Archives For VOLUME 4

 

Edwin David Aponte - ¡Santo!An Important Sociological Study.

A Review of

¡Santo! Varieties of Latino/a Spirituality

Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte

Paperback: Orbis Books, 2012.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Angie Mabry-Nauta

If one of the primary concerns of the missional church is contextual appropriation of the gospel, then both church and academy need Rev. Dr. Edwin David Aponte’s offering, ¡Santo! Varieties of Latino/a Spirituality (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2012). A book more than twelve years in the making, ¡Santo! speaks to the heart of two of the most sweeping changes in the United States today: a growing Hispanic/Latino(a) population and an increasing search for the sacred and the spiritual.

Heretofore the religious and spiritual dimensions of Latinos and Latinas as a group have been under-explored (9). Thus, from the outset Aponte works to dispel presuppositions and open the reader’s mind. What does “Hispanic” mean? Latino and Latina? These terms are not interchangeable. Hispanic refers to a person who descends from a Spanish-speaking nation. Latino/a refers to a person whose ancestry hails from a Latin American country. A Spanish-speaking person may or may not be of Latin heritage; and a Latino/a may or may not speak Spanish. Additionally, Hispanic and Latino/a people’s bloodlines may include native/first nation, African, European, and Arab peoples.

Continue Reading…

 

[ This Best Books piece was featured in the Advent 2011 issue
of our print magazine, but we thought we’d also feature it here for all of our readers
. ]

Englewood Honor Books – The Best Books of 2011!

Every December, we pick the best books we’ve encountered in that year. Our primary criterion both for selecting books to review and for honoring the year’s best books is to choose books that are “for the life of the Church” – i.e., books that energize us to be the community of God’s people that God has called us to be and that nurture us to follow in the way of God’s reconciliation of all things.

*** 2011 Book of the Year ***

Englewood Honor BooksFood and Faith:
A Theology of Eating

By Norman Wirzba.
Paperback: Cambridge UP, 2011.

“[This book] is about trying to help each other, to be merciful to each other and together to start to eat in ways that are better.  By better, I mean ways that honor God’s creation, ways that facilitate or promote health among God’s creatures, ways that create better community among people.” (From our interview with Norman Wirzba, Eastertide 2011 print issue).

[ Read our review… ]  Purchase the book:  [ Amazon ]


Englewood Honor Books
Our Best Books of 2011!

(Books are Arranged alphabetically by author’s last name…)

This Day: Photographs.
by Robert Adams
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:  [ Amazon ]


Who Is My Enemy?
Questions American Christians Must Face
About Islam and Themselves
.
by Lee Camp
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ][ Kindle ]


Origin of Species: Poems
(*** Best Poetry Book )
by Ernesto Cardenal
Review in print issue #4.
Purchase the book:  [ Amazon ]


Making Healthy Places
Dannenberg / Frumkin / Jackson
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:  [ Amazon ]


Year of Plenty
by Craig Goodwin
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Moby Duck
by Donovan Hohn
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

The Pleasures of Reading
In An Age of Distraction
.
by Alan Jacobs
Review in print issue #3.
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ][ Kindle ]


The King Jesus Gospel
by Scot McKnight
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


The Politics of Yahweh:
John Howard Yoder, The OT,
and the People of God
.
by John Nugent
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ]


The Tiger’s Wife
( *** Best Novel )
by Tea Obreht
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


The Bible Made Impossible
by Christian Smith
(*** Most important
theological work)
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


A Public Faith:
How Followers of Christ Should
Serve the Common Good.

by Miroslav Volf
Review in print issue #4.
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


2011 Englewood Honor Books
Runners Up:

Rumors of Water:
Thoughts on Creativity
and Writing.

