One cold afternoon in 1975 in a small rented bedroom in Antwerp, the young Mormon missionary Craig Harline (Elder Harline in Mormon parlance) had a faith crisis—though it is not quite right to call it that.
The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution, by John L. Allen Jr. Thankfully the West has become a little more aware of the violence and mayhem directed against Christians globally, but Allen’s catalog of atrocities stuns and enrages nonetheless.
Transforming Congregations through Community: Faith Formation from the Seminary to the Church, by Boyung Lee. In this highly accessible work, pastor and seminary professor Lee offers readers a vision, plus practical guidance for helping mainline congregations become vital and faithful communities in the 21st century.
Invasion of the Dead: Preaching Resurrection, by Brian K. Blount. Our reluctance to engage apocalyptic eschatology renders the gospel moralistic and largely unable to speak about death. That’s a tragic failure of theological creativity for a people navigating a culture that is fixated on death and doomsday scenarios.
I’ve wanted to get my hands on J. R. Briggs’s book since the moment I saw it advertised. We pastors are barraged with glossy brochures hustling pricey confabs that promise to increase our ministry, our budget, our reputation, our salary, our happiness, and our good looks. Just pay through the nose to attend the conference and copy the techniques of the handsome folks on the brochure.
There is at present a stream of good and interesting books on the Hebrew Bible’s King David, written by first-rate scholars. These books variously address historical and sociological questions concerning the rise of the monarchy in ancient Israel, but they tend to find most interesting the artistic offer of the narrative presentation.