New Books to Recommend

Lance Haverkamp

Both are good reads! One looks at a personal decision to accept Christian Universalism; the other is a short but deep dive into the Eucharist. Each offers a lot to earn their place on the recommended reading list.

The Judge Is the Savior: Towards a Universalist Understanding of Salvation
by Jean Wyatt
(2015 — kindle and paperback)

Long-time friend of the CUA, Jean Wyatt wrote this book as she has for many years wrestled with questions surrounding the love and the justice of God, his salvation and judgment through Jesus Christ, and the effect of our response (or lack of response) to that salvation. The Bible gives glimpses of hope that in the end God will restore all things, and that finally all people will worship him. If it is God’s will that all should be saved, is it possible to resist that will for all eternity? Or dare we hope that God will continue to seek and ultimately save those who now reject his offered salvation? Dare we hope that hell will be a place of restorative justice and cleansing, with redemption as its aim? Wyatt has come to the conclusion that we can answer “Yes” to both these questions. The fire of God consumes evil and cleanses people. Meanwhile, in the here and now in which we live as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to be witnesses to the kingdom of God and to work for his kingdom to come “on earth as it is in heaven”

“With this highly personal set of reflections, Jean Wyatt provides a wonderful example of a spiritually attuned lay person (trained as a physician) thinking through an issue for herself; she also adds another voice to the chorus of committed Christians who have questioned the traditional understanding of hell. After setting forth her concerns in a beautifully expressed introduction, she uncovers a host of sound biblical reasons for thinking of divine judgment as a means of redemption and of universal salvation as a fully justified hope.”
—Thomas Talbott, Willamette University emeritus

The Scandalous Menu: Supper for Prophets and Disciples
by Daniel Medina
(2018, Resource Publications, kindle and paperback)

The Eucharist is the living parable of the Christian life and story. It embodies every aspiration, teaching, hope, sacrifice, and selfless act of mercy and grace. Christ left it as a memorial in word, presence, and deed. It is love before us as Christ’s very own real presence empowers and wills us to love others as he loved us first. The Eucharist is the multisensory expression of Christ consciousness embodied in matter and in time. Anyone who embraces the real presence of Christ in Spirit and in truth will experience a life transformed. The experience of gathered worship, prayer, study, spirituality, and acts of justice and mercy will never again be the same.

“Dr. Medina’s Scandalous Menu not only challenged the way I view the Lord’s Supper, but the way I do ministry in general. He does not shy away from talking about the elephant in the room, and I truly believe that his approach on the subject transcends denominations and traditions. This is not a Transubstantiation vs Memorial book. Instead, he challenges what we’ve done to The Lord’s Supper and what we’ve done to the bride of Christ. Though it’s a short read, it is deep and wide. Touching an array of issues, and initiates a striking conversation. Whether you are a student, professor, pastor, priest, volunteer or deacon, if you haven’t picked up this book, chances are you’ve barely scratched the surface.”
— Michael Pileggi

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