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BOOK OF THE MONTH
Medicine, and What Matters in the End.
Atul Gawande. 304pp. Allen & Unwin. Ref 309220. $24.99.
revolutionary and emotionally searing account of death, dying and
examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of
aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits
of what he can do. And he emerges with story that crosses the globe and
history, exploring questions that range from the curious to the profound:
happens to people's teeth as they get old?
beings really commit senecide, the sacrifice of the elderly?
Why do the
aged so dread nursing homes and hospitals?
someone give another person the dreadful news that they will die?
This is a
story told only as Atul Gawande can – penetrating people's lives and also
the systems that have evolved to govern our mortality. Those systems, he
observes, routinely fail to serve — or even acknowledge — people's needs
and priorities beyond mere survival. And the consequences are devastating
lives, families, and even whole economies. But, as he reveals, it doesn't
have to be this way.
Gawande has delivered an engrossing tale of science, history and
remarkable characters in the vein of Oliver Sacks.
Click here for:
* * * Matariki * * *
Progressive Authors Podcasts
of the Spirit 2015-2016
and print books
Philip Garside Publishing
Jesus and Brian:
the Historical Jesus and His Times via Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Joan E. Taylor. 268pp. Bloomsbury T&T Clark. Ref 306677. $42.99.
Python's Life of Brian film is known for its brilliant satirical
humour. Less well known is that the film contains references to what was,
at the time of its release, cutting edge biblical scholarship and Life of
Jesus research. This research, founded on the acceptance of the Historical
Jesus as a Jew who needs to be understood within the context of his time,
is implicitly referenced through the setting of the Brian character within
a tumultuous social and political background.
collection is a compilation of essays from foremost scholars of the
historical Jesus and the first century Judaea, and includes contributions
from: George Brooke, Richard Burridge, Paula Fredriksen, Steve
Mason, Adele Reinhartz, Bart Ehrman, Amy-Jill Levine, James
Crossley, Philip Davies, Joan Taylor, Bill Telford, Helen Bond, Guy
Steibel, David Tollerton, David Shepherd and Katie Turner.
collection opens up the Life of Brian to renewed investigation and,
in so doing, uses the film to reflect on the historical Jesus and his
times, revitalising the discussion of history and Life of Jesus research.
The volume also features a Preface from Terry Jones, who not only directed
the film, but also played Brian's mum.
Lance O'Sullivan. 256pp. Penguin. Ref 307653. $38.00.
O'Sullivan is a man on a mission. Raised in Auckland by a solo mother, he
had a modest upbringing typical of the time, if one chequered with
difficulties. After being expelled from two schools, Lance could have gone
off the rails. Instead, he found his way at Hato Petera College,
connecting with his Maori ancestry, and going on to study medicine. After
a brief but outstanding career working as a GP in the public health
system, Lance and his wife Tracy quit their day jobs to set up a
ground-breaking practice in the Far North that offers free healthcare to
the many who can't afford it.
work, Lance has been acknowledged as a Sir Peter Blake Emerging Leader,
Public Health Champion, Maori of the Year and, most recently, Kiwibank New
Zealander of the Year.
brave and free-thinking, Lance stood up when no one else would. The
Good Doctor charts his inspirational, one-of-a-kind life story, while
relaying an overarching hope for a better New Zealand.
Personal Reflections on the Liturgy. Joy Cowley. 96pp. Pleroma. Ref
regular mass goers, the liturgy can become a familiar road to the
destination of Holy Communion and we stroll past gifts that wait for us in
words and phrases. There is a wealth of divine connection in the liturgy
if we are open to receive it.
contents of this book are not exegesis or commentary, but pauses on the
road to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying. This form of lectio divina
can be called ‘listening with the ears of the heart,’ and I invite you to
make your own sacred pauses during the mass. Hear what you are meant to
hear, and write your own prayer responses.” Joy Cowley, from her
introduction to the book.
will also become a treasured resource for those in other denominations who
want to experience more deeply their Holy Communion and Eucharist
Psalms, Poems and Haiku. Mark Gibson. 138pp. Philip Garside
book Ref 306162 $25.00. eBooks (ePub Ref 306283, Kindle ref 306291, PDF
ref 306306) $8.99.
earthquakes struck Christchurch in 2010–2011 and caused obvious damage to
buildings, the land and waterways. The emotional impact of these events on
the people who lived through them is harder to see. For many people, the
city and life they knew has gone, but they are not yet able to move
forward – they are stuck in-between. In this moving collection,
Mark Gibson tells their story.
psalms put before God the hurts, frustrations, injustices and despair that
people feel. They also offer praise and point to a new appreciation of the
natural world around us and to hope for a brighter future.
which document and reflect on the author’s unfolding pastoral and
spiritual journey, are grouped into broad categories:
offer playful, snapshot impressions of living through the four seasons:
autumn, winter, spring and summer.
this collection for personal nourishment, strength in difficult times or
use in worship. You are not alone. There is hope.
Complete Collection – DVD.
Rob Bell. All Regions. Zondervan. Ref 306660. $79.99.
first time ever, all 24 NOOMA films featuring New York Times bestselling
author Rob Bell are available in one 2-disc video package.
with the awareness that God is doing something, right here, right now, and
anybody can be a part of it. He encouraged his listeners to search, to
question, to wrestle with the implications of what he was saying and
doing. He inspired, challenged, provoked, comforted, and invited people to
be open to God's work in this world. Wherever he went, whatever he did,
Jesus started discussions about what matters most, because for Jesus, God
is always inviting us to open our eyes and join in.
NOOMA is a
series of short films that explore our world from a perspective of Jesus.
NOOMA is an invitation to search, question, and join the discussion.
Change of Heart:
Justice, Mercy, and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer. Jeanne
Bishop. 184pp. Hbk. Westminster John Knox. Ref 302616. $29.99.
begins with tragedy: the murder of Jeanne Bishop's sister Nancy, along
with Nancy's husband and their unborn child, in their home some 25 years
ago. In her dying moments, Nancy wrote a message in her own blood at the
crime scene: a heart shape and the letter "u," last words of love.
killer, a local teenager, was arrested for the murders, he denied
responsibility for the crime and showed no remorse. After the murderer was
tried, convicted and sentenced, Bishop determined to forgive and then
forget him. Bishop became a public defender, an outspoken opponent of
capital punishment, and a supporter of the sentence her sister's killer
received: juvenile life without the possibility of parole. All the while,
she never once spoke the name of her sister's killer aloud, never tried to
engage with him.
met a law professor who gave her a book espousing a radical idea: that as
Christians, we have an obligation to work to reconcile with those who have
harmed us. Bishop challenged the book's author about that idea, and was
challenged in turn to take seriously the prayer of Jesus on the cross and
move beyond simple forgiveness to the hard work of personal
story of that uneven journey to confronting and reconciling with a
murderer. The book takes on the larger issues of restorative justice, life
sentences, and incarceration in the criminal justice system. It
unflinchingly acknowledges the personal cost of advocating for mercy for
people convicted of serious crimes.
In the end,
the book is a story of moving beyond mere forgiveness to the deeper waters
of redemption and grace.
Sacred in the City:
Seeing the Spiritual in the Everyday. Margaret Silf. 96pp. Hbk.
Colour. Lion. Ref 304706. $24.99.
beautifully illustrated book, Margaret Silf uncovers the shimmer of the
sacred in the familiar places of everyday city living – the places where
we live, work and choose to gather – and invites us to notice and respond
to its glow in our own surroundings. In her words, “The sacred is all
around us, all the time. It is the reality in which we live and move and
have our being. But it is our own lives that make this holiness incarnate,
and make our place of living and working sacred.”
will guide and inspire you, too, to notice and engage with this
transforming presence in places where you might least expect to find it.
God Kill Jesus?:
Searching for Love in History's Most Famous Execution. Tony Jones.
Hbk. 296pp. HarperOne. Ref 304441. $49.99.
Christians believe that God the Father demanded his only Son die a cruel,
gruesome death to appease His wrath, since humanity is so irredeemably
sinful and therefore repugnant to God.
popular progressive Christian blogger, author, and scholar, argues that
this understanding is actually a medieval invention and not what the Bible
really teaches. He looks beyond medieval convictions and liberates how we
see Jesus’ death on the cross from this restrictive paradigm. Christians
today must transcend the shame and guilt that have shaped conceptions of
the human soul and made us fearful of God, and replace them with love,
grace, and joyfulness, which better expresses what the cross is really
understand the cross reflects directly what kind of God we worship. By
letting go of the wrathful God who cannot stand to be in our presence
unless he pretends to see Jesus in our place, we discover the biblical God
who reaches out to love and embrace us while “we were yet sinners.” Jones
offers a positive, loving, inclusive interpretation of the faith that is
both challenging and inspiring. Essential reading for modern Christians.
God Kill Jesus? is the one and only book I have ever seen on the
Atonement that I can wholeheartedly recommend without reservation and with
devout enthusiasm. Even-handed, historically complete, accessible to any
reader who chooses to approach it, this is a masterful piece of work.”
Phyllis Tickle, author of The Great Emergence
Memoir Weaving Faith with Justice, Ethics and Community.
Richard Randerson. 243pp. Matai House. Ref 303914. $30.00.
Free Study Guide (PDF 147kb):
years, Richard Randerson CNZM has exercised a ministry at the crossroads
of Church and Society. In New Zealand, Australia, England and New York, he
has served as industrial chaplain, inner city priest, social justice
officer, royal commissioner, bishop and cathedral dean. Now resident in
Wellington, he continues to write and speak on matters where faith finds
expression in social justice, ethics, and contemporary theology.
life and ministry have spanned a period of profound change in NZ and the
wider world. During this time the Church has sometimes led, but often
lagged, on a bewildering array of issues: marriage of divorcees,
ordination of women, anti-nuclear and anti-apartheid protests, same-sex
relationships, abortion, poverty, inequality in economics and justice,
treaty settlements, church constitutional change, prayer book rewriting,
contemporary theology, inter-faith relations, genetic modification, civil
marriage, same gender marriage and the priestly vocations of gays and
been in the thick of many of these defining battles down through the
decades. His memoir is not just the story of one man's work in Church and
Society through decades of turbulent change. It is a font of wisdom and
practical advice for those seeking God's help today on society's even
Megan McKenna. 179pp. Paulist Press. Ref 296720. $33.00.
McKenna focuses her spiritual ken in this book on the messengers of God
who have played such important roles in Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
She writes about Michael, the protector; Gabriel, archangel of truth;
Raphael, companion angel; and Uriel, archangel of death and conversion. At
one point McKenna calls angels "mysteries of God's imagination." As usual,
the author spices up this material with stories from many different
religious traditions. McKenna concludes that the guardian angels of the
poor, the dispossessed, and the persecuted are deeply appreciated. This is
one book on angels that refreshingly stays grounded on earth.”
Spirituality and Practice
Francis and the making of a radical pope. Austen Ivereigh. 446pp
Hbk. Allen & Unwin. Ref 301406. $49.99.
Francis was elected in March 2013, he was virtually unknown. He fast
captivated the world with his rejection of papal pomp, his love of the
poor, his fearless critiques of injustice and corruption, and his
far-reaching reforms of the Catholic Church.
This is the
first intimate, in-depth biography of a pope whose visionary leadership
has breathed new life into the Church and turned him into a global
extensive interviews in Argentina and elsewhere, and drawing on the
author's deep knowledge of the country and Church that shaped him, The
Great Reformer reveals the life, the spirituality and the thought of
Jorge Mario Bergoglio as never before. It tells for the first time the
story of how his visionary reform of the Jesuit order led to his internal
exile in Argentina. It also offers the first behind-the-scenes accounts of
the conclaves of 2005 and 2013.
shows how a shy, austere assistant bishop came to be the leader of the
Latin-American Church and eventually pastor of over a billion Catholics.
Why the gospel is news and what makes it good. 189pp Hbk. HarperOne.
Ref 301978. $39.99.
the real story Jesus came to announce.
think the message of the gospel is that if we believe in Jesus we will be
saved from hell and be transported to heaven after we die. But what if
that is not what the Bible actually teaches? What if the good news Jesus
came to announce is much bigger, much better, and includes much more than
merely what happens after we die?
bestselling scholar N. T. Wright reveals what the gospel really is and how
it can transform our todays just as much as our tomorrows.
Simply Good News, he takes us back in time to reveal how the people of
the first-century—the gospel’s original audience—would have received
Jesus’ message. He offers a clear and thoughtful analysis of the “good
news” and applies it to our lives today, revealing its power to transform
Christmas Candle – DVD.
100 mins. Rated G. Echolight Studios. $19.99
film for the whole family based on a Max Lucado story. Deep in the heart
of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend
has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches
a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on
Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this
centuries old legend may come to an end.
Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in
Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds
and acts of kindness. While David’s quest to modernize Gladbury sets him
at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the
lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker
must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the
candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most
astonishing Christmas the village of Gladbury has ever seen.
Stories by Jesus:
The Enigmatic Parables of a Controversial Rabbi. Amy-Jill Levine.
Hbk 313pp. HarperOne. $45.00.
interweaves history and spiritual analysis to explore Jesus’ most popular
teaching parables, exposing their misinterpretations and making them
lively and relevant for modern readers.
In this wise,
entertaining, and educational book, Amy-Jill Levine offers a fresh, timely
reinterpretation of Jesus’ narratives. She analyses these “problems with
parables,” taking readers back in time to understand how their original
Jewish audience understood them. Levine reveals the parables’ connections
to first-century economic and agricultural life, social customs and
morality, Jewish scriptures and Roman culture. With this revitalised
understanding, she interprets these moving stories for the contemporary
reader, showing how the parables are not just about Jesus, but are also
about us—and when read rightly, still challenge and provoke us 2000 years
Love, Faith… and compost. DVD. Jess Feast. 96mins, Region 4. Pop
is one of the liveliest nonagenarians you could ever meet. As the main
gardener at the Home of Compassion in Island Bay, Wellington, her daily
tasks include heavy lifting alongside vigorous spade and wheelbarrow work,
which she sometimes performs on crutches. Loyola and the other Sisters of
Compassion follow the vision of Mother Aubert to 'meet the needs of the
oppressed and powerless in their communities'.
… Any belief we
might harbour that becoming a nun is avoiding the real world is turned
firmly on its head as we witness this extraordinary soul steer a sharp
course through all weathers, trying to shine love on everything she sees.”
See the official trailer on
The Real Life of an Invented Hero. Joel Baden. 310pp. HarperOne.
David is one of the most celebrated characters in the Bible. We know him
as the brave young man who defeated Goliath, the first king of a united
Israel, the composer of the beloved Psalms, and, for Christians, the
messianic forerunner to Jesus. And yet for all the glory we attribute to
David's legend, the historical reality is both fascinating and disturbing.
In The Historical David, Joel Baden reveals that, in David's case,
the Bible is political spin, "the goal of which is to absolve David of any
potential guilt and to show him in a positive light." Through deep textual
analysis, Baden reveals how the historical David has been painstakingly
and successfully diminished, replaced by the portrait of a glorious king
we are now familiar with.
To question David's legend opens up a debate about what it means to be a
descendant of David—be it nationally, ethnically, or religiously. In
The Historical David, Baden confronts this challenge, bringing the
historical David vibrantly to life, and ultimately revealing that the
flesh-and-blood man was far more complex and interesting than the mythical
and Laugh with Dementia:
The essential guide to maximizing quality of life. Lee-Fay Low.
224pp. Exisle. $34.99.
For every person with dementia, their family and carers are faced with the
decision of how best to care for them. Live and Laugh with Dementia
is all about how to make life with dementia as positive as possible — to
maximize quality of life for all concerned.
Just as we need to exercise our body’s muscles to keep them strong,
flexible and working well, so too do we need to exercise our mental
muscles (our brain) in order to strengthen and maintain our neural
capabilities. By tailoring activities to suit the needs and abilities of
dementia patients, we can help them to:
maintain their relationships with others
maintain their self-identity
slow the decline of mental function by
providing physical and mental stimulation
stave off boredom
experience happiness and pleasure.
Low also addresses our attitude towards dementia and caring for people
with dementia. It supports and inspires carers to build their relationship
with the person with dementia and provide meaningful engaging activities.
As well as suggestions for activities and how to tailor them, tips for
people with mild dementia are included in order to empower them to be
active and keep control of their lives as much as possible.
the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided. Jim
Wallis. 320pp. Baker.
thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative
book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus' ancient and compelling vision of
the common good—a vision that impacts and inspires not only our politics
but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighbourhoods, and
has once again issued a passionate, stirring challenge to the church. In
this hopeful, incisive book that pulls few punches, he challenges the
church to engage in the 'next battle' to 'occupy the gospel' and thus to
join in God's reclamation of God's cherished world. As always, Jim gives
us a way of rethinking today's pressing social issues in a vibrantly
Christian way, producing fresh insights on almost every page.
He also gives Christians some specific personal decisions we can make to
better align ourselves with God's continuing revolution in Jesus Christ.”
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