LL Barkat
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


William Carlos Williams
Of Rutherford

by Wendell Berry
[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Caleb’s Crossing:
A Novel

by Geraldine Brooks
Read our review
in print issue #4
Purchase the book:
[ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]


Seeing Trees
by Nancy Ross Hugo

[ Read our review… ]
Purchase the book:

[ Amazon ]

 

Starting on Monday January 2nd, we will be shifting our website to a new format where we post daily reviews and book news, instead of a single weekly “issue” with multiple posts — as we have done since our beginning four years ago.  New material will go up on the website six days a week (with nothing being posted on Sundays).  We will post three feature reviews each week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and fill in the rest of the week with shorter reviews, poems, excerpts and other book news.

HOWEVER, for those of you who read our online reviews primarily through our weekly email service, that service will continue as it has in the past, as a weekly digest of all our posts in the previous week, and should still arrive sometime between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

We also will be tweaking the design of our website over the next few weeks, since we have made very few changes since we launched the site four years ago.  An overhaul is long overdue!!!

Please bear with us as we make these changes over the next few weeks.
Hopefully by the end of January, we will have worked out all the hitches and will have settled into a new rhythm of posting and a newly redesigned site.

 

“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.

Continue Reading…

 

“Reconciling the Biblical Story

A Review of
The Politics of Yahweh:
John Howard Yoder, The Old Testament and the People of God.

by John Nugent

Reviewed by Chris Smith.

[ This book was chosen as an Englewood Honor Book,
as one of the Best books of 2011! Click Here for the full list… ]


The Politics of Yahweh - John NugentThe Politics of Yahweh:
John Howard Yoder,
The Old Testament and the People of God.

John Nugent
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]

Excerpt #1: Overview of the Old Testament Story
(Appendix B – PDF)

Excerpt #2: Yoder’s Reading of the Pre-Flood Era

For most Christians, the Old Testament is difficult.  What sense can we make of all its wars, violence and crudity, and of the God who is guiding Israel through all of these things?  There are undoubtedly many parts of the Old Testament that are difficult to reconcile with the person and mission of Jesus that we find in the New Testament.  To resolve these tensions, some people turn to dispensationalism, but that turn raises some tough theological questions about the unchanging nature of God and about how we are to understand God’s mission in the world.  Marcionism, the heresy of rejecting the Old Testament, is a temptation for others, and I imagine that many people – including myself at many times in the not-too-distant past – are attracted to a sort of functional marcionism that affirms the Old Testament as part of the Bible, but largely ignores it because we cannot make sense of it.

For those who believe that the Old Testament is an important part of the story of what God is doing in the world, but yet can’t make sense of how it relates to the life and mission of Jesus and his followers that we find in the New Testament, John Nugent’s new book The Politics of Yahweh will come as a breath of fresh air.

Continue Reading…

 

“A Triumphant Debunking

A Review of
The Triumph of Christianity:
How the Jesus Movement Became
the World’s Largest Religion

by Rodney Stark

Reviewed by Jonathan Master.


TRIUMPH OF CHRISTIANITY - Rodney StarkThe Triumph of Christianity:
How the Jesus Movement Became
the World’s Largest Religion

by Rodney Stark
Hardback: HarperOne, 2011.
Buy now:
[ ChristianBook.com ] [ Amazon – Kindle ]

On the surface, this big book by Rodney Stark might seem like a conventional historical account. Written by a seasoned scholar, encapsulating the main points of his life of research, it has all the markings of a magnum opus, the summary findings of a career spent doing hard historical work.

In one sense, this superficial assessment is correct. Stark surely is a senior figure with a brilliant career. Though not actively religious, he made his mark in the world of scholarship in the early- and mid- 1980’s with his work on the appeal of religious movements for individuals and social groups. However, in a more important way, to judge this book as merely a conventional summary by a mature scholar would be to grossly underestimate it.

What Stark excels in, and what this book is full of, is a kind of scholarly iconoclasm. Stark comes off as a contrarian throughout. In fact, he appears to positively relish his role as a debunker of conventional wisdom. Continue Reading…

 

Thanks to all of our readers for another good year of the ERB! Although it’s been a good year, it’s also been a somewhat rough one for us financially…


This is the last chance to check out our our fundraising drive, and make donation in 2011.


