Shadows & Dust, Vol. II, Issue 9

Here’s my final summer reading list for 2014, with some suggested reading selections from my planned spring 2015 trip to Israel-Palestine:

  • Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith by Marcus J. Borg — This book summarizes some of the scholarly consensus on Jesus and the Gospels. What’s ironic is that Borg ends up drawing many of the same conclusions about faith as his more “evangelical” or “traditional” opponents. A prime example is that for Borg faith is not so much about intellectual belief but about a “relationship to God.”
  • The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus an the Truth of the Traditional Gospels by Luke Timothy Johson — Johnson responds to Borg and other members of the well known and, in some circles, infamous, group known as the Jesus Seminar. A counterpoint of sorts to Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time.
  • Justice, And Only Justice: A Palestinian Theology of Liberation by Naim Stifan Ateek — I’m not done reading this one yet, but am almost finished reading the section on the recent history of the Palestinian people. I love that Ateek, a Palestinian Anglican priest, explains the diversity and antiquity of the Christian communities in his native land, but I wish he had been more balanced in his historical sketch of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan — This book comes highly recommended for making the Israeli-Palestinian conflict come alive.
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