What is the Nature and Character of God? [Transformative Reading]

June 17, 2016 — Leave a comment

 

101-TransformativeBooks - MEDIUMAs a companion to his new book Reading for the Common Good, ERB editor Chris Smith has also published a companion ebook, 101 Transformative Books for Churches to Read & Discuss (which is available for FREE for those who subscribe to our email digest).  This companion ebook organizes its book recommendations into 12 questions. Over the next month or so, we will be featuring each one of these questions, and listing the recommended books (without annotations, you will have to get the ebook to read those), as well as some more recent books on this question that are worth discussing.

 

Question #1:
What is the nature and character of God?
What is God up to in the world?

These questions are essential to our identity as Christians. The Bible goes a long way in helping us answer them, but like any text, it must be interpreted, and it has not always been interpreted the same way across the wide diversity of churches throughout the two millennia of church history. The books I have selected here don’t offer definitive answers to these questions, but together they do serve as a guide to addressing important struggles that the church has had throughout her history.

Classics listed in the ebook:
(With links to FREE ebook editions)

  1. On the Incarnation – Athanasius
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  2.  

  3. Summa Theologiae (Part 1) – St. Thomas Aquinas
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  4.  

  5. Revelations of Divine Love – Julian of Norwich
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  6.  

  7. 95 Theses and The Large Catechism – Martin Luther
    DOWNLOAD HERE
  8.  

  9. Institutes of Christian Religion – John Calvin
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  10.  

  11. Pensées – Blaise Pascal
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  12.  

  13. Thy Kingdom Come: A Blumhardt Reader
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Plough.com)
  14.  

  15. Orthodoxy – G.K. Chesterton
    DOWNLOAD HERE (CCEL.org)
  16.  

  17. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours – Roland Allen
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Archive.org)
  18.  

  19. The Quest of the Historical Jesus – Albert Schweitzer
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Google Books)
  20.  

  21. Christianity and the Social Crisis – Walter Rauschenbusch
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Google Books)
  22.  

  23. A Theology for the Social Gospel – Walter Rauschenbusch
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Google Books)
  24.  

  25. The Violence of Love – Oscar Romero
    DOWNLOAD HERE (Plough.com)
  26.  

 

More recent books on this question
for churches to read and discuss…

  1. Incarnate: The Body of Christ in an Age of Disengagement
    Michael Frost
  2.  
     
     

  3. God So Loved the World: A Christology for Disciples
    Jonathan Wilson
  4.  
     
     

  5. Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing (Resources for Reconciliation)
    Emmanuel Katongole / Chris Rice
  6.  
     
     

  7. Models of God
    Sallie McFague
  8.  
     
     

  9. Wearing God: Clothing, Laughter, Fire, and Other Overlooked Ways of Meeting God
    Lauren Winner
  10.  
     
     

  11. The Cost of Discipleship
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  12.  
     
     

  13. Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    N.T. Wright
  14.  
     
     

What books related to this question would you add to this list?