Advent resources

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.

Sundays Down South: A Pastor’s Stories

By James O. Chatham
University Press of Mississippi.1999. 248 pp. $25. ISBN 1-57806-175-X

Reviewed by Louis Weeks, Richmond, Va.


"Exegete the biblical text, exegete the congregation, and exegete the community in which you serve." This profound advice for pastors and others who would lead the church I have heard constantly from seminary professors and from wise old hands in presbytery.

Good News in Exile: Three Pastors Offer a Hopeful Vision for the Church

By Martin B. Copenhaver, Anthony B. Robinson
and William H. Willimon

Eerdmans. 1999. 116 pp. Pb. $12. ISBN 0-8028-4604-1

Reviewed by Angela L. Ying, Seattle, Wash.


In a word, it is a gift. Martin B. Copenhaver, Anthony B. Robinson and William H. Willimon's book, Good News in Exile: Three Pastors Offer a Hopeful Vision for the Church, is a genuine gift to the church. Unlike other "gifts" where we get exactly what we ask for, where there are no surprises, and where we know what to expect, Good News in Exile offers the church -- and thus offers us, as people of faith -- one of those rare gifts.

Rachel’s Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope

By Kathleen D. Billman and Daniel L. Migliore
United Church. 1999. 174 pp. Pb. $18.95. ISBN 0-8298-1353-5

Reviewed by Fane Downs
Midland, Texas


We live in a time of increased interest in things spiritual -- practices, techniques and theologies -- many sincere, some shallow. Our days are marked, moreover, by suffering and awareness of evil in our midst -- manifested in ethnic cleansing, wars, school shootings, family violence, etc.

Home By Another Way

By Barbara Brown Taylor
Cowley. 1999. Pb. 212 pp. $ 11.95. ISBN 1-56101-167-3

Reviewed by Elisabeth Lunz


When I first met Barbara Brown Taylor more than 20 years ago, she was becoming a writer. We were both at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where Barbara worked in administration during her postulancy for the Episcopal priesthood.

The Millennium Myth: Hope for a Postmodern World

By N. T. Wright
WJKP. 1999. 128 pp. $12.95. ISBN 0-664-25841-7

Reviewed by Michael D. Bush


While too much of the Christian world is coming off the rails in expectation of a divine cataclysm on Jan. 1, 2000, N. T. Wright offers us a challenge to celebrate the millennium as a Christian festival, rather than standing by passively or ex-citedly, waiting to see if the world will end. He issues the challenge in few words, with the clarity and good sense we have learned to expect from him in his New Testament scholarship.

The Dynamic Congregation

By Robert H. Ramey Jr.

Chalice. 1999. Pb. 139 pp. $15.99 ISBN 0-8272-0626-7

Reviewed by William Hawkins


Out of his "25 years of pastoral work, 16 years of teaching ministry in a theological institution and more than 200 seminars with churches and judicatories," Robert Ramey offers congregations the distilled essence of his considerable wisdom.

Putting the Amazing Back in Grace

By Ann Weems
WJKP. 1999. 112 pp. $14.95. ISBN 0-664-22150-5

Reviewed by Jane C. Perdue


Pay attention, lay people, ministers and Christian educators! Putting the Amazing Back in Grace is another Ann Weems collection of poems to use in reflection, preaching and teaching!

Mustard Seed Versus McWorld: Reinventing Life and Faith for the Future

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.

Here I Am Lord, Now What? Transition and Survival in the First Parish

TAS2TE of Ministry Inc. $24.95

Reviewed by Edward A. White


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.

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