Velvet Elvis sat on my bookshelf for years before I picked it up. I know it’s been at least eight because I have the 2005 copyright published by Zondervan, not the 2012 one republished by HarperOne after Zondervan dropped author Rob Bell in the controversy leading up to his 2011 title, Love Wins.
In many ways, Symbolism is the Fourth Gospel: Meaning, Mystery, Community, feels like a commentary. That is how I use it. In saying this, I mean that it is not a book I read from cover to cover. Rather I turn to it when I want to delve into a specific portion of Scripture. That said, while it is used like a commentary, it does not present itself as one.
This Too Shall Last: Finding Grace When Suffering Lingers is not the book the church wants, but it is the book the church needs. It is not the book I want, but it is the book I need. Odds are, it is not the book you want, but it is the book you need.
Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels, like Kenneth Bailey’s other works focus on the culture and context of the Biblical world. This includes:
- social dynamics that are foreign to those of us in the West
- grammatical structures that build on ancient rhetoric
- connections to historical events and other writings that would shape the original audience’s hearing of the text
Winners Take All is a behind the scenes look at wealthy and power within corporate globalism. It reveals a system where big business creates problems by how they run their companies, and then seek to solves the problems they create. In the first act, they acquire wealth. In the second, they put on a show that aims to earn popular admiration. Or, as author Anand Giridharadas like to say, “Plutes gonna plute.”