Here you will find a collection of recommended books, films, and other resources that we have found helpful, interesting, or challenging on our own journeys. We’ll keep adding to this as we find more. Enjoy!
How God Changes Your Brain (Andrew Newberg) – An excellent book by neuroscientists on the way that belief and prayer physically changes the structure of our brains, full of good scientific research and some amazing ideas.
The Accidental Universe (Alan Lightman) – A selection of brilliant essays that merge the scientific with the spiritual, some powerful insights including one of the most interesting defences of religion I ever read, from an atheist scientist.
The Idolatry of God (Peter Rollins) – A short and pretty radical book whose basic idea is that religion sells God as a product that will make us whole, and we turn that idea of God into another idol to give us certainty and satisfaction. Great thoughts about our desire for certainty and the need to embrace the reality of existence and suffering.
Death By Black Hole (Neil DeGrasse Tyson) – One of my favourite science books, a selection of essays encompassing the whole universe, from light to galaxies to quantum theory to Hollywood movies. Just an eye-opening and mind-expanding selection.
What We Talk About When We Talk About God (Rob Bell) – I love Rob Bell’s open view on spirituality. This is one of the few ‘christian’ books I have been able to read and enjoy in the last couple of years. It offers a great and refreshing perspective on who/what God might be and why we talk about it so much.
For The Bible Tells Me So (Pete Enns) – ‘Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable To Read It’ – A great introduction to a proper way of reading the Bible, and the importance of understanding it’s cultural and historical context. It’s a pretty easy read, but may be an entry to a fresh, wider, more nuanced view of the Bible as a whole.
FILMS / TV
Religulous – a super-challenging and painfully hilarious documentary about religious beliefs around the world, from comedian Bill Maher. It’s uncomfortable and thought-provoking, and not for the easily offended. You can watch it on Netflix.
God Loves Uganda – a seriously challenging and sometimes disturbing documentary about the influence of Christian missionaries in Uganda, and the way they attempt to change cultures. This is kind of heavy and brought up a lot of frustration for me with the way that religious people often try to impose their personal beliefs on others. It’s on Netflix.
Cosmos – A fantastic television series from last year that should be required viewing for all ages. Just an excellent presentation of the wonders of the universe as discovered by science, and a smart explanation of the way the world works, covering everything from evolution to the big bang to how light reveals so many mysteries of the universe to us. And it’s presented by the legendary Neil DeGrasse Tyson flying around in a spaceship, so you know it’s good. Find it on Netflix.
The Liturgists Podcast – a fantastic, open-minded series of free conversations on a whole variety of topics, from the Bible to abortion to spiral dynamics. Highly recommended (and available on iTunes).
Ask Science Mike Podcast – a weekly 30-minute podcast answering a selection of listener questions on all things faith, science, and life. Always interesting and a great mix between religious ideas and scientific thinking. Well worth it (also available on iTunes)
The Robcast – Rob Bell’s regular podcast, a mix of interviews and his own thoughts on a variety of topics. He takes an open and positive view on spirituality which is always great to listen to. Check it out on iTunes.