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.

Sworn on the Altar of God: A Religious Biography of Thomas Jefferson

By Edwin S. Gaustad.
Eerdmans. 1996. 246 pp. Pb. $18.00 ISBN 0-8028-0156-0

—reviewed by Herbert Meza Jacksonville, Fla.

No one, with the possible exception of James Madison, had a greater influence on the founding of the United States than Thomas Jefferson. Unlike many of the founding fathers, Jefferson’s name has not faded. The Declaration of Independence stands as an enduring witness to Jefferson’s religious, moral and political views.

Grace Keeps You Going: Spiritual Wisdom from Cancer Survivors

By Mac N. and Anne Shaw Turnage
WJKP. 2001. 136 pp. Pb. $12.95. ISBN 0-664-22567-5

— reviewed by William V. Arnold, Bryn Mawr, Pa.

Since their own confrontation with cancer in 1973, Mac and Anne Turnage have focused considerable creative faith and energy, to our benefit, on the care of people affected by cancer. Since their first book, More Than You Dare to Ask: The First Year of Living With Cancer, in 1976, they have led countless support groups, formed and led organizations of cancer survivors to provide support and encouragement, and, in the process, modeled pastoral care at its finest.

Open Secrets: A Spiritual Journey Through a Country Church

By Richard Lischer.
Doubleday. 2001. 243 pp. Pb. $$23.95. ISBN 0-385-50217-6

— reviewed by Agnes Norfleet, Decatur, Ga.

Richard Lischer is a Lutheran pastor who teaches preaching at Duke Divinity School. Open Secrets: A Spiritual Journey Through a Country Church is a wonderfully engaging memoir of his first experience as a parish pastor. It reads like a novel with character development, plot, intrigue, pathos, humor, conflict and sometimes even resolution. And yet it is more than a good story.

C. S. Lewis Then and Now

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.

Beyond the Worship Wars: Building Vital and Faithful Worship

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.

Lincoln’s Greatest Speech: The Second Inaugural

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.

Houses: A Family Memoir of Grace

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?

Who Is Jesus?: History in Perfect Tense

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.