Here I will post the books I am reading. We will discuss some of them on our group site for supporters in Patreon but we can’t discuss every one. It takes more time to discuss a book and give people time to read it. I read 2-4 books a month alternating topics between history, natural philosophy, theology, political theory and international relations. I will post recommendations here but I won’t recommend every book I read. As we go I will build a bibliography highlighting a new book periodically.

The first book is Old Testament Wisdom; An Introduction, by James L. Crenshaw a noted Biblical scholar. This book is the Revised and Enlarged edition of 1998 that I used in Seminary but it is quite readable (unlike some of the books I read – so you don’t have to.)

This book primarily discusses Biblical Wisdom but it draws to the wisdom literature of Egypt and Mesopotamia with some traditional African proverbs as well. This is his area of scholarship so it makes sense he would draw those parallels. However, I remind my readers that my own study of religion found Wisdom in every culture I studied from Japan, China, Tibet, Africa, Native American, Middle East, Celtic, Greaco-Roman, even to Viking northern Europe. Wisdom is universal because it is drawn from observation of the world and humans and human reactions are remarkably the same throughout our known history. That is why it is relevant today.

This is the book I read last week and I offer it to you to share it (OK, I had to pick four books to make the add so they are all related but Old Testament Wisdom and Introduction by James L. Crenshaw is the book I read – Ecclesiastes and Proverbs are two of my favorite Biblical Books, however):

Selected Bibliography for recommended reading by Rivan Elan/Pastor Daniel

Books on Wisdom and Worldview

  • Bortolin, Matthew. The Dharma of Star Wars. Boston, Wisdom Publications, 2005.
  • Braden, Gregg. The Divine Matrix; Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief. New York, Hay House Inc., 2007.
  • Bruyere, Rosalyn L. Wheels of Light; Chakras, Auras, and the Healing Energy of the Body. New York, Fireside Press, 1994.
  • Crenshaw, James L. Old Testament Wisdom; An Introduction. Louisville, Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.
  • Jung, Carl G. Man and His Symbols. New York, Dell Publishing, 1968.
  • Ninivaggi, Frank John M.D., Ayurveda; A Comprehensive Guide to Traditional Indian Medicine for the West. Lanham, MD, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2008.

Books on Spiritual Disciplines (Prayer, Meditations, etc.)

  • Foster, Richard J. A Celebration of Discipline. Nashville, Harper Collins, 1991.
  • Hutchinson, Gloria. Six Ways to Pray From Six Great Saintsb (St. Francis/St. Clare/St. Ignatius/St. Therese/St. Theresa/St. John) Cincinnati, Saint Anthony Messenger Press, 1982.
  • Job, Reuben P., Bishop UMC. Ed. A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People. Nashville, Upper Room Books, 1990.
  • Job, Reuben P., Bishop UMC. Ed. A Guide to Prayer; For Ministers and Other Servants. Nashville, Upper Room Books, 1983.
  • Kreger, D.W. The Tao of Yoda; Based Upon the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. Palmdale, Windham Everitt Publishing, 2012.
  • Lucado, Max. On the Anvil; Thoughts on Being Shaped In God’s Image. Wheaton, Tyndale House Publishers, 1980.
  • Ming-Dao, Deng. Everyday Tao; Living With Balance and Harmony. New York, Harper One, 1996.
  • Newell, John Philip. Praying with the Earth; A Prayerbook for Peace. Grand Rapids, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2011.
  • Outler, Albert C. Ed. John Wesley’s Sermons; An Anthology. Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1991.
  • Smith, Cyprian, O.S.B. The Path of Life; Benedictine Spirituality for Monks & Lay People. Leominster, Ampleforth Abbey Press, 2004.
  • Weed, Joseph J. Wisdom of the Mystic Masters. New York, Penguin Books, 1971.
  • Willimon, William H. Remember Who You Are, Baptism, A Model for Christian Life. Nashville, Upper Room Books, 1980.

Stories of People and Events

  • King, Dr. Martin Luther, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom; The Montgomery Story. San Francisco, Harper Publishing, 1986.
  • Stolpe, Sven, The Maid of Orleans; The Life & Mysticism of Joan of Arc. translated from the Swedish by Eric Lewenhaupt; San Francisco, Ignatius Press, 2014.

Myth and Legend

  • Boyett, Jason. Lust, Chaos, War, and Fate; Timeless Tales from the Ancients Greek Mythology. Berkeley, Zephyros Press, 2016.
  • De Shong Meador, Betty. Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart; Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna. Austin, University of Texas Press, 2000.
  • Guerber, Helene A. Myths of the Norsemen. New York, Barnes and Noble, 2006.
  • Welch, Lynda C. Goddess of the North; A Comprehensive Study of the Norse Goddesses From Antiquity to the Modern Age. Maine, Weiser Books, 2001.


  • Lewis, C.S. The Screwtape Letters. New York, McMillan Publishing Co., 1977. (This is a delightful and short book that postulates letters from Screwtape “a professional devil and self-described Undersecretary of the Department of Temptation to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter, on how best to corrupt the human he is assigned to bring to hell. While this does not sound very humorous it is.)