Books & Articles

Explore links to books and articles that are intended to help build bridges, grow in empathy and understanding, and challenge the way you think. Invite someone to read with you, discuss and pray over what you learn, and ask God what he might be asking of you in response.

 
 
16th st pilsen (4).JPG

When Helping Hurts

By: Steve Corbett, Brian Fikkert

"Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good.

But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself.

Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out"

 

 

The Kingdom of Christ

By Russell Moore

"In this scholarly work, Russell D. Moore relates the history leading up to the new "Kingdom" consensus among evangelicals from the time theologian Carl F. H. Henry called for it fifty years ago. He examines how this consensus offers a renewed theological foundation for evangelical engagement in the social and political realms.

While evangelical scholars and pastors will be interested in this sharp, insightful book, all evangelicals interested in public policy will find it useful in discovering how this new Kingdom perspective works out in the public square."

 

 
 

Jesus and the Disinherited

By Howard Thurman

"In this classic theological treatise, the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does not empower--it decays. Only through self-love and love of one another can God's justice prevail.?


 

The New Jim Crow

By Michelle Alexander

"As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status--much like their grandparents before them.

In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community--and all of us--to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America."

 

 
 

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

By James H. Cone

"The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk."

Cross and the lynching tree.jpg

By Curt Thompson, MD

 

 
The Anatomy of the Soul.jpg

< The Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships

"Integrating new findings in neuroscience and attachment with Christian spirituality, Dr. Thompson reveals how it is possible to rewire your mind, altering your brain patterns and literally making you more like the person God intended you to be. Explaining discoveries about the brain in layman's terms, he shows how you can be mentally transformed through spiritual practices, interaction with Scripture, and connections with other people. He also provides practical exercises to help you experience healing in areas where you've been struggling. Insightful and challenging, Anatomy of the Soul illustrates how learning about one of God's most miraculous creations-your brain-can enrich your life, your relationships, and your impact on the world around you."

 

The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves

A book about shame, how it infects virtually every aspect of human experience, and how it wants to tell a very different story about you than the one God is telling. It also reveals the path for the healing of shame, and how its healing leads directly to a joyful flourishing in ways you have never before imagined.

 
The Soul of Shame.jpg

 
Divided by Faith.jpg

Divided by Faith

By Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith

Through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people and an additional 200 face-to-face interviews, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probed the grassroots of white evangelical America. They found that despite recent efforts by the movement's leaders to address the problem of racial discrimination, evangelicals themselves seem to be preserving America's racial chasm. In fact, most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks. But the authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement's emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality. Most racial problems, the subjects told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault.


Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, the authors throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, they conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.


 
Leroy Barber.jpg

Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White Who's More Precious In God's Sight? A Call for Diversity in Christian Missions and Ministry

By Leroy Barber

"Drawing upon two decades of mission experience, Leroy Barber exposes the racial divisions within Christian ministries and offers practical and comprehensive solutions for promoting diversity. 

RED, BROWN, YELLOW, BLACK AND WHITE highlights the historic patterns that have created racial discrepancies within missions. It joins the essential canon created by touchstone books like Divided by Faith by Michael Emerson and Christian Smith and the ever-popular Race Matters by Cornel West.

With a no-blame attitude, powerful personal narratives from a dozen other black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American and white Christians, interactive histories of missions, and the writings of MLK and Howard Thurman (the entire "Letter From Birmingham Jail" and Howard Thurman's motivational speech "Sound of the Genuine"), Barber addresses this tough issue in a way that will inspire and motivate readers of all races toward change."

 

Forgive Us- Confessions by a Compromised Faith.jpg

Forgive Us: Confessions by a Compromised Faith

By Mae Elise Cannon, Lisa Sharon Harper, Troy Jackson and Soong-Chan Rah

"Many people have become angry and frustrated with organized religion and evangelical Christianity, in particular. Too often the church has proven to be a source of pain rather than a place of hope. Forgive Usacknowledges the legitimacy of much of the anger toward the church. In truth, Christianity in America has significant brokenness in its history that demands recognition and repentance. Only by this path can the church move forward with its message of forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace.

Forgive Us is thus a call to confession. From Psalm 51 to the teachings of Jesus to the prayers of Nehemiah, confession is the proper biblical response when God’s people have injured others and turned their backs on God’s ways. In the book of Nehemiah, the author confesses not only his own sins, but also the sins of his ancestors. The history of the American church demands a Nehemiah-style confession both for our deeds and the deeds of those who came before us.

