In preparation for Lent and Holy Week at church, I have been looking over several books and I thought I might recommend a few. The list is not exhaustive by any means. Just a couple of choices that you may find stimulating and provocative especially at this time in the church year.
Saving Jesus from the Church: How to Stop Worshiping Christ and Start Following Jesus by Robin R. Meyers
Meyers is a UCC pastor and this book does a great job of offering new ways of looking at Christian beliefs based on solid scholarship including ancient sources. It departs from traditional orthodox Christian theology in refreshing ways. Meyers is pastor of Mayflower UCC in Oklahoma City which describes itself as an “unapologetically Christian, unapologetically liberal” church.
Beyond the Passion: Rethinking the Death and Life of Jesus by Stephen J. Patterson Patterson is a UCC minister and former seminary professor. He now heads Westar Institute which spawned the Jesus Seminar and now the Bible Seminar. This book examines how Jesus’ death fits into its original setting and the culture of the time. It is an excellent overview of what Jesus’ death meant in its original context. Very informative reading. Don’t be daunted by the fact that the author is a professor!
The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’s Final Days in Jerusalem by Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan
This book traces the historical evidence for the last week of Jesus’ life. It is a very illuminating presentation that offers much to stimulate a deeper understanding of Jesus’ life and death.