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What is your favorite piece of Christian literature aside from the Bible?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on June 30, 2007

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Photo of Ken Komiya

Blue Like Jazz,’ by Donald Miller. He goes through the different aspects of Christian faith. He shies away from traditional conservative Christianity, which is kind of the appeal to it.”

Photo of Hope Atchison

Till We Have Faces,’ by C.S. Lewis. He takes a story from Greek mythology and interweaves his grief over his wife’s death. I think it’s really creative, enthralling, deeply emotional and well written.”

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As Kingfishers Catch Fire, Dragonflies Draw Flame,’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins. He wrote a lot about nature and God, and the connection between the two.”

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“Probably ‘Truth in Religious Belief,’ by Brendan Sweetman. It’s about a discussion among experts from various religious backgrounds on the big issues in religion.”

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Comments

jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

"The Carpenter and the Comedian: The Lighter Side of the Messiah." It's a collection of rare and little known quips, jokes, humorous quotes and more physical comedy that Jesus at times felt the desire to indulge in. My personal favorites are his tap-dancing on water routine and his impressions of various current political figures. His Herod, in particular, was spot-on.

Flap Doodle 7 years, 6 months ago

Harry Potter and the Pharaoh's Daughter (hey, that rhymes, groovy 4 me)

Kat Christian 7 years, 6 months ago

And what's wrong with traditional conservative christian teachings? We cannot decide how to be a good christian by customizer it to our taste. The Bible teaches us to be one and if it is conservative then this is who God is. Or does society (or the liberals) want to change that too?

blackwalnut 7 years, 6 months ago

sunshine_noise (Anonymous) says: And what's wrong with traditional conservative christian teachings? We cannot decide how to be a good christian by customizer it to our taste. The Bible teaches us to be one and if it is conservative then this is who God is. Or does society (or the liberals) want to change that too?

The Bible is filled with contradictions and ambiguities, and it's all a translation - all of which leads to great differences in understanding. If that were not true there would be only one Christian sect, not thousands.

(Nice slur on liberals. How very conservative of you, but was it Christian?)

Daniel Speicher 7 years, 6 months ago

Oddly enough, when we look at scripture, we see that Jesus was a huge political liberal. He ticked off every conservative in his time... The Pharisees, the Saduccees, the Roman Government... Every entity who wanted "status quo" (conservatism), Jesus blasted their views and even went as far as to call them "white washed sepulchers." Now, I'm not particularly saying Christ would be a liberal in today's context. However, I think there is a case to say that He certainly wouldn't be conservative. He's never been conservative... He's a progressive, ever-revealing God. Furthermore, He is a God who is concerned about the needy, concerned about life as it is here on earth for His creation. While the more conservative Christians can preach that the reason to get saved is because someday we will enter the Kingdom of God if we do so... I, and other "less conservative" Christians contest that the Kingdom of God is here and now, and He cares just as much about our lives now as He does about our eternal lives.

--Danny Speicher

Jamesaust 7 years, 6 months ago

"The Bible teaches us to be one and if it is conservative then this is who God is."

But of course the Bible teaches us the opposite.

The idea that Jesus was "conservative" is so transparently untrue that one wonders about the agenda of anyone would make such a statement.

Go back and re-read the Bible, this time remembering that YOU are Pharaoh, YOU are Pontius Pilate, YOU are the Pharisees.

sgtwolverine 7 years, 6 months ago

I enjoyed The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis).

Blue Like Jazz is worth reading, as long as the reader remembers that Miller is not a scholar. Blue Like Jazz works because Miller isn't trying to be a scholar; he's just trying to tell his own story, and that personal storytelling is his strength. His next book (Searching For God Knows What) struggled more because he wandered outside his strength.

karensisson 7 years, 6 months ago

Christians went down a wrong path when they allowed the neocon politicians to redefine them for their own political purposes.

The result was something as far away as possible from the values Christ taught.

jonas 7 years, 6 months ago

Tiger: You have an. . . errr. . . .interesting post history.

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

"Interview with a Vampire." It mentions crosses.

Jamesaust 7 years, 6 months ago

"Christian literature is like Christian rock."

Haha! I'd never connect the question with South Park's "Christian Hard Rock" where the little fat kid makes a killing on singing "Christian" songs that are really just love songs substituting Jesus for the object.

"Don't ever leave me, Jesus. I couldn't stand to see you go. My heart would simply snap, my Lord, if you walked on out that door. I promise I'll be good to you, and keep you warm at night. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, why don't we just... shut off the lights."

