Book of the Month Club
Join us each 2nd Thursday at 5:45 PM for our Book of the Month.
- Bring your book ready to discuss & a dish to share.
- How do I get my book? Either purchase online, or contact the church office to order for you. The church library will have a limited number of free copies for use. Please do not let cost be an obstacle to attending.
Ben Hylden (Jan. 12) “Finding Faith in the Field” by Ben Hylden
On a cold April day, Ben Hylden tried on his suit coat for the upcoming school prom, then sped toward nearby Park River, ND, for an appointment. Running late and driving too fast, he lost control of his car on ice, flipped the car and was thrown out the passenger's door-plunging face first into an icy field. Ben's face and body were crushed, along with his dreams of being a basketball star. As his battered body lay in the field, Ben's life seemed to be coming to an end. However, it turned out to only be the beginning of a remarkable journey of faith that showed him glimpses of life beyond this world, and gave him a new perspective on what matters most.
Pastor Hylden (February 9) “The Life We’re Looking For” by Andy Crouch
In The Life We’re Looking For, bestselling author Andy Crouch shows how we have been seduced by a false vision of human flourishing—and how each of us can fight back. From the social innovations of the early Christian movement to the efforts of entrepreneurs working to create more humane technology, Crouch shows how we can restore true community and put people first in a world dominated by money, power, and devices.
There is a way out of our impersonal world, into a world where knowing and being known are the heartbeat of our days, our households, and our economies. Where our vulnerabilities are seen not as something to be escaped but as the key to our becoming who we were made to be together. Where technology serves us rather than masters us—and helps us become more human, not less.
Check out this great podcast discussion on Mere Fidelity here:
Lana Potter (March 9) “Learning to Walk in the Dark” by Barbara Brown Taylor
Taylor has become increasingly uncomfortable with our tendency to associate all that is good with lightness and all that is evil and dangerous with darkness. Doesn’t God work in the nighttime as well? In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” She argues that we need to move away from our “solar spirituality” and ease our way into appreciating “lunar spirituality” (since, like the moon, our experience of the light waxes and wanes). Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways, and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen. Often, it is while we are in the dark that we grow the most.
With her characteristic charm and literary wisdom, Taylor is our guide through a spirituality of the nighttime, teaching us how to find our footing in times of uncertainty and giving us strength and hope to face all of life’s challenging moments.
Vincent Bacote (April 13) The Political Disciple by Vincent Bacote
“What might it mean for public and political life to be understood as an important dimension of following Jesus? As a part of Zondervan’s Ordinary Theology series, Vincent E. Bacote’s The Political Disciple addresses this question by considering not only whether Christians have (or need) permission to engage the public square, but also what it means to reflect Christlikeness in our public practice, as well as what to make of the typically slow rate of social change and the tension between relative allegiance to a nation and/or a political party and ultimate allegiance to Christ. Pastors, laypeople, and college students will find this concise volume a handy primer on Christianity and public life.”
Daniel Hawk (May 11) “The Violence of the Biblical God” by L. Daniel Hawk
How can we make sense of violence in the Bible? Joshua commands the people of Israel to wipe out everyone in the promised land of Canaan, while Jesus commands God’s people to love their enemies. How are we to interpret biblical passages on violence when it is sanctioned at one point and condemned at another?
The Violence of the Biblical God by L. Daniel Hawk presents a new framework, solidly rooted in the authority of Scripture, for understanding the paradox of God’s participation in violence. Hawk shows how the historical narrative of the Bible offers multiple canonical pictures for faithful Christian engagement with the violent systems of the world.
Pastor Hylden (June 8) “Reading While Black” by Esau McCaully
Growing up in the American South, Esau McCaulley knew firsthand the ongoing struggle between despair and hope that marks the lives of some in the African American context. A key element in the fight for hope, he discovered, has long been the practice of Bible reading and interpretation that comes out of traditional Black churches. This ecclesial tradition is often disregarded or viewed with suspicion by much of the wider church and academy, but it has something vital to say.
Reading While Black is a personal and scholarly testament to the power and hope of Black biblical interpretation. At a time in which some within the African American community are questioning the place of the Christian faith in the struggle for justice, New Testament scholar McCaulley argues that reading Scripture from the perspective of Black church tradition is invaluable for connecting with a rich faith history and addressing the urgent issues of our times. He advocates for a model of interpretation that involves an ongoing conversation between the collective Black experience and the Bible, in which the particular questions coming out of Black communities are given pride of place and the Bible is given space to respond by affirming, challenging, and, at times, reshaping Black concerns. McCaulley demonstrates this model with studies on how Scripture speaks to topics often overlooked by white interpreters, such as ethnicity, political protest, policing, and slavery.
Ultimately McCaulley calls the church to a dynamic theological engagement with Scripture, in which Christians of diverse backgrounds dialogue with their own social location as well as the cultures of others. Reading While Black moves the conversation forward.
Linda Hartzfeld (July 13) Victorious Emotions by Wendy Backlund
“Are you tired of trying hard to be happy and victorious?Are you tired of working hard at enjoying life? Then this book is for you. Victorious Emotions will help create happiness as your default emotion. Even if we have unhappy circumstances, we can build a system of beliefs that, as effortless as the tides, will always bring us back to joy.Victorious Emotions gives powerful, practical strategies to live out Romans 12:2, which says to be transformed by the renewing of the mind. The word "renewing" in the Greek means renovation. This book is about renovating and reconstructing the pathways and strongholds of our thinking. It explores how our brains create certain belief systems and how to intentionally create new ones.The goal of this book is not to focus on eliminating negative emotions, but to build a tidal wave of victorious emotions that are pulled into our lives as easily and surely as the ocean tides will appear every day. It is time to be overtaken by emotions that lead us into victory!”