BOOK REVIEW: Richard Foster’s "Sanctuary of the Soul"

(Richard Foster, Sanctuary of the Soul: Journey into Meditative Prayer (InterVarsity Press, 2011), 164 pages.Richard Foster is best known for his book Celebration of Discipline, a bestseller he published in 1978 (the year I was born), which has sold more than two million copies worldwide. This book encourages Christians to focus on "The Inward Disciples" of meditation, prayer, fasting, and study; "The Outward Disciplines" of simplicity, solitude, submission, and service; and "The Corporate Di … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Will There Be Faith?" by Thomas Groome

Thomas H. Groome, Will There Be Faith? A New Vision for Educating and Growing Disciples (HarperOne 2011), 367 pages.When I last met Thomas Groome (metaphorically speaking), his book Christian Religious Education: Sharing Our Story and Vision was the core textbook of my seminary Christian Education class. So, I was pleased to be invited to review his latest book to see how his ideas have matured almost a decade after I first encountered his work.A major strength of Groome's new book is … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Who Is My Enemy?: Questions American Christians Must Face about Islam–and Themselves"

Lee Camp, Who Is My Enemy? Questions American Christians Must Face about Islam -- and Themselves (Brazos Press 2011), 174 pages.My reading of Lee Camp from this book, from his earlier book Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World, and from listening to his podcast is that he fits within the realm of Christian theology known as postliberalism. As the name implies, postliberalism is "post" -- that is, "after" or "a response to" -- liberalism. Whereas liberalism was a turn f … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Biography of Abd el-Kader"

John W. Kiser, Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader (Rhinebeck, NY: Monkfish Book, 2008), 365 pages.In these weeks following the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Patheos has wisely chosen a book club selection that highlights the life of a Muslim held in high-regard on the world stage -- in this case the 19th-century world stage.  Too much Christian-Muslim dialogue is characterized by a lack of historical knowledge, and this book seeks to make a contribution toward … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World"

Bradley Wright, Upside: Surprising Good News About the State of Our World (Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2011), 256 pages.Bradley Wright, who earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and who is currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of Connecticut, has written an audacious and impressive book. This week the focus of our nation has been on, among other things, President Obama's speech to a Joint Session of Congress to promote his proposed "'American Jobs … [Read more...]

BOOK REVIEW: "The Betrayal of Charity"

(Matthew Levering, The Betrayal of Charity: The Sins that Sabotage Divine Love, 2011, 219 pages.)As a lifelong Protestant, it is often a refreshing change of pace to step into the world of Roman Catholicism. Sociologist Andrew Greeley, in his book The Catholic Imagination, beautifully describes some of the differences between the religious worlds of Catholicism and Protestantism. Many Protestants grow up worshipping in brightly-lit sanctuaries with stark, blank white walls. In contrast, many … [Read more...]


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