The last two weeks have seen a flurry of new Christian books released related to the Coronavirus pandemic…
Michael Frost has been hosting a conversation on his Facebook profile that asks some pointed questions about these Christian Coronavirus books , including his initial question:
COVID-19 only hit us in February. How do they do it???
[ I recommend reading the full conversation ]
- Are these books largely opportunistic? Do they have anything meaningful to offer?
- Have you read any book/ebook on the coronavirus pandemic?
- Would you read one or more of the coronavirus books that are on the market already? Why or why not?
Personally, I’m torn. There’s a part of me that’s interested in reading the reflections of trusted thinkers like N.T. Wright and Walter Brueggemann on this pervasive crisis. On the other hand, as an advocate for slow and contemplative work, I’m more than a little skeptical about the value of these rapidly-published books. What do you think?
Here are some of the more interesting books that are available now or will be out before the end of the month…
What are we supposed to think about the coronavirus crisis? Some people think they know: ‘This is a sign of the End,’ they say. ‘It’s all predicted in the book of Revelation.’ Others disagree but are equally clear: ‘This is a call to repent. God is judging the world and through this disease he’s telling us to change.’ Some join in the chorus of blame and condemnation: ‘It’s the fault of the Chinese, the government, the World Health Organization. . .’
Tom Wright examines these reactions to the virus and finds them wanting. Instead, he invites you to consider a different way of seeing and responding – a way that draws on the teachings and examples of scripture, and above all on the way of living, thinking and praying revealed to us by Jesus.
Why bother with the interpretive categories of biblical faith when in fact our energy and interest are focused on more immediate matters? The answer is simple and obvious. We linger because, in the midst of our immediate preoccupation with our felt jeopardy and our hope for relief, our imagination does indeed range beyond the immediate to larger, deeper wonderments. Our free-ranging imagination is not finally or fully contained in the immediacy of our stress, anxiety, and jeopardy. Beyond these demanding immediacies, we have a deep sense that our life is not fully contained in the cause-and-effect reasoning of the Enlightenment that seeks to explain and control. There is more than that and other than that to our life in God’s world!
COVID-19 has transformed our everyday lives. It’s as if another world has arrived in the blink of an eye. Yet life is not on pause. We still need to live. The pandemic, like any other time, is a moment both of opportunity as well as challenge. Healthy Faith in the Coronavirus Crisis is a briefing on how to thrive in a world of restrictions. Twenty leading Christian thinkers have come together to help you begin to navigate this strange reality. Each contributor writes on their area of expertise, and topics covered include prayer, loneliness, work, singleness, marriage, parenting, grief, death, imagination, conversations, humour, and much more. They offer practical advice as well as helpful perspective from Scripture. This is an essential resource for anyone looking to cultivate a healthy faith which infuses all areas of life during this disorienting time.
What do you think of these Christian Coronavirus books ? Is there any value to these books?
Discuss in the comments below…
C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at: C-Christopher-Smith.com