The Sprituality of Men

Philip L. Culbertson, ed.
Fortress. 2002. 282 pp. Pb. $22. ISBN 0-8006-3447-0

— review by J. David Wiseman, Cary, N.C.

A story is told of several Americans traveling in Africa, who had hired a native guide to lead them up a mountain. As they climbed, the guide stopped for rest more frequently than the hikers desired. Growing impatient, one hiker finally posed the question, "Why are we stopping so often?" The wise guide responded, "We need to give our souls time to catch up with our bodies."

Pursuing Peace

By Albert N. Wells
Rainbow. 2002. 264 pp. Pb. $14.95.ISBN 1-56825-082-7

— reviewed by Albert C. Winn, Winston-Salem, N.C.

The year 2002 does not appear to be a good time for publishing a book on the pursuit of peace. But Al Wells has done it, despite the widespread approval of national policies of war and retaliation which has followed the horrendous breach of peace on Sept. 11, 2001. On the cover of this book, the subtitle "It’s the Thing to Do" is altered by an insertion that makes it read, "It’s still the Thing to Do."

Ichabod Toward Home: The Journey of God’s Glory

By Walter Brueggemann
Eerdmans. 2002. 150 pp. Pb. $15.ISBN 0-8028-3930-4

— reviewed by James K. Mead, Orange City, Iowa

Every preacher and teacher — and everyone who listens to sermons and lessons — cares about the theme Walter Brueggemann addresses in Ichabod Toward Home, based on his 2001 Stone Lectures at Princeton Seminary. Using the Ark Narrative in 1 Samuel 4-6 to explore what the church does when it stands before a biblical text, Brueggemann contends that the story of the ark’s capture, exile and return offers an alternative vision of the church’s proclamation and life in the world.

Pastoral Theology in the Classical Tradition

By Andrew Purves.
WJKP. 2001. 160 pp. Pb. $16.95.ISBN 0-664-22241-2

— reviewed by Richard Ray, Bristol, Va.

Turning this little book by Andrew Purves over, weighing it from hand to hand, I realized that I could not easily write an impersonal response to it. I knew its author too well. During the past few years in which we were colleagues at Pittsburgh Seminary we often discussed its basic themes.

The Christian Life: A Geography of God

By Michael L. Lindvall.
Geneva. 2001. 135 pp. Pb. $11.95. ISBN 0-664-50142-7

— reviewed by Bill Klein, Lexington, Va.

Anyone familiar with Michael Lindvall’s book, The Good News from North Haven (reprint expected Summer 2002), will welcome his most recent effort. The Christian Life is another in the expected 12-volume Foundations of Christian Faith series being commissioned by the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and published by Geneva Press.

The Next Christiandom: The Coming of Global Christianity

By Philip Jenkins
Oxford. 2002. 270 pp. Pb. $28.00. ISBN 0-19-514616-6

— reviewed by Ben Lacy Rose, Richmond, Va.

The thesis of this book is that, contrary to much that is being written and heard today, Christianity is alive and well in the world, and will continue in good health into the foreseeable future. The "God is dead" movement is dead, but God is still very much alive.

The Wrath of Jonah: The Crisis of Religious Nationalism in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

By Rosmary Radford Reuther and Herman J. Reuther
Fortress. 2002. (2nd ed.) 320 pp. Pb. $18.00. ISBN 0-8006-3479-9

—reviewed by Daniel Durway, Raleigh, N.C.

Most Americans know what is going on in the Middle East, but few Americans know why it is going on. Indeed, according to Rosemary Radford Ruether and Herman J. Ruether, theologian and political scientist, respectively, "Much of the world does not know the actual history" (p. iv).

Pilgrimage of a Presbyterian: Collected Shorter Writings

By John Leith, Charles E. Raynal,ed.
Geneva. 2001. 363 pp. Pb. $29.95. ISBN 0-664-50151-6

— reviewed by Richard A. Ray, Bristol, Tenn.

In 1949, John Leith included these words in a sermon on race relations preached in Nashville:

"It is hard to be a Christian. But after all, it is about time that we should get into our thinking that this business of being Christian is and always will be an arduous and dangerous business. It is not made for cowards and for the weak."

More Than Chains and Toil: A Christian Work Ethic of Enslaved Women

By Joan M. Martin.
WJKP. 2000. 190 pp. Pb. $24.95. ISBN 0-664-2580-0

— reviewed by Portia Turner Williamson, Durham, N.C.

What a well-crafted volume, significantly advancing the discussion concerning slavery in America! Joan Martin is a theological ethicist who employs womanist methodology to discover the meaning of work in this context.

"Discovery" is a technique that renders the internal as external. By means of this method, she examines the social, theological and political aspects of blackwomen’s antebellum work.