The Pietistic Impulse in Christianity, editors Winn, Gehrz, Carlson and Host (Pickwick)
In many circles, particularly academic ones, the word pietism is used as an insult. Though self-proclaimed pietists have at times encouraged unfortunate postures (individualism, privatism, bad ecclesiology), the idea of faith that is felt every bit as much as it is understood ought to be welcomed. In this volume, a number of voices converge to narrate the history of pietism and to re-narrate what it means, in our time, to have a healthy, experiential faith.
David Whyte, Midlife and the Great Unknown (Sounds True)
A couple friends, at different occasions, went on and on about poet David Whyte. And these friends were the sort I pay attention to — these friends are old souls. They told me I couldn’t just read him, but I had to hear him read. They were right. Whyte is an Irish poet whose cadence makes you forget he’s reading poetry. His words cut deep. They enlarge us, making us more human and more awake. He offers insights and ruminations as introductions to most of the poems — and these intros are as delightful as the poetry. This recording is a great place to start with Whyte’s work.
Simply Jesus, N.T. Wright, (HarperOne)
Few modern scholars have so imaginatively and beautifully articulated the profound implications of the New Testament’s vision of Jesus Christ than N.T. Wright. Digging through the historical record, Wright presents a vision of Jesus as one who is both “in the middle of history” and at the same time “deeply mysterious.” Discussions around the historical fact and present work of Jesus Christ seem to vacillate between two extremes: either removing Jesus from current relevance due to historical difficulties or expounding his relevance without dealing honestly with the many questions. Wright does neither. Rather, he gives us a stunning encounter with the Jesus who brought God to us then and brings God to us now.
Winn Collier (www.winncollier.com) is pastor of All Souls, a Baptist congregation in Charlottesville, Va., the author of three books, a columnist and a trustee of the Religious Herald.