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The Gold Coast Church and the Ghetto: Christ and Culture in Mainline Protestantism

By James K. Wellman Jr
Univ. of Illinois Press. 1999. 257 pp. Hb. $49.95. Pb. $21.95. ISBN 025206804

Reviewed by William P. Thompson
LaGrange Park, Ill.


The "church" in the title of this book is Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago and the "ghetto" is the Cabrini-Green public housing project a mile west of the church. The author, James Wellman, is a lecturer in the Comparative Religion Program of the University of Washington, who served from 1993 to 1996 as a member of the staff of Fourth church, directing the young adult education program.

No Future Without Forgiveness

By Desmond Mpilo Tutu
Doubleday. 1999. 289 pp. $ 23.95. ISBN 385-49689-3

Reviewed by Jorge Lara-Braud
Austin, Texas


If you are a teacher or a preacher of Christian faith, or if you are simply in need of a persuasive argument that God is still in charge of your life and everything there is, you should get a copy of this book.

The Divided Church: Moving Liberals and Conservatives from Diatribe to Dialogue

By Richard G. Hutcheson Jr. and Peggy L. Shriver

InterVarsity. 1999. 224 pp. Pb. $12.99 ISBN 0-8308-2223-2

Reviewed by Lewis S. Mudge


This is a rich and nuanced study of voices on both sides of the well-known right-left division of American Protestantism, with special emphasis on the PC(USA). Richard Hutcheson and Peggy Shriver personally represent the "evangelical" and "liberal" wings of the church, respectively.

Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers

By Joan S. Gray and Joyce C. Tucker

Geneva. 1999. 204 pp. Pb. $17.
ISBN 0-664-50018-8

Reviewed by James E. Andrews


The third edition of Presbyterian Polity for Church Officers by Joan Gray and Joyce Tucker is an improvement of a resource that has been essential for Presbyterian leaders since it first appeared in 1986.

Hopeful Realism: Reclaiming the Poetry of Theology

By Douglas F. Ottati

Pilgrim. 1999. 134 pp. $14.95. ISBN 0-8298-1322-5

Reviewed by James G. Kirk


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."

Praising God: The Trinity in Christian Worship

By Ruth C. Duck and Patricia Wilson-Kastner
WJKP. 1999. 207 pp. Pb. $22. ISBN 0-664-25777-1

Reviewed by Gene Huff
San Francisco


"The Trinity are a grammar problem," according to an answer once noted on a theology exam. The authors of this remarkably useful book suggest it has too often also been a worship problem and they assume the task of showing how we can more adequately speak to and about the Trinitarian God in worship.

Telling the Truth: Preaching about Sexual and Domestic Violence

John S. McClure and Nancy J. Ramsay, eds.
Cleveland. United Church Press.1998. 162 pp. Pb. $15.95
ISBN 0-8298-1282-2

Reviewed by Gail A. Ricciuti


This challenging book, a collection of essays emerging from a 1997 Presbyterian Consultation on Preaching and Sexual and Domestic Violence, may be the most helpful resource available on preaching with integrity in the face of the violence that, often invisibly, permeates our congregations.