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Rethinking the Beloved Community: Ecclesiology, Hermeneutics, Social Theory

By Lewis S. Mudge
WCC Publications and University Press of America, Inc. 2000.312 pp. Pb. $27.50 ISBN 2-8254-1332-1

— reviewed by Louis Weeks, president, Union-PSCE, Richmond.

This collection of articles and essays by Lewis Mudge -- which have previously appeared in a variety of publications during the past 30 years -- offers a good summary of his thought. He believes that the whole church needs to think fresh thoughts about its identity as the body of Christ. More, it must develop its identity in the world. Ecclesial life for Mudge is a reality, and social theory can illumine its existence.

The Art of Teaching the Bible

By Christine Eaton Blair
Geneva. 2001. 138 pp. Pb. $12.95.ISBN ISBN 0-664-50148-6

— reviewed by Margaret Parks Cowan Maryville, Tenn.

Christine Eaton Blair has produced a lively and practical guide for teaching Bible study to adults. She acknowledges the problem of biblical illiteracy and the difficulty of motivating adults to participate in Bible study. While she presents different approaches to the text and theological implications of those approaches, the strength of her book lies in its discussion of insights from adult learning theory and practical strategies for teaching that flow from these insights.

The Dancers of Riverside Park

By Peggy Shriver
WJKP. 2001. 112 pp. Pb. $14.95.
ISBN 0664223338

Reviewed by Jane C. Perdue
of Canyon Lake, Texas

Through her book of poems, The Dancers of Riverside Park, Peggy Shriver travels with her eyes wide open. Whether riding the subway in New York City or viewing the tomb of Lenin in Russia, her antenna is out to sense the moment.

Christology and the New Testament: Jesus and His Early Followers

By Christopher Tuckett
WJKP. 2001. 256 pp. Pb. $24.95.
ISBN 0-664-22431-8

Reviewed by John Barksdale of Madison, Va.

Christopher Tuckett, a lecturer in New Testament studies at the University of Oxford, has written a very readable and useful summary of what the New Testament writers thought about the significance of Jesus.

Religion on Campus

By Conrad Cherry, Betty A. DeBerg and Amanda Porterfield
University of North Carolina Press. 2001. 316 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-8078-2623-5

— reviewed by Allen Proctor, Presbyterian campus minister
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.

Religion on Campus is a valuable and unique resource for all who are interested in what is actually happening in the religious life of students and faculty on college campuses today. Are you interested in getting inside a meeting of Campus Crusade for Christ to see all that is said and done? What happens during a gathering of the Lutheran Student Movement and what feelings and thoughts do students report in interviews following those gatherings?

Reformed Worship

By Howard L. Rice and James C. Huffstuttler
Geneva. 2001. 233 pp. $24.95.
ISBN 0-664-50147-8

Reviewed by Ronald P. Byars, professor of preaching and
worship,Union-PSCE, Richmond, Va.

"Word-centered worship appeals to the mind . . . sometimes to the neglect of the emotions. Partly because of this emphasis, the flight of the young from Reformed congregations has been particularly noticeable, and the feeling that something is wrong is very deep" [p. x].

Searching for a Pastor: The Presbyterian Way

By Dean E. Foose
Geneva. 2001. 114 pp. Pb. $9.95.
ISBN 0-664-50041-2

Reviewed by Freda Gardner, Princeton, N.J.

The subtitle of this book is "A Roadmap for Pastor Nominating Committees." It is well chosen and Dean Foose, director of alumni/ae relations and placement at Princeton Seminary, is well qualified to describe a way for congregations and pastors to discover their respective callings.

Deep Memory, Exuberant Hope: Contested Truth in a Post-Christian World

By Walter Brueggemann
Fortress. 2000. 143 pp. Pb. $16.
ISBN 0-8006-3237-0

Reviewed by James P. Ashmore, Raleigh, N.C.

Two things in particular make Walter Brueggemann's work engaging. First, he is a harsh critic of the contemporary world, employing biblical texts to build a case that certain aspects of our current boom times stand under God's judgment. Whether you agree or disagree, it is terribly difficult to ignore his argument.

Bluepring 21: Presbyterians in the Post-Denominational Era

By Robert Thornton Henderson
Providence House. 2000. 160 pp. Pb. $16.95.
ISBN 1 57736 203 9

Reviewed by Richard Ray, Pittsburgh

Utopian, iconoclastic, broad-brushed and frequently irreverent about venerable PC(USA) ways, Robert Henderson's Blueprint 21 is a provocative book. If you like your theology cool, your sense of churchmanship poised, your rhetorical style silky and smooth, and your exegesis in harmony with the claims of the Enlightenment, you had better head for your aspirin bottle before you begin to turn these pages.