The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What books are our members reading? Post updates freely! {g}

Healing the Gospel by our own Derek Flood (I definitely qualify a someone who has been damaged by the Gospel).

I think you’ll enjoy it, Jeff.
One of the things I definitely agree with Martin Zender on (as wacky as he can be in other ways) is that Christians are God’s worst PR nightmare… (as a generalisation, of course). :wink:

I finished Creation’s Jubilee, which still didn’t have nearly as much discussion of OT application to NT as I was hoping for. I was still learning something new or at least worth researching through the end of the book, but I was also wincing at some of the author’s logic where he’d say something on one page that made sense when he applied it to his case but then reversed on the next page when the same logic might support the opposition. :unamused: I have rarely read any book that was solidly good when the author piously promotes himself as “simply following the scriptures” etc. compared to his opponents, and this was not one of the rare exceptions. :wink: But what was good was admittedly pretty good, and I’m glad to have read it.

I was going to go back to Hryn’s book for a while, but on my way to where I’m storing it on the Kindle I saw a book I’d downloaded a day before Dr. Brown’s latest book (on “The Real Kosher Jesus”, mentioned above), James Charlesworth’s The Historical Jesus: An Essential Guide. JC is rather more moderate in his analysis than I am (and I haven’t got a solid clue yet about his theology), but I still appreciate the techniques involved and I’m chewing through it rather quickly. I’m always on the lookout for technical books on historical issues that I can refer a reasonable sceptic to, and while this book isn’t remotely as in-depth (and isn’t intended to be) as some other tomes in my collection it looks (so far) like it would serve as a nice introduction for non-dogmatically sceptical people to historical Jesus studies. (I’d rather send the particular person I most have in mind to other books that I think she would appreciate more from the standpoint of her professional training. :slight_smile: But not everyone is a scholar.)

I’ve just finished reading ‘Life in Spite of Me’ by Kristen Jane Anderson. I read it two years ago, and it was so powerful that I got baptized a few months later. It really boosted my faith. I’ve just finished reading it again this past week. It’s about a young 17 year old girl who ends up trying to commit suicide by laying down on some railway tracks. It’s an amazing story of how God didn’t allow her to die. She now has a ministry to help people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. This part stands out so powerfully, especially in light of recent discussions on evil in the philosophy forum and pain and suffering in Derek Flood’s thread (@Paidion and @sharktacos, I thought you might find this interesting):

When Kristen was laying on the track and the 33 freight-train cars were going over her, the momentum of this felt like it was sucking her under, but a ‘force’ pushed her to the ground: ‘‘I felt the power of the train, the shaking of the ground, the roar of it moving over me. The force of the weight pushing me down hurt more than anything else.’’ page 5.

Years later after one of her talks, a man approached her, and explained that he was a train engineer, and the physics involved in the train and 33 freight cars, should have sucked her under and killed her: ‘‘You really should not be alive. I’m a train engineer. I understand the physics of a train…I’ve been in the engine when people have done exactly what you did, and none of them survived… You should have been sucked under that train.’’ Kristen goes on to relate: ‘‘As the man spoke, I thought about the sucking sensation when the train first went over me, and then I remembered the force pressing me down. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach. It had to have been the hand of God, holding me down, protecting me.’’ page 188.

It’s an amazing book and one you don’t want to put down. It bears witness to how God does allow us to make terrible choices that lead to untold pain and suffering (and He may need to use pain to help us), and yet He is working it all for our good and the good of others (after another of her talks, a young man approached her and said how he’d been about to commit suicide and saw her on the telly giving her testimony, and that he’d been helped).

This site should come with a warning that it is dangerous to bookaholics: :laughing:

Books I am currently reading on:

Fiction: A Rising Thunder by David Weber (an Honor Harrington novel) And two new books in David Flint’s 1632 universe. His intended one shot 1632 novel is now a mega-volume very good epic. They have just rescued Pope Urban (I foget his number.

