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Showing posts from April, 2011

A Little Flower

I have to admit, I was a little timid upon receiving this book from Paraclete Press for review. (Thanks to Paraclete Press for the review copy.) My timidity was due partly to the fact that many Protestants like me are not used to the idea of nuns, monks, monasteries and the like. Reading some of the Christian mystics in seminary and more through the Paraclete program, I was excited to read The Story of a Soul by Therese of Lisieux. First of all, the the translation by Robert Edmonson is a beautifully rendered account from the original French. I thought the story of Therese's life was extraordinary for the simple fact that she was so devoted at such an early life to God, and it showed in her writing. Early on at boarding school, Therese writes, "I had written to the good Fr. Pichon to commend myself to his prayers, telling him that soon I would be a Carmelite nun and then he would be my spiritual director. That is in fact what happened four years later..." (75). Here lett…

Spiritual Capital

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, CEO of the Roosevelt Group and Professor at Yale University has written a wise and informative book on the success of spiritual enterprise. Just what is spiritual enterprise? In the beginning of the book, Malloch notes that the best way forward for wealth creation "is the idea that wealth can be created, and that it is most successfully created when we employ skills and talents given to us by God" (4). Malloch defends off critics of captialism by situating a philosophy of capitalism in connection with the concept that wealth created by "virtuous means" is good all humankind (5). Yet, Malloch is quick to point out in the first chapter of his book that this kind of spiritual capital isn't necessