A Portal for God's Peace

Episcopal Church of Our Saviour - Secaucus, NJ - Crest

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Holy Eucharist at 9:30 am

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Church of Our Saviour
191 Flanagan Way

Secaucus, NJ 07094

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Tel: 201-863-1449

Barbara Lewis, Priest

Dorothy Fowlkes
Pastoral Associate


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The Church of
Our Saviour
in the Town of Secaucus, New Jersey

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Christianity and Religion

When you find a book you like, simply click on its title to find more information or begin the ordering process from Amazon.com. Your purchases help support our public service outreach programs.

Books identified with * are available for free loan through the Secaucus Public Library and the Bergen Country Cooperative Library Service.

                                                                        for the Non-ReligiousJesus for the Non-Religious
by John Shelby Spong / Hardcover / Feb 2007

Spong believes we are at a point in history where people must step outside of religion to encounter Jesus&emdash;hence, Jesus for the Non-Religious. He proposes a new way of understanding the divinity of Christ: as the ultimate dimension of a fulfilled humanity. Spong's language is always clear; his books readable and provacative. On the other hand, one reviewer states, "Spong so often suggests the backwardness and insecurity of those who disagree with him that his rhetoric borders on the fundamentalist."

The The  Politics of JesuePolitics of Jesus:
Rediscovering the True Revolutionary Nature of What Jesus Believed and How It Was Corrupted
By Obery M. Hendricks, Jr. / Hardcover / Sep 2006

Now a minister and professor of biblical interpretation at New York Theological Seminary, Hendricks found that, for him, the figure of Jesus resonated powerfully when understood through the prism of politics. "To say that Jesus was a political revolutionary is to say that the message he proclaimed not only called for change in individual hearts but also demanded sweeping and comprehensive change in the political, social, and economic structures in his setting in life: colonized Israel," Hendricks writes. He goes on to argue that the proper Christian posture in political life should be one of loving one another as Jesus loved us, feeding the hungry, comforting the poor, clothing the naked, visiting the sick, tending to prisoners.
Jon Meacham -- The Washington Post

Hard Ball Hard Ball  on Holy GroundOn Holy Ground
The Religious Right v. The Mainline for the Church's Soul
by Stephen Swecker / paperback / March 2006

Secrecy, intrigue, special interest groups with intertwining board members. And, of course, money. Powerful men (and women) are organized to move in on mainline Christian denominations -- Episcopalians, Lutherans, Methodists -- that have been a major voice of Christianity in America. Groups are out to destabilize these churches, and replace them with a fundamentalist alternative. This book contains research, essays and interviews.

The Diocese of Washington provides a two part series on the web, "Following the Money," which documents this well organized attack on the Episcopal Church

Big ChristianityBig Christianity
What's Right with the Religious Left
By Jan G. Linn / Paperback / June 2006

In recent years, argues the author, religious and political dialogue in the United States has been hijacked by the so-called religious right, a coalition of conservative Christian leaders who purport to speak for all Christians but whose politicized brand of Christianity excludes many and falls short of the true gospel message. Jan Linn argues for a bigger Christianity, one big enough to embrace all of God's people with a message of inclusion and acceptance.

Christianity for the Rest of UsChristianity for the Rest of Us:
How the Neighborhood Church Is Transforming the Faith
by Diana Butler Bass / Hardcover / Sep 2006

For decades the accepted wisdom has been that America's mainline Protestant churches are in decline, eclipsed by evangelical mega-churches. Church and religion expert Diana Butler Bass wondered if this was true, and this book is the result of her extensive, three-year study of centrist and progressive churches across the country. Her surprising findings reveal just the opposite&emdash;that many of the churches are flourishing, and they are doing so without resorting to mimicking the mega-church, evangelical style.

Simply Simply ChristianChristian
Why Christianity Makes Sense
by N.T. Wright / Hardcover / Mar 2006

Like C. S. Lewis did in his classic Mere Christianity, renowned biblical scholar and Anglican bishop N.T. Wright makes the case for Christian faith from the ground up, assuming that the reader is starting from ground zero with no predisposition to and perhaps even some negativity toward religion in general and Christianity in particular. His goal is to describe Christianity in as simple and accessible, yet hopefully attractive and exciting, a way as possible, both to say to outsides "You might want to look at this further," and to say to insiders "You may not have quite understood this bit clearly yet."

The The Importance of Being FoolishImportance of Being Foolish:
How to Think Like Jesus
by Brennan Manning / Hardcover / June 2005

With his now classic book The Ragamuffin Gospel, Manning set a standard for powerful writing and no-holds barred personal candor that even his own subsequent books (Ruthless Trust; The Wisdom of Tenderness), however excellent, have not quite matched. Here, Manning offers a fiercely provocative call to arms that exhorts Christians to stop pandering to the things of this world (wealth, power, influence, pleasure) and instead choose to be so "foolish" as to follow Jesus. This book is not for the easily offended, as Manning pulls no punches and does not attempt to soften the radical nature of Jesus' message. ... Manning upholds a Christian faith that is simultaneously hard-line about the intransigent demands of the New Testament, yet wrapped in grace and mercy, not judgment and condemnation. Recommended as one of the best 10 religious books of 2005. - Publishers Weekly

The Chronicles of NarniaChronicles of Narnia
by C.S. Lewis, Pauline Baynes (Illustrator) / Hardcover / Nov 2004

This is a hardcover adult edition of this seven-book classic series by C. S. Lewis Since its release in the middle of the last century, the Chronicles of Narnia have enchanted over sixty million readers&emdash;children, as well as adults. This new hardcover edition for adults includes all seven books, plus C. S. Lewis's essay, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children."

Penguins, Penguins, Pain and the Whole ShebangPain and the Whole Shebang:
By God As Told to John Shore
By John Shore / Hardcover /Sepember 2005

All Christians istians wrestle with the same problem: How to make a solid, truly compelling argument for Christianity that the non-believers in their lives haven't already heard (and rejected) a thousand times before. Finally, with Penguins, Pain and the Whole Shebang, we have an answer to that problem. The ultimate complement to C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, Penguins is an imminently accessible (and--surprise!--imminently funny) little book.

The Gospel The Gospel According to AmericaAccording To America:
A Meditation On A God-Blessed, Christ-Haunted Idea
by David Dark / Paperback / February 2005

Readers of Dark's book Everyday Apocalypse know that this high school English teacher is a passionate, articulate, absurdly well-read interpreter of popular culture. But even the forewarned may be astonished by this latest effort. Dark's skill at probing the spiritual resonances of American culture -- in forms high and low, from Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville to Bob Dylan and David Lynch -- is matched by his uncanny ability to select telling moments from America's common story. ... Moreover, he offers a convincing and unsettling account of the gospel itself - the "Jewish Christian" story of forgiveness and human dignity that, Dark argues, has animated America's ideals even as it has continually critiqued America's practices. Recommended at one of the 10 best religious books of 2005 -- Publishers Weekly

God's God's PoliticsPolitics:
Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get It
by Jim Wallis / Hardcover / January 2005

Secular liberals and religious conservatives will find things to both comfort and alarm them in Jim Wallis's God's Politics. That combination is actually reason enough to recommend the book in a time when the national political and theological discourse is dominated by blanket descriptions and shortsightedness. But Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine, offers more than just a book that's hard to categorize. What Wallis sees as the true mission of Christianity--righting social ills, working for peace--is in tune with the values of liberals who so often run screaming from the idea of religion. Meanwhile, in his estimation, religious vocabulary is co-opted by conservatives who use it to polarize. Wallis proposes a new sort of politics, the name of which serves as the title of the book, wherein these disparities are reconciled and progressive causes are paired with spiritual guidance for the betterment of society. -- Amazon.com

Roadside Roadside ReligionReligion
In Search of the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith
by Timothy K. Beal (Hardcover / May 2005

Beal, a religion scholar who took his family on a summer RV tour of some of America's oddest religious sites, explores the varieties of religious experience while daring to be vulnerable and personal about his own faith. Whether he's tackling the popularity of biblical mini-golf courses or Precious Moments figurines, Beal (Religion and Its Monsters) uncovers serious questions about religion and its sometimes highly singular practitioners. Recommended as one of the 10 best religious books of 2005 -- Publishers Weekly

The SinsSins of Scriptureof Scripture
Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love
by John Shelby Spong / Hardcover / April 2005

The retired bishop of the Diocese of Newark and prominent spokesperson for liberal Christianity, focuses this book on "terrible texts" which have been used to justify such "sins" as overbreeding, degradation of the environment, sexism, child abuse and anti-Semitism. These biblical texts, according to Spong, are not the incontrovertible Word of God, but flawed human responses to perceived threats. ...Interestingly, readers who do not endorse Spong's radical reinterpretation of Christianity will still find much in this book they can affirm. His explanation of the roots of Christian anti-Semitism is fascinating and much less challenging to orthodoxy than many of his other claims. Unfortunately, Spong leads with his weakest section, which features a variety of poorly constructed arguments claiming, but giving inadequate evidence for, a strong causal relationship between biblical injunctions and both overpopulation and environmental problems. Nonetheless, this absorbing book has much to offer readers of all persuasions.

The The Prison AngelPrison Angel
Mother Antonia's Journey from Beverly Hills to a Life of Service in a Mexican Jail
By Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan / Hardcover / May 2005

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting team, the extraordinary and inspiring story of Mother Antonia, the remarkable woman who at middle age found her life's calling by bringing the transformative power of her spiritual guidance to the most hardened criminals. Twenty-eight years ago, Mary Clarke, a short, wealthy Californian pulled on a black dress and a black veil that she had stitched herself. No religious order would consider a twice-divorced 50-year-old novitiate, so she audaciously made private vows and moved into Tijuana's notorious La Mesa prison among drug king pins and petty thieves. She has led many of them through profound spiritual transformations in which they turned away from their lives of crime, and has deeply touched the lives of all who have witnessed the depth of her compassion. With her Bishops's blessing, she has now organized a new community of sisters -- the Servants of the Eleventh Hour -- widows and divorced women seeking new meaning in their lives. "We had never heard a story like hers," Jordan and Sullivan write, "a story of such powerful goodness."

The Best Christian Writing 2006Best Christian Writing 2006
John Wilson (Editor) / Paperback / Sept 2005

The 2003 Best Christian Writing was dated 2004, and now this one (none was published in 2004) is labeled 2006. But dates, shmates! It's a good edition, maybe the series' best. Andy Crouch on a conference for wannabe Christian fiction writers, Michael P. Foley on the movie Groundhog Day, and Mark Galli's well-pointed interview with Eugene Peterson (whose contemporary American English New Testament, The Message, is an enduring best-seller) all probe aspects of Christian living and working with compassion and discernment. ...Oh, there is a clinker of a sermon and a turgid lecture here, too, but the rest validates the series title. -- Ray Olson - Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


Best Christian Writing - 2004The Best Christian Writing 2004
by John Wilson (Editor) / Paperback / 217 pages / October 2003 *

In his introduction, Yale Divinity School professor Miroslav Volf argues that the "soul of Christian writing is the ability to know everything through Christ; take that away and you will lose its content, motivation and style." Rich in whimsy, overflowing with gentle wonder and laced with both irony and anguish, these pieces by and large live up to their rather audacious billing, as the best of the best. -- Publishers Weekly

The Best Christian Writing 2002

Beyond BeliefBeyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
by Elaine H. Pagels / Hardcover: 256 pages / May 2003 *

In this majestic new book, Pagels (The Gnostic Gospels) ranges panoramically over the history of early Christianity, demonstrating the religion's initial tremendous diversity and its narrowing to include only certain texts supporting certain beliefs. At the center of her book is the conflict between the gospels of John and Thomas. Reading these gospels closely, she shows that Thomas offered readers a message of spiritual enlightenment. Rather than promoting Jesus as the only light of the world, Thomas taught individuals that "there is a light within each person, and it lights up the whole universe. If it does not shine, there is darkness." - Publishers Weekly

AbrahamAbraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths *
by Bruce S. Feiler / Hardcover / September 2002

Feiler, who penned last year's bestseller Walking the Bible, once again offers a winning combination of history, travel and spiritual memoir. Arguing that Abraham, the purported "father" of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, "holds the breadth of the past and perhaps the dimensions of the future in his life story," Feiler sets out to recover Abraham as he is portrayed in all three religions. ... Particularly fascinating are Feiler's discussions of how the three religious traditions invented stories about Abraham to supplement the rather skeletal canonical version and even borrowed these stories from one another...No one writes description quite like Feiler. ... More important than Feiler's masterful wordsmithing is his passionate engagement of the subject matter. ... Feiler has a keen sense of what is at stake when these three religions claim Abraham as their father. This is a joy to read. -- Publishers Weekly

Abraham was named best spiritual book of the year2002 by Beliefnet.com.

Home for ChristmasHome for Christmas
Stories for Young and Old *
by Miriam Leblanc (Editor), David Klein / Paperback / September 2002

This is undoubtedly the most literary collection of Christmas stories to be published. The editors at Plough have taken a conservative approach, eschewing sentimental claptrap in favor of classic, elegant writing. ... Some contributions are deeply theological ... while others offer the dark, discerning cadences of a timeless fable .... The collection has an international flavor, with stories set in Cuba, Germany, Siberia, Palestine, Denmark and Spain, as well as in Vermont and New York City. Readers who crave literary excellence as well as a heartwarming Christmas message will relish this carefully selected and intelligent anthology. -- Publishers Weekly

God: A Guide for the PerplexedGod : A Guide for the Perplexed **
by Keith Ward
Hardcover / April 2002

Keith Ward, a professor of theology at Oxford University and no stranger to informed public debate on profound and controversial subjects, Ward offers a book that is witty and accessible, prodigiously erudite (quotes, textual references, a bibliography but no footnotes) and loaded with heavy ammunition to defend the existence of God. The author of 10 other books of theology, he cites and deftly arranges 3,000 years of arguments for, about and occasionally against God, drawn mostly but not exclusively from the Western tradition. This guide begs for comparison with fellow Briton Karen Armstrong's "A History of God." Ward's is primarily Christian rather than Abrahamic in scope, but it is equally accessible and solidly learned - Publishers Weekly.

A Brand from the BurningA Brand from the Burning: The Life of John Wesley  
By Roy Hattersley / Hardcover / June 2003

John Wesley led the Second English Reformation. His Methodist "Connexion" was divided from the Church of England, not by dogma and doctrine but by the new relationship which it created between clergy and people. He could not have realised that his influence on the new industrial working class would play a major part in shaping society during the century of Britain's greatest power and influence and that Methodism would become a worldwide religion and the inspiration of 20th-century television evangelism.

The Next ChristendomThe Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity *
by Philip Jenkins / Hardcover / March 2002

The explosive southward expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia, and Latin American has barely registered on Western consciousness. Nor has the globalization of Christianity--and the enormous religious, political, and social consequences it portends--been properly understood. Philip Jenkins takes the full measure of the changing face of the Christian faith, asserting that by the year 2050 only one Christian in five will be a non-Latino white person and that the center of gravity of the Christian world will have shifted firmly to the Southern hemisphere. Moreover, Jenkins shows that the churches that have grown most rapidly in the global south are far more traditional, morally conservative, evangelical, and apocalyptic than their northern counterparts.

