Archives For Celebration

Celebrate John Wilson With Us!

December 11, 2018


John Wilson
Fellow Friends of John Wilson,
As you might be aware, John has been employed with us at The Englewood Review of Books as Contributing Editor for the last six months. We have been delighted to have John on staff, and his work is already bearing fruit: He has identified excellent books to feature that would not otherwise have been on our radar; he found new reviewers to write for us (including Philip Jenkins); and he has thoughtfully written columns for our recent issues. John’s role with us is minimal at the present, but we would like to employ him in a greater capacity (ideally full-time) beginning as soon as possible in the coming year.
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An excerpt from

Sabbath World:
Glimpses of A Different Order of Time
Judith Shulevitz.
Hardback:  Random House, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Read our review by Ragan Sutterfield here


Many Christians in evangelical (or post-evangelical) churches do not realize that the Church has traditionally celebrated Easter, not just as a one day holiday but as a season that stretches from Easter Sunday to Pentecost.  The season of Easter presents a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the significance of the death and resurrection of Jesus.   We’ve selected several recent books on these themes for you to consider during this Easter season.

Recommended Reading for the Easter Season:

829559: Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up In  Christ Practice Resurrection: A Conversation on Growing Up In ChristBy Eugene H. Peterson / Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

$17.99 – Save 25%!!!

The fifth and final book in Peterson’s best-selling Conversations in Spiritual Theology, discusses Paul’s letter to the Ephesian church, urging readers make Christian character to the centerpiece of their lives. New birth in Christ is essential, notes Peterson, yet the American church does not treat Christian growth and the formation of character with equivalent urgency. Practice Resurrection strikes at the heart of healthy Christian formation by using the voice of Scripture to guide us into the fullness of Christian maturity.

697013: Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of Easter Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of EasterBy Daniel A. Smith / Fortress Press

$21.99  – Save 24%!!!

What do the Gospels and Paul’s letters actually say about Jesus’ resurrection? How should we understand the meaning of the empty tomb? What do Jesus’ encounters with his disciples after his death suggest? How is his disappearance linked to his future role? A careful, nuanced synthesis of this vital, perplexing topic. 192 pages, hardcover. Fortress.

838486: The Challenge of Easter The Challenge of EasterBy N.T. Wright / IVP Books


Lost among the colored eggs and chocolate candies is Easter’s bold, almost unbelievable claim: Jesus has risen from the dead, and now everything is different.

Bestselling author N.T. Wright looks at Easter in its earliest context, where a band of followers discovered the fulfillment of all the promises God had made to their people over the centuries. The announcement of a new era unsettled their friends and scandalized their oppressors. That era extends to our day, where to celebrate Easter is to live as though God is among us, making everything new.

825332: We Believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord We Believe in the Crucified and Risen LordBy Mark J. Edwards, ed. / IVP Academic

$34.99 – Save 30%!!!

This commentary offers unique access to the doctrines and beliefs of the church’s earliest theologians. As such, it provides a rare tool for scholars and laypersons-immediate access to the relevant writing on a specific topic in the Church Fathers. Taking its title from the Nicene Creed, this volume, We believe in the Crucified and Risen Lord, covers primary source treatments of the doctrine of the person and work of Jesus Christ. The commentary follows the creed phrase for phrase, as gives extensive commentary on each phrase from a diverse group of early Christians ranging from Justin Martyr to Gregory of Nazianzus, and from such well known authors as Augustine, to the very obscure such as Arnobius of Sicca.


“Hope that fills
time with meaning”

A Review of
Seasons of Celebration:
Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts

by Thomas Merton.

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Seasons of Celebration:
Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts

Thomas Merton.
Paperback: Ave Maria Press, 2009.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


Having grown up in an evangelical church that tended toward fundamentalism, located in an area that was predominantly Roman Catholic, I was taught that Catholics were not true Christians and thus I had no sense of the rich, historical tradition of Catholic worship.  In particular, I had no sense of the marking of time through the seasons of the Christian year or of the liturgy that accompanied these seasons.  Having eventually renounced my fundamentalist roots, I also grew to deeply appreciate the seasons of the Christian year as the backbone of a holistic Christian faith.  Over time, I also came into conversation with many Roman Catholic friends as well as the writings of many prominent Catholics, particularly within the Monastic tradition.  The most influential of these Catholic thinkers was undoubtedly Thomas Merton.  I was therefore very excited to see that Ave Maria Press has brought one of the Merton’s least known works Seasons of Celebration: Meditations on the Cycle of Liturgical Feasts back into print.  Merton reflects here, with his typical contemplative depth, on the seasons of the Christian year.

Merton begins Seasons of Celebration by examining the meaning of liturgy, by returning to the roots of the word in Roman culture.  He says: “Liturgy is, in the original and classical sense of the word, a political activity.  Leitourgia was a ‘public work’ a contribution made by a free citizen of the polis to the celebration and manifestation of the visible life of the polis” (2-3).  Merton then brings this definition of liturgy into focus in the life of the Church.  Liturgy, as the work of the people, is not just “the performance of a group of specialists in the presence of passive spectators” (5).  Rather we are collaborators with Christ in the work of reconciling all creation. He also describes how in the liturgy we emerge out of the privacy of our brokenness and discover a rich Christian personalism in which we recognize both the uniqueness of our creation as persons and the mystery of our union with one another in Christ.

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