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.

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?