Fireside Library

In New Books in the Fireside Library

May 2016 – Nancy Evans

Apostle by Tom Bissell

Peter, Matthew, Thomas, John: Who were these men? What was their relationship to Jesus? Tom Bissell provides rich and surprising answers to these ancient, elusive questions. He examines not just who these men were (and weren’t), but also how their identities have taken shape over the course of two millennia. Ultimately, Bissell finds that the story of the apostles is the story of early Christianity and its ultimate evolution from an obscure Jewish sect to the global faith we know to-day. In his quest to understand the underpinnings of the world’s largest religion, Bis-sell embarks on a years-long pilgrimage to the supposed tombs of the Twelve Apostles throught Europe and the Middle East. Along the way, he engages with a host of char-acters—priests, paupers, a Vatican archaeologist, a Palestinian taxi driver, a Russian monk—posing sharp questions that range from the religious to the philosophical to the political. Written with warmth, empathy, and rare acumen, Apostle is a brilliant synthesis of travel writing, biblical history, and a deep, lifelong relationship with Christianity. The result is an unusual, erudite, and at times hilarious book—a religious, intellectual and personal adventure fit for believers, scholars, and wanderers alike.

What Did Jesus Ask, edited by Elizabeth Dias

More than 70 of today’s spiritual writers and artists offer modern meditations on the questions Jesus asks in the Bible. Their contemplations provide telling context, with both contemporary and traditional interpretations to lead readers on an explo-ration of their own faith and to shape their own meaningful answers. As a teacher, Jesus Christ put many of his lessons in the form of questions. Many of Jesus’ questions are familiar to readers today, yet the context and the potential interpretations of such phrases will offer enlightenment to many. Organized by Biblical verse, these enigmatic questions include: “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” – Matthew 8:26 “Why do you call me good?” – Mark 10:18 “Does this offend you?” – John 6:16 Contributors include bestselling singer/songwriters Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, Christian teachers Barbara Taylor and Cardinal Wuerl of Washington, and bestselling authors James Martin and Sarah Young, and many more. What Did Jesus Ask? is a thought-provoking volume for both readers interested in religious thought and understanding the teachings of Jesus better.

The Drop Box, DVD, directed by Brian Ivie

One frigid winter, a pastor finds an abandoned infant on his church steps and builds a heated hatch to rescue any others. The Drop Box documentary tells the true story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his heroic efforts to embrace and protect aban-doned children. It is a story about the forgotten, the disabled, the discarded, and the man who submits to the heart of God by giving everything to protect them.

Nancy Evans