Feast upon the Word Blog

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Christmas List 2013: Books on Scripture/Theology

Posted by kirkcaudle on December 9, 2013

Because the list I wrote up last year was so popular, I have decided to continue this Christmas list tradition. As was the case last year, I will include a few of my favorite books related to scripture and/or theology along with their corresponding interviews that I conducted during this past year. As the host of The Mormon Book Review, I have the unique opportunity of reviewing a number of books in realm of Mormon Studies. I will include my top 5 of 2013 here (in no particular order). Enjoy!

A Short Stay in Hell

This is a fiction book written by Stephen Peck about a Mormon man who dies and finds himself in an after life that he never expected to himself in. The books has elsewhere been described as an existential horror. I would describe it as existential awesomeness (and yes, that is my professional opinion). The audio I have with Stephen is a bit iffy at times, but here it is.

The Joseph Smith Papers

The latest installments of the Joseph Smith Paper series comes in the forms of Documents vol. 1-2. I spoke with co-editor Gerrit Dirkmaat about volume 1 here and with Matthew Godfrey, co-editor of volume 2, here. The JSP are a must for anyone trying to gain a deeper understanding of the historical context for the earliest revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants.

The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life

This book is co-written by Terryl and Fiona Givens. The book is thoughtful, inspiring, and Desert Book needs more books like it. The book will make you think deeper on who exactly the God of Mormonism truly is. Listen to our discussion here.

The Life of Holiness: Notes and Reflections on Romans 1, 5-8

This book provides its readers with an in depth look into selected chapters of the Book of Romans. With years of experience dealing with the scriptures, James E. Faulconer is the perfect person to write such a book. The reader is taken on a journey with Faulconer as he explores many of the main themes of the text. Any serious student of the Bible will greatly benefit from his insightful commentary. This book is also greatly accessible to non-scholars. Find the interview here.

Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, Volume 1 History

I do a two part interview with Brian Hales on these books, and there are actually three books in this series. Why do I post these ones here? Because, as far as scripture study goes, the ideas set forth by Hales will give you much to think about concerning D&C 132. One my not always agree with his conclusions, but one can not outright dismiss all of his claims. Here is the interview.

Honorable Mention

Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling

Although this is a history book, I thought that I would list it here anyway. Why? Because it is already a classic. Richard Bushman and I sat down recently at this house for this interview to revisit the publication of this book and what it has meant to the further study of the life of Joseph Smith. You can hear it here.

And with that…MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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7 Responses to “Christmas List 2013: Books on Scripture/Theology”

  1. How about Jana Riess’ Twible? I’m finding it educational and delightful.

  2. Robert C. said

    Great list, Kirk–thanks!

  3. Joseph M said

    I highly recomend Stephen H. Webb’s ‘Mormon Christianity'(http://books.google.com/books/about/Mormon_Christianity.html?id=0yItmQEACAAJ). As an evangelical turned Catholic writing about what he thinks are the best things Mormon theology can contribute to the wider Christian comunity (specificly our view of matter)I think it provides a facinating paralax view on what we believe. I would love to hear him interviewed.

    Not a book on theology but Jonathan Haidt’s book on moral psycology ‘The Righteous Mind’ (righteousmind.com/)provides lots of valuble insight, backed up by mountains of emperical data, on how our moral sense actually works. The hows and whys of the construction of moral frameworks. Reading it has depened my understanding every asspect of the Gospel and the Church.

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  5. Really appreciate the list. Two years running with at least one book gifted from here.

  6. kirkcaudle said

    Hopefully you can make it 3/3 next year!

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