RKLOG 7 years, 6 months ago

Christian literature is an oxymoron.

beatrice 7 years, 6 months ago

RI, I think objectivism is overrated and that Any Rand wrote for self-centered, selfish types. For a better read, try something on the biography of Helen Keller.

camper 7 years, 6 months ago

Leo Tolstoy, "The Gospel In Brief" is excellent....as are all of his essays on Jesus' teachings. Tolstoy masterfully chronicles how we can apply these teachings to our lives which in turn can give more meaning to our existence. The writings are also very easy to read (he wished to write these essays in a way that could be understood by all ages and education levels....these writings are neither defensive nor condemning).

Christian music - I find that most of it is very bad. Secular artists seem to approach the subject with more sincerity and inspiration.

erod0723 7 years, 6 months ago

RI, I would agree with you on Ayn Rand. Her books can be a long and daunting read, but I have felt satisfaction at the end of each of her novels that I never did from reading much of the bible.

DaveR 7 years, 6 months ago

Myth & Ritual in Christianity, by Alan Watts. I chanced upon it many years ago at the KU bookstore. It was the first book I ever read on Christianity that actually explained it in its own terms. Among other things, it identifies Christ and Adam as the same individual. This was profound in many ways and became an anchor in my metaphysical studies.

The Bible as a whole is a ramble. Tiny extracts only are suitable for the general public. True study demands wide outside reading & a fair amount of life's own seasoning. For every obscenity (David counting out foreskins before Saul in I Samuel), there are unexpected gems to be found in such mundane tales as the Good Shepard and his Sheep. Or the horrifying consequences of a failed Aquarian Age in Genesis 19. With Nietzsche's best gloves to protect us, we return to the Bible again & again, each time learning anew.

Jamesaust 7 years, 6 months ago

Tiger -

or,

"I love you, Jesus. I want you to walk with me I'll take good care of you baby. Call you my baby, baby! You died for my sins, and you know that I would die for you, right? What's the matter, baby? You tremble at Jesus, baby! Your love is my life! You know when I'm without you, there's a black hole in my life! Oo-ohhh I wanna believe. It's all right, 'cause I get lonely in the night and it's up to you to save me! Jesus baby!"

I won't quote any more as I believe it violates LJWorld's policy terms for what's printable on a 'family' website.

Tumaini33 7 years, 6 months ago

Sunshine_noise.... chill out. The Bible is the bread of life, but there's nothing wrong with come non-traditional teachings. Which, by the way, tend to be more "up to par" with moder society than some other things. God and his Son are not forgotten about in these books.

Tumaini33 7 years, 6 months ago

Easy Tiger... you spelled Bataille wrong. P.S. Sounds from your comments like you need a big hug. Why not try being calm and loving in here... might make you feel a lot better about your own life. Poor you.

Crossfire 7 years, 6 months ago

How We Lost Weight and Kept It Off by Jim Bakker and Tammy Bakker

Got this great piece of literature from a fat lady at a garage sale. Don't think it worked for her, but she had the Tammy Fay makeup thing down.

Eileen Jones 7 years, 6 months ago

The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Weezy_Jefferson 7 years, 6 months ago

Are you kidding me, hitme?? Christians have been "killing people in the name of their religious arrogance" for centuries.

purplesage 7 years, 6 months ago

C. S. Lewis: "The Chronicles of Narnia" are delightful and engaging. "Mere Christianity" is profound and thought provoking. His quotes are such that they dot most (conservative) Christian writing and preaching from the last 60 years.

Oracle_of_Rhode 7 years, 6 months ago

"I will pray for you"

TRANSLATION: "I think you're going to hell."

DaveR 7 years, 6 months ago

In Narnia the lion memorably tells one of the girls that you can only know your own story. Never anyone else's. In other words, yours, but not your father's. There are wonderful insights everywhere you look, if you know how to look.

purplesage 7 years, 6 months ago

How did the question of a favorite piece of Christian literature become a spigot for the outlet of such anti-Chrisitan venom? Try to just answer the question: Aside from the Bible, what is your favorite piece of Christian literature? If you don't have one, just say so. If you want to offer a favorite religious writing from another tradition or faith, that's OK. But this is nuts.

acg 7 years, 6 months ago

I liked The Necronomicon (the book of spells, not the Lovecraft novel). Is that considered Christian? LOL. ; )

Jamesaust 7 years, 6 months ago

What's interesting is that no one mentioned that loathsome "Left Behind" series.

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