Disputed Passage

Lloyd C. Douglas - 1939
    The weather was unseasonably sultry, and the air in Dr Milton (Tubby) Forrester's lecture-arena lay as inert and stale as the cadavers in the grim old anatomical laboratory adjoining. But if the atmosphere of the dingy little theatre was not refreshingly tonic it was emotionally tense. Whatever it lacked in sweetness it made up in stress; for Anatomy, under the brilliant but irascible Forrester, was reputed to be the stiffest course in the entire four-year curriculum.

The Guillotine Squad

Guillermo Arriaga - 1991
    Feliciano Velasco y Borbolla de la Fuente, a lawyer, sells his famous invention, the guillotine, to Pancho Villa, the renowned insurgent general of the Mexican Revolution. Soon Feliciano finds himself immersed in the logic of this simultaneously bizarre, heroic, and cruel world of Villa's troops.

One More Strain of Praise

Neal A. Maxwell - 2002
    He observes that this book "blends the autobiographical and the doctrinal."both the title of the book itself and those of the individual chapters come from the words of a well-known hymn. The author's counsels and comments reflect his experiences and perceptions in the light of the challenges set by his malady and of the appropriate gospel concepts. Thus he early observes that irony, "the hard crust on the bread of adversity," can try both our faith and our patience. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, is central to the book as He is to the plan of salvation. "Multiple revelations teach us that redeeming Jesus is uniquely our 'advocate with the Father,' that He pleads for us, and that He makes intercession for us....Without this grand reality we would be helpless, and all would be truly and finally hopeless."But the guarantees are in place. "He can succor us in any form of the human condition because, as He reminded Joseph in the Liberty Jail: "The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?' No person, therefore, who comes before Him can exclaim, "You don't understand what I have been through!'"The author further explains: "Of course, the Father knew beforehand of all human wickedness. He knew beforehand of mankind's need of a Savior....Mortal sins previously committed and those yet to be committed were atoned for retroactively and prospectively in Gethsemane and on Calvary. For us of the last dispensation, it was 'paid in advance,' as it were."The last chapter recalls examples of Elder Maxwell's "intertwinings," many of them "kindred spirit" friendships. They range from boyhood school days and wartime army service all the way up to General Authority associations. This chapter is a fitting end to a book that is replete with uplifting gospel thoughts that will unfailingly instruct and edify the reader.Note: Description comes from the original version's book jacket and not Amazon.

The Book of the Shepherd: The Story of One Simple Prayer, and How It Changed the World

Joann Davis - 1953
    Sever the hands of the criminal who pilfers livestock or grain or another's garment. Whip the child who defies an elder. For such is the law and the law must be obeyed. For generations, these ironclad rules had governed the people. Nobody questioned whether it was right to humiliate a child or execute a murderer. An eye for an eye was the way of the world. But was there another way? When an antiquarian book is discovered in the disheveled study of an old Vermont farmhouse, the house's new owner has the volume translated. The result is The Book of the Shepherd, a timeless story full of life lessons for us all. Set in a mythical time, in an unnamed land, The Book of the Shepherd tells the tale of a shepherd, Joshua, who is troubled by the harsh code of "an eye for an eye" that governs his world. Called by a dream, the shepherd sets off on a journey to find "the new way." Accompanied by Elizabeth, a former slave who is kind and generous, and David, a boy who must learn to walk in new shoes, the shepherd knows that "an age of miracles" will come when the new way is found. But the journey is not without incident. En route to a cave near the Great Inland Sea, the travelers meet a cast of extraordinary characters, including the Storyteller, the Apothecary, the Blind Man, and the Stranger. Each imparts an important lesson that pushes the travelers toward their destiny. At the cave, Joshua must see if he can bring forth secrets long buried. But he, Elizabeth, and David will also discover that sometimes what we have been searching for has been inside us all along.

The Girl with the Dove Tattoo

Brian D. McLaren - 2012
    . . you’re cleaning and setting tables, and preparing for the lunch rush. The front door swings open—and four men quickly stumble in as if taking refuge.Taken aback, you study their faces. One is a kind-faced Asian man with a shaved head, another looks as ancient as the hills with shocking white hair and beard, and the other two, well, they look awfully familiar. If you were a betting person, you would put down money that they were Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed . . . but then again, this is Sunset Strip, so it could just be reality TV.Meet Crystal—a waitress who ends up in just this predicament. What seems like the beginning of an old joke turns into the conversation of a lifetime.THE GIRL WITH THE DOVE TATTOO—a tale about religion, violence, peace, and identity. A new story by Brian D. McLaren.

