• Book Reviews 9 hours ago

    Bookmark: Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church

    Bookmark: Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church

    by Roy Howard
    Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church by Stanley Hauerwas Seabury Books, New York. 169 pages. Hauerwas is a theologian with a razor wit that he uses in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. He is also a teacher who believes theology is for the purpose of preaching which, in turn, is for the strengthening of the church’s radical witness to the way of Jesus. These sermons delivered in local congregations demonstrate rich theology that sustains without being arcane or incomprehensible. Preachers will take delight in them and learn from… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 9 hours ago

    Reading For Preaching

    Reading For Preaching

    by Roy Howard
    by Cornelius Plantinga Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 133 pages Reviewed by ROY W. HOWARD  I’ve been a pastor for over 25 years and reading books for many more. This book combines the demands of preaching and the joys of reading with brilliant skill. Plantinga knows preachers and he knows the demands of preaching sermons that “get to the heart” without bypassing the mind. One of the many delights of this book is the chapter devoted to authors who know how to get to the heart from whom preachers… continue reading...
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  • Book Reviews 1 day ago

    Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis

    Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis

    by Patricia K. Tull Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky. 193 pages Reviewed by SUSAN GILBERT ZENCKA When I first heard about Patricia K. Tull’s recent book, I wondered whether another book on Christians and the environment was really needed. Having read it now, I am convinced that this book is an engaging and important one that can be enjoyed by a variety of people from the curious to the committed (regarding either the environment or the Bible!). Tull writes as a biblical scholar (she is Professor Emeritus of Old… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

Bookmark: Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church

Bookmark

Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church by Stanley Hauerwas Seabury Books, New York. 169 pages. Hauerwas is a theologian with a razor wit that he uses in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. He is also a teacher who believes theology is for the purpose of preaching which, in turn, is for the strengthening of the church’s radical witness to the way of Jesus. These sermons delivered in local congregations demonstrate rich theology that sustains without being arcane or incomprehensible. Preachers will take delight in them and learn from them – not so much to imitate Hauerwas, as to see how theology can be embedded into sermons without losing their connection to the people. In this collection, I came away again stirred up with the conviction that being a Christian has consequences in the world; that baptism has significance to the way in which Christians consider death and resurrection; and the narrative to which we all belong has Christ at the center. There is also an … [Read more...]

Reading For Preaching

9780802870773

by Cornelius Plantinga Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 133 pages Reviewed by ROY W. HOWARD    I’ve been a pastor for over 25 years and reading books for many more. This book combines the demands of preaching and the joys of reading with brilliant skill. Plantinga knows preachers and he knows the demands of preaching sermons that “get to the heart” without bypassing the mind. One of the many delights of this book is the chapter devoted to authors who know how to get to the heart from whom preachers can learn. Commenting on John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” he says, “Preachers follow Ma Joad’s family to California because they know a simple fact: their preaching is meant by God to move human hearts and they have no hope of success in this mission unless they are vulnerable to being moved themselves.” Plantinga knows the necessity of deep wisdom that will help the pastor create sermons that speak much more than any one person can ever know. But he has not … [Read more...]

Ukrainian order to register Jews may have a Westboro corollary (Commentary)

by Jeffrey Weiss (RNS) Now it seems clear that last week’s story about Ukrainian Jews being ordered to “register” was both real and a hoax. I can only hope that this incident is as beneficial to the Ukrainians as Westboro Baptist Church has been to the United States. Seriously. No doubt you’ve seen something about the facts on the ground: On April 14, as Jews in the city of Donetsk left a Passover event, masked men passed out fliers. The handout ordered the city’s Jews to register or risk deportation. It was “signed” by Denis Pushilin, one of the leaders of the pro-Russian faction that has occupied several buildings in Donetsk. The fliers were real. Reports and photos quickly hit the Internet. To which the widest initial reaction was some version of “uh-oh.” That’s because reports of anti-Semitism involving Ukraine or Russia have a veneer of truthiness from a long and unhappy history. Reports of attacks on Jews in the area now called Ukraine go back to the 1100s. In the … [Read more...]

Inhabiting Eden: Christians, the Bible, and the Ecological Crisis

0664233333

by Patricia K. Tull Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky. 193 pages Reviewed by SUSAN GILBERT ZENCKA   When I first heard about Patricia K. Tull’s recent book, I wondered whether another book on Christians and the environment was really needed. Having read it now, I am convinced that this book is an engaging and important one that can be enjoyed by a variety of people from the curious to the committed (regarding either the environment or the Bible!). Tull writes as a biblical scholar (she is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary) and her thorough grounding in biblical scholarship means that the book is not an environmental treatise scattered with occasional proof texts. Instead, it is a thoughtful exploration about how the Bible understands the relationship between humans and the earth, letting the Bible converse with farmers, with science and with contemporary culture. The result is a book that is perfect for Christians … [Read more...]

Proposed mission budget for discussion at PMAB meeting

Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency; Matt Schramm, chair of the Presbyterian Agency Mission Board; and Arthur Canada, the board's vice-chair, consider business at the start of the board's executive committee meeting April 23.

The mission budget for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the next two years would stand at $73.6 million for 2015 and $78.2 million for 2016. That compares with a mission budget for 2014 of $79.9 million – a drop of more than $6 million in the first year and a reflection of both declining giving to the church and declining membership. What that might mean for possible staff cuts or layouts, or for the future of particular denominational programs or initiatives, has not yet been spelled out. The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is expected to vote on the proposed budget at its meeting April 23-25 in Louisville and has scheduled part of its time for closed-door discussion – which sometimes happens when job or programmatic cuts are pending. The denomination’s budget also would need approval from the General Assembly in June. Limited details are given in a budget document now publicly available. Among them: The budgets call for drawing $2.1 million in 2015 and $2.4 million … [Read more...]

Stony Point proposal to be presented at PMAB this week

Rick and Kitty Ufford-Chase, co-directors of Stony Point Center, discuss the center's future with Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and Matt Schramm, chair of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, at the board's February meeting.

After a long and somewhat contentious stretch of trying to figure out the future of Stony Point Center, here’s what the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board will consider this week. The board, meeting in Louisville April 23-25, is being presented with a recommendation that it: Affirm the mission of Stony Point Center – including the center’s interfaith work, which would be considered to be “consistent” with a paper from the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations setting forth the proposed Interreligious Stance of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The General Assembly will consider the Interreligious Stance paper when it meets in Detroit in June. Establish a series of milestones to move Stony Point on a path of full financial sustainability over a period of three years, ending on December 31, 2017. The determination of what would happen next with Stony Point would depend on whether the center was to meet those milestones – with potentially different … [Read more...]