- The Holy Bible
The people, words, and rhythms of the Bible colored everything in my childhood, and they have shaped me. The initially strange cadence of the language caught my ear, and the good news eventually captured my heart.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
In high school, the book’s injustice indicted me. An adult reading crystalized the desire to not merely be in the right, but to leave space for others to move towards right as well, regardless of where they are right now. As parents, my wife and I hope that our son Atticus walks out that same redemptive path.
- Enchiridion by St Augustine
Anything by this reluctant saint is a favorite but especially his letters, where he evidences his claim to both ministry colleagues and laypeople that “my weight is my love.” As an example, his pastoral genius is especially seen in his letter to Proba, which I re-read frequently just to make sure it says what I think it said.
- Working the Angles by Eugene Peterson
In college, my first ministry internship was as part of a church plant team whose ministry philosophy was keyed to church growth principles and programming. I was furtively given Peterson’s books as antibiotics for my soul’s health. His attention to scriptural detail and prayer were a turning point for me in seeking out older, more sustainable paths for ministry.
- Christian Proficiency by Martin Thornton
This Anglican theologian frames my thinking as a priest in micro and macro ways. His consistent focus on spiritual direction according to Rule as the heart of parish ministry for the sake of the whole parish (both the committed and the investigating) brought a level of integration for which I was searching. His books’ ongoing conversation with Existentialism requires a bit of updating/ translating, but the modeled desire to speak to the culture of his time is a welcome reminder to do the same.
Christopher Caudle is the Assistant Rector at New Covenant Anglican Church in Winter Springs, Florida. He and his wife Marci have three amazing children: Atticus (6), Emeline (4) and Samuel (1).