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Looking for some book recommendations. Beginning of the deconstruction journey and many of the books recommended are beyond where I’m at. Need some recommendations for the shallow end. Currently been reading Rob Bell, Brian Zahnd, Richard Rhor - where do I go from here? So overwhelming...

@Archerra Have you read any Pete Enns? Good material for helping readjust your view of scripture without having to toss it all out the window.

@EJames I have “The Bible Tells Me So” on my nightstand but haven’t picked it up yet. I will read that next. Thank you

@Archerra Great choice. I led a class on that book this past fall and it went well.

@Archerra I'm a big fan of Donald Miller. Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What really transformed how I view grace. Love Does by Bob Goff is also an inspiring read.

@WolfDreamer @Archerra Be careful not to deconstruct in an exclusively white, mostly straight male frame--otherwise it's a very limited deconstruction.

Try The Cross and the Lynching Tree, I'm Still Here, and God and Gay Christian.

@mike @Archerra Well said, Mike. I am working on that as part of my growth, as my Christian upbringing has been mostly dominated by straight, white men.

@mike @WolfDreamer @Archerra

Inspired by Rachel Held Evans was a favorite of mine.

To tell the truth, anything by Rachel Held Evans is a favorite of mine.

@kirk @mike @Archerra Did you listen to the UnChristian episode of the podcast when she was a guest?

@WolfDreamer @mike @Archerra
Yes, but I don't remember it specifically. I've heard her on so many podcasts.

@kirk When Michael asked her if she identified as a Christian and she started singing, "I am a C... I am a C H..." I just rolled. She's a delight.

@mike @WolfDreamer thanks @mike I appreciate that info. As I said I’m still very much actively deconstructing. Most of what I have read so far is saying the same things over and over again and leaving me in the same place. They use common lingo and language but now I need to start reading deeper into that. Feels like a bit of a black hole to be honest

@Archerra @mike I grew up Baptist, so I have also started reading works from Catholic authors, as well, listening to Ignatian-style prayers, and trying contemplative prayer because Catholicism was something I was taught to avoid. All I knew about it before was the stereotypes and all the negatives.

@Archerra this is a blog series, not a book, and i'm not sure if it's the kind of thing you're looking for at all, but abetterfuturenow.com/messy-dog helped me out a lot when i first started deconstructing. it uses history and language to interpret the bible a little differently... helped me to move beyond evangelicalism but was still within the realm of what christianity could look like (: i found it very enlightening.

@Archerra I just finished Rhor's "Simplicity" this morning and found it to be a great read. I've come out of my deconstruction phase over the last year though, so maybe it's not what you are looking for.

Reading "Love Wins" from Bell was probably the definitive start into me seriously questioning the faith I had been brought up in.

@zach Thanks Zach. Same here. I had these swirling of my own doubts but Love Wins was the first book that blew the top off.

@Archerra I second recommendations for Rob Bell, Bob Goff, I'm Still Here, God and the Gay Christian, and I'd add Rachel Held Evans and Brene Brown. Haven't read a lot of Rhor, but Breathing Underwater is fantastic. And I've recently come back to the Madeline L'Engle books I read as a kid, though that's fiction. And if you are looking to use fiction to explore identity and spirituality, N.K. Jemisin is an AWESOME Black woman using fantasy to explore LOTS of identity issues!

@brandice thank you I have seen others mention L’Engle and honestly I am not familiar with any of her work

@Archerra Technically most of her work would be considered Juvenile Fiction. But like any great literature it transcends that category. And The Color of Water is NF about being a writer (and human).

@Archerra i’ve been delving into thomas berry (by way of richard rohr) - and have found his work inspiring and forwarding... (eg The Universe Story; The Christian Future and the Fate of the Earth; also short docs on Gaia and you tube)... might be worth a peek?

@Archerra sorry for the confusion... here are a couple examples (the full doc is available on Gaia)... hope its helpful!

youtube.com/watch?v=tKEBQe4c7n

@Archerra link to “the great story” preview: youtu.be/-cCCKo5rxE0

Also somewhat related is work by Joanna Macy (also a friend of Rohr).

@Archerra welcome! Be interested to know if you have any thoughts about Berry’s work/ideas! Ive found his work (and people around him like Brian Swimme) to be extremely compelling and eye-opening in my post-evangelical/chistian(?) journey!

@Archerra I second (third?) Rob Bell’s Love Wins. I read Robert Farrar Capon’s The Fingerprints of God at the same time, and while the material is a little more dense, Capon’s view of God’s grace was transformational for me. If you have to pick one, read Bell’s book but Capon is good for more depth. Brian McLaren’s A Generous Orthodoxy was also important for me as a starting point toward embracing the fact that there is much good in traditions outside of the church bubble I was in at the time.

@slross yes thank you. I should have added McLaren to the list I’ve been reading. Read McLaren before Rob Bell

@Archerra Check out the a number of people have given recommendations for books they started with or have been particularly influential

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