Island in the Sky

Ernest K. Gann - 1981
    Dooley was dean of a close knit group, & everything else took second place as the men came into headquarters, & set out again to find him. An unknown lake--beyond unknown mountains--a time schedule--& faith--such alone they had to go on, hampered by Army red tape, lack of radio contact, navigation rules upset by the frozen north. The story shifts from Dooley's experiences, with the five men who counted on him, to the men who sought him. Starkly told--another segment of understanding of total war.--Kirkus


Niall Williams - 2008
    At a time when Americans remain skeptical about religion but still thirst for spiritual fulfillment, Niall Williams's extraordinary and masterful new novel reveals a universally appealing message of hope and love.In the years following the death of Jesus Christ, John the Apostle, now a frail, blind old man, lives in forced exile on the desolate island of Patmos with a small group of his disciples. Together, the group has endured their banishment, but after years awaiting Christ's return, fissures form within their faith, and, inevitably, one of John's followers disavows Christ's divinity and breaks away from the community, threatening to change the course of Christianity. When the Roman emperor lifts the banishment of Christians, John and his followers are permitted to return to Ephesus, a chaotic world of competing religious sects where Christianity is in danger of vanishing. It is against this turbulent background--and inspired by Jesus's radical message of love and forgiveness--that John comes to dictate his Gospel.Immensely impressive--and based on actual historical events--John is at once an ambitious and provocative reimagining of the last surviving apostle and a powerful look at faith and how it lives and dies in the hearts of men.

Steer Toward Rock

Fae Myenne Ng - 2008
    Ilin Cheung was my wife on paper. In deed, she belonged to Yi-Tung Szeto. In debt, I also belonged to him. He was my father, paper too."Steer Toward Rock, Fae Myenne Ng's heartbreaking novel of unrequited love, tells the story of the only bachelor butcher at the Universal Market in San Francisco. Jack Moon Szeto--that was the name he bought, the name he made his life by--serves the lonely grass widows whose absentee husbands work the farmlands in the Central Valley. A man who knows that the body is the only truth, Jack attends to more than just their weekly orders of lamb or beef.But it is the free-spirited, American-born Joice Qwan with whom Jack falls in love. A woman whose life is guided by more than simple pain, Joice hands out towels at the Underground Bathhouse and sells tickets at the Great Star Theatre; her mother cleans corpses. Joice wants romance and she wants to escape Chinatown, but Jack knows that she is his ghost of love, better chased than caught.It is the 1960s and while the world is on the edge of an exciting future, Jack has not one grain of choice in his life. When his paper wife arrives from China he is forced to fulfill the last part of his contract and to stand before the law with the woman who is to serve as mistress to his fake father. Jack has inherited a cruel cultural legacy. A man with no claim to the past, his only hope is to make a new story for himself, one that includes both Joice and America.Not since Bone, Fae Myenne Ng's highly praised debut novel, has a work so eloquently revealed the complex loyalties of Chinese America. Steer Toward Rock is the story of a man who chooses love over the law, illuminating a part of U.S. history few are aware of, but one that has had echoing effects for generations.

Wheat that Springeth Green

J.F. Powers - 2000
    F. Powers's beautifully realized final work, is a comic foray into the commercialized wilderness of modern American life. Its hero, Joe Hackett, is a high school track star who sets out to be a saint. But seminary life and priestly apprenticeship soon damp his ardor, and by the time he has been given a parish of his own he has traded in his hair shirt for the consolations of baseball and beer. Meanwhile Joe's higher-ups are pressing for an increase in profits from the collection plate, suburban Inglenook's biggest business wants to launch its new line of missiles with a blessing, and not all that far away, in Vietnam, a war is going on. Joe wants to duck and cover, but in the end, almost in spite of himself, he is condemned to do something right.J. F. Powers was a virtuoso of the American language with a perfect ear for the telling cliché and an unfailing eye for the kitsch that clutters up our lives. This funny and very moving novel about the making and remaking of a priest is one of his finest achievements.

