CHRISTIANITY TODAY again offers readers six books deemed choice (“worthy of your attention”) by a collection of evangelical leaders—denominational executives, college presidents and professors, pastors—who also happen to be avid readers. Ranging in theme and purpose from an exposé of modern times to the symbolism interweaving our physical bodies with the realities of faith, this quarter’s selection offers a variety of thoughtful viewpoints and perceptions (some controversial) that cry for consideration and application in the context of Christian living.

While not in any sense a definitive list, these Choice Books are nevertheless designed to be an effective starting point from which to begin your pursuit of the best in today’s writing—and thinking.

Ragman and Other Cries of Faith, by Walter Wangerin, Jr. (Harper & Row, 1984, 149 pp.; $11.95).

Ragman and Other Cries of Faith is a collection of 26 pieces spanning an impressive literary spectrum, including narrative, fable, autobiography, and drama. In these pages are such memorable real people as Arthur Forte, a sick old man who, “to speak the cold, disturbing truth, … lived in a rotting stuffed chair in that room, from which he seldom stirred the last year of his life.” There is also Rachel, a deranged woman wandering city streets in search of a lost grandson. And Sarah Moreau, who, in the act of dying, draws her family together with dignity.

The fictional vignettes present a no less intriguing cast, including such characters as Moses Swope, a small, amusingly accident-prone boy who meets Jesus; and the enigmatic Ragman of the book’s title.

This diverse, polished collection is welded into a whole by Wangerin’s outstanding pastoral sensitivity. Wangerin has produced and announced ...

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