Archives For Criticism

 

The Urban Problem of Affordability

A Review of

The Creative Destruction of New York City: Engineering the City For the Elite
Alessandro Busà

Hardcover: Oxford UP, 2017
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Reviewed by Thomas V. Bona

 

When I last visited my native New York City in 2013, I made sure to walk on the High Line. I was stunned at how well the vaunted 1.45-mile greenway on an abandoned rail line on the west side of Manhattan lived up to the hype. Lush vegetation – and did I hear birdsong? – stood out over oceans of urban pavement. A literal park in the sky, it had food, drinks, art installations, and excellent people watching. I never would have explored this part of the city when I was growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, when it was mostly aging industrial buildings, garages, and night clubs. Now it was teeming with life, as were a lot of other neighborhoods. With the “back to the city” trend and the strength of New York’s economy, decades of urban decay and disinvestment were beaten back. There were record numbers of residents, jobs, and tourists. What’s not to like?

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A Cruciform Movement Toward
Compassion, Communion, and Solidarity
 
A Feature Review of

How Jesus Saves the World from Us:
12 Antidotes to Toxic Christianity

Morgan Guyton

Paperback: WJK Books, 2016
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by Stephen Milliken
 
 
 
Morgan Guyton’s How Jesus Saves the World from Us charts a course offering a constructive critique that seeks to diagnose twelve infectious attitudes and detoxify Christianity with a corresponding antidote for each. Reflecting on Paul’s transformation experience as an illustration of Jesus saving the world from our severely misguided attempts at piety and righteousness, Guyton invites the reader into the often ignored practice of self-examination in which he poses the question: “How would Christians live differently if we believed that Jesus needs to save the world from us?”(p. 5). As he does throughout the book, Guyton provocatively takes this a step further, “If Jesus’ cross is the heart of Christianity, then maybe Jesus has never stopped being crucified by his own people, and the ones who really get Jesus are crucified along with him” (2).
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Samuel Taylor ColeridgeTo A Critic
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

Who extracted a passage from a poem without
adding a word respecting the
context,
and  then derided it as unintelligible.

 
 
Most candid critic, what if I,
By way of joke, pull out your eye,
And holding up the fragment, cry,
‘Ha! ha! that men such fools should be!
Behold this shapeless Dab!–and he
Who own’d it, fancied it could see!’
The joke were mighty analytic,
But should you like it, candid critic?
 
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A Brief Review of
(And Reflection on)

The Ethics of Voting
Jason Brennan
Hardback: Princeton UP, 2011.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

Well, here we are in 2012, another new year and another presidential election year.  The television and internet news media are already buzzing constantly about the run-up to the November elections. But with all this buzz, how often do we think about how or why we vote, or even – GASP! – if we should be voting at all.  Enter Jason Brennan’s recent book The Ethics of Voting.

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“The Right Book for the Right Time
in the Right Spirit

A Review of
The Bible Made Impossible:
Why Biblicism is not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture

by Christian Smith.

Reviewed by Michael J. Bowling.


The Bible Made Impossible - Christian SmithThe Bible Made Impossible:
Why Biblicism is not a Truly
Evangelical Reading of Scripture

by Christian Smith.
Hardback: Brazos Press, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ChristianBook.com ]
[ Amazon – Kindle ]

When the churches of Asia were struggling under the weight of first century Roman imperialism, God gave to them letters and a Letter (Revelation) to encourage continued faithfulness and to give particular direction for that faithfulness. At the end of each letter (found in Revelation 2 and 3), one finds the familiar words, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Whether in perceived crisis or not, churches need to listen for the voice of the Spirit. Appropriately, churches today listen for the voice of the Spirit in the words of the Bible. However, what is being heard and that which is being lived out together by church members is stunningly diverse and visibly contradictory. When these differences among various congregational expressions of the one Church of Christ are probed, one finds many sincerely held convictions which are defended tenaciously as precepts which are rooted deep within the Bible.

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424591: Zombie Church Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ

A Brief Review of

Zombie Church:
Breathing Life Back into the Body of Christ

By Tyler Edwards
Paperback: Kregel Publications, 2011.

Buy now: 
[ ChristianBook.com ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Brian Johnson.

Have you ever been to or been part of a church that seemed alive but yet something of life was missing? Welcome to Zombie church.  The author contends, and rightly so, that many of our churches today are ‘Zombie’ churches, i.e., churches that have the resemblance of life but are actually dead. From a distance they look as though they are alive, but upon closer inspection they have lost their connection to life: Jesus Christ.

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“Friend, Enemy or Frenemy?”

A Review of
Insurrection:
To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine

By Peter Rollins

Review by Maria Drews.

  

Insurrection - Peter RollinsInsurrection:
To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine

By Peter Rollins.
Paperback: Howard Books, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

In a book that often reads more like poetry than systematic theology, Peter Rollins takes us on a journey through crucifixion into resurrection in search of true faith, burning down the church as he goes. Insurrection: To Believe is Human, To Doubt, Divine, Rollins’ fourth book after How (Not) to Speak of God, The Fidelity of Betrayal, and The Orthodox Heretic, once again seeks truth in the paradox, finding faith by letting it be crucified.

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