Here are a some excellent theology* books that will be released this month:
* broadly interpreted, including ethics, church history, biblical studies, and other areas that intersect with theology
We’re giving away THREE copies of:
Enter now to win (It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!) :
Each week, we carefully curate a handful of books for church leaders that orient us toward the health and the flourishing of our congregations.
*** DON”T MISS
Amazon’s Monthly Ebook Sale for April!
CLICK HERE for the best deals
from it for Christian Readers…
An important book on the rootedness of our faith …
Prices good through Nov 21…
Sorry, the publisher has limited this sale to the United States.
By Diana Butler Bass
By Miroslav Volf
(Sorted alphabetically by title… We’ve provided links to our review where possible)
A Feature Review of
Reviewed By Jess O. Hale, Jr.
As the age of “spiritual but not religious” just now hits its stride in American society, commentators and pundits fill the airwaves, the Internet and a host of books in order tells what it all means – most with a great deal more diffuse heat than helpful illumination. Atheists and secularists trumpet religion’s demise as the less strident among them call for toleration of quaint tribal superstitions and the outright banishment of more troublesome expressions of religious practice. Fundamentalists lament the rise of godless humanism, the pagan-like new age spiritualities and militant Islam as they themselves struggle to impose a gauzy “godly” bygone morality from the early 1950s. Mainline denominations retrench themselves. Church growth and mega-church devotees trot out new marketing schemes. Many observant and not so observant Christian parents feel perplexed as their children leave the faith and never seem to come back to it. Emergent Christians call for a new less sectarian, more world-engaging form of Christian practice. Our time is one of change that seems to many to be one of fundamental transformation. That change disorients many and we look for guides to this new age. In Diana Butler Bass’ Christianity After Religion many readers will find an accessible, learned and hopeful guide to where our “brave new world” is taking us.
ERB Editor Chris Smith reviews
Diana Butler Bass’s A PEOPLE’S HISTORY
OF CHRISTIANITY for SOJOURNERS
When I was a child my mom used to read me stories of Christian martyrs from an Anabaptist history book called Martyrs Mirror. As I have returned to these often gruesome stories at various stages of my life, I find in them an alternate version of church history that contrasts with the history taught in many churches and schools.
Similarly, in A People’s History of Christianity, Diana Butler Bass has spun another alternate history of the church. Taking inspiration from Howard Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States, which offers a new slant on U.S. history, Bass presents here a fresh version of church history that stands in contrast to the militant Christianity she calls “Big C” Christianity, in reference to the key elements of that history: Christ, Constantine, Christendom, Calvin, and Christian America.
Gardening marks, as clearly as any activity, the joining of nature and culture. The gardener makes nothing, but rather gathers what God has made and shapes it into new and pleasing forms. The well-designed garden shows nature more clearly and beautifully than nature can show itself. And this can be a model of politics: people left to their own devices can run riot, make themselves and their environment “ruin’d” and “disorder’d”; properly governed, though, they can flourish, they can become their best selves and make the most of their environment.
But the governor’s hand, like the gardener’s, can fall too heavy. If we grant that Richard has been careless and thoughtless, has failed to govern, has allowed weeds to overwhelm “our sea-walled garden,” we may also suspect this gardener, who is quick to appoint an “executioner” and is perhaps overly enamored with “evenness” in his realm. We need governors as we need gardeners; but not all forms of government are equally wise or equally beautiful.
These are among the themes of Tim Richardson’s delightfully expansive book The Arcadian Friends: Inventing the English Landscape Garden. Richardson explores in apt detail the most eventful and meaning-rich period of English landscape gardening, from the Glorious Revolution of 1688—during which the English and the Dutch collaborated in governing and gardening alike—to the middle of the next century, when Lancelot “Capability” Brown strode onto the scene and made an impression that still dominates our sense of the English made landscape.
Read the full review:
The Arcadian Friends:
Inventing the English Landscape Garden
Paperback: Bantam Press, 2008
Buy now: [ Amazon ]
When the nation’s first black president took the oath of office, surrounded by the grandeur of the National Mall, it was easy to forget that one of the country’s most isolated and impoverished black ghettos was a few short blocks away. The poverty, violence and hopelessness in America’s inner cities have become increasingly dire in the four decades since the height of the civil rights movement. But as Barack Obama’s victory suggests, racial prejudice is less severe today than ever before. Why haven’t the problems of the ghettos improved along with race relations generally?
Conservatives have a ready answer. Racism is not the problem; instead, a pervasive culture of instant gratification, violence and loose morals — think gangsta rap — keeps poor blacks from enjoying the American dream, not white racists. Liberals have a more charitable, but unfortunately more obscure, rejoinder. Poor blacks today suffer from covert racism, unconscious racism, institutional racism, environmental racism and a host of other theoretically abstruse “racisms” that don’t involve cross-burning white supremacists or crude Archie Bunker-style bigots — and may not even involve racial animus or discrimination. Each side has little patience for the claims of the other. Conservatives reject the idea of structural and institutional racism as an intellectual’s way of playing the race card. Liberals attack any emphasis on the dysfunctional culture of the poor as “blaming the victim.”
In “More Than Just Race,” the Harvard sociologist William Julius Wilson recaps his own important research over the past 20 years as well as some of the best urban sociology of his peers to make a convincing case that both institutional and systemic impediments and cultural deficiencies keep poor blacks from escaping poverty and the ghetto.
Read the full review: