What should I read after the Gospels?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,921
    Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler advises reading books of the New Testament after the Gospels.

    Rock Schuler

    Rock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.

    Host: What should I read after the Gospels?

    Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: I would read the book of Axe because it gives you a good picture of the life of the early Christian community and the followers of Christ and how they tried to live out Jesus' teaching in the life of the early church. It gives you a very nice ideal of what the church of the people of God should be like. Then I would read the letters of Paul. Paul's letters give concrete guidance for the living of the Christian life today, not literally all the time, but certainly with respect to fundamental principles. For instance, take Paul's teaching on marriage. We all know that Paul says to wives that they should submit to their husbands. That today is an item of great controversy and not really applicable to our society in the same way that it might have been to Paul's First Century Roman Society, but if you take a look at Paul's teaching about marriage overall, you see principles of mutual submission, mutual respect and sacrificial love. Those kind of principles can help us with daily life. After reading the New Testament, I would read the Old Testament, I would read the songs which have long been viewed as a textbook for how to pray. They show us how the whole range of human emotion can safely be lifted to God in prayer. Next, I would take a look at some of the great books of the Old Testament. 'Genesis' for instance, that shows us God's great dream and design for the world and of his unrelenting love for humanity even when people didn't follow the path that he dreamed for them or 'Exodus' what a great book of drama that shows us the very seminal point of salvation process in history that continues to this day.