John Updike's 19th novel, plotted as a "prequel" to Shakespeare's Hamlet, is a beautifully crafted, captivating story. Updike owes much of his thematic treatment to Shakespeare and to modern Shakespeare scholarship, but it is his own fertile imagination that generates the novel's compelling narrative. This is his best book since The Witches of Eastwick.
Thomas Cahill's title comes from Genesis 49:26. Though it is hard to see any reference to Jesus in that passage, it does come close to defining this book's tone. Cahill calls himself "a faithful but flawed Catholic." It is clear that he has thought vigorously about Jesus and is an enthusiastic and able student of his subject.
The 20th century may be recorded as the ecumenical century, but it certainly will be noted as the century of the Pentecostal renewal, both as a new church phenomenon and as a charismatic impulse within Catholicism and classical Protestantism.
The 20th century has ended much as it began, with ethnic hostilities in the Balkans, sectarian violence in China, a change of power in South Africa, "reform" in Russia and economic power in the hands of the U.S.
Reenvisioning Theological Education: Exploring a Missional Alternative to Current Models, by Robert Banks
Toward the end of this critique of the theory and practice of theological education Robert Banks provides his readers with an extended quotation from Karl Barth. In a speech, Barth said this of theological institutions:
Peter Brown is credited with discovering Augustine the old man. Gary Wills should be recognized for discovering Augustine the young man. Though Wills devotes only 40 percent of his book to the first 45 of Augustine's 76 years, that scale is disproportionately large in terms of the comparatively meager documentation available for the first part of Augustine's life.
This book journeys into what, for many Western readers, are the unchartered waters of Eastern Orthodoxy. Frederica Mathewes-Green writes as an active lay person and wife of an Orthodox priest. A recent convert from Protestantism, she enthusiastically champions Orthodoxy, underscoring its unique place in the Christian faith.