Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quick Summaries for August 2013: Life Together, Sacred Space




Quick Summaries are pithy paragraph-long reviews
of releases that cross our QBR desk. 

These are reviews for when you don't have all day 

to decide whether a resource is worth
your time, money, storage space, or trouble.


Nichols, Stephen J. Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, For the World. Wheaton: Crossway, 2013. 206 Pages. Paper. $17.99. http://www.crossway.org/books/bonhoeffer-on-the-christian-life-tpb/ (LHP)

Henderson, Mark David. Soul of Atlas: Ayn Rand, Christianity, A Quest for Common Ground. Reason Publishing, 2013. 250 Pages. Paper. $18.99. http://www.reasonpublishing.com http://soulofatlas.com (LHPN)

Simpson, Clare. Illustrated by Kay Harker. Why Do We Have to Be So Quiet in Church? And 12 Other Questions Kids Have About God. Orleans, MA: Paraclete Press, 2013. 32 Pages. Cloth. $14.99.  http://www.paracletepress.com/why-do-we-have-to-be-so-quiet-in-church.html (LHPN)

Potente, E. J. and David Zersen. Shaping Worship Space: How Christians Shelter and Adorn their Liturgies: A Congregational Planning Guide. Austin: Concordia University Press, 2008. 100 Pages. Paper. $14.99. https://www.cph.org/p-1253-shaping-worship-space-how-christians-shelter-and-adorn-their-liturgy.aspx (LHP)


+ Stephen Nichols' Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life is part of a growing series on the Christian Life from Crossway featuring Wesley, Warfield, and Schaeffer. It functions both as a summary and introduction to the Bonhoeffer biography by Metaxas as well as a more conservative Christian introduction and guite to the Augsburg Fortress English translation of Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, often reviewed by QBR. Nichols tends to overemphasize Bonhoeffer's Lutheranism (which was more of the Union flavor) at the expense of the less-well-known Herman Sasse, (85) himself deserving a volume in this Crossway series. Sasse on the Christian Life: Confession and Catholicity? Recommended.

+ Mark David Henderson wrestles with the worldviews of his father and step father, Ayn Rand's Objectivism and Christianity. Henderson writes, "I wonder who would think it more blasphemous, and Objectivist or a Christian, that Ayn Rand let me to Christ. But, it's true; and for that I will forever be grateful" (112). Christians who are (or were) devotees of Rand's work in their college years (and their parents and pastors) would best benefit from this personal, conversational, and thoughtful book. Recommended.


+ Clare Simpson answers child-like questions in a child-comprehensible way accompanied by colorful child-friendly art by Kay Harker. This brief book speaks of song, prayer and Scripture, the purpose of quiet, repetition and reverence, the meaning of movement, our baptism into Christ and the forgiveness of sins, culminating in Jesus' care for us. My encouragement to both author and illustrator is to keep Christ at the center always. Recommended.

+ A publication of Concordia University in Austin Texas and available through Concordia Publishing House, Shaping Worship Space is a resource, planning, and discussion guide for congregations looking to build, remodel, or better understand where they receive word and sacrament. A Vatican II misunderstanding of liturgy as "work of the people" (cf. 27), unclear guidance on musician placement (38), an odd Muslim story (65), and an out-of-place discussion of fear of what laity read (67) are blemishes. The book's main benefit is providing thoughtful historical and theological context in a consise volume that could be covered by a group over the course of five or more meetings. Recommended.




More information about each of these titles
may be found on each respective publisher's website. 



The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a permanent member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.