Finding Jesus in the Storm: The spiritual lives of Christians with mental health challenges by John Swinton (SCM Press, £19.99 (Church Times SPECIAL OFFER PRICE £15.99); 978-0-334-05974-5).
“Drawing from theological reflection on the lives of 30 Christians with severe mental-health challenges, (depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia), leading disability theologian John Swinton contends that mental health problems require theological understanding and not just medical intervention. In fact, he argues, it is not necessary to care effectively for Christians experiencing severe mental illness to grasp the theological dimensions of such experiences. Therapy and pharmacology may be helpful, but on their own they are deeply inadequate.
“By listening carefully to the lived experiences of people with severe mental-health problems, Finding Jesus in the Storm will open up new understandings and perspectives that challenge current assumptions and draws out fresh perspectives for care, healing, recovery and community.
“It is a book about people instead of symptoms, description instead of diagnosis, and lifegiving hope for everyone in the midst of the storm.”
Why Being Yourself is a Bad Idea by Graham Tomlin (SPCK, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-281-08179-0).
“Building on the success of books offering key concepts in digestible form, Graham Tomlin writes for millennials and emerging adults who are seeking to make sense of life. Each of the ten chapters focuses on a common human experience — wonder, love, suffering, sacrifice, soul, freedom, togetherness, connection, change, joy — revealing how reflection on that experience points towards the God revealed in Christ. This is not a book of apologetics in the sense that it is arguing for the truth of Christianity; instead it shows how Christianity makes sense of our experience in a remarkably coherent way, opening up a much bigger and more exciting world than secular visions, or even other religious interpretations. It is written in a deliberately non-academic and popular style, though drawing on theological resources from the past.”
Entertaining Saints: Tales from St George’s Crypt by Roger Quick (DLT, £9.99 (£9); 978-0-232-53489-4).
“Every day is a fairly crazy mixture of laughter and tears. St George's Crypt is a charity for homeless and vulnerable people in Leeds. Published to mark its 90th year, Entertaining Saints tells the story of the Crypt through the lives of those to whom it gives safety, shelter, sustenance and community. The chaplain, like many of his colleagues, first came to the Crypt as a client. Every day we meet some of the most damaged, hurting — and interesting — people, who often show great courage, humour and generosity. Here are some of their stories. Entertaining Saints demonstrates the saving work of Christ in action, tells the story of a historic Christian institution, and is full of humanity in its truest form. It is also, as Archbishop Stephen has said, a handbook of spirituality in the tradition of Richard Rohr and Henri Nouwen. Includes illustrations by Leeds artist Si Smith.”
Selected by Aude Pasquier, of the Church House Bookshop, which operates the Church Times Bookshop.