In each chapter of Forgive Us two pastors who are also academically trained historians provide accurate and compelling histories of some of the American church’s greatest shortcomings. Theologian Soong-Chan Rah and justice leader Lisa Sharon Harper then share theological reflections along with appropriate words of confession and repentance.

Passionate and purposeful, Forgive Us will challenge evangelical readers and issue a heart-felt request to the surrounding culture for forgiveness and a new beginning."


 
 

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

"Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives."


 
Prophetic Imagination.jpg
 

The Prophetic Imagination

Walter Brueggemann

"In this challenging and enlightening treatment, Brueggemann traces the lines from the radical vision of Moses to the solidification of royal power in Solomon to the prophetic critique of that power with a new vision of freedom in the prophets. Here he traces the broad sweep from Exodus to Kings to Jeremiah to Jesus. He highlights that the prophetic vision and not only embraces the pain of the people but creates an energy and amazement based on the new thing that God is doing. In this new edition, Brueggemann has completely revised the text, updated the notes, and added a new preface."

 

 
 

Strength to Love

By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma, has spent over three decades working with survivors. In The Body Keeps the Score, he uses recent scientific advances to show how trauma literally reshapes both body and brain, compromising sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments—from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga—that offer new paths to recovery by activating the brain’s natural neuroplasticity. Based on Dr. van der Kolk’s own research and that of other leading specialists, The Body Keeps the Score exposes the tremendous power of our relationships both to hurt and to heal—and offers new hope for reclaiming lives."

Strength to love.jpg

Dream with Me: Race, Love, and the Struggle We Must Win

By John Perkins

"According to recent surveys and studies, race relations in the United States are the worst they've been since the 1990s, and many would argue that life for most minorities has not significantly improved since the civil rights era of the 1960s. For so many, the dream of true equality has dissolved into a reality of prejudice, fear, and violence as a way of life.

John M. Perkins has been there from the beginning. Raised by his sharecropping grandparents, Perkins fled Mississippi in 1947 after his brother was fatally shot by a police officer. He led voter registration efforts in 1964, worked for school desegregation in 1967, and was imprisoned and tortured in 1970. Through it all, he has remained determined to seek justice and reconciliation based in Christ's redemptive work." 

 

 

By Henri Nouwen


 
Wounded healer.jpg
Nouwen-In-the-Name-of-Jesus.jpg

The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society

"The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective. In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature. Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others." 

The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming

 

"In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt's depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's vengefulness, and the father's compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes a powerful drama of the parable in a rich, capativating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times."

In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership

"Henri Nouwen was a spiritual thinker with an unusual capacity to write about the life of Jesus and the love of God in ways that have inspired countless people to trust life more fully. Most widely read among the over 40 books Father Nouwen wrote is In the Name of Jesus. For a society that measures successful leadership in terms of the effectiveness of the individual, Father Nouwen offers a counter definition that is witnessed by a "communal and mutual experience." For Nouwen, leadership cannot function apart from the community. His wisdom is grounded in the foundation that we are a people "called." This beautiful guide to Christian Leadership is the rich fruit of Henri Nouwen's own journey as one of the most influential spirtiual leaders of the 20th century."


Christians at the Border.jpg
 

Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church, and the Bible

M. Daniel Carroll R. 

"Immigration is one of the most pressing issues on the national agenda. This accessible book provides biblical and ethical guidance for readers who are looking for a Christian perspective on the immigration issue. As both a Guatemalan and an American, the author has immersed himself in this issue and is uniquely qualified to write about it. Drawing on key biblical ideas, he speaks to both the immigrant culture and the host culture, arguing that both sides have much to learn about the debate. This timely, clear, and compassionate resource will benefit all Christians who are thinking through the immigration issue."

 

 

Pedagogy of the Oppressed

By Paulo Freire

"First published in Portuguese in 1968, Pedagogy of the Oppressed was translated and published in English in 1970. The methodology of the late Paulo Freire has helped to empower countless impoverished and illiterate people throughout the world. Freire's work has taken on especial urgency in the United States and Western Europe, where the creation of a permanent underclass among the underprivileged and minorities in cities and urban centers is increasingly accepted as the norm.

With a substantive new introduction on Freire's life and the remarkable impact of this book by writer and Freire confidant and authority Donaldo Macedo, this anniversary edition of Pedagogy of the Oppressed will inspire a new generation of educators, students, and general readers for years to come."

Pedagogy.jpg