The Future of ChristianityThe Future of Christianity (Blackwell Manifestos)
by Allister E. McGrath / Paperback / January 2002

Christianity has undergone massive change in the twentieth century, and seems poised to undergo major transformations in the next. In this important and timely book, one of Christianity's most prolific and respected writers examines these changes, and their implications for the future.

PentecostalismPentecostalism: The World Their Parish (Religion and Modernity)
by David Martin Paperback / December 2001 / Hardcover

This book deals with the largest global shift in religion over the last forty years, the astonishing rise of Pentecostalism and charismatic Christianity. Conservative estimates suggest that a quarter of a billion people are now members of Pentecostal churches, mainly in the developing world. David Martin examines the widely differing forms of Pentecostal religion across the five continents, drawing deeply significant conclusions about the future of Christianity itself.

A New ChristianityNew Christianity for a New World : Why Traditional Faith Is Dying and How a New Faith Is Being Born *
by John Shelby Spong / Hardcover / Sep 2001

Christianity will not be a viable belief system for honest people in the contemporary world, writes John Shelby Spong, until it drops a few outmoded ideas--for instance, belief in a supernatural God who reveals Himself from outside creation. A New Christianity for a New World continues the work begun in Spong's bestselling Why Christianity Must Change or Die, in which the Episcopalian bishop diagnosed Christianity's major problems. Here, he offers a vision of what authentic Christian belief might look like today, stripped of theism and all its corollaries (doctrines such as the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Atonement).

Excavating JesusExcavating Jesus: Beneath the Stones, Behind the Texts *
By John Dominic Crossan, Jonathan L. Reed / Hardcover / October 2001

Crossan partners with archeologist Reed to demonstrate the material basis of the earlier textual arguments Crossan made in “The Historical Jesus.” With exceptional skill, the authors weave a spellbinding tale of the ways that recent archeological finds support the rich textual layers of the Gospel stories. Like any other book that uses archaeology to support its claims about the biblical texts, this one will be criticized for using material remains to read the Bible in a particular way. However, Crossan and Reed’s book provides a fascinating, beautifully illustrated and elegantly written account of the life and times of Jesus, providing readers with one of the richest glimpses into Jesus and his world now available. - Publishers Weekly

Faith, Morals, and Money: What the World's Religions Tell Us About Money in the Marketplace *
By Edward D. Zinbarg / Textbook Binding / October 2001

Zinbarg examines the faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism to discover what the world’s major religions have to say about modern business practices. What are buyers’ responsibilities to sellers? Is truth in advertising an ethical imperative? What do various religions say about exploiting cheap labor in underdeveloped countries? Zinbarg, a former executive v-p at Prudential Insurance who has studied theology in his retirement, cannot, of course, do justice to all of these religious traditions, but his comparative approach is quite useful--particularly in demonstrating how united religions are on questions of business ethics. Zinbarg shows that there are many different theological starting points among the world’s religious traditions, yet they reach remarkably similar conclusions about behavior in the marketplace. This is a compelling study. - Publishers Weekly

New Religious AmericaA New Religious America : How a Christian Country Has Become the World's Most Religiously Diverse Nation *
by Diana L. Eck / Hardcover / June 2001

"The United States is the most religiously diverse nation in the world," leading religious scholar Diana Eck writes in this eye-opening guide to the religious realities of America today.This book is complete with engaging characters, fascinating stories, the tragedy of misunderstanding and hatred, and the hope of new friendships, offering a road map to guide us all in the richly diverse America of the twenty-first century.

