A partial list of religious/spiritual books to read and discuss … definitely not in the order listed … :-)

Wills, GarryWhat Jesus Meant
Wills, GarryWhat the Gospels Meant
Wills, GarryWhat Paul Meant
Wills, GarryWhy Priests?
Wills, GarryWhat the Qur’an Meant
Wills, GarryWhy I Am A Catholic
Gottwald, NormanThe Tribes of Yahweh
Schmid, KonradThe Making of the Bible
Barton, JohnA History of the Bible: The Book of Its Faiths
Peterson, Eugene H.The Pastor
Dever et al.The Rise of Ancient Israel
Clendenin, Daniel B,Eastern Orthodox Christianity
Martin, Dale B.New Testament History and Literature
Shahab AhmedWhat is Islam?
Smith, Mark S.The Early History of God
Pagels, ElaineWhy Religion?: A Personal Story
Friedman, Richard ElliottThe Exodus
Smith, Mark S.The Early History of God
Day, JohnYahweh and the Gods and Goddesses of Canaan
Pelikan, JaroslavWhose Bible Is It?
Brueggemann, WalterOld Testament Theology: An Introduction
Armstrong, KarenThe Bible: A Biography
Steinsaltz, AdinThe Essential Talmud
Collins, John J.An Introduction to the Hebrew Bible (Third Edition)
Wright, RobertWhy Buddhism Is True
Doniger, WendyThe Hindus: An Alternative History
Doniger, WendyHindu Myths
Aslan, RezaNo God But God
Ernst, Carl W.Sufism: An Introduction
Warraq, IbnWhat the Koran Really Says
Hayes, Christine ElizabethIntroduction to the Bible
Friedman, Richard ElliottWho Wrote the Bible?
Friedman, Richard ElliottThe Bible with Sources Revealed
Collins & HarlowEarly Judaism: A Comprehensive Overview
Donin, Hayim HalevyTo Be A Jew
Potok, ChaimMy Name is Asher Lev [a Novel]
Dosick, Wayne D.Living Judaism
Wright, RobertThe Evolution of God
Rahula, WapolaWhat the Buddha Taught
McLaren, BrianWhy Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road
Kornfield, JackTeachings of the Buddha
Craddock, FredCraddock Stories
Bass, Diana ButlerA People’s History of Christianity
MacCulloch, DiarmaidChristianity: The First Three Thousand Years
Gonzalez, JustoThe Story of Christianity: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation
Gonzalez, JustoThe Story of Christianity: The formation to the Present Day
Ware, TimothyThe Orthodox Church: A New Edition
Spufford, FrancisUnapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense
MacCulloch, DiarmaidAll Things Made New: The Reformation and Its Legacy
Pagels, ElaineThe Gnostic Gospels
Vanderkam, James C.The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls: Their Significance for Understanding the Bible, Judaism, Jesus, and Christianity
Marshall, PeterThe Reformation: A Very Short Introduction
Cahill, ThomasHeretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World
Carroll, JamesThe Truth at the Heart of the Lie: How the Catholic Church Lost Its Soul – A Memoir of Faith
Holcomb, Justin S.Know the Creeds and Councils
Bowler, KateEverything Happens for a Reason … and Other Lies I’ve Loved
Bowler, KateBlessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel
Evans, Rachel HeldSearching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Norris, KathleenDakota
Norris, KathleenThe Cloister Walk
Merton, ThomasSeven Storey Mountain
Turner, John G.The Mormon Jesus
Gates, Henry LouisThe Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song
Gutierrez, GustavoA Theology of Liberation: History, Politics, and Salvation (15th Anniversary Edition)
FitzGerald, FrancesThe Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America
Noll, Mark A.The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind
Barr, JamesFundamentalism
Smullyan, RaymondThe Tao Is Silent
I-Ming, LiuAwakening to the Tao
Ono, SokyoShinto: The Kami Way
Merton, ThomasNew Seeds of Contemplation
Armstrong, KarenMuhammad: A Biography of the Prophet
Lipovsky, IgorEarly Israelites: Two Peoples, One History
Wallis, JimAmerica’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
Wallis, JimGod’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It
Chesterton, G.K.Orthodoxy
Wills, GarryChesterton
Clark, DavidC.S. Lewis: A Guide to His theology
Lewis, C.S.Mere Christianity
Witherington, Ben IIIThe Problem with Evangelical Theology
Feiler, BruceAbraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
Palmer. ParkerHealing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit

On finding good shows/podcasts on NPR stations … Stitcher SmartRadio is a good answer

Why do I use Stitcher SmartRadio instead of just subscribing to the podcast? Simple. It’s easy to find what I know I want and it also shows me other podcasts that I might want to hear.

We live in an age where amount of material to listen to is like the overflowing fruit from a cornucopia … it almost threatens to drown us. The number of shows alone on NPR stations is just overwhelming. I’m always behind in listening to shows and podcasts that I know that I like, much less trying to find new shows/podcasts to try out.

If you have a Sonos system (and that’s another posting in itself), you may want to try out Stitcher, downloading it as an app within Sonos. You can also download the Stitcher app for iPhones or iPads … or for Android devices. (Or you can try Stitcher on your Mac or PC by going to http://www.stitcher.com)

Once you have Stitcher, what do you do with it? It’s organization is great, with three main heading Stations, Sources, and Favorites. Stations, though, really isn’t radio stations. It’s a set of shows/podcasts.

The subheadings are Popular & Trending, New & Noteworthy, Comedy, Business & Industry, etc.

The Popular & Trending then has three subheadings: Top Shows, Top Movers, Most Shared

The Top Shows then gets you down to the actual shows and podcasts: Stuff You Should Know, Marketplace on Stitcher, Radiolab from WYNC, etc …

By the time you see the shows/podcast you want to hear you’ll probably see a lot of other ones you may want to try out. Just don’t drown in the thousands of shows/podcasts that are available!

Wonderings about the growth of NPR radio stations in Virginia?

Why have the number of public radio stations grown explosively over the past year or two in Virginia?

One of the mysteries of life is that Harrisonburg, VA now has six NPR stations (88.1, 88.5, 89.3, 90.7, 91.1, and 91.7) while the DC area still only has two (WAMU and WETA).  And it’s not just Harrisonburg, either. Fredericksburg has four NPR stations and Charlottesville has six plus one other public radio station (WTJU) that isn’t formally an NPR station.

What is going on? Is there a collapse of commercial FM radio and a freeing of FM frequencies so that public radio is filling a vacuum?

It is obvious that some of the stations are so-called repeater stations. For example, I think that Virginia Tech (WVTF) has been expanding its stations into under the WVTW call sign, while its expansion into Fredericksburg and Harrisonburg has been using its original call sign, WVTF.  In any case, I would guess that VA Tech takes real pleasure in penetrating into Cavalier territory.

But why now?

A list of the call letters and frequencies is below for the three cities mentioned follows:

1430 – WTJU

88.3 – WVTF – RADIO IQ
88.5 – WAMU
89.5 – WYAU

88.1 – RADIO IQ
89.3 – WVTF
90.7 – WMRA
91.1 – WTJU
91.7 – WEMC

88.5 – WVTW
89.3 – WVTU

89.7 – WVTW

91.1 – WTJU

96.7 – WVTW

101.1 – WVTU

103.5 – WMRY