial Christianity: What Every Believer Should Know about the Faith, but Probably Doesn’t, by Pail Alan Laughlin, Polebridge Press, 2000. A basic primer for those who refer to themselves as Christians, but who have very little knowledge of the faith they embrace, explained in terms understandable in the twenty-first century.
The Battle for God: A History of Fundamentalism, by Karen Armstrong, Ballentine Books, 2000. Provides a compelling and compassionate study of the radical form of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious expression that is critically shaping the course of world history.
The Gospel of Jesus: According to the Jesus Seminar, by Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar, Polebridge Press, 1999. An essential new gospel for anyone seeking to understand and experience the sayings and story of Jesus as the earliest listeners did.
Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers in Exile, by John Shelby Spong, Harper San Francisco, 1999. Spong believes the world into which Christianity was born was limited and provincial, particularly when viewed from the perspective of the progress in knowledge and technology made over the past two millennia. This makes any ideas or beliefs formulated in 1st-century Judea totally inadequate to our progressive minds and lives today.
The Powers That Be: Theology for a New Millennium, by Walter Wink, Doubleday, 1998. Wink challenges Christians to wake up and become dangerously different, by objecting to the Darwinian games of domination that prevail in many of our governments, corporations, and churches.
The God We Never Knew: Beyond Dogmatic Religion to a More Authentic Contemporary Faith, by Marcus J. Borg, HarperSanFrancisco, 1997. Borg argues for panentheism: the conception of God as being both transcendent (God is more than everything) and immanent (God is in everything).
The Message and the Kingdom, by Richard Horsley and Neil Silberman, Grosset/Putnam, 1997. A study of Christian origins that reconstructs a lost Judean world. The book draws upon archaeological data and modern social theory, giving new depth and drama to the oft told tale.
Honest to Jesus, by Robert W. Funk, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. This book takes the reader through the ancient gospels and history to find Jesus the subversive, the social critic, the dissident, the sage.
Going by the Book: Past and Present Tragedies of Biblical Authority, by Ernie Bringas, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, 1996. Is the Bible the divine word of God to be followed unequivocally as the ultimate authority? Bringas, an ordained United Methodist minister, questions such an assumption.
Who Wrote the New Testament? The Making of the Christian Myth, by Burton L. Mack, Harper/Collins, 1995. A powerful, compact, yet detailed introduction to the New Testament and the origins of Christianity.
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, by John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, 1994. A revealing account of what we can know about the life of Jesus.
Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time – The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith, by Marcus J. Borg, HarperSanFrancisco, 1994. Borg addresses the yearnings of those who want a fully contemporary faith that welcomes rather than oppresses our critical intelligence and openness to the best of historical scholarship.
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, by John Dominic Crossan, HarperCollins, 1994. Crossan presents a portrait of Jesus that takes in his contemporary background yet accounts for Jesus’ distinctiveness.
The Five Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say? The Search for the Authentic Words of Jesus,by Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar, Scribner, 1993. This book answers many of the questions common among questioners: Did Jesus claim to be the Messiah? Did he promise to return and usher in a new age? How did Jesus envision the kingdom of God? Did he commission his disciples to convert the world and establish a church?
The Mind of God: The Scientific Basis for a Rational World,by Paul Davies, Simon & Schuster, 1993. Davies takes on the big philosophical questions raised by our increasing understanding of how the universe works: How did it all start? Why is there a universe at all? Is there a God and, if so, has He/She any limitations.
Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, by John Shelby Spong, 1991. Retired-Bishop Spong reclaims the Bible from the narrow-minded literalism that has been used to justify slavery, ban textbooks, and deny the rights of gays and lesbians, subordinate women, and justify war and revenge.