Disruptive Grace

By George Hunsinger
Eerdmans. 2000. 375 pp. $39. ISBN 0-8028-4644-0

Reviewed by Robert C. Bankhead, Wilmington, N.C.


George Hunsinger apparently proposes an ambitious agenda for his book early in the introduction, declaring that he dreams of forging a merger between the classical theology of Karl Barth and the compassionate Christianity of Martin Luther King.

Fit to be a Pastor: A Call to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness

By G. Lloyd Rediger
WJKP. 2000. Pb. $14.95. ISBN ISBN 0-664-25844-1

Reviewed by Cathy C. Chisholm, Vandalia, Ill.


Lloyd Rediger is on a crusade. He has written his latest book, "Fit to Be a Pastor: A Call to Physical, Mental and Spiritual Fitness," as a challenge to the church to join the quest for healthy leaders. The book is a summons issued to all of us in church leadership, particularly pastors, to seek body-mind-spirit fitness and to do it now.

God for a Secular Society: The Public Relevance of Theology

By Juergen Moltmann
Fortress. 1999. 292pp. Pb. $20. ISBN 0800631846

Reviewed by C. Benton Kline, Atlanta, Ga.


In this collection of 12 essays and lectures, Juergen Moltmann writes about some of the significant issues with which people must wrestle who seek to live in the modern world and address it from the perspective of a biblical and Christian faith.

Family Ministry

By Diana Garland
InterVarsity. 1999. 600 pp. $ 34.99. ISBN 0-8308-1585-6

Reviewed by Mary Anne Fowlkes, Richmond, Va.


Diana Garland has produced a comprehensive guide to family ministry. Based on her expertise in teaching and research, she presents social, cultural, psychological and historical understandings of family.

The Word: Imagining the Gospel in Modern America

By Ann Monroe
WJKP. 2000. 208 pp. $21.95. ISBN 0-664-22141-6

Reviewed by George A. Johnson, Cary, N.C.


This book is the report of a journalist's investigation into the many ways in which the Bible is understood, used and studied in America, and her reflection as a reporter on the findings of her study.

Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt: A Theological Survival Guide for Youth, Parents and other Confused Presbyterians

By Ted V. Foote Jr. and P. Alex Thornburg
2000. Geneva. 80 pp. Pb. $12.95. ISBN 0-664-50109-5

Reviewed by Sallie Watson, Austin, Texas


"Being Presbyterian in the Bible Belt" is pithy, witty and well-organized. So much did I enjoy it that I bought five copies to give to my Austin, Texas, high school graduates this year. Although Ted and Alex claim the "Bible belt" as the arena for this, their first book together, I would recommend this book to my former youth groups in California and Utah in a heartbeat.

Surveying the Religious Landscape

By George Gallup Jr. and Michael Lindsay
Morehouse. 1999. 171 pp. Pb. $ 17.95. ISBN 0-9192-1796-4

Reviewed by Edward A. White, Washington, D.C.


This study reflects the glaring incongruities of the religious situation in the United States today. Religion in general (whatever that may mean) remains popular but for many there is little substance.

Jesus the Holy Fool

By Elizabeth-Anne Stewart
Sheed & Ward, 1999. 242 pp. Pb. $15.95. ISBN 1-58051-061-2

Reviewed by Herb Meza, Jacksonville, Fla.


The theme of this book is the reconciliation of folly and holiness. In beautifully written paragraphs, folly is described not as foolishness or buffoonery, but as vulnerability; risk above safety; truth above security; love above self-gain; and celebration over somberness. (Harvey Cox's "A Feast of Fools" and Henri Nouwen's "Clowning in Rome" play upon the same theme.)

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.