Our first list of 2014 covers a wide spectrum, from angels to Asian religions, and authors from Jefferson Bethke (youtube poet) to TV presenter Joyce Meyer.
Beyond betrayal : trouble in the promised land – restoring the mission to Māori, by Keith Newman.
“After the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, a succession of governors resisted missionary advice, despite their local knowledge and peacemaking skills, and influenced a raft of misunderstandings that provoked violent outbreaks across the country. The rise of Māori prophetic movements, and an intense desire for Māori to have a unified political voice, saw allegiances split between those supporting the government and those frustrated at failed Treaty promises. The pressure to surrender tribal lands had the same impact – a shattered economy and a dispossessed people.” (Back cover) This follows on from the author’s Bible & Treaty : missionaries among the Māori, which the library also owns.
How to wake up : a Buddhist-inspired guide to navigating joy and sorrow, by Toni Bernhard.
“The author begins with the core idea that life is a string of experiences engendered by and producing suffering. From here Bernhard walks her readers through the concepts used in Buddhism to accept and engage this state of being and, in doing so, hopefully become more awake to the reality of life. The book is organized around three fundamental tenets of the Buddha’s teachings wisdom, mindfulness, and open-mindedness with each section broken into chapters that examine these ideas and offer practices that help incorporate them into daily life. Bernhard presents all of this in an easy, straightforward manner that will reassure readers who are less familiar with Buddhist tradition.” (from Booklist review, courtesy of Syndetics)
The faithful scribe : a story of Islam, Pakistan, family and war, by Shahan Mufti.
Journalist Mufti, incorporates the stories of his family and ancestors into the larger story of Pakistan and America both before and after 9/11. He tells of his family’s experiences briefly living in Ohio before they moved back to Pakistan. “This astonishingly detailed, well-researched history is brought to life by the addition of Mufti’s personal story’ and journalistic acumen.” (Publisher Weekly, courtesy of syndetics)
Asian religions : a cultural perspective, by Randall L Nadeau.
“This all-embracing introduction to Asian religious practices and beliefs takes a unique approach; not only does it provide a complete overview of the basic tenets of the major Asian religions, but it also demonstrates how Asian spiritualities are lived and practiced, exploring the meaning and significance they hold for believers. In a series of engaging and lively chapters, the book explores the beliefs and practices of Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Japanese religions, including Shinto. Using a comparative approach, it highlights the contrasts between Asian and Western modes of thinking and living, and debates the influence of religion on real-world issues including work, economic growth, the environment, human rights, and gender relations.” (publisher’s description)
World religions, by Markus Hattstein.
Presents information on the world’s main religions concisely, including cultural and historical contexts. Although it aims to be no more than ‘a quick guide’ the text is supplemented by timelines, illustrations and maps.
A million little ways : uncover the art you were made to live, by Emily P. Freeman.
Uncovers the personal creative imprint God has placed upon every individual, and encourages readers to reexamine their lives by approaching it the way an artist approaches a canvas–with wonder, bravery, and hope. (Syndetics summary)
God is not mad at you : you can experience real love, acceptance & guilt-free living, by Joyce Meyer.
Another title from one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers. She teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. Her candid communication style allows her to share openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives. Joyce has written nearly 100 books, which have been translated into 100 languages.
Band of angels : the forgotten world of early Christian women, by Kate Cooper.
“Cooper reveals a vivid picture of the triumphs and hardships of the first mothers of the infant church. As far as recorded history is concerned, women in the ancient world lived almost invisibly in a man’s world. Piecing together their story from the few contemporary accounts that have survived requires painstaking detective work, but it can render both the past and the present in a new light. Following the lives of influential women across the first centuries of the church, Band of Angels tells the remarkable story of how a new way of understanding relationships took root in the ancient world.” (publisher’s description)
Angel prayers : harnessing the help of heaven to create miracles, by Kyle Gray.
“Do you ever feel frustrated because your prayers are going unanswered, and you feel like God and the Angels are not listening? If you are feeling unsupported, Angel Prayers will turn this situation around for good. Kyle reveals how to use affirmative prayer to focus on the positive outcome of a situation rather than praying to change something that is perceived as negative. Learn about: the power of prayer, demonstrated by true stories from Kyle’s clients, and his own personal experiences, the spiritual laws at play in the world and how your words and intentions affect your life.” (Syndetics summary)
Killing Jesus : a history, by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Bill O’Reilly and Dugard team up again for this investigation into another murder of major cultural and historical icons – this time a thorough account of the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ by the Romans. Although drawing heavily (but not exclusively) on biblical sources, the authors state that though they are Roman Catholics, their aim is not to write a religious book, but an historical account of an historical figure. One of the book’s strengths is setting Jesus in his historical, political and social contexts.
Jesus > religion : why He is so much better than trying harder, doing more, and being good enough, by Jefferson Bethke.
This book is based on material similar to his highly successful youtube video ‘Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus’ which has been viewed over 26 million times. Told through the lens of his own life story, which is far from perfect, his aim is to shine the spotlight on Jesus and separate Him from church culture. His message is accessible : old truth but in modern language e.g. We’ve never said the f- word out loud, but not supported our local homeless community either. A challenge to any wanting to live lives consistent with their beliefs.