Reading Break

Reading Break

January 13, 2023 by Gregg DeMey

Books from Pastor Gregg’s Sabbatical reading list

One of the delights of being on Sabbatical is having time and space to do some deep reading, thinking, and processing of big ideas. In each segment of this year’s Sabbatical time, I’ll be diving deep into books and stories that touch on the theme of resurrection. I’m so grateful and energized by this opportunity! If you’d like to read along, I invite you to consider picking up one of the following and joining me.

The Resurrection of the Son of God, N.T. Wright
This is a massive book and will be the cornerstone of the resurrection readings that I’m undertaking. After 200 pages of preparatory material, N.T. Wright starts by looking at the unanimous witness of Paul and other early Christian writers who affirmed that Jesus of Nazareth had been bodily raised from the dead. As Wright puts it, they are the heirs to “the rumor that an image, a reflection, of the one true God has appeared within the gravitational field of history.”

Wright saves the accounts of the four Gospels for the end of his tome as those chapters are the most difficult and complex in their approach.

Hope in Times of Fear: Resurrection and the Meaning of Easter, Timothy Keller
Thanks to Rev. Semeyn for recommending this book to me last fall. Timothy Keller sets out to help 21st-century Christians apply the significance of Jesus’s Resurrection and frames the implications in terms of different types of hope: hope for the future, hope for relationships, hope in the face of suffering, hope for justice, personal hope for you, etc…

It’s All Grace: the Best of Eppinga
J.D. Eppinga
Reverend Jacob Eppinga was a beloved Christian Reformed Pastor who died in 2008 at age 91. As a kid, I remember reading some of his stories in a column called Of Cabbages and Kings, which appeared for decades in our denominational magazine, The Banner. This book is a highlight reel of wit and collected wisdom from an age gone by. While the stories are not technologically up to date, they have aged like fine wine.

Cuentos Para Entender El Mundo
Eloy Moreno
This is a wonderful book of stories, written in intermediate Spanish for those who would really like to change it up! Eloy Moreno has rewritten a series of fables and parables for modern readers. The intention is that each story becomes an opportunity for contemplation. Here are part of the author’s directions for use:

Read a story a day, just before going to bed, so your mind will have all night to think on it and all day to try to understand it.

This is great advice! It also works with the parables of Jesus. This little Spanish book has inspired me to try my hand at writing (and re-writing) a series of short stories for contemplation and possible sermon illustrations. I’ll be sharing one of these with you next week.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Gregg

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