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Book Review: Much to savor, and debate about, in American Bible

By David N. Mosser, Special Contributor… The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation Stephen Prothero HarperOne, 2012 544 pages, hardcover May we quickly disabuse ourselves of two notions pertaining to the title of Stephen Prothero’s new book The American Bible? First, some readers may be irked because they’ll assume that […]

Is our idea of heaven all wrong?

By John Murawski, Religion News Service…  The oft-cliched Christian notion of heaven—a blissful realm of harp-strumming angels—has remained a fixture of the faith for centuries. Even as arguments will go on as to who will or won’t be “saved,” surveys show that a vast majority Americans believe that after death their souls will ascend to […]

Willimon’s latest may help ordained leaders, but won’t reach others

Bishop: The Art of Questioning Authority by an Authority in Question William H. Willimon Abingdon Press, 2012 Paperback, 200 pages It should come as no surprise to those familiar with Bishop William H. Willimon that his latest book is one filled with both passion and contradictions. One of the most prolific United Methodist writers of […]

Exploring faith through the senses

As Christians, we tend to spend much of our time in our heads or “in the Word.” But that means we’re not experiencing all of God’s goodness, according to the authors of Awaken Your Senses. In the book, they invite readers to engage faith through tasting, seeing, touching, hearing and smelling, through “spiritual practices that […]

Q&A: Is U.S. a ‘nation of heretics’?

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat doesn’t mince words in his new book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics. Since the 1960s, he argues, institutional Christianity has suffered a slow-motion collapse, leaving the country without the moral core that carried it through foreign wars, economic depressions and roiling internal debates. In its […]

New Bible translation puts focus on dialogue, draws some criticism

By Bob Smietana, USA Today… NASHVILLE, Tenn.—The name Jesus Christ doesn’t appear in The Voice, a new translation of the Bible. Nor do words such as angel or apostle. Instead, angel is rendered as “messenger” and apostle as “emissary.” Jesus Christ is “Jesus the Anointed One” or the “liberating king.” That’s a more accurate translation […]

Friendship leads to My Story, My Song

As the author of several books relating to aging and faith, Missy Buchanan has listened to the stories of many older people. Her latest book tells one of those stories: My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith, by Lucimarian Roberts, as told to Missy Buchanan (Upper Room Books). Lucimarian Roberts is the […]

Hijacked urges churches to avoid partisan politics

By Clayton Childers, Special Contributor • • •   Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide Mike Slaughter, Charles Gutenson, Robert Jones Abingdon Press, 2012 Paperback, 160 pages   Hijacked calls the “evangelical church” to recognize that its close identification with the political far right is undermining its outreach and needlessly compromising its mission. The […]

Death of a Daughter: Our experience of grief begins with a good God

By Ben Witherington III, Special Contributor • • • Having recently gone through the devastating experience of having our beautiful 32-year-old daughter die, completely unexpectedly, of a pulmonary embolism, I was determined from Day One (Jan. 11, when she was found dead in her home in Durham, N.C.) to be open to whatever positive thing […]

Book Reviews

Hijacked urges churches to avoid partisan politics Clayton Childers reviews Hijacked: Responding to the Partisan Church Divide, a new book by Mike Slaughter and Charles E. Gutenson. Read more…     Tracking the rise and fall of Methodism in America Special contributor Thomas Kidd reviews Mark Tooley’s new book Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth […]