If you are looking for a book to use this fall with your adult education class, look no further! This is a wonderful resource that lends itself to an eight-week class on "How a Church Can Engage the World."
Bruce Bawer is one of today's most perceptive and articulate cultural critics, especially in the arena of the religious cultural, political and theological climates. At the outset of Stealing Jesus, Bawer brushes aside worn-out phrases like fundamentalism and liberalism, traditional and modern, biblical and non-biblical religion and uses the terms Church of Law and Church of Love.
By Ruth L. Boling, Lauren J. Muzzy, Laurie A. Vance. Illustrated by Tracey Dahle Carrier.
Geneva (WJKP). 1997. Pb. $6.95 ISBN 0-664-50015-3
Reviewed by Carol A. Wehrheim
"With parents as partners, each church is called to nurture children in their commitment to Christ and community, through Scripture study, stewardship, worship, fellowship and Christian caring." With this quote and a charming illustration of a mouse child looking up at a mouse adult, this engaging book for children and their parents begins.
Ephraim Radner has written an interesting book. An Episcopalian priest, Radner argues that the present divisions within the church are themselves a sign of "pneumatic deprivation," that is, the abandonment of the church by the Holy Spirit. That is the message that the title of his book is meant to convey: The End of the Church: A Pneumatology of Christian Division in the West (Eerdmans, 1998).
The setting is a sleepy French village around 1960. Everything was nice and neat and orderly. The town is run by a benevolent despot of a mayor (Alfred Molina), who also takes attendance as the head usher at the Catholic church every Sunday. His wife is always traveling abroad.
Chocolat, by Joanne Harris (Viking Penguin, l999), is a modern fairy tale. The "good fairy" is Vianne Rocher, a mysterious young woman who takes up residence in a tiny French village. The "wicked wizard" is the local pastor, Father Francis Reynaud.
By Douglas John Hall WJKP. 1998. 145 pp. Pb. $18. ISBN 0-664-25772-0
It was in this order. I first read Tillich's Dynamics of Faith. Riveting. Next came The Courage to Be. Gripping. Then I went back and read the first volume of the Systematic Theology. Things began to make sense. Next came Biblical Religion and the Search for Ultimate Reality. Positive.
By Mary Elizabeth Moore Chalice. 1998. 226 pp. Pb. $19.99. ISBN 0-8272-2323-4
Ministering with the Earth is a quiltwork, both the on-the-ground activity and Moore's book about so ministering. Moore, professor of theology and Christian education at Claremont School of Theology, is fond of the metaphor, suitably pastoral and feminist.