Inspiration and Authority: Nature and Function of Christian Scripture

By Paul J. Achtemeier
Hendrickson Publishers. 1999. 166 pp. Pb. $ 9.95 ISBN 1-56563-363-6

Reviewed by John O. Barksdale
Madison, Va.


This book is a revision of the helpful and well-received work first published in 1980 as The Inspiration of Scripture: Problems and Proposals. The author, a retired Union-PSCE professor of biblical interpretation and past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, wishes to affirm very strongly two things: the authority of Scripture and the legitimacy of careful critical scholarship in the church.

God’s Wisdom: Toward a Theology of Education

By Peter C. Hodgson
WJKP. 1999. 168 pp. Pb. $20. ISBN 0-664-25718-6

Reviewed by Daniel L. Migliore
Princeton, N.J.


In recent years the question of the purpose, content and reform of theological education has been widely discussed. While Hodgson's book is related to this discussion, it has a broader concern. Its primary focus is not theological education, or even religious studies, but the educational process itself.

The Secular Mind

By Robert Coles
Princeton University. 1999. 189 pp. $19.95 ISBN 0-691-05805-9

Reviewed by Charles Davidson
Farmington Hills, Mich.


What does it mean to be within hearing distance of the Holy? Does it mean we hear? And if we hear, we understand? And if we understand, we heed what we hear?

Reading the Bible and the Confessions: The Presbyterian Way

By Jack Rogers
Geneva. 1999. 151 pp. Pb. $10.95. ISBN 0-664-50046

Reviewed by Theodore J. Wardlaw


In every Presbyterian ordination service for elders, deacons or ministers of the Word and Sacrament, a series of huge, life-sized questions are asked. One of them, which trips off the tongue with deceptive ease, is: "Will you fulfill your office in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions?"

World Without End: Mainstream American Protestant Vision of the Last Things, 1880-1925

By James H. Moorhead.
Indiana University Press. 1999. 26 pp. $29.95. ISBN 0-253-33580-9

Reviewed by George Laird Hunt
Lakeland, Fla.


From the latter part of the 19th century through the first quarter of the 20th, mainstream Protestantism's post-millennial stance (that Christ will return after a "thousand years of earthly bliss," p. xi) led to strenuous efforts toward bringing in the kingdom of God and the evangelization of the world "in this generation." It was a period of social reform, social progress, which, at a later date, led to movements toward social justice.

Good News in Exile: Three Pastors Offer a Hopeful Vision for the Church

By Martin B. Copenhaver, Anthony B. Robinson
and William H. Willimon

Eerdmans. 1999. 116 pp. Pb. $12. ISBN 0-8028-4604-1

Reviewed by Angela L. Ying, Seattle, Wash.


In a word, it is a gift. Martin B. Copenhaver, Anthony B. Robinson and William H. Willimon's book, Good News in Exile: Three Pastors Offer a Hopeful Vision for the Church, is a genuine gift to the church. Unlike other "gifts" where we get exactly what we ask for, where there are no surprises, and where we know what to expect, Good News in Exile offers the church -- and thus offers us, as people of faith -- one of those rare gifts.

Creation and Reality

By Michael Welker

Fortress. 1999. 102 pp. Pb. $13.
ISBN 0-8006-2628-1

Reviewed by Walter Brueggemann


Michael Welker, Heidelberg University, is only now becoming known and visible in the United States, both through his publications and his extended residency at Princeton Seminary. He is emerging as a major force in Reformed theology, perhaps destined to be the dominant German figure in Reformed theology as was JŸrgen Moltmann before him.

Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope

By Kathleen D. Billman and Daniel L. Migliore
United Church. 1999. 174 pp. Pb. $18.95. ISBN 0-8298-1353-5

Reviewed by Fane Downs
Midland, Texas


We live in a time of increased interest in things spiritual -- practices, techniques and theologies -- many sincere, some shallow. Our days are marked, moreover, by suffering and awareness of evil in our midst -- manifested in ethnic cleansing, wars, school shootings, family violence, etc.

Being There: Culture and Formation in Two Theological Schools

By Daniel O. Aleshire, Jackson W. Carroll, Penny Long Marler
and Barbara G. Wheeler.

Oxford . 1997. 299 pp. $35. ISBN 0-19-511493-0

Reviewed by David Steele


The book has a snappy title: Being There. I wanted to read it because one of the four authors is Barbara G. Wheeler, president of Auburn Seminary, and I think she has one of the best minds in Christendom.