Nichola Torbett of Oakland’s Seminary of the Street recently posted this great question:
Radical Christian friends, what books do you recommend that do deep exegesis of Matthew and Luke of the sort that Ched Myers has done on Mark and Wes Howard-Brook has done with John? And actually, while I have your attention, what are your indispensable go-to books for radical Christian inspiration?
Here are some of the responses:
Warren Carter’s “Matthew and the Margins” is a personal favorite of mine, as is Kavin Rowe’s “World Upside Down” (which is a commentary on Acts but obviously has a lot of implications for reading Luke).
Also, for Paul, Elsa Tamez’s “Amnesty of Grace” and her commentary on 1 Timothy are quite good – and Douglas Campbell makes similar arguments in “Deliverance of God” which is also good if you need a doorstop.
I know that Ched is working on a book on the economic passages in Luke, and Sue and I will be working on a Luke commentary, following up on our work on the radicaldiscipleship.net blog commentary we’re currently doing. I would second Warren Carter’s work on Matthew. An older classic is Mike Crosby’s “House of Disciples,” which should be better known.
Almost anything by Richard Horsley is also worth a read…
That puts [Jacque] Ellul on the list. I was just using his “The Meaning of the City” in my Genesis class today, on the Tower of Babel.
Speaking of which: most of Ellul’s books are biblical commentaries, and they are quite good.
You know, Gregory, he used to publish books in pairs: one sociology and one biblical commentary at the same time. “Technological Society” was paired with “The Meaning of the City.” Do you know Andy Alexis-Baker? He’s a big Ellul guy.
Jen will have my head if she sees that I’ve been in a discussion like this and not mentioned Sylvia Keesmaat and Brian Walsh’s “Colossians Remixed”
I’ve also been getting into Robert Ewusie Moses’ “Practices of Power,” of late, as an additional resource to Keesmaat/Walsh on the (maybe or maybe not) deutero/Pauline writings
Tamez’s book on 1Timothy is indeed excellent. Our monthly Saturday Paul series ends in May with those fraudulent Pastoral Epistles.
My go to’s: Pastor Jim Jones, who’s behind The Sacred Revolution; Walter Bruggemann, Yoder, of course. Because my focus is on down and dirty praxis, McLaren–most notably, ‘A Generous Orthodoxy’. Augsberger’s ‘Dissident Discipleship’
I *loved* Dissident Discipleship. It was almost my very first introduction to this new way of thinking about Jesus and what it means to follow…
I would pick up anything by Frances Taylor Gench. She’s done a lot with “uppity women.” I’m also a big big fan of Nyasha Junior’s new book Intro to Womanist Biblical Interpretation. Even if you have to read articles, find stuff written by women and women of color. It will change your preaching! I’m also reading Brian Blount’s stuff voraciously.
“God is Not a Christian” by Archbishop Desmond Tutu is one of my favorites for inspiration
Anything by William Stringfellow. Particularly “An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land.”
This is all very helpful. Thanks! Now I want to play, too. I’m reading Theodore Jennings TRANSFORMING ATONEMENT right now and am underlining every other sentence.
I find it helpful regularly to re-read some of Martin Luther King’s sermons.
“Spirituality and Justice” by Donal Dorr, Irish Liberation Theologist
Harvey Cox’s *The Future of Faith*. Can you recommend a good simple book on liberation theology?
John Shelby Spong’s books has a tendency to get my Jesus radical party started: Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile or The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic ….I’ve you tubed his lectures on this and they are good!!!
Matt Prinz Carter’s ‘matthew and the margins’