Let Let Us Break Bread TogetherUs Break Bread Together:
A Passover Haggadah for Christians
By Michael Smith and Rami Shapiro. / Paperback / Feb 2005

This brief primer is directed toward the thousands of North American Christians who will sit down to a seder meal this year--some on Passover, some on Maundy Thursday--"to explore and honor the Jewishness of Jesus and the Jewish roots of Christianity." It is the result of a unique collaboration between Smith, a Baptist minister in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and Shapiro, a rabbi in the same community. Following some introductory tips on how to set the table and a short discussion of the role of Passover in Jesus' life as recorded in the New Testament, the authors offer a script for a sample seder, encouraging participants to adapt it to their own needs. Some of the script's questions are informational ("What is the meaning of the roasted shank bone? Why do we use three pieces of matzah?") while others are more provocative and spiritual ("Can one who is a Christian be enslaved? How do we pursue peace?"). The book concludes with a helpful reading list of suggested books. Christians who are curious about Passover and would like to host or participate in a seder will not find a better guide that is written just for them. (Feb.) --By Jana Riess

Christianity 21st CenturyChristianity in the 21st Century
Edited by Deborah A. Brown, Ph.D / Paperback / April 2000

Professor Brown, layperson of the Diocese of Newark, has assembled nine original essays from among the most renowned theologians in the world. Karen Armstrong (History of God), Matthew Fox (Original Blessing), Robert Funk (founder, the Jesus Seminar), Gordon Kaufman, Paul Moore, Rustum Roy, Roger Shinn, Krister Stendahl, and Keith Ward write brilliantly on topics ranging form the future of God, ethics and genetic engineering, the future of religion and whole-person medicine, global concerns related to Christian ecology, and the don't-ask-don't-tell gay issue, to the very viability of Christianity as we know it.

Online ReligionGive Me That Online Religion *
by Brenda E. Brasher / Hardcover / Feb 2001 *

A provocative exploration of online religion-from virtual monks to millennial fever to spiritual cyborgs-and the profound influence that cybermedia exerts on our concept of God, way of worshiping, and practice of faith. Increasingly, spiritual seekers are finding their faith communities in cyberspace, creating a metamorphosis of our spiritual environment that is provoking monumental changes within each of us. That's the fundamental argument of this fascinating book. Author Brenda Brasher -- a keen observer of media culture and active participant in online religious communities -- looks closely at the ways in which the melding of cyberspace and sacred space influences our spiritual needs and aptitudes, our private dreams and public visions, our relationship to our bodies and to our material surroundings, and our emotional palettes and moral sensibilities.

thelordismyshepherd.comthelordismyshepherd.com : Seeking God in Cyberspace
by Joshua Hammerman / Paperback / Sep 2000

thelordismyshepherd.com opens a new and necessary dialogue on the soul of cyberspace. It will change the way people think about their computers, about God, about the future and about the interconnected destiny of humanity in this ever-shrinking world.


The Oxford Companion to Christian Thought
Adrian Hastings (Editor), Alistair Mason (Editor), Hugh Pyper (Editor) / Hardcover / Dec 2000

At the dawn of the third millennium, what does it mean to be a Christian? This reference work is an introduction in English to the living tradition of Christian thought -- the "spiritual, moral, and intellectual luggage" that Christians carry with them into the future. It focuses on the broad sweep of ideas rather than factual detail, surveying all traditions and centuries but concentrating more on the present than the past. The profound pluralism of Christianity determines the choice of subjects as well as the way they are handled, with contributors from all the main traditions writing on their own particular topic, expressing diversities of emphasis and even significant disagreements.


ChristianityChristianity: A Global History *
by David Chidester / Hardcover / Nov 2000

Christianity claims the allegiance of up to a third of the world's population and has had a profound impact on almost all the rest. In his accessible and comprehensive history, leading authority David Chidester examines the key doctrines and developments, from the ancient origins of Christian beliefs and practices during the first five centuries, through the historical transitions of the mediaeval and Byzantine era, to the global transformations of Christianity in the modern world.

More books in this category
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* * Secaucus Public Library

An interesting link for suggestions for further reading:

The 100 Best Spiritual Books of the 20th Century

Compiled by Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series.








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