Inspired by this site:

Love Wins: I liked it–aimed more at a ‘layperson’ audience which I am

Heaven: by Randy Acorn—He is NOT a Unaversalist, I think the idea scares him, but if you skip the chapters about how to be saved from going to Hell, he has some interesting scripture and thoughts related to Heaven.

The Evangelical Universalist by Robin A. Perry (surprise)

Dropping Hell and Embracing Grace by Ivan A. Rodgers—just wait till you get to Chapter 8

Healing the Gospel by Derek Flood—must reread, once is not enough

Conditional Futurism by James Goetz —also must reread with Bible in hand.

God Behaving Badly by David Lamb----Highly recommend for laypeople trying to resolve apparent conflicts between OT and NT presentations of God.

I am also thanking God for Kindle as I was already out of bookcase space.

Finally updating! Whew!

I still haven’t finished James Charlesworth historical Jesus book, but I took a vacation from reading theological/historical things and spent a good month indulging in my love for cryptozoology and folklore studies. Thus in the past month I’ve polished off a good seven books, mostly in the “Monsters of [Insert State]” series, as well as Linda Godfrey’s latest compilation of data on Real Wolfmen: True Encounters In Modern America. I still lack reading a book from Jeff Meldrum on scientific study of Sasquatch. :slight_smile:

Also recently finished:

The Barbarian Conversion From Paganism To Christianity – by Richard Fletcher; mentioned previously in the thread. I’ve been plugging along on this book for a while, and finally polished it off in the past day or so.

The Atonement Contextualized – by JP Holding. Yes, this is a short cheap book; but I have monstrous tomes in my read-list, too, so having a quick book to burn through helps keep the average at more human levels. :wink: This was read as part of finishing off my JRP vs. JPH vs. Christian Universalism thread, and my short report is that he addresses none of my problems with his agonistic atonement theory, either at all or any further than he had already written (which I had problems with), especially on the connection of his theory to his variant of eternal conscious torment (of which there isn’t much written in his book at all). I’ll have more to say about this later in another thread.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality – not finished, because it’s still very much a work in progress, but the next large bites of this epic fan-fiction were released while I wasn’t looking, so I got to chew on those in the past few days. The next huge installment, covering the next story arc, isn’t scheduled until this spring. sigh.

I’m currently reading Rodney Stark’s book on the Crusades; a compilation of the original Flash Gordon comic strip series; the third book (still) of Winchester’s Prophecies Remaining to be Fulfilled; Winchester’s epic poem The Process And Empire Of Christ (which serves as a sort of summary of his Lecture On Prophecies series, plus a lot of commentary on the Gospels); Charlesworth’s historical Jesus book; Hryn’s The Challenge of Our Hope (still plugging along on that occasionally); and The Perfect War: Technowar in Vietnam which is utterly heartbreaking and I wish I could finish it soon and get it off my plate. :frowning: :wink:

In related news, Robert Jordan’s epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time finally ends today after fifteen books with Book 14 (there was a prequel novel, too, back there somewhere) being released posthumously. (Fantasy author and WOT fan Brian Sanderson was hired by publisher Tor to pull RJ’s notes together for a final trilogy.) I’m seriously considering buying the… um… {counting} 6 books of this series (including the prequel novel) to finish it out, having stopped after Winter’s Heart when I heard early reports that Crossroads of Twilight didn’t move the plot along very well.

This series means a lot to me, partly because growing up as a baby author myself I was determined to avoid RJ’s various mistakes. :laughing: (Also because of someone I met while discussing the series online half her lifetime ago, which is in itself kind of a reason not to finish reading the series. :frowning: :neutral_face: :wink: ) But with all the other books I own on my plate, I’m going back and forth on whether to invest in finishing the series now or later. :confused:

Almost done Jan Bonda’s “The One Purpose of God” He does a very good exegetical study of the book of Romans in favour of EU.

And just starting “Her Gates Will Never Be Shut” by Bradley Jersak. Just getting into chapter 4, so far so good.

