Books

Books

Beyond inertia

spring books 1999

I am busy these days, so I'd just like to be able to sit down, write a straightforward review of David Ford's book, and be done with it. But I can't. This book has already begun to interfere with my life. It may even end up costing me real money. That check for the Kosovo relief effort I am now writing in my mind keeps getting outrageously larger. I worry that I might actually put it in the mail.

Second thoughts

spring books 1999

Paul Weyrich, the conservative activist who coined the term "moral majority" for Jerry Falwell, created a minor controversy in January by urging conservatives to abandon attempts to win the culture war through electoral politics. Blinded by Might is the evangelical equivalent to Weyrich's letter and has evoked a similarly heated response among religious conservatives.

Disciplines of listening

spring books 1999

Barbara Brown Taylor's concise, pithy and challenging prose is evidence that she is practicing what she preaches: that Christian pastors take more care with the words they use and treat language with economy, courtesy and reverence.

Colonial horrors

spring books 1999

"The Horror! The horror!" the last words of the infamous Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, call attention to one of the worst episodes of systematic exploitation and murder in recent history.

What would Jesus do?

spring books 1999

Some of my students wear bracelets bearing the legend "WWJD"—What Would Jesus Do? Sometimes in the midst of a discussion about some hard issue, I ask a student sporting such a bracelet to apply that question to the problem. The replies range from embarrassed silence and empty platitudes to wonderfully astute observations. The astute replies are usually based on the story or stories of Jesus, and exercise what William Spohn calls "the analogical imagination."