Recent Reads

I finished two short books in the last few days.

Body Politics by John Howard Yoder is a brief, yet powerful study of five practices (he’d like to call them all sacraments) that the church has which have political import: baptism, Eucharist, dispute resolution, decision-making and the multiplicity of gifts. It’s good stuff and it’s easy to see why Stanley Hauerwas holds Yoder in such high regard. Both Yoder and Hauerwas see the church forming people through its own practices and this having an impact on the watching world. Yoder sees these sacraments as political and not just individual acts, affecting the community, not just the individual believer. A highly recommended book.

The other book was Sharing Gods Planet: A Christian Vision for a Sustainable Future from the Church of England. Sadly I can’t rate this very highly. It is not very good either on theology or the practical responses to what we can do about the environment. To do both in a short publication is difficult, but as Yoder has shown in Body Politics, with skill sometimes less is more.