Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book reviews: theology, devotion, daily readings...

These three books I've reviewed for are devotional. The first is Rowan William's "On Christian Theology," worth the time. The second is a book from Morehouse Publishing that is a book of readings for Advent and Christmas. The third review is a lovely book of daily readings for Episcopalians. All three books are moving books.

Here is an entry to the reviews on, with their respective link, and all three were reviewed by me, Peter Menkin.

A review by Peter Menkin:
On Christian Theology (Challenges in Contemporary Theology) (Paperback)

Take on this "On Christian Theology" if you choose to learn more of religious things, like matters of the heart and unities in God. The writer, Rowan Williams, says, "Theology needs to make connections, to search out and display unities..." This book by the Archbishop of Canterbury does that, even for this lay man who spent time pondering over ideas and directions in a manner that required study as well as reading. There are large subjects addressed, like "The Judgement of the World," where he addresses many like ideas: "The diffuse discontent that consumer pluralism can engender (although it largely contains and even utilizes it) yields itself readily to any program that dresses itself persuasively enough in moral rhetoric..." There's a taste of the theologian's writing.

A review by Peter Menkin:

Come, Lord Jesus!: Daily Readings for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany (Paperback)

The writings and excerpts from the Bible seep into the reader after a time, inviting meditation and offering an education for Advent and Christmas. Certainly, an Advent and Holiday time reading, the works are not authored as a standard series of Advent readings, but they are traditional: "It is our hope that this book will encourage profound exploration and contemmplation, but it is not, perhaps, a conventional Advent book of readings and prayers, for that the reader will have to look elsewhere."

A Review by Peter Menkin:

Celebrating the Seasons: Daily Spiritual Readings for the Christian Year (Hardcover)

There is a holiness about this book of readings, "Celebrating the Seasons: Daily Spiritual Readings for the Christian Year." I bought my copy at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco in 2000. Here are some of my writings about that event, and I call it an event since the book has meaning to me: "January 11, 2000. I visited Grace Cathedral Gift Shop and bought this since the 12 days of Christmas are over. I was going to get a new pew copy of The Book of Common Prayer. I ducked into the Cathedral--while waiting for a friend--this turned out well...God loves a sinner and seeks the lost sheep and the lamb." You can see I was in a spiritual state of mind, and discovered that the readings enhance my sense of the liturgical year. So the compiler and editors intended. The publisher is Canturbury Press in England that the compiler is an Anglican priest working in the Diocese of London named Robert Atwell. He has a Benedictine bent, and that tells you something of the nature of these selections.

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