Archives For Review

 

Reading with Creative Anachronism 
 
A Feature Review of 

Biblical Truths: The meaning of Scripture in the 21st Century.
Dale Martin

Hardback: Yale UP, 2017.
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Reviewed by Jordan Kellicut
 
 
Biblical Truths: the meaning of Scripture in the 21st Century is billed as a ground-breaking book which seeks to give a framework for how to think theologically in light of our postmodern world. From the first page Martin lays out intriguing and frequently scandalous methods of interpretation. His introduction is a critical introduction to his thesis and methodology. Martin argues, rather persuasively, that there is a difference between pre-modern and modern Biblical interpretation. Namely the pre-modern Christian assumed that everything in the Bible was written to that person, in that place and that time. Thus the meaning of the text was not necessarily what the author meant. This is striking since the prevailing thought in both academic and popular understanding is the meaning of a text is located not “in” but “behind” the text – what I learned to call “authorial intent.” A substantial amount of Martin’s introduction is dedicated to tracking how this hermeneutic progressed into modern theology. He then contends that the division between Bible and theology is a modern invention and not a helpful one.

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A Confident Trust in the
Sovereign Purposes of God

 
A Brief Review of 

Change for the First Time, Again:
A Story of Change and How Change is our Story
Scott Lencke

Paperback: Resource Publications, 2016.
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Reviewed by Jessica Hudson
 
 
This most recent publication of work by author Scott Lencke is without doubt the most enjoyable paperback I have sat down to digest in a number of years. It is just the book I want to have with a cup of my favorite coffee in my most comfortable chair. Indeed, the further in it I read, the more I felt the impression that I might as well be sitting across a table in a pub with the author, comfortably sharing our stories together.

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Jesus, Messiah of the Poor

 

A Feature Review of

Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor
Liz Theoharis

Paperback: Eerdmans, 2017
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Reviewed by Joseph Johnson

 

Fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. declared in his famous speech “A Time to Break Silence” that, “True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” I think these words, challenging as they are, express the conviction that undergirds the efforts of Liz Theoharis in her timely new book, Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor. Her contention is that Matthew 26:11, one of the most influential passages on poverty in Scripture, has often been twisted out of context in order to give red-lettered justification for viewing poverty as inevitable and pitting Jesus in opposition to the poor (13, 97). In her eyes, these conclusions have obviously damaging consequences.

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Our Different, Blurry Places
 
A Brief Review of 
 

I [Heart] Francis:
Letters to the Pope from an Unlikely Admirer

Donna Schaper

Paperback: Fortress Press, 2017
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Reviewed by Kelsey Maddox
 
 
I can remember a picture of the pope (John Paul, to be exact) positioned above my grandma’s recliner on the peach and maroon colored wallpaper of the farmhouse. I never understood why she had a picture of someone on the wall who wasn’t in our family. I never understood any of that, and neither did Donna Schaper, a progressive queer women from New York City.  It seems esoteric, that is, until Pope Francis.

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A Disciplined Eye
for the Hyper-Local

 
An Abridged Review of

As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God
Eugene Peterson

Hardback: Waterbook, 2017
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Reviewed by David Swanson
 

This is a brief clip of a review that appears in
our forthcoming Eastertide 2017 magazine issue…

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While reading through these sermons it is easy to imagine something about the women and men who comprised Peterson’s suburban congregation. The sentences and illustrations seem to hold in mind particular people with their very particular lives. In a sermon titled “Holy, Holy, Holy” from Isaiah 6 and Revelation 4, the pastor addresses his people gently:

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The Napoleon Dynamite
of Missionary Biographies?

A Feature Review of 

Dangerous Territory: My Misguided Quest to Save the World
Amy Peterson

Paperback: Discovery House, 2017
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Reviewed by Matthew Loftus
 
 
Amy Peterson’s debut book, Dangerous Territory, is not your typical missionary biography and it is not meant to be. As Peterson recounts her story of teaching English as a Second Language for two years in Southeast Asia, she deliberately tries to subvert the conventions of the missionary memoir in order to change the way we talk about missions. In an article last year for Christianity Today, she wrote that “We need to hear stories about the real struggles and joys of missions work.” This is one of those stories.

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Persistent, Attentive Cultivation
 
A Review of 

Garden In The East:
The Spiritual Life of the Body
.

Angela Doll Carlson

Paperback: Ancient Faith, 2016.
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Reviewed by Michelle Van Loon

 

I’ve spent more than four decades bouncing around Evangelicalism. The movement, disparate as it can be, has been remarkably effective at proclaiming to me that faith resides primarily in my mind  (what I think) and in my heart (what I feel).

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The Faith of a Wanderer

A Feature Review of 

The Gospel According to Star Trek: The Original Crew
Kevin Neece

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016
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Reviewed by Rob O’Lynn

 

“Space…the final frontier.”  For over 50 years—five decades—that phrase has gathered generations of fans around their televisions and in the cinemas to join in the ongoing mission of the starship Enterprise as it seeks out new life and new civilizations, as it boldly goes where no one has gone before!  Wow, I am getting chills just typing it out.

Culturally speaking, Star Trek is at the pinnacle.  It has survived cancellations, mockumentaries and a bottomed-out fan base, only to become an endearing icon on the cultural landscape.  There are countless streams in which the Enterprise sails: television and films, merchandising, publishing, discography (of which the most awesome is this album), and, of course, conventions.  To be quite poignant, Star Trek has gone where, culturally, no one had gone before.

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Bringing to Light the Inner Person
 
A Review of

What She Was Saying:
Stories

Marjorie Maddox

Paperback: Fomite, 2017.
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Review by Janna Lynas

 
 

Each day we cross paths with someone that is saying something. It may be an actual conversation with audible words, but sometimes, there are no words –just signals, signs or even silence. The experiences of a life, the beautiful and the tragic, can become tangled in a mind, showing itself in the actions, attitudes and behaviors of a person. And because there is this event, sometimes with words, sometimes a memory, sometimes with subtle speechless revelation, the only way we can know is to notice, to remember and to give honor to what is uttered out loud or in silence.

What She Was Saying, a compilation of award winning short stories and poetry from Marjorie Maddox, peers into these thoughts of women and girls and puts words to those happenings of a person we may never know. Maddox recounts memories and wonderings from newspaper headlines and real-life encounters, as well as putting words to imaginative narrative and stories behind faces of those who often stand before us.

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The Wonder of Love and
the Call of Justice

A Feature Review of 

Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church
Carol Howard Merritt

Hardback: HarperOne, 2017
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Reviewed by Phil Snider

 

Have you ever been afraid in the hallways of your high school because you couldn’t find any of your friends from church, and you thought the rapture had occurred and you were left behind?

Have you ever been inclined to “come forward” to the altar just one more time, to make sure your heart is sincere, even though you’ve already committed your life to Christ on multiple occasions yet somehow can still never feel secure in your salvation?

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