This is the book that introduced me to Universalism. It is called “God’s Plan for the Ages” by Joseph Herrin. I need to read it more slowly and prayerfully now because I initially devoured it (which could lead to digestion problems both in the spiritual and the natural). Time to go graze in the pastures… … 20Ages.pdf


Just started J. Denny Weaver’s Nonviolent Atonement: Second Edition. Looks promising!

I need to get back to Nicholas Wolterstorff’s Justice In Love. Excellent treatment on how these two virtues are related to each other in a positive way, rather than the contentious manner than has been historically foisted upon so many of us.

I’m re-reading Richard Beck’s Unclean in preparation for doing a chapter by chapter summary and commentary on my blog.

I’m reading –

“Holy scripture speaks: the production and reception of Erasmus’ Paraphrases on the New Testament (Erasmus studies)”

“Exploiting Erasmus: The Erasmian Legacy and Religious Change in Early Modern England (Erasmus Studies)” Gregory D. Dodds

‘’Elizabeth’’ by Richard Starkey

‘’Elizabeth I and Religion’’ – Susan Dodds

‘’The Athanasian Creed’’ – J.N.D. Kelly

‘’Richard Hooker and the Via Media" Philip B. Secor

Just to let Jason know I’m doing my homework :laughing:

Briefly catching up: I’ve started my monstrously epic re-read and finishing of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, and finished The Eye of the World a few days ago. Now reading Book 2 The Great Hunt.

It has been at least 10 years since I read either book, and while I recall all the most important details and the general thrust of each book (along with many minor details), I’m pleased and amused to be rediscovering the books again after all these years–every chapter features details I had forgotten.

At this rate I won’t be finished with the whole series until sometime next year!!–and that’s assuming I read nothing else!! :open_mouth: :laughing: :sunglasses:

But I’ll try to work in some other things meanwhile. I’m only one chapter (though a longish one) being done with the Technowar analysis for example.

I’m reading The High Window by Raymond Chandler, for the sixth or seventh time, having just read The Big Sleep for about the eighth or ninth time, or maybe more, I forget.

Chandler is without even a shadow of a doubt the finest detective novelist who has ever lived. Hell, he’s the finest writer ever. The Long Goodbye outranks Moby Dick, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter and The Great Gatsby as quite simply the greatest American novel. Anybody who thinks otherwise is wrong, stupid, badly read, wilfully ignorant and silly, and probably thinks Real Marriage: the Truth about Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mr and Mrs M Driscoll is the best book ever written. (Catchy title that, Mark, even without that egregious Oxford comma…)

Thus speaketh the voice of reason, ie me.

Cheers big ears


getting towards the finish of Matthew Fox’s rather amazing Original Blessing. This is a book about Creation rather than Fall/Redemption spirituality.
he uses alot of language that could be construed as new age, and draws on many extra-Biblical sources for quotes and wisdom. these things might not do him favours in regards to attracting more sola scriptura types, but i have to say i’ve agreed with quite alot of what he has to say. it’s all about bringing God’s kingdom to fruition now…about living that life now…engaging with suffering and creativity and transformation and enjoying this life God has given us to the full.
definitely worth a read.
thanks to Sobornost for lending it! … zi+islamic … g_djvu.txt

An Examination of Universalism

Nathan Dow George

I’ve just finished reading the Inescapable Love of God, now having a look at an interesting eBook called The Everlasting Gospel…

Just finished reading (free online) “So you don’t want to go to church anymore” by Jake Colsen.
Excellent, thought provoking, easy read.

Just started reading the everlasting Gospel (25% read so far) and this is an excellent book for anyone considering UR or has accepted and is not well grounded as yet. If you are well grounded, I recommend the book I read above post first then this but if you want to be strengthened in your UR belief, I’d read this one first.

They are both free online

Oh, thanks! I’ve been looking for a good edition of that little book! (Which first brought the notion of Christian universalism to Elhannan Winchester’s eye for the first time.)