The third edition of Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers by Joan Gray and Joyce Tucker is an improvement of a resource that has been essential for Presbyterian leaders since it first appeared in 1986.
If you are looking for a book to use this fall with your adult education class, look no further! This is a wonderful resource that lends itself to an eight-week class on "How a Church Can Engage the World."
Abingdon. 1998. 141 pp. Pb. $18. ISBN 0-687-08373-7
Reviewed by Stanley R. Hall
Tex Sample's volume on electronic culture and Christian worship is popular in the best sense: it is clear, concrete, accessible and not too long. Believe Leonard Sweet's book cover blurb: "It's the next best thing to Tex Sample live!"
By Ruth C. Duck and Patricia Wilson-Kastner WJKP. 1999. 207 pp. Pb. $22. ISBN 0-664-25777-1
Reviewed by Gene Huff San Francisco
"The Trinity are a grammar problem," according to an answer once noted on a theology exam. The authors of this remarkably useful book suggest it has too often also been a worship problem and they assume the task of showing how we can more adequately speak to and about the Trinitarian God in worship.
John S. McClure and Nancy J. Ramsay, eds. Cleveland. United Church Press.1998. 162 pp. Pb. $15.95 ISBN 0-8298-1282-2
Reviewed by Gail A. Ricciuti
This challenging book, a collection of essays emerging from a 1997 Presbyterian Consultation on Preaching and Sexual and Domestic Violence, may be the most helpful resource available on preaching with integrity in the face of the violence that, often invisibly, permeates our congregations.
By James O. Chatham University Press of Mississippi.1999. 248 pp. $25. ISBN 1-57806-175-X
Reviewed by Louis Weeks, Richmond, Va.
"Exegete the biblical text, exegete the congregation, and exegete the community in which you serve." This profound advice for pastors and others who would lead the church I have heard constantly from seminary professors and from wise old hands in presbytery.
Continuum. 1998. 176 pp. $19.95 ISBN 0-8264-1048-0
Reviewed by Clifton Kirkpatrick
Lewis Mudge, professor of systematic theology at San Francisco Seminary, is one of the greatest gifts the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) shares with the ecumenical movement. His vision and insights, matched by his gracious and generous spirit, have decisively shaped all of the major ecumenical movements in which our church has been engaged for more than a generation.
Bruce Bawer is one of today's most perceptive and articulate cultural critics, especially in the arena of the religious cultural, political and theological climates. At the outset of Stealing Jesus, Bawer brushes aside worn-out phrases like fundamentalism and liberalism, traditional and modern, biblical and non-biblical religion and uses the terms Church of Law and Church of Love.
By Ruth L. Boling, Lauren J. Muzzy, Laurie A. Vance. Illustrated by Tracey Dahle Carrier.
Geneva (WJKP). 1997. Pb. $6.95 ISBN 0-664-50015-3
Reviewed by Carol A. Wehrheim
"With parents as partners, each church is called to nurture children in their commitment to Christ and community, through Scripture study, stewardship, worship, fellowship and Christian caring." With this quote and a charming illustration of a mouse child looking up at a mouse adult, this engaging book for children and their parents begins.
Ephraim Radner has written an interesting book. An Episcopalian priest, Radner argues that the present divisions within the church are themselves a sign of "pneumatic deprivation," that is, the abandonment of the church by the Holy Spirit. That is the message that the title of his book is meant to convey: The End of the Church: A Pneumatology of Christian Division in the West (Eerdmans, 1998).