Friday, September 11, 2009

Be Edified

Women at the Well starts up again next week, the Bible study/service group I co-lead which is entering its sixth year, I think. This year we're doing the Gospel of John, and I've been re-reading Thomas Cahill's DESIRE OF THE EVERLASTING HILLS for background. Really a wonderful book--his humor and scholarship and thoughtfulness bring everything to life. He covers, as the cover says, the world before and after Jesus.

My co-teachers and I get asked every year for a book list, and I have to confess I don't read many overtly edifying books. Despite being a pastor's wife, I've never slept with MERE CHRISTIANITY  under my pillow, though the kids and I are re-reading THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE together, and we listened to a semi-awful production of THE SILVER CHAIR on tape on our last trip back from Richland. (Speaking of that trip, we re-listened to the BBC WINNIE-THE-POOH I told you about and made the astonishing discovery that Piglet is Moaning Myrtle! I repeat: Piglet is Moaning Myrtle. If that doesn't get you to run out and get it from the library, I don't know what will. Moaning Myrtle (a.k.a. Jane Horrocks) also showed up in the SHAKESPEARE RETOLD series in the TAMING OF THE SHREW update. I don't generally recommend those because I prefer my Shakespeare straight, but that one wasn't bad.)

If you insist on being edified, I also like N. T. Wright's SIMPLY CHRISTIAN and most of Dallas Willard's THE DIVINE CONSPIRACY (couldn't get through RENOVATION OF THE HEART) and Henri Nouwen's LIFE OF THE BELOVED and Philip Yancey's PRAYER. I thought the anthology DEVOTIONAL CLASSICS was a lovely introduction to Christian writers across history.

Have any favorites you'd like to share?


  1. Any chance you can podcast WATW this year? I know I'm not the only one that misses being able to be there and would love to follow it! Who do I write at the church??

  2. You're the second to ask, Jana. Will keep you posted.