Always a Guest by Barbara Brown Taylor (Canterbury Press, £16.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £14.99); 978-1-78622-271-8).
“From the bestselling writer and renowned preacher Barbara Brown Taylor comes a sparkling collection of stories and sermons of faith, grace, and hope. As a priest and teacher, Barbara knew her congregation and her students well, but today her public appearances are almost always as a visiting speaker or preacher addressing an audience of strangers. Many Christians, wondering how to speak about their faith also find themselves ‘far from home’ in a culture or among people who share little or nothing of their language or understanding. Wise, gracious, funny, profound and beautifully written, Always a Guest reveals how Barbara learned to speaking of faith by seeking common ground and exploring shared human experience. Her first sermon collection for twenty years, this will appeal to all Barbara’s many fans and especially to those who are preachers themselves. Full of her astute observations on the Spirit and the state of the world and animated by her ready wit, this collection will be a joy for many.”
How Do I Look? Theology in the age of the selfie by Dominic White (SCM Press, £25 (£22.50); 978-0-334-06001-7).
“We live in the age of the retouchable selfie. For those navigating the world of social media, the issue of how one presents oneself to the world has never been more critical. Psychological studies have shown the high impact of this selfie culture on the mental health of young people especially. How might the long tradition of the Christian gaze, found in scripture, art, theology and philosophy speak into this selfie generation? What, in this context, might be the significance of the doctrine of humankind's creation in God's image, or of the incarnation? On a more practical level, how might the monastic tradition of the ‘chaste gaze’ challenge or reinforce the selfie-culture? Putting such theological and ethical questions into dialogue with psychological studies and philosophical understandings, Dominic White offers an important pastoral and scholarly resource for anyone seeking to understand theologically one of the most profound developments of the digital age.”
Being Reverend by Matt Woodcock (CHP, £9.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £7.99); 978-1-78140-201-6).
“Matt Woodcock returns with this sequel to the bestselling Becoming Reverend. Follow Matt’s journey as he starts work at one of Hull’s oldest, biggest and emptiest churches. It’s a shadow of its former self, with a small congregation and huge bills to pay. Adding the entrepreneurial (and somewhat excitable) Matt to their clergy line-up is the last throw of the dice for this 700-year-old institution. But is Matt ready for such a tough first assignment? Are his new flock — or his new colleagues — ready for the whirlwind that’s about to descend? And can Matt realise his vision of a thriving church without wrecking his home life in the process? As this diary reveals, Matt’s life being Reverend can be every bit as fraught, funny and fascinating as it was becoming one.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.