Archives For Christianity

 

Nicole Baker Fulgham discusses her new book:

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can – and Should – Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids
Nicole Baker Fulgham

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

*** Watch for this book in the CCDA Bookstore in New Orleans Sept 11-14!

[ Read our review… ]






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The Only Really Honest Ones?

A Feature Review of

Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk
Heather Kopp

Hardback: Jericho Books, 2013
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Ellen Painter Dollar.
 
In a recent interview, popular blogger, author, and recovering alcoholic and bulimic Glennon Melton said this:

I think addicts are the only really honest ones. Life is hard, and everyone thinks so, but we’re the ones who say we will not pretend…Through our recovery, we also tend to end up much more self-aware and grateful than the general population. We believe in miracles, because we are one. We tend to be compassionate to others’ suffering because we’ve suffered. I really like us.

While Heather Kopp, author of Sober Mercies: How Love Caught Up with a Christian Drunk, has a gentler, more nuanced style than the über-intense Melton, I think she would agree with this assessment wholeheartedly. While Kopp was a Christian long before she got sober, the honest self-examination required by recovery gave her faith a gritty depth and necessity it lacked before. We Christians talk a good game about how badly we screw up and need God’s grace, while indulging in surreptitious self-congratulatory back pats. We still believe on some level that we are saved by our wit and our wisdom, our commitment to prayer or stocking the church food pantry, and our Christmas tradition of giving gifts to the poor instead of each other. We can go on like this, awash in self-deception, for years—perhaps our whole lives—if we are lucky enough to live a life with few crises.

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Beyond Narnia and Mere Christianity

A Guide to Seven Lesser Known Books by C.S. Lewis

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis.

Now would be a good time to revisit Lewis’s work; re-read the Chronicles of Narnia certainly, share them with your kids or grandkids, but also dig deeper into his work, you might be surprised by what you find.  We offer here a guide to seven of our favorite lesser-known books by C.S. Lewis.  We hope that you will find this guide helpful as you revisit his work over the coming months and years.

Also of interest for this C.S. Lewis anniversary year:

What other books would you include here? What are your favorite C.S. Lewis books?

 

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Next Book

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

If you haven’t read this already, I would definitely start here, with this autobiographical narrative of the first half (or so) of Lewis’s life. Surprised by Joy tells of the story of Lewis’s youth and the staunch atheism he developed, as well as his eventual conversion to Christianity.  This book tells the story of the experiences that would set the stage for the breadth and depth of his writing, and in that way this memoir is helpful in understanding the rest of Lewis’s work.  Borrowing its title from a Wordsworth poem, this book is arranged around the theme of joy and the role that it played in guiding Lewis to faith and guiding his work for the balance of his life. 

 

Addressing Educational Disparities.

 A Feature Review of

Educating All God’s Children: What Christians Can – and Should – Do to Improve Public Education for Low-Income Kids
Nicole Baker Fulgham

Paperback: Brazos Press, 2013
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by David Swanson.

 

There will be forty-nine fewer public schools in Chicago when fall rolls around in a few months. These shuttered neighborhood schools were casualties in the ongoing war of education reform. Pensions, property taxes, charter schools, teachers unions, segregated neighborhoods, and city government all have their places in this complicated war. The children have a place too; more often than not, they are the victims.

 

As a Christian I watched the back and forth leading up to the school closings with one specific question in mind: How do individual Christians and local congregations respond to the education crisis in my city and around the country? If there is any doubt that public education is in crisis then Nicole Baker Fulgham’s book, Educating All God’s Children, should convince the most dubious skeptic.  Early on she outlines the inequities most of us have become accustomed to: far greater percentages of Asian American and White students gradate high school in four years than do African American and Hispanic/Latino students; noticeably fewer African American forth-graders preform basic math skills compared with White students.  Many of us have heard these sorts of statics often enough that we no longer really hear them; Educating All God’s Children makes sure we listen closely while beginning to imagine a different future.

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The Hard Work of Living in the Here and Now

A Review of

And the Criminals With Him: Essays in Honor of Will D. Campbell and All the Reconciled.

Will Campbell and Richard C. Goode, eds.

