Archives For Mark Noll


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Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind
Mark Noll

Audiobook: Eerdmans

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A Review of

From Every Tribe and Nation: A Historian’s Discovery of the Global Christian Story
Mark Noll

Paperback: Baker Academic, 2014
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Reviewed by Andy Johnson


Few books describe the journey that a scholar takes to arrive at its conclusions. This is what makes From Every Tribe and Nation unique. It is a memoir of discovery, offering a rare glimpse into how a leading historian’s understanding of global Christianity has developed over time.
There is a growing awareness that the center of Christianity is no longer in the West but shifting toward the global South and East. From Every Tribe and Nation is the third in a series of books released by the Baker Publishing Group, entitled, “Turning South: Christian Scholars in an Age of World Christianity.” This series invites scholars who have already turned their attention toward developments in global Christianity to share about how this subject became important to them.
Mark Noll spent 27 years teaching at Wheaton and the last 8 years at Notre Dame, focusing primarily on the history of Christianity and Evangelicalism in America. He is a prolific author and regarded as a leader in his field.
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Book News

Some interesting bits of book news and conversations collected over the last week:

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Sustainablog Review of
Scott Sabin’s new book
Tending to Eden: Environmental Stewardship for God’s People

For the environmentalist who doesn’t ground his/her passion, advocacy, and work in faith, Tending to Eden is replete with stories of eco-effectiveness. Plant with Purpose serves rural communities in the developing world, and much of their work focuses on replenishing depleted resources that keep farmers from producing enough to feed their families and communities.

For Sabin and his organization, that often comes down to a focus on deforestation. Whether trees are cut by large, industrial-scale timber operations or by indigenous farmers clearing land for crops, or turning wood into charcoal, the results are the same: degraded soils and watersheds that make even subsistence farming nearly impossible. Various kinds of reforestation activities serve to provide food, expand economic opportunity, and allow local residents to take a longer view towards their own survival.

Read the full review:

Tending to Eden:
Environmental Stewardship for God’s People.

Scott Sabin.

Paperback: Judson Press, 2010.
Buy now:  [  Amaz0n ]

Gabriel Thompson’s
Working in the Shadows:
A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do

The jobs that Gabriel Thompson writes about in Working in the Shadows: A Year Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do make even the worst jobs I’ve held seem like a month at the country club. Donning workingman’s clothes, Thompson tackles jobs that, frankly, I wouldn’t even consider before reaching a significant level of desperation. In the course of picking lettuce in the fields of Yuma, Arizona, and hauling chicken parts around a processing facility in Russellville, Alabama, (among other occupations) Thompson explores this segment of American labor like a latter-day E. P. Thompson, relating their lives and working conditions with a minimum of editorial intrusion.

Gabriel Thompson’s agenda is neither one of the white man’s burden or migrant worker agitprop. Rather, he simply takes these jobs and reveals to the reader their backbreaking and often mentally stultifying requirements, at times performed in harsh (but not inhuman) environments. After weeks of picking lettuce, Thompson hasn’t gotten that much better at the job nor gotten past the pain that bending over repeatedly in the hot sun creates as much as he has “[forgotten] what it’s like to not be sore.” While working in the frigid poultry plant, he aspires to be promoted to the de-boning department, which, while more toilsome and monotonous, is less physically demanding than hauling around buckets full of chicken remains.

Read the full review:

Working in the Shadows:
A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do
Gabriel Thompson.

Hardback: The Nation Books, 2009.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Mark Noll Reviews Patricia Ward’s
Experimental Theology in America.
on the newly redesigned BOOKS AND CULTURE website.

Patricia Ward’s meticulously researched history uncovers a surprisingly extensive vein of Protestant (usually, evangelical Protestant) engagement with the mystical piety of late 17th-century French Roman Catholics. An early leader of that engagement was John Wesley, who attended to the French mystics carefully on the question of assurance and who later excerpted works of Madame Jeanne Guyon and François Fénelon for the Christian Library he prepared so his Methodist itinerants could read while they rode. In the 19th century, appreciative readers included the Presbyterian minister William E. Boardman, the moral philosopher Thomas Upham, and the pioneering holiness preacher Phoebe Palmer. In the 20th century, A. W. Tozer included several poems of Madame Guyon in his anthology, The Christian Book of Mystical Verse, and Moody Press was one of several evangelical publishers who kept her works in print.

Read the full review:

Experimental Theology in America:
Madame Guyon, Fenelon, and Their Readers
Patricia A. Ward
Hardback: Baylor University Press, 2009
Buy now: [ Amazon ]