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Reform Magazine | December 17, 2017

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You must read this!

Have you, and your friends and family, read enough books this year to end 2016 with a warm sense of a year well spent and a mind broadened? If not, never fear, there’s still time to catch up. Reform’s own friends and family share their recommendations of the book to end the year with

 

bd2Being Disciples: Essentials of the Christian life
Rowan Williams
SPCK, 2016

This little book connects very well with the emphasis on ‘Walking the Way’ that we are currently exploring in the United Reformed Church. The book is well planned, and the chapters are modest in size. The writing style is accessible, thoughtful and clear. The material is deep without being complicated. Read it attentively, savour its wisdom, and find yourself invited into the closer company
of Jesus.

John Proctor is General Secretary of the United Reformed Church

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265502_hinking-again-about-marriage_4Thinking Again About Marriage: Key theological questions
John Bradbury, Susannah Cornwall
(eds) SCM, 2016

After the United Reformed Church decision on same-sex marriage, I wanted a resource that opened up the full complexity of gender and sexuality issues, and have been very impressed by this collection of essays. I will be recommending the book to students, but it is accessible to anyone who wants to really get to grips with these challenging questions. I found it interesting, helpful and challenging as it brought historical, theological, scientific, legal and other resources for the conversations into view.

Rosalind Selby is Principal of Northern College, Manchester

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the-good-immigrantThe Good Immigrant
Nikesh Shukla
(ed)
Unbound, 2016

Chinua Achebe’s words ‘If you don’t like the story, write your own’ were the inspiration for this remarkable collection of essays, written by 20 British black, Asian and minority ethnic writers and artists. I read this uncomfortable, challenging and timely tome in one sitting, and am thankful to all those who helped bring Nikesh’s idea to life, by pledging to support the book via Unbound, a new literary crowdsourcing platform. All those who profess to care about the immigration debate need to read this book.

Grace Pengelly is the United Reformed Church Secretary for Church and Society

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ha-joon-chang-bad-samaritans-myth-free-trade-secret-history-capitalismBad Samaritans: The myth of free trade and the secret history of capitalism
Ha-Joon Chang
Bloomsbury, 2009

Chang argues that ‘free trade’ is a myth designed to protect the advantage of western economies. He shows how Britain and the US – and the ‘miracle economies’ of Japan and South Korea – developed only because of state protection. The so-called free trade policies of the World Bank, IMF and World Trade Organisation ensure that developing nations have no chance of sharing meaningfully in the global economic pie. Accessible and brilliantly researched, the book raises huge ethical questions about the way in which we do business in the global market. Can we ‘walk the way’ while embracing free market capitalism? A must read.

Lawrence Moore is a mission consultant

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essential-writingsJoan Chittister: Essential writings
(Modern Spiritual Masters)
Mary Lou Kownacki and Mary Hembrow Synder (eds)
Orbis Books, 2014

This book on the spirituality of Sister Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, gives some aspects of her reflection on the word of God, human existence and what sustains her faith and hope. An excellent book for spiritual nourishment.

Yak-hwee Tan is a tutor in New Testament language, literature and theology at Westminster College, Cambridge

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518hm4t8yulEmpire Baptized: How the Church embraced what Jesus rejected
Wes Howard-Brook
Orbis Books, 2016

Howard-Brook shows how Christianity not only accommodated the Roman Empire after Constantine, but thoroughly adopted its imperial social, economic and political structures. The Church shifted Jesus’ aim of fostering egalitarian relationships to the goal of saving one’s ‘soul’. The book ends by asking what it might mean to reject imperial Christianity, and rediscover the transformative power of true discipleship by Jesus-followers living in empire today.

Kevin Snyman is Mission Enabler for West Midlands Synod

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This is an extract from the November 2016 edition of Reform.

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