RICHARD'S RECOMENDATIONS

LOST CHRISTIANITY

A Journey of Rediscovery to the Centre of Christian Experience

by Jacob Needleman

 From Amazon: Lost Christianity is a profound reexamination of the essence of Christian thought and faith. Philosopher and bestselling author Jacob Needleman has sought out the ancient texts and modern practitioners of essential Christianity, whose message speaks directly to contemporary seekers.  The book is out of print, but there are options to purchase it from other sellers.

I have read this book several times, and it has become one of the most important books on my spiritual journey.  It articulates my deepest questions about Christianity, religion, and the spiritual life, and it points to some of the answers.  I have read it, studied it, and reflected on it several times,  From there I have developed my own spiritual practice, and my own rule of life.  As a result of my practice I have developed a relationship with that Mysterious Other I call God. 

The book has changed my life and I highly recommend it.

A RELIGION OF ONE'S OWN

A Guide to Creating a Personal Spirituality in a Secular World

by Thomas Moore

From Amazon and The New York Times:  Bestselling author and trusted spiritual adviser offers a follow-up to his classic Care of the Soul
 
Something essential is missing from modern life. Many who’ve turned away from religious institutions—and others who have lived wholly without religion—hunger for more than what contemporary secular life has to offer but are reluctant to follow organized religion’s strict and often inflexible path to spirituality. In A Religion of One’s Own, bestselling author and former monk Thomas Moore explores the myriad possibilities of creating a personal spiritual style, either inside or outside formal religion.

This is another book that I have read more than once. It has been an important resource as I have developed my own spiritual practice.  It has helped me to see the spiritual significance of many aspects of life beyond the traditional things like scripture, worship, and attending church.  

I highly recommend it.

READING THE BIBLE AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME:

Taking the Bible Seriously But Not Literally

by Marcus Borg

From Amazon.com:

 

Many Christians mistakenly believe that their only choice is either to reconcile themselves to a fundamentalist reading of scripture (a "literal-factual" approach) or to simply reject the Bible as something that could bring meaning and value into their lives. In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg shows how instead we can freshly appreciate all the essential elements of the Old and New Testaments—from Genesis to Revelation—in a way that can open up a new world of intelligent faith.

In Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, Borg reveals how it is possible to reconcile a scientific and critical way of thinking with our deepest spiritual needs, leading to an insightful experience of ancient text. This unique book invites every reader—whatever his or her religious background—to engage the Bible, to wrestle with its meaning, to explore its mysteries, and to understand its relevance. Reading the Bible Again for the First Time shows us how to encounter the Bible in a fresh, new way that rejects the limits of simple literalism and opens up the rich possibility of living a life of authentic faith.

This book changed my whole approach to scripture.  As far back as I can remember I was just unable to buy into the fundamentalist reading of the Bible.  I simply could not accept a literal interpretation, and I often argued adamantly with those who did.  Reading this book gave me a whole new way of looking at it.  When I started reading the book I remember thinking that Borg was expressing in scholarly terms many things I had tried to express without the scholarly backup.  I found the book extremely affirming, and I highly recommend it.

PREFERRING CHRIST:

A Devotional Commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict

by Norvene Vest

From Amazon.com:

 

The Rule of St. Benedict continues to attract those who seek to live a deeper life, connected to Christ. But with such an ancient text, how can we authentically engage St. Benedict’s Rule in a manner that is true to its profound insights―and to our own spiritual journey? Norvene Vest suggests that the answer lies in the way we read the Rule. “It shouldn’t be studied like a book of regulations, or a school textbook. It should be read as lectio divina.”

 

This profound yet very practical volume speaks to our urgent spiritual need. People yearn for an interior life deeply rooted in God, humanly balanced, and substantially founded in the Christian heritage. Vest offers a valuable resource by rendering much more accessible the spiritual wealth of the key text of the ancient Benedictine charism. Here is the solid, balanced wisdom that has nourished and guided innumerable Christians for nearly fifteen centuries.

See my comments from this book on The Rule of St. Benedict on my blog at https://www.turningaround.net/post/living-by-a-rule-of-life