By Tom Sine Baker Books. 1999. 249 pp. Pb. $14.99. ISBN 0-8010-9088-1
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dodson Gray
Watchman, tell us of the night, What its signs of promise are. -- Advent season hymn
It is seldom that we find a Christian preacher or writer like Tom Sine, who can stand like an Old Testament prophet on the parapet of the city and tell us of the present and the future without losing his own footing in the Christian faith.
The big problem is that theological seminaries do not and probably cannot fully prepare people for parish ministry. Seminaries can provide theology, Bible, church history and certain skills training in homiletics. They can give attention to the spiritual and emotional development of the person.
By Walter Brueggemann Fortress. 1999. 148 pp. Pb. $18. ISBN 0-8006-3176-5
Reviewed by Paul K. Hooker Executive Presbyter, St. Augustine Presbytery
Anyone who has read the work of Walter Brueggemann knows that he is a radical, in the true sense of the word. Impatient with worn-out ideologies (either liberal or conservative) that have lost touch with the text, Brueggemann is eager to confront his readers with the transforming power of Scripture.
Augsburg Fortress. 1999. 236 pp. Pb. $29. ISBN 0800631331
Reviewed by Deborah A. McKinley
Gordon Lathrop's book, Holy People: A Liturgical Ecclesiology, voices fresh thoughts in the sometimes cacophonous conversations about contemporary ecclesiology. Holy People is a reflection on the meaning of "church," working from the conviction that the church's identity arises from the One the church worships -- the Triune God.
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.