I had a wonderful opportunity to buy some books this week. I had not seen my folks since I finished my Masters (they had been out of the country) and as part of my graduation gift I got to shop on Amazon!  What a gift.

It was especially fun since I am in this new program and have some books that come up frequently in my classes – books that I have not read and do not have in my collection.  So I got 12 new books. pretty exciting for a grad student

After the flurry of activity was over – I had to make some quick decisions between my official ‘wishlist’ in Amazon and the unofficial list in my Moleskin notebook – I got the confirmation email from Amazon and an interesting trend developed.

Most of the books that I picked fell into two broad categories: the diversity of the early church and the multiplicity of the world that we live in now. This was an interesting revelation to me and I realized that the place where those two things come together really is my passion. As a Practical Theologian in training, my concern is the intersection of the theological diversity of the tradition & the practices in the world as it exists.

“Where the diversity of the past meets the multiplicity of the present” really does sum up the great concern of my heart for the church.  It is interesting to see the juncture of these two themes in a single book order.

Books that I am most excited about:

The Past

– The Churches the Apostles left behind  by Raymond Brown

– Unity and Diversity in the New Testament by James Dunn

– The Emergence of the Church by Arthur Patzia

The Present

– God is not One by Stephen Prothero

– Transforming Christian Theology by Philip Clayton

– A New Religious America by Diane Eck

– Modern Social Imaginaries by Charles Taylor

honorable mentions

– Oil & Water: Two Faiths – One God by Amir Hussain

– Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington

– Theology for the Community of God by Stanley Grenz