Archives For Review

 

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
 

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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.
Buy Now:   [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]

 

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
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]  [  Kindle  ]

 

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.
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
 
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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Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel has just been released as a TV series on HULU…

 

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Novel
Margaret Atwood

Buy Now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
 

Watch the trailer for this series:

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Pilgrim in Pumps

 
A Review of 

Still Pilgrim: Poems
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell 

Paperback: Paraclete Press, 2017
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]

Reviewed by James Matichuk

Featured on our list of
Ten New Poetry Books
to Read in 2017!

 

This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog.
Reprinted with permission. 
*** Visit his blog for many other insightful reviews!

Angela Alaimo O’Donnell teaches English at Fordham University and is the associate director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. She has previously published seven poetry collections (in addition to publishing other books, articles, and essays). Her new collection of poems, Still Pilgrim showcases a steady faith and the journey of a woman through the seasons of life and liturgy.
The project was birthed after O’Donnell made a pilgrimage to Herman Melville’s grave, a few miles from her home in the New York. Melville had written of the passion of men going off to sea, but his grave plot in Woodlawn cemetery in the Bronx was in only one of ‘New York’s five boroughs not surrounded by water” (69).  O’Donnell composed a poem, St. Melville, with these words, “Is this what you were called to still pilgrim,/to sleep beneath six small feet of earth?” (70). An old sailor interred in the earth, still but his work still lives on.

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What has Bioregionalism
to Do with Discipleship?

 
A Feature Review of 

Watershed Discipleship: Reinhabiting Bioregional Faith and Practice
Ched Myers

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
Reviewed by James Matichuk
 
 

This review originally appeared on the reviewer’s blog.
Reprinted with permission. 
*** Visit his blog for many other insightful reviews!

Early Christians asked themselves, “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” wondering about the relationship between the Christian faith and pagan philosophy. Today many Christians raise a similar question: “What does my faith have to do with the environment?” Western Christianity has imbibed a functional Docetism since Constantine, placing salvation outside of creation’s realm. We’ve also been bequeathed the medieval Doctrine of Discovery, and Industrialization’s anthropological assumption which has enabled colonization and the exploitation of our natural resources (5-6). We’ve commodified our land and resources and a major divide continually grows between our Christian faith and our lived environments. We are now at a critical juncture in which human persons are making a major impact on our world. It is time to re-place Christian discipleship within our ecosystems.

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What the Bible REALLY Says
about Science

 
A Review of 

Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes!
Denis Lamoureux

Paperback: Zondervan, 2016
Buy Now: [ Amazon ]   [ Kindle ]
 
 
Reviewed by Emily McGowin
 
 
Denis Lamoureux is Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta. He holds a Ph.D. in theology, a Ph.D. in biology, and a D.D.S., Doctor of Dental Surgery. Lamoureux is the author of Evolutionary Creation: A Christian Approach to Evolution; I Love Jesus and I Accept Evolution; and Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins. At one time, Lamoureux was a passionate promoter of young earth creationism (YEC), eager to expose evolution as an elaborate deception. But, in the process of obtaining his Ph.D. in theology, Lamoureux found his assumptions about the Bible—especially what it does and doesn’t teach—challenged and ultimately up-ended. He embarked on a journey to figure out what the Bible really says about science. Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes! is a distillation of Lamoureux’s conclusions and his attempt to help others along the same journey.

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