If you send a payment (electronically or with a postmark) on or before Dec 31, we can provide a receipt of your donation for your 2011 taxes…



This is also the last week to enter our Christmas giveaway…

We’re giving away over $1000 of prizes to our readers this Christmas (including the grand prize, a Kindle Fire — or $150 giftcard to Amazon or the local bookstore of your choice!)
this Christmas season!!!

Share the ERB with a friend this Christmas and enter to win!!!
Enter as many times as you want
, as long as each entry has a different friend’s name…
The contest runs through 11:59 PM on Thurs. January 5th.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER if the banner link above doesn’t work for you…

Thanks to our sponsors: T.S. Poetry Press and Karl D. Lehman, M.D.

 

“Religious Violence
and Social Order”

A Review of
Princeton Readings in
Religion and Violence

by Mark Juergensmeyer
and Margo Kitts
Paperback: Princeton UP, 2011.
Buy now:  [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Adam Ericksen.

In their introduction to Princeton Readings in Religion and Violence, Mark Juergensmyer and Margo Kitts claim that “Violence in the name of religion, plentiful in our time, is an enduring feature of religion.” The fact that religion and violence mingle in a sacred nightmare plagues our modern mind. We are left asking: what is the relationship between religion and violence?

That’s the critical question this book brilliantly explores. The question has perplexed modern anthropologists and philosophers for the last 200 years. The answer has proved elusive as theory after theory has been promoted. Scholars continue to debate and explore that question. This relatively short (222 pages) book is a great introduction to anyone who is interested in the debate and exploration.

Continue Reading…

 

A Brief Review of :


Left, Right and Christ:
Evangelical Faith in Politics
.
by Lisa Sharon Harper and D.C. Innes
Hardback: Russell Media, 2011.
Buy now: [ Amazon ] [ Kindle ]

Reviewed by Chris Sicks.

I’m a pastor at an evangelical church just 4 miles from Washington, DC. The majority of our people work for the federal government in one way or another. We never speak about politics from the pulpit, for two reasons. First—and most importantly—the purpose of preaching is to exhibit Christ, not talk policy. Second, we want both Republicans and Democrats to feel at home in our church.

Left, Right and Christ by Lisa Sharon Harper and D.C. Innes is a welcome book because it addresses that second point. Something is wrong if we don’t have an evangelical church in America where both Republicans and Democrats are represented. For that to happen, we have to be able to discuss political issues with grace-filled hearts and scripture-filled minds.

Continue Reading…

Bargain Books [Vol. 4, #27]

December 30, 2011 — 1 Comment

 

In our continuing effort to fund the publication and free distribution of The Englewood Review, we offer you the opportunity to buy bargain books from CBD that we think of are interest. Buying books this way is a win / win / win proposition. You get great books for a great price, CBD gets the sale and we get an excellent referral fee from CBD.

This week’s Bargains:

071478: Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible in Community Free for All: Rediscovering the Bible in Community

By Tim Conder & Daniel Rhodes / Baker Books

$1.99  – Save 88%!!!

In this provocative book Emerging church pastors Tim Condor and Daniel Rhodes reveal that our reading of Scripture today is held captive by our culture. Exploring the need to encounter Scripture collectively they invite us to listen in as members from their church delve into four Bible passages discussing subjects on “the obscure,” “the emotive,” “the familiar,” and “the controversial.” Ultimately, Free for All makes a compelling case for communities as valid outlets for biblical interpretation. Condor and Rhodes show how communities can provide a way for proclamation of the biblical text, liberating its voice and prompting practices of hospitality, ethics, mission, and imagination.

231743: Great Prayers of the Old Testament Great Prayers of the Old Testament

By Walter Brueggemann / Westminster John Knox Press

$3.69 – Save 75%!!!

What was ancient Hebrew devotional life actually like? In Great Prayers of the Old Testament, Walter Brueggemann goes behind the scenes to uncover how leading figures of the Old Testament viewed their own situation, as well as the expectations they had of God in twelve specific prayers.

