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Listening for the Soul: Pastoral Care and Spiritual Direction

By Jean Stairs
Fortress. 2000. 213 pp. Pb. $20.
ISBN 0-8006-3239-7


Reviewed by William V. Arnold, Bryn Mawr, Pa.


In clear language, with no appeals to academic jargon, Jean Stairs undertakes a balancing act that brings pastoral care and spiritual direction into collaboration with each other. She wisely makes no attempt to have one discipline subsume the other. Rather, she recognizes and describes the gifts of each and the need of each for the perspective of the other.

Politics, Religion and the Common Good

By Martin E. Marty
Jossey-Bass. 2000. 240 pp. Hb. $22.50.
ISBN 0-7879-5031-9

Reviewed by Edward A. White, Washington, D.C.


This is a refreshing and clear-thinking description and analysis of the place of religion in the public life of our nation. Martin Marty sets forth six theses:

1. Public religion can be dangerous. It should be handled with care.

2. Public religion can and does contribute to the common good.

Education, Religion and the Common Good

By Martin E. Marty and Jonathan Moore
Jossey-Bass. 2000. 164 pp. Pb. $23.
ISBN 0-7879-5033-5

Reviewed by Allan E. Strand, Oxford, Miss.


The thrust of Martin Marty's work in this volume is captured most succinctly in this: "In the midst of global, national and local change affecting world views and public action, religion is too widespread and too deep a phenomenon not to be reckoned with in primary, or at least secondary, schools and thereafter, no matter under what aegis or auspices" (p. 139).

Godviews: The Convictions That Drive Us and Divide Us

By Jack Haberer
Geneva. 2001. 192 pp. Pb. $19.95.
ISBN 0-664-50190-7

Reviewed by Brent Eelman of Houston, Texas


This book should be mandatory reading for all commissioners to this year's General Assembly. Jack Haberer, who is well-known as an evangelical leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has written a thoughtful book that challenges the reader to rethink the easy categories that we often use to describe theological differences.

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.

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.

Christian Worship: Glorifying and Enjoying God

By Ronald P. Byars
Geneva. 2000. 96 pp. Pb. $11.95.
ISBN 0-664-50136-2


Reviewed by James G. Kirk, Glen Burnie, Md.


Much to the satisfaction of those of us who serve in parishes, Geneva Press, in conjunction with the Office of Theology and Worship, has initiated a new series of books called the Foundations of Christian Faith.

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