Archives For *Brief Reviews*

 

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0814645925″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/51lMP2hM3dL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”222″]Toward A Deeper Life of Dialogue
 
A Brief Review of
 

Finding Jesus Among Muslims:
How Loving Islam Makes Me A Better Catholic
Jordan Denari Duffner

Paperback: Liturgical Press, 2018.
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Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
 
In an age when hostility toward those of the Muslim faith is all too common, Jordan Denari Duffner in her recent book Finding Jesus Among the Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me A Better Catholic, points us in a different – and more Christ-like – direction. Duffner’s approach is grounded, as she notes in her introduction, in the virtues of dialogue. “We are called to dialogue,” she observes, “because God dialogues. As Christians, we believe in one God who is also Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Saint Augustine understood this three-in-one God as a communication – or dialogue – of love, in which the Father and Son give and receive love, and the Holy Spirit is the love between them. God also dialogues with humanity” (4).

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A Review of

We Hope for Better Things
Erin Bartels

 
Paperback: Revell, 2019
 
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Reviewed by Cynthia Beach
 
 
The gift of Erin Bartels’ debut novel, We Hope for Better Things, is a long-view on racism, or on the difficulty we seem to have, generation by generation, of loving our neighbor as ourselves. In this time slip novel, we see down the line of sight of racism, the hall of mirrors, the choices and stances—the beautiful and the ugly.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1400208416″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/412hztztPFL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”216″]Flourishing in Conversation
 
A Review of

I Think You’re Wrong
(But I’m Listening):
A Guide to Grace-Filled
Political Conversations

Sarah Stewart Holland /
Beth Silvers

Hardback: Thomas Nelson, 2019
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Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 
Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers are long-time friends and co-hosts of the Pantsuit Politics podcast. More significantly though, they sit on opposite sides of the political spectrum: Sarah is a Democrat (a former Hillary Clinton campaign worker) and Beth is a Republican. Together they have written an important new book, I Think You’re Wrong (But I’m Listening), that guides us toward “grace-filled political conversations.” Sarah and Beth invite us into the joys and vulnerability of a conversational life:

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0385544529″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/51j9qLvk1FL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”220″]The Capacity to Change
 
A Brief Review of

The King and the Catholics:
England, Ireland, and the Fight for Religious Freedom, 1780–1829
Antonia Fraser

Hardback: Doubleday, 2018
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Reviewed by David E. Anderson
 
 
Fans of Antonia Fraser, the well-regarded surveyor of the British (The Wives of Henry VIII) and French monarchies (Marie Antoinette: The Journey) as well as a popular novelist (the “Jemima Shore” novels), will find much to enjoy in this history of Catholic emancipation in Great Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0830845445″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/51zPVur24PL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”222″]Who is the Holy Spirit?
 
A Brief Review of

Here In Spirit:
Knowing the Spirit Who Creates, Sustains, and Transforms Everything
Jonathan Dodson

Paperback: IVP Books, 2018
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Reviewed by Alisa Williams
 
 
In this brief book, author Jonathan K. Dodson invites the reader to discover who the Holy Spirit is and to come to know Him better. “The most meaningful, creative, satisfying life possible is one lived here in Spirit,” writes Dodson in the introduction (5).

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What Following Jesus Means

 
A Brief Review of

Phoebe: A Story
Paula Gooder

 
Paperback: IVP Academic, 2018
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Reviewed by Leslie Starasta
 
 
As 21st century readers, we are far removed from the life and times of early Christians. Sitting down to read the Bible, we consider it an ancient text to be studied and the inspired scripture that is central to our faith. Our ability to interact with the text by reading it in the privacy of our own homes or on a mobile device is vastly different from the first believers who heard the letters read while gathered in house churches.

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Why You Need to Own a Copy of
Madeleine L’Engle’s The Kairos Novels (box-set).

 

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1598535773″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/51cacLUG01L.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”256″]Madeleine L’Engle:
The Kairos Novels:
The Wrinkle in Time and
Polly O’Keefe Quartets

 
2 Hardbacks:
Library of America, 2018.

 
 
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By C. Christopher Smith
 
 
The Library of America has recently released a gorgeous hardback box-set of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time and its seven subsequent novels, a collection they have dubbed The Kairos Novels. The eight novels are presented in two volumes that contain four novels each: The Wrinkle in Time Quartet (Wrinkle, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters) and The Polly O’Keefe Quartet (The Arm of the Starfish, Dragons in the Waters, A House Like a Lotus, An Acceptable Time). The novels in the first four volumes trace the adventures of Meg Murry and Calvin O’Keefe, to whom we are introduced in Wrinkle. The second volume follows Polly O’Keefe, the daughter of Meg and Calvin.

Many L’Engle fans will already have copies of most, if not all, of these novels, so why recommend the box set?

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A Review of
 

Sacred Signposts:
Words, Water, and Other Acts of Resistance

Benjamin Dueholm

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2018.
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Reviewed by D.S. Leiter
 
 
Sacred Signposts is by a minister in the mainline Lutheran tradition. As such, the book is organized according to the “sacred possessions” of the church offered by reformer Martin Luther: words; water; a meal of bread and wine; confession and forgiveness; ministry; prayer, praise, and worship; and the cross and suffering.

Dueholm seeks to make an argument that these traditions are worth continuing. At times he makes a good case. For instance, I dearly loved that the author pointed out that the biblical creation story is the only known creation narrative that creates the world through speech. And I really loved some of the ways he talked about the need for repentance, especially by the white church.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”0664264166″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/51VZmiKJnLL.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”216″]To A Church Gone Astray
 
A Review of 

Not Your White Jesus:
Following a Radical, Refugee Messiah

Sheri Faye Rosendahl

 
Paperback: WJK Books, 2018
Buy Now: [ [easyazon_link identifier=”0664264166″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Amazon[/easyazon_link] ] [ [easyazon_link identifier=”B07JHJ29BJ” locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Kindle[/easyazon_link] ]
 
Reviewed by Justin Cober-Lake
 
 
The American church has rarely been so much its own branch of Christianity as it has become recently. In her debut book Not Your White Jesus, Sheri Faye Rosendahl addresses where it has gone wrong and how we can emphasize the teachings of Jesus to return to a faith that, in practice, looks more like him. To be clear, she goes after not all Americans, but the visible white, conservative version that makes political noise and votes as a block. We need her message now, and her anger and frustration brings a needed spark to a conversation that too often turns toward either anonymous internet shouting or dry contemplation. Unfortunately, the book contains a mix of necessary insight and unhelpful wandering.

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[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”333″ identifier=”1632572141″ locale=”US” src=”http://englewoodreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/41Y0AVpEJ7L.jpg” tag=”douloschristo-20″ width=”216″]The Unique Expression of God 
 
A Brief Review of 
 

Unforced Rhythms:
Why Daily Devotions Aren’t for All of Us

Gwen Jackson

Paperback: Wesleyan Publishing, 2017.
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Reviewed by Pam Kittredge
 
 
Ordained Wesleyan minister, Gwen Jackson, believes that there are a variety of ways people can relate to God. While acknowledging the importance placed by many Evangelicals on daily devotions, Jackson explains and explores other paths to formation. Along the way, she counsels self acceptance and understanding of our own particular needs as related to the formation process.

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