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Enstad

 

Will Campbell has been a Baptist preacher, campus pastor, and worked in the National Council of Churches during the height of the civil rights era.  His work in the field of reconciliation has earned him accolades and rebukes by liberal and conservative alike.  During the 60’s and 70’s Campbell’s work with the Committee of Southeran Churchmen confounded liberals who wished to damn racists to hell.  Campbell’s endearing message can be found in the now-closed journal Kattalegete, named for the Greek word for “Be Reconciled.”  In Scripture, Campbell discovered, Paul wrote to all sides of the Christian argument as though they were already reconciled to each other through Christ’s blood, the work had been done, now it was just up to us to realize it!

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Here is our list of the worst Christian book covers of 2012…

(Numbers 11-12 on this list are ebooks, the rest are print books.  If we hadn’t limited our ebook choices to two, we could have chosen literally hundreds of bad ebook covers.)

Enjoy, and share these with a friend!

AND Be sure to check out our BEST Book Covers of 2012!

Count down with us to the #1 worst Christian book cover of the year…

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The first video segment from the study DVD:

The Awakening of Hope

Book by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
DVD features Shane Claiborne, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and others.
Zondervan, 2012.
Buy now: [ DVD – Amazon ]
[ Book – Amazon ]  [
Books – Kindle ]

 

*** Books by Shane Claiborne *** Books by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove ***

 

Why We Eat Together (Featuring Shane Claiborne / Chris Haw)

 


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Ed Dobson - Seeing Through the FogWhere is God When Your World is Falling Apart?

A Review of

Seeing Through the Fog: Hope When Your World Falls Apart

Ed Dobson

Hardback: David C. Cook, 2012
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Johnie Morgan

“This book is about hope” (18). This might seem like an obvious statement when looking at the title of this book, but it is the truth; Ed Dobson weaves a story that consists of pure hope with the hardships that he has gone through since the day he was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, sometimes known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Not only does he include his stories, however, but the stories of other people he has known that spent their last days slowly deteriorating from this disease as well. As a result, the prevalent question that displays itself in different ways throughout this book is: Where is God when your world is falling apart?

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William Cavanaugh - BEING CONSUMEDHere’s a superb theological reflection for Black Friday…

An 11-minute video introduction to:

Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire.

William Cavanaugh

Paperback. Eerdmans, 2008.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

A 2008 Englewood Honor Book
[ Read our review… ]


Part I:



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Seeing Christ Embodied in Healthy and Mature Ways.

A Review of

Christo-Anarchism - That Holy AnarchistThat Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity and Anarchism.

Mark Van Steenwyk.

Paperback: Missio Dei, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Paperback
[ Kindle – Only $1.99 ]

and

Christian Archy. (Areopagus Critical Christian Issues Series)

David Black.

Paperback: Energion Press, 2009.
Buy now:  [ Paperback
[ Kindle – Only $2.99 ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith

Christian ArchyChristianity. Anarchism. The two, I imagine, would be understood by most people as at odds with each other.  I have long been inclined to think that they are compatible and was pleasantly surprised to find these two recent books that seek to reconcile the two: David Alan Black’s Christian Archy and Mark Van Steenwyk’s That Holy Anarchist: Reflections on Christianity and Anarchism.  Both books are brief, helpful introductions, more like pamphlets in format than books, perhaps a tip of the hat to the long tradition of anarchist pamphleteering.

  

Black’s Christian Archy takes a conceptual approach, choosing to survey the biblical and theological literature on the Kingdom of God from the perspective of Christian anarchism.  “There is perhaps no clearer example of the church’s misguided appropriation of the world,” begins Black, “than the god of nationalism.  Instead of following Jesus, whose kingdom is marked by powerless love, we have attempted to use Christianity to support worldly power” (1).  Black proceeds to recognize the influence that the work of Jacques Ellul and Vernard Eller have had on his thought.  The remainder of the book reads like an very basic introduction to the key ideas of both of these important thinkers.  The book is obviously aimed at (more conservative) church audiences that have a basic grasp on both the Bible and theology.  The middle chapters of the book introduce the basic tenets of “Christian Archy” and its implications, explore the relationship between church and kingdom, and a chapter on “the power of the powerless (people of God).”  The material it covers is good and works pretty well as an introductory survey, but it seems to move way too quickly, leaving one with many questions, particularly in the church and kingdom chapter.

  

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