Gifts of the Dark Wood: Seven Blessings for Soulful Skeptics (and Other Wanderers)

Eric Elnes - 2015
    Though commonly feared and avoided, these feelings of uncertainty can be your greatest assets on this journey because it is in uncertainty that we probe, question, and discover. According to the ancients, you don't need to be a saint or spiritual master to experience profound awakening and live with God's presence and guidance. You need only to wander.In clear and lucid prose that combines the heart of a mystic, the soul of a poet, and the mind of a biblical scholar, Dr. Eric Elnes demystifies the seven gifts bestowed in the Dark Wood: the gifts of uncertainty, emptiness, being thunderstruck, getting lost, temptation, disappearing, and the gift of misfits.This is a book for anyone who feels awkward in their search for God, anyone who seeks to find holiness amid their holy mess, and anyone who prefers practicality to piety when it comes to finding their place in this world.


Brian J. Gail - 2008
    Brian Gail takes us out into the "trenches" and shows what life was like for Catholics good and bad during this critical time. This book is a great opportunity for Catholics to take hold of who they really are.

God, the Devil, and Harry Potter: A Christian Minister's Defense of the Beloved Novels

John Killinger - 2002
    are in fact narratives of robust faith and morality ...“What Ms. Rowling has furnished us, besides what the Brits call ‘a good read,’ and a whopping good one, ... is a modern interpretation of the gospel, the wonderful news that ‘God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself’ and making sure that the goodness of creation would never be obliterated by the forces of darkness and evil.”Since their first publication, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels have brought joy to children and adults alike. Many conservative Christians in the United States, however, have decried the books as wicked, as preaching witchcraft and the occult, and as glamorizing dishonesty. A minister in New Mexico held a “holy bonfire” on the Sunday after Christmas 2001, at which he publicly torched the Potter books, declaring them “an abomination to God and to me.”John Killinger, a Congregationalist minister and an academic in the field of contemporary literature, beautifully demolishes the objections of right-wing Christians to this bestselling children’s series. He compellingly argues that, far from corrupting children’s morals, the Potter stories actually influence young readers to follow the teachings of Jesus. He cites passage after passage to illustrate how the world of Harry Potter would be inconceivable apart from the strictures of Judeo-Christian theology and the way human existence should be approached by every follower of Jesus. Additionally, he reflects on the possibility that Harry Potter, like Dostoevsky’s Prince Myshkin and others, is a witting or unwitting Christ figure who actually battles the forces of darkness for the souls of the faithful.All through this extraordinarily well-written, compelling, and very entertaining little book, the author points out that stories like this are worth more than any sermon toward producing people who truly follow the lessons of Jesus.

Way: What Every Protestant Should Know about the Orthodox Church

Clark Carlton - 2007
    In The Way, Clark Carlton turns his attention to the fundamental differences between Orthodoxy and Protestantism. In a clear, well-written style, Clark Carlton articulates a broad vision of the Historic Church and gently explains how Protestants may embrace the fullness of the Christian faith.The Way is the perfect sequel to Carlton's best selling The Faith.The Way is a book that every Protestant interested in Orthodoxy must read. The Way is an invaluable resource for Orthodox who want to understand the Protestant culture in which we live.The Way is the perfect gift for Orthodox to give to Protestant friend or family.

Farewell, Four Waters: One Aid Workers Sudden Escape from Afghanistan

Kate McCord - 2014
    . .All she needed were stamps and signatures. Marie and her translator stood in the government offices in Kabul, Afghanistan, to complete the paperwork for her new literacy project. The women in her home town, the northern village of Shehktan, would learn to read.But a spattering of gun shots exploded and an aid worker crumpled. Executed. On the streets of Kabul. Just blocks from the guesthouse. Sending shockwaves through the community.The foreign personnel assessed their options and some, including Marie’s closest friend, Carolyn, chose to leave the country. Marie and others faced the cost and elected to press forward. But the execution of the lone aid worker was just the beginning.When she returned home to her Afghan friends in Shehktan to begin classes, she felt eyes watching her, piercing through her scarf as she walked the streets lined in mud brick walls.And in the end . . . It took only 14 days for her project, her Afghan home, her community—all of it—to evaporate in an eruption of dust, grief, and loss. Betrayed by someone she trusted. Caught in a feud she knew nothing about, and having loved people on both sides, Marie struggled for the answer: How could God be present here, working here, in the soul of Afghanistan?A novel based on true events.

The Hammer of God

Bo Giertz - 1941
    Faith comes down to a matter of relying either on our own accomplishments to be right with God or on receiving as a free gift by grace the righteousness Christ gained for us. This basic question of faith remains the same today as in generations past.The revised edition includes a final chapter never before published in English, as well as a new preface, extended biography of author Bo Giertz, and new introductory notes.