Category Archives: Book reviews

Write-ups and reviews of books, generally ones that I’ve found helpful on my spiritual journey

Books: ‘How (not) to speak of God’, by Peter Rollins

I started this review over 3 years ago. Perhaps the length of time I’ve taken to complete it is an indication of how difficult it is to sum up this book in words… or perhaps it’s just a sign of … Continue reading

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Spiritual insights from Harry Potter

In my previous piece on Harry Potter, I only scratched the surface of the books’ riches. There’s so much of spiritual interest and benefit in the stories that it would take a book to explore it. But I’ll fit as … Continue reading

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Why Harry Potter is not Satanic

Okay, I know that all the Harry Potter controversies flared up and died aeons ago. But I’ve long wanted to write about it, and I have the excuse that it’s vaguely back in the religious news, with ‘The Teenage Exorcists’ … Continue reading

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Books: Chrysalis by Alan Jamieson

I’ve talked before of books like Godzone that I’d take to a desert island; Chrysalis is the book that I’d take to an actual desert. Or rather, to the metaphorical, spiritual desert – the faith wilderness, the dark night of … Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Dark night of the soul, Emerging, Stages of faith, The faith journey | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Books: Surprised by Hope by Tom Wright

‘What are we waiting for? And what are we going to do about it in the meantime?’ These are the central questions which Wright sets out to tackle in this typically intelligent, inspiring and challenging book about the importance of Easter, and how we’ve too often missed or misunderstood its message. Continue reading

Posted in Bible, Book reviews, Easter, Eschatology/end-times, Theology | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Rob Bell – Love Wins

Rob Bell was never a darling of the Ultra-Cons, but with Love Wins he’s fallen over the edge of their abyss, never to return. In this book Bell dares to explore and question the received biblical teaching on hell, what it might be and who might (and might not) go there, and to come up with some rather different ideas from the standard evangelical view. He also dares to question the received wisdom on how people get ‘saved’ and what this means anyway. Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Hell, Liberalism, Love of God, Orthodoxy, Salvation, Universalism | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Book write-ups: Whistling in the Dark by Frederick Buechner

Subtitled ‘A doubter’s dictionary’, Buechner’s book is directed to doubters both outside and inside the church. Buechner has the qualities of kindness, humanity and honesty, coupled with an ability to write searingly incisive, richly poetic prose. And he knows that it is not just in the sacred, the religious and theological that grace is to be found – it is in the ordinary and the everyday. Continue reading

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Book write-ups: Godzone by Mike Riddell

If I had to choose only one spiritual book to take with me to a desert island, it would be Godzone by Mike Riddell. Godzone put a kind of ache in me for a bigger, wilder, freer, more poetic Christianity. It opened up my eyes to wide, heady vistas of new possibility and perhaps bears the greatest responsibility for where I am now, slowly emerging from my evangelical chrysalis. Continue reading

Posted in Book reviews, Literature, Spirituality, The faith journey | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments