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October Books

Another very slow month as far as cover-to-cover reading is concerned. My reading life continues to be dominated by forms, legal documents, articles, and selected chapters. Sigh.
1. For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann. In this book Schmemann approaches all of life from the perspective of the Eastern Orthodox liturgy. I read this book a few times because many of its thoughts were quite foreign to me (as a Western Protestant). Schmemann’s take on “original sin” is quite intriguing, and I quite like the way in which he links the eucharist to the Church’s mission. This is an excellent book for those who enjoy the “spiritual” writings of the likes of Foster or Nouwen. There are many things we can learn from the Orthodox Church.
2. Profit Over People: neoliberalism and global order by Noam Chomsky. This book is a revised collection of essays published by Chomsky in the mid to late nineties. Chomsky’s comments on the transfer of power from the public arena merit attention, especially for Christians who seek to engage in dialogue “in the public square.” Chomsky makes me think that the Duke school (folks like Hauerwas, Cavanaugh, and Bell, Jr.) really have the best idea of what it means for the Church to be a public body.
3. Baptism, Eucharist, and Ministry, Faith and Order Paper 111, World Council of Churches (WCC). This little encyclical (hardly a book at all) is one of the greatest documents produced by the WCC. I think this was my third time reading it and I am struck by the depth of wisdom and beauty found in this deceptively simple-looking document.

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