5 Books I Love, That You May Have Never Heard Of... I love what Socrates said about reading and learning, “Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.” This is the heart of my passion for reading great books. In this last episode of 2019, I provide 5 books from have shaped me, guidelines on how to read books, and links to some of these books that many haven't heard of...
Book #1: "Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith" by Dr. Marvin Wilson. (Theological) Wonderful theological and challenging work to how you look at and study scripture. Although the roots of Christianity run deep into Hebrew soil, many Christians are regrettably uninformed about the rich Hebrew heritage of the church. This volume delineates the link between Judaism and Christianity, between the Old and the New Testament, and calls Christians to reexamine their Hebrew roots so as to effect a more authentically biblical lifestyle.
Book #2: "Constantine's Sword: The Church and the Jews" by James Carroll. (History) Carroll maps the profoundly troubling two-thousand-year course of the Church’s battle against Judaism and faces the crisis of faith it has provoked in his own life as a Catholic. More than a chronicle of religion, this dark history is the central tragedy of Western civilization, its fault lines reaching deep into our culture.
Book #3: "Silence" by Shusaku Endo. (Historical Ficiton) Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs.
Book #4: "Tatoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion" by Gregory Boyle. Gregory Boyle has run Homeboy Industries, a gang-intervention program located in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, the gang capital of the world. In Tattoos on the Heart, he distills his experience working in the ghetto into a breathtaking series of parables inspired by faith.
Book #5: "Everything Belongs: The Gift of Contemplative Prayer" by Richard Rohr. This popular and bestselling book of the renowned Franciscan challenges people to move beyond the comfort of a settled life toward an understanding of themselves that is rooted in their connection to God. Only when they rest in God can they find the certainty and the freedom to become all that they can be. Contemplation has its place at the heart of Christianity, a place that allows people to experience how “everything belongs.”