Everybody’s spiritual journey is different. These books have been helpful on my own. They are books for the deconstructing-reconstructing-religion spiritual journey.
Summer 2022 Reading List
Stages of Faith — James W. Fowler
Integral Christianity — Paul R. Smith
The Sleep Fix — Diane Macedo
Cassandra Speaks — Elizabeth Lesser
The Road Back to You — Ian Morgan Cron & Suzanne Stabile
The Four Loves — CS Lewis
Pachinko — Min Jin Lee
Stolen Focus — Johann Hari
Bomb Shelter — Mary Laura Philpott
Hood Feminism — Mikki Kendall
Educated — Tara Westover
Big Summer — Jennifer Weiner
Born A Crime — Trevor Noah
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee — Dee Brown
Call Us What We Carry — Amanda Gorman
Wild Mercy — Mirabai Starr
Reforesting Faith — Matthew Sleeth
The Other Half of Church — Michel Hendricks & Jim Wilder
Books I’ve Written
Rethinking Our Story: Can We Still Be Christian in the Quantum Era?
It’s a recap of a decade of work our community did together, stripping our religious narrative down to the core, going back into our ancient history, and rebuilding it from scratch. We thought the process was life giving. Our denomination didn’t think so. They kicked us out.
Rethinking Sex Ed: The Wisdom of Religion . . . Without the Crazy
Rethinking religion inevitably led us to rethink ritual. In our community’s teenager ritual, the community makes a series of pledges to them. When we were writing the ritual, we realized we needed to help them through our society’s (and our own) sexual confusion. We needed a shared understanding of sexual wisdom. So I wrote the book.
I use my blog to rough draft my books. I’m rough-drafting one now, about how to rebuild a healthy version of organized religion.
Books I’ve Mentioned Sundays
The Righteous Mind — Jonathan Haidt
Doing Good Better — William Macaskill
What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality — Daniel A. Helminiak
Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think — Steven Kotler
Just Mercy — Bryan Stevenson
Completing Capitalism: Heal Business to Heal the World — Bruno Roche
Moral Man in Immoral Society — Reinhold Niebuhr
How Nonviolent Struggle Works — Gene Sharp
The Lost Art of Listening — Michael P. Nichols
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow — Yuval Noah Harari
Books on Race and Racial Equity
White Fragility — Robin DiAngelo
Me and White Supremacy — Layla Saad
So You Want to Talk About Race — Ijeoma Oluo
How to Be an Antiracist — Ibram X. Kendi
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? — Beverly Daniel Tatum
The New Jim Crow — Michelle Alexander
Stamped from the Beginning — Ibram X. Kendi
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You — Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
Just Mercy — Bryan Stevenson
Books for the Deconstruction-Reconstruction Journey
Rohr points us to inner spiritual transformation that helps us heal our worlds.
Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life
Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality
Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps
Early on, McLaren helped me realize we’re living through a religious-reformation moment in history. He suggests helpful insights for navigating the journey.
A New Kind of Christian
The Story We Find Ourselves In
The Last Word and the Word after That: A Tale of Faith, Doubt and a New Kind of Christianity
A Generous Orthodoxy
Finding Our Way Again
Everything Must Change
A New Kind of Christianity
Tickle positions this moment of religious upheaval in the larger context of thousands of years of religious history.
The Great Emergence: How Christianity Is Changing and Why
Emergence Christianity: What It Is, Where It Is Going, and Why It Matters
The Age of the Spirit: How the Ghost of an Ancient Controversy Is Shaping the Church
Butler-Bass helped me get my head around just how different, Christianity will be after we’ve gone through this Reformation.
Christianity After Religion
Christianity for the Rest of Us
A People’s History of Christianity
Palmer comes from the Quaker tradition. It’s seems the Quakers figured out how to be Christian in this new worldview—even before the worldview was here.
A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
The Active Life: A Spirituality of Work, Creativity, and Caring
Healing the Heart of Democracy
Rosenberg was very helpful when we were first working on self-awareness and conflict resolution.
Living Nonviolent Communication
Rolheiser is deeply rooted in Christianity’s contemplative roots. I’ve found his writing inspiring.
The Shattered Lantern: Rediscovering a Felt Presence of God
The Holy Longing: The Search for A Christian Spirituality
Sinetar started as a business consultant who realized how important spirituality is for personal development. I found her non-religious instincts very helpful.
Sometimes Enough is Enough: Spiritual Comfort in a Material World
Ordinary People as Monks and Mystics
Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow
We’ve talked a lot about the value of wilderness wandering on the spiritual journey. May’s book gave me mystical-psychological language to understand the experience.
The Dark Night of the Soul : A Psychiatrist Explores the Connection Between Darkness and Spiritual Growth
Our community had already reconciled our religion and full acceptance of LGBT people. But when we found this memoir, it was deeply moving.
Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion
Paul R. Smith
Smith applies the work of Ken Wilbur and Integral theory to the Christian tradition.
Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve
A primer on mindfulness meditation for Christians. Reworking the ancient practice of lectio divina, Keating invites us to the practice of centering prayer.
Open Mind, Open Heart: The Contemplative Dimension of the Gospel
It’s a long book. But if you’ve got the stamina, if fundamentally frames the human condition.
The Denial of Death
Because Rome never got control over the Celts, they were able to walk a very different spiritual journey. I find their spiritual instincts very helpful.
Christ of the Celts — J. Phillip Newell
The Celtic Way of Evangelism — George G. Hunter
The Celtic Way of Prayer — Esther de Waal
How the Irish Saved Civilization — Thomas Cahill
When we were first reimagining God, beyond “our father in heaven,” these books were helpful.
Honest to God — John A. T. Robinson
The Evolution of God — Robert Wright
Eternal Life: A New Vision — John Shelby Spong
A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam — Karen Armstrong
A chief enemy of spirituality is busyness. These books help us realize that, and give us strategies for healthier lives.
Margin — Richard Swenson
In Praise of Slowness — Carl Honore (also a TED talk)
Some Helpful Daily-Reading Books
The Way to Love — Anthony DeMello
Let Go —Francois Fenelon
A Testament of Devotion — Thomas R. Kelly
When Things Fall Apart — Pema Chodron
The Places that Scare You — Pema Chodron