CBF Book Club
Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way and Presence
By Diana Butler Bass
How can you still be a Christian?
This is the most common question Diana Butler Bass is asked today. It is a question that many believers ponder as they wrestle with disappointment and disillusionment in their church and its leadership. But while many Christians have left their churches, they cannot leave their faith behind.
In Freeing Jesus, Bass challenges the idea that Jesus can only be understood in static, one-dimensional ways and asks us to instead consider a life where Jesus grows with us and helps us through life’s challenges in several capacities: as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence.
Freeing Jesus is an invitation to leave the religious wars behind and rediscover Jesus in all his many manifestations, to experience Jesus beyond the narrow confines we have built around him. It renews our hope in faith and worship at a time when we need it most.
My Body is Not a Prayer Request: Disability Justice in the Church
By Amy Kenny
Much of the church has forgotten that we worship a disabled God whose wounds survived resurrection, says Amy Kenny. It is time for the church to start treating disabled people as full members of the body of Christ who have much more to offer than a miraculous cure narrative and to learn from their embodied experiences.
Offering a unique blend of personal storytelling, fresh and compelling writing, biblical exegesis, and practical application, this book invites readers to participate in disability justice and create a more inclusive community in church and parachurch spaces. Engaging content such as reflection questions and top-ten lists are included.
The God Who Sees: Immigrants, the Bible and the Journey to Belong
By Karen Gonzalez
In The God Who Sees, immigration advocate Karen Gonzalez recounts her family’s migration from the instability of Guatemala to making a new life in Los Angeles and the suburbs of south Florida. In the midst of language barriers, cultural misunderstandings, and the tremendous pressure to assimilate, Gonzalez encounters Christ through a campus ministry program and begins to follow him.
Find resources for welcoming immigrants in your community and speaking out about an outdated immigration system. Find the power of Jesus, a refugee Savior who calls us to become citizens in a country not of this world.
When We Stand: The Power of Seeking Justice Together
By Terence Lester
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the injustices that we see in the world. We don’t know what to do and might think that we don’t have anything to offer. But by using our gifts in collaboration with others, we can do more together than we ever could on our own.
Activist Terence Lester knows it’s hard to change the world. But mobilizing and acting together empowers us to do what we can’t do as isolated individuals. Lester looks at the obstacles that prevent us from getting involved, and he offers practical ways that we can accomplish things together as groups, families, churches, and communities. He helps us find our place in the larger picture, discerning the unique ways we can contribute and make a difference.
Living a Narrative Life: Essays on the Power of Stories
By Keith Herron
Living a Narrative Life is an exploration of our vault of stories assembled along the arc of life.
“All of life is a story,” author Keith Herron writes. Our stories are sources of self-understanding, and if we draw guidance from those stories, each has something valuable to offer. Living a Narrative Life is an exploration of our vault of stories assembled along the arc of life. As Herron explains, “This is the richness of life: to know your own stories, to value and understand them, and to share them with others. In doing so, we are all enriched.” By making sense of our stories, by mining them for their shades of meaning, and by sharing them in community with others, we deepen our understanding not only of ourselves but also of our place in our families and world.
Throughout the month of August, use the code "Living25" to receive 25% off the purchase of Living a Narrative Life from Smyth & Helwys.
The Women’s Lectionary: Preaching the Women of the Bible Throughout the Year
By Ashley Wilcox
Focusing on passages about women in the Bible and feminine imagery of God, The Women’s Lectionary reimagines the liturgical calendar of preaching for one year. These women are daughters, wives, and mothers. They are also strong leaders, evil queens, and wicked stepmothers. They are disciples, troublemakers, and prophetesses. Ashley Wilcox explores how the feminine descriptions of God in the Bible are similarly varied—how does it change our understanding if God is feminine wisdom, has wings, or is an angry mother bear?
Discover this must-have lectionary, perfect for every female clergyperson or anyone seeking to incorporate more insights from a female perspective into their preaching. From well-known figures like Miriam and Mary to lesser-known women like Huldah and Sapphira to feminine metaphors, this comprehensive resource features more than one hundred commentary essays with an Old Testament and New Testament passage for each Sunday of the year and special holy days in the calendar.
How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America
By Clint Smith
A deeply researched and transporting exploration of the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history, How the Word Is Passed illustrates how some of our country’s most essential stories are hidden in plain view—whether in places we might drive by on our way to work, holidays such as Juneteenth, or entire neighborhoods like downtown Manhattan, where the brutal history of the trade in enslaved men, women, and children has been deeply imprinted.
Informed by scholarship and brought to life by the story of people living today, Smith’s debut work of nonfiction is a landmark of reflection and insight that offers a new understanding of the hopeful role that memory and history can play in making sense of our country and how it has come to be.
Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul: Celtic Wisdom for a Reawakening to What Our Souls Know and Healing the World
By John Phillip Newell
John Philip Newell shares the long, hidden tradition of Celtic Christianity, explaining how this earth-based spirituality can help us rediscover the natural rhythms of life and deepen our spiritual connection with God, with each other, and with the earth.
By embracing the wisdom of Celtic Christianity, we can learn how to listen to the sacred and see the divine in all of creation and within each of us. Human beings are inherently spiritual creatures who intuitively see the sacred in nature and within one another, but our cultures—and at times even our faiths—have made us forget what each of us already know deep in our souls but have learned to suppress. Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul offers a new spiritual foundation for our lives, once centered on encouragement, guidance, and hope for creating a better world.
The Ministry for the Future: A Novel
By Kim Stanley Robinson
The Ministry for the Future is a masterpiece of the imagination, using fictional eyewitness accounts to tell the story of how climate change will affect us all. Its setting is not a desolate, postapocalyptic world, but a future that is almost upon us. Chosen by Barack Obama as one of his favorite books of the year, this extraordinary novel from visionary science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson will change the way you think about the climate crisis.
Shoutin’ in the Fire: An American Epistle
By Dante Stewart
In Shoutin’ in the Fire, Danté Stewart gives breathtaking language to his reckoning with the legacy of white supremacy—both the kind that hangs over our country and the kind that is internalized on a molecular level. Stewart uses his personal experiences as a vehicle to reclaim and reimagine spiritual virtues like rage, resilience, and remembrance—and explores how these virtues might function as a work of love against an unjust, unloving world.
This sharply observed journey is an intimate meditation on coming of age in a time of terror. Stewart reveals the profound faith he discovered even after experiencing the violence of the American church: a faith that loves Blackness; speaks truth to pain and trauma; and pursues a truer, realer kind of love than the kind we’re taught, a love that sets us free.