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An Eclectic Reading List for Lent - Lent Resources

Updated: Jan 25

by Rev. Rob Merola, originally posted on DaddyRoBlog, Feb. 17, 2013

Image of The Screwtape Letters What we Talk about When We Talk About God by Rob Bell and The Winter of Discontent Books

Yesterday we talked about reading the Bible during Lent. Today I’d like to suggest some other books as well.

Two excellent choices might be CS Lewis’: The Screwtape Letters or The Great Divorce. Screwtape is a humorous look at the nature of temptation. The Great Divorce is an utterly fascinating story about the two paths that are always before us, one leading to heaven, the other to hell. It is anything but fire and brimstone, and I can pretty much guarantee it will make you think.

Two literary choices might be The Winter of our Discontent and Flannery O’ Connor’s Revelation. I read The Winter of Our Discontent every year. It reminds me of how important it is to let our light shine, and how easily it can go out.

Scot McKnight is another author I have benefitted tremendously from reading. If you haven’t read The Jesus Creed, that’s probably the place to start. Other suggestions might be The King Jesus Gospel and Fasting, but really, you can’t go wrong with anything he’s written.

Perhaps of particular interest to us Episcopalians are The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Books. You will probably have to work a bit harder to understand these, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I found last year’s Love Unknown quite challenging to me personally. I have not read the whole book yet, but this year’s Abiding looks to be equally good. Speaking of the Archbishop (now retired), Rowan William's Faith in the Public Square is a powerful, powerful book. But make no mistake: it is also quite difficult. The gems are there, but they are not at all easy to access. Definitely not for everyone.

A book I haven’t read but which is on my list (I try not to make any non-essential purchases during Lent, so it’s going to have to wait) is Eric Seibert’s: The Violence of Scripture: Overcoming the Old Testament's Troubling Legacy. Can’t vouch for it but it looks equal parts interesting and helpful.

For Rob Bell lovers: What We Talk About When We Talk About God. I can’t vouch for it either, but it too promises to be most interesting.

If you want a good book that discusses the basic Christian Disciplines such as prayer, meditation, or simplicity, Richard Foster's The Celebration of Discipline is still the best I’ve come across. Really good stuff.

Finally, two authors for whom my enthusiasm remains undimmed are Henri Nouwen and Frederick Buechner.

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