Church Library – February 2011

Mitch Albom, author of the best-seller Tuesdays with Morrie, has written another inspiring book, Have a Little Faith (call number 201 A). It begins when an elderly rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy. As he learns more about the rabbi and a faith he left years ago, he also becomes involved with a pastor who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof. He sees how these very different men employ faith similarly, and explores issues such as how to endure when difficult things happen, what heaven is, forgiveness, doubt, and the importance of faith in trying times. It’s one man’s journey back to faith, but it is everyone’s story.

Jesus scholars Marcus J. Borg and John Dominic Crossan, authors of the Easter book The Last Week, explore the nativity in The First Christmas; what the gospels really teach about Jesus’ birth (call number 232.9 B). They argue that history has biased our reading of the nativity story as it appears in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. By peeling away the sentimentalism that has built up over the last two thousand years, they reveal the truth of what the gospels actually say. Borg and Crossan answer the question, “What do these stories mean?” in the context of both the first century and the twenty-first century, and show that the Christmas story, read in its original context, is far richer and more challenging than people imagine.