31192: Acts, Interpretation Commentary Acts, Interpretation Commentary

By William H. Willimon / Westminster John Knox Press

$7.99 – Save 73%!!!

Based on the idea that the purpose of Acts was not to make Christianity acceptable to the Roman state, but rather to preserve the integrity of the church and protect it from the onslaughts of classical culture, this astute commentary combines the latest findings in Lukan scholarship with the pastoral, educational, and theological concerns of the local church. Hardcover, John Knox Press.

3115X: Psalms, Interpretation Commentary Psalms, Interpretation Commentary

By James L. Mays / Westminster John Knox Press

$9.99 – Save 71%!!!

Psalms by James L. Mays is part of the Interpretation series published by John Knox Press. This volume covers all of the psalms in 457 pages. Each psalm is given a discussion which does not exceed eight pages, and some are given one page at most. The format is terse, not notated, and is designed for teaching or preaching. The biblical text is the NRSV translation (not included), and the comments are by a person who has spent considerable time teaching the subject at the college/seminary level. The book is not written from an evangelical stand point, but is pointed toward helping the pastor/teacher reach his/her audience with the aspects of biblical usage of a given psalm.

227341: Barth for Armchair Theologians Barth for Armchair Theologians

By John R. Franke / Westminster John Knox Press

$3.69 – Save 75%!!!

The sheer volume and complexity of Barth’s writings can overwhelm students new to his work. That’s why this introduction is a good starting point. Complemented by whimsical illustrations, Franke’s overview outlines key principles in Barth’s thought; chronicles his break from 19th-century liberalism; discusses the formation of his neo-orthodoxy; and highlights people he continues to influence. 192 pages, softcover from Westminster/John Knox.

36526: The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon: Portraits of a Protestant Saint The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon: Portraits of a Protestant Saint

By Stephen R. Haynes / Augsburg Fortress

$5.99 – Save 74%!!!

Stephen Haynes offers a provocative assessment of the Bonhoeffer mystique, which interprets Bonhoeffer’s legacy through the medium of sainthood. Before casting an eye on the great pastor-theologian through a hagiographic lens, Haynes examines various receptions and appropriations of Bonhoeffer from different theological, ecclesial, and political contexts. Bonhoeffer is viewed from such divergent perspectives as radical theology and politics (exemplified in “death of God” theology), liberal theology and social ethics, conservative popular Christianity and evangelicalism, and lastly, the universal portrait of Bonhoeffer, which highlights his ecumenical significance. The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon provides an invaluable introduction to Bonhoeffer studies, while also offering its own unique analysis of Bonhoeffer’s life and thought.

638158: The Bonhoeffer Legacy: Post-Holocaust Perspectives The Bonhoeffer Legacy: Post-Holocaust Perspectives

By Stephen R. Haynes / Augsburg Fortress

$1.99 – Save 91%!!!

How much did Dietrich Bonhoeffer know of the Holocaust, and what did he do to help the Jews? Should Bonhoeffer be considered one of the “Righteous among the Nations”?In this welcome sequel to his acclaimed The Bonhoeffer Phenomenon, Stephen Haynes takes up these vexing and controversial questions. While Bonhoeffer spoke out against mistreatment of the Jews as early as 1933 in a radio broadcast, his own reflection on Jewish identity in Christian theology and on the plight of the Jews developed considerably over the next dozen years. Always forthright yet fair, Haynes analyzes the historical record and Bonhoeffer’s maturing theology and shows how Bonhoeffer’s self-critical theology relates to the later advent of post-Holocaust theologies, with their sharply posed challenges to traditional Christian supersessionism.

96042: Qoheleth: Continental Commentary Series [CCS] Qoheleth: Continental Commentary Series [CCS]

By Norbert Lohfink / Augsburg Fortress

$4.99 – Save 78%!!!

One of the most literary—yet one of the most perplexing—books in the Old Testament, Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes) has roused the interest of poets, philosophers, and historians. Rather than seeing the book as a cynic’s swan song, Lohfink discovers elements of joy and a call for a more balanced view of life. 144 pages, hardcover. Fortress.