By Frederick Buechner. Harper San Francisco. 2001. 160 pp. $22.00 ISBN 0-06-251752-X
—reviewed by Blue Calhoun Wood, Watkinsville, Ga.
A month after the August 2001 publication of this anticipated new work of Frederick Buechner reverberated with particular poignancy. Its title, from Shakespeare's King Lear, expresses the necessary response to "the weight of this sad time."
By Wesley A. Kort Oxford. 2001. 208 pp. $25. ISBN 0-19-514342-6
— reviewed by Daniel L. Durway, Raleigh, N.C.
If you last read something written by C.S. Lewis during your student days, or if you have never read anything at all by him, you may want to pick up C.S. Lewis Then and Now by Wesley A. Kort, professor of religion and member of the graduate faculty at Duke University.
By Thomas G. Long Alban. 2001. 115 pp. Pb. $16. ISBN 1-56699-240-0
— reviewed by Art Ross of Raleigh, N.C.
Because, suddenly, we live in a world at war, the title of the book is unfortunate; but so too is the spirit of the debate over worship in the life of many churches. The opening words of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Common Worship, "Worship is at the very heart of the church’s life. All that the church is and does is rooted in its worship" are true.
By Ronald C. White Jr. Simon and Schuster. 2002. 256 pp. $24. ISBN 0743212983
— reviewed by John M. Mulder of Louisville,Ky.
Just in time for Lincoln’s birthday comes Ronald White’s exposition of and meditation on what he rightly describes as Abraham Lincoln’s greatest speech — the Second Inaugural Address. Brief and lucidly written, White’s exposition includes not only the historical context in which Lincoln delivered the speech (with colorful anecdotes) but also an excellent literary and theological exposition of the text of the address itself.
By Roberta C. Bondi Abingdon. 2000. 292 pp. $25. ISBN 0-687-02405-6
— reviewed by Judy Haas Acheson of Kansas City, Mo.
In this age of terrorism, is it not so that each of us have become more pensive and introspective individuals? Isn’t there a certain melancholy to this contemplative mood that seems like a form of prayer? Is it not also true that in these reveries our minds focus first on ourselves and then widen into remembering our family stories and histories in an attempt to see how we fit into these tense current historic events?
By Leander Keck. Fortress. 2001. 207 pp. Pb. $ 21. ISBN 0-8006-3170-6
— Reviewed by Gordon W. G. Raynal, pastor, Inman, S.C., church
Leander Keck, emeritus professor of biblical theology at Yale Divinity School and past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, has joined the ranks of scholars writing about the relationship between understanding Jesus as a figure of history and a figure of theological affirmation. In Who Is Jesus? Keck takes the reader on a tour of the history of this scholarship since the Enlightenment, when interest in the Jesus of history began to flourish.
By Samuel K. Roberts Pilgrim. 2001. 307 pp. Pb. $26. ISBN 0-8298-1424-8
—reviewed by A. Elaine Crawford, Atlanta, Ga.
Sam Roberts' book builds a strong case for the development of a unique African-American ethical consciousness. While he focuses on the African-American community, Roberts understands various cultures as singular, but none, including African-American culture, as exclusively normative. He argues that African-American ethical consciousness has been shaped through the particular historical and cultural experience of African Americans in America.
By Anne M. Clifford Orbis. 2001. 287 pp. Pb. $21. ISBN 1-57075-238-9
— reviewed by by Isabel Rogers, Richmond, Va.
The goal of Christian theology, says Anne M. Clifford, "is to bring faith to understanding for a Christian community" (p. 179). That is what she aims to do in this book -- to help the Christian community understand its faith, especially in light of the experience of women.
By Lewis S. Mudge WCC Publications and University Press of America, Inc. 2000.312 pp. Pb. $27.50 ISBN 2-8254-1332-1
— reviewed by Louis Weeks, president, Union-PSCE, Richmond.
This collection of articles and essays by Lewis Mudge -- which have previously appeared in a variety of publications during the past 30 years -- offers a good summary of his thought. He believes that the whole church needs to think fresh thoughts about its identity as the body of Christ. More, it must develop its identity in the world. Ecclesial life for Mudge is a reality, and social theory can illumine its existence.
By Christine Eaton Blair Geneva. 2001. 138 pp. Pb. $12.95.ISBN ISBN 0-664-50148-6
— reviewed by Margaret Parks Cowan Maryville, Tenn.
Christine Eaton Blair has produced a lively and practical guide for teaching Bible study to adults. She acknowledges the problem of biblical illiteracy and the difficulty of motivating adults to participate in Bible study. While she presents different approaches to the text and theological implications of those approaches, the strength of her book lies in its discussion of insights from adult learning theory and practical strategies for teaching that flow from these insights.