Fall list of books & resources

Barb Draper | Books & Resources Editor
(Graphic by Betty Avery)

Theology, Spirituality


The Beginning of the Story: Understanding the Old Testament in the Story of Scripture. Timothy J. Geddert. Herald Press, 2023, 208 pages.
The Old Testament has great value because it is the grand narrative of God’s relationship with humans. The author says we should interpret the stories in light of the teachings of Jesus.  Geddert is professor emeritus of New Testament at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion.

God the Creator: The Old Testament and the World God is Making. Ben C. Ollenburger. Baker Academic, 2023, 256 pages.
Ollenburger, a former professor of biblical theology at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, examines the Bible stories that describe the world God is making. God created the world in the beginning and has continued to re-create, as attested to in Genesis, the Psalms, Isaiah and other prophets.

Godbreathed: What it Really Means for the Bible to be Divinely Inspired. Zack Hunt. Herald Press, 2023, 192 pages.
Zack Hunt examines biblical inspiration, arguing that viewing the Bible as inerrant approaches idolatry. While the Bible is essential for Christianity, it must be read through the lens of loving God and neighbours.

The Holy in the Night: Finding Freedom in a Season of Waiting. Shannon W. Dycus. Herald Press, 2023, 216 pages.
This Advent devotional, written by the dean of students at Eastern Mennonite University, provides Bible readings and meditations for six weeks. It includes a short six-session guide for use in small groups.


Luke: Believers Church Bible Commentary. Mary H. Schertz. Herald Press, 2023, 480 pages.
This is volume 36 of the Believers Church Bible Commentary series. Mary Schertz was professor of New Testament at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary from 1988 to 2017.

Proclaiming the Good News: Mennonite Women’s Voices, 1972-2006. Lois Y. Barrett and Dorothy Nickel Friesen, eds. Institute of Mennonite Studies (AMBS), 2023, 266 pages.
With a variety of authors, this book examines attitudes toward women in Mennonite church leadership and how they changed in the late twentieth century. At the back is a list of over 300 women who were ordained in Canada and the U.S. from the 1970s to 2006.

Rooted Faith: Practices for Living Well on a Fragile Planet. Sarah Renee Werner. Herald Press, 2023, 216 pages.
The author suggests that our traditional interpretation of the Bible has shortchanged us, and we need to relearn how to interact with the earth. At the end of each chapter, she suggests ideas to deepen the reader’s connection with God and creation.

The Spacious Path: Practicing the Restful Way of Jesus in a Fragmented World. Tamara Hill Murphy. Herald Press, 2023, 272 pages.
The author adapts the ancient spiritual practices of Saint Benedict to encourage readers to develop habits of healthy spirituality. At the end of each of four sections there are questions and suggestions for further reflection.




Shattered: A Son Picks Up the Pieces of His Father’s Rage. Arthur Boers. William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2023, 206 pages.
Boers, a former pastor, grew up in the Niagara area. He reflects on his childhood and teenage years, exploring his faith development and how he came to join the Mennonite church. Throughout the book he tries to make sense of his relationship with his father.

Shaping of a Servant: The Odyssey of a Family. Carl Hansen. Westbow Press, 2023, 286 pages.
In this autobiography, Carl Hansen describes how his father, a Danish immigrant, came to marry a Mennonite girl. Carl grew up in rural Alberta and in Ontario and then prepared himself to be a missionary. A previous book, Pilgrims Searching for a Home, tells the story of his grandparents’ escape from Russia.

Into Abyssinia: The Odyssey of a Family. Carl Hansen. Westbow Press, 2023, 352 pages.
Carl Hansen attended Eastern Mennonite College in Virginia and married Vera King in 1964. This book tells the story of how they moved to Ethiopia, where they served as missionaries for a total of 32 years. From 1975 to 1984 Hansen was a pastor in Alberta.


Other books


Eating Like a Mennonite: Food and Community Across Borders. Marlene Epp. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023, 304 pages.
Epp, a former history professor at Conrad Grebel University College, explores the diverse world of “Mennonite food,” arguing that religion and culture are intertwined, and that food is about identity, whatever a Mennonite’s heritage. Although there are a few recipes, this is not a cookbook, but a reflection on how Mennonites have interacted with food.

The Four Horsemen. Mark Reimer. Privately published with FriesenPress, 2021, 212 pages.
This first novel by Mark Reimer of Manitoba tells the story of a Mennonite pastor’s family struggling to cope with challenging family dynamics. He raises questions about the belief that Christians should be stoic and not lament when bad things happen because it is all part of God’s divine plan.

Pinching Zwieback: 20 Fresh-Baked Stories. Mitchell Toews. At Bay Press, 2023, 400 pages.
The author grew up in Steinbach, Manitoba, and these stories are a form of fictionalized autobiography. While the short stories are not based on specific happenings, they provide insight into Mennonite life.

Rudy Wiebe: Essays on His Works. Bianca Lakoseljac ed.  Guernica Editions Inc., 2023, 375 pages.
Among the Canadian writers and academics who contributed to this collection of essays are Margaret Atwood, Miriam Toews, Hildi Froese Tiessen, Paul Tiessen, and John Longhurst. The editor, a writer from Ontario, put together this tribute to Rudy Wiebe because she found his writing life-changing.

So We and Our Children May Live: Following Jesus in Confronting the Climate Crisis. Sarah Augustine and Sheri Hostetler. Herald Press, 2023, 200 pages.
Because of the climate crisis, we need to shift our attitudes, say these authors. Even with green energy, our capitalist economy is not sustainable, and we need to stop extracting minerals from the earth. If we follow Jesus honestly, we can build climate justice.



Conform: the Mennonite Migration to Mexico of the 1920s. Andrew Wall. Refuge 31 Films and Plett Foundation, 2023, 55-minute documentary.
Using the voices of Mennonite historians, this documentary tells the story of the Mennonites who arrived in Manitoba in the 1870s and the reasons why many of them left for Mexico in the 1920s. It is available on Youtube. 


Many of the featured titles on the book list are available for purchase or to borrow from CommonWord Book Store and Resource Centre in Winnipeg. For more information, see www.commonword.ca or call 204-594-0527 or 1-877-846-1593.

(Graphic by Betty Avery)

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