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MDUMC Bookshelf

Short Stories by Jesus: The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi
Amy-Jill Levine

“This book opens a window to a new and deeper understanding of Jesus’ parables.  This book does an exceptional job of using context and culture to show the impact and power of what Jesus said to an even greater degree.” 
– Dr. John Robbins

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When Spiritual but Not Religious Is Not Enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church
Lillian Daniel

“In this accessible and often humorous book, Lillian Daniel confronts the recent trend away from ‘organized religion’ and church participation and points us toward why church matters. She helps us answer the question of why, week after week, even when church disappoints us, we continue to show up at church, right in the middle of a messy human community, and continue the traditions of our faith as people have done for centuries.” 
– Rev. Jennifer Veres-Schrecengost

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Letters from a Skeptic: A Son Wrestles with His Father’s Questions about Christianity 
Gregory A. Boyd

“It’s hard to choose which of Boyd’s books to recommend (pick up any of them!), but this book had a tremendous impact on me in college. It captures the relationship between a father and son and lets us overhear a conversation between a Christian and a skeptic. We need this book now more than ever as it shows us what a loving conversation looks like between two people with completely different worldviews.”
– Rev. Colin Bagby

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Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, & Loving the Bible Again
Rachel Held Evans

“I can’t recommend Evans highly enough. In her newest book on reading and interpreting the Bible, she strikes a balance between thoughtful critique and generous compassion, landing us in the middle ground of story and mystery and ultimately, hope. Whether you were raised in the church or are currently encountering the Bible for the first time, you’ll find something here to challenge and compel you. If you have questions or doubts about the Bible, or if you simply want a fresh lens on scripture – this one is for you.” 
– Rev. Ginny Tincher

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Living Prayer 
Robert Benson

“A beautiful book that views prayer as the dynamic dance of life. The ordinary events of life become mystical and the mystical seem ordinary.  For me, this book provided a deeper understanding of the divine liturgy and also served as an introduction into the contemplative way of approaching prayer...and life...or prayer as life.” 
– Rev. Susan Wiley

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Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep us Apart
Christena Cleveland 

“In this thought-provoking book, you’ll discover hidden divisions. Why do I think all my friends are unique but those in other groups are all the same? How can categorizing others often be automatic and helpful, but also have sinister side effects?” 
– Rev. Victor Resendiz

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The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical
Shane Claiborne

“I have given out no fewer than 20 copies of this book. Shane Claiborne flipped the script for me on what it means to follow Jesus. He invites the reader to examine the counter-cultural realities of the gospel and how to live them out in one’s life. It’s refreshing, but Claiborne means business. To take up your cross and follow Christ comes with a social price, but the reward is sweet. Jesus is worth it.” 
– Rev. Michael Jarboe

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The Inner Voice of Love
Henri Nouwen

“An intimate diary of struggles and darkness during Nouwen’s hardest days. Friends asked Nouwen, ‘Wouldn’t it be of consolation for many to know about the fierce inner battle that lies underneath so many of your spiritual insights?’ Not a book to hurry through. You’ll want to pick it up, read, and let it simmer.” 
– Sedonia Finstad

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Humans of New York 
Brandon Stanton

“Sometimes you want a book that makes you smile, or one that makes you uncomfortable and challenges your opinions, or sometimes you just want a book with pretty pictures that sits well on your coffee table, and sometimes you can have all three. The photographer/author of this book gives the reader a glimpse into the lives of strangers on the streets of New York. Even in our own lives we are faced with people who look and think very differently than us, but everyone has a story. We just have to be willing to listen.” 
– Kandice Kirby

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The Intentional Christian Community Handbook: For Idealists, Hypocrites, and Wannabe Disciples of Jesus
David Janzen

“This book has been instrumental in my faith walk. This is a study and guidebook for those who are looking for healthy spiritual rhythms in their lives framed in a missional community setting. It explores the concepts of living by a rule of life and paints an example of what true Christian community should look like. Anyone who is interested in learning more about intentional community and relationships should read this book.” 
– Drew Essen

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To Be Told: God Invites You to Co-Author Your Future
Dan Allender

“Each of us has a unique, beautiful, and complicated story. In this book, Dr. Dan Allender explores the importance of discovering and sharing our individual and communal stories as meaningful pieces of God’s deeper story. With purpose, grace, and direction, Allender helps frame the stories God has written in our lives and encourages readers to unlock their potential as divine storytellers.” 
– Mark Bogart

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Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir About the Beauty of Friendship
Melanie Shankle

“A memoir about friendship and authentic community, and a celebration of the good friends God has put in your life: friends who know you and love you for who you are, friends who show up always (when you’re down and when you’re not), a community that goes deeper than what we find on social media.” 
– Stacy Stepler

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The Wounded Healer
Henri Nouwen

“Woundedness can serve as a source of strength when counseling others. We are called to recognize the sufferings of our time in our own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of our service. We must leave ourselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering-- in the image of Christ. In other words, we heal from our own wounds.” 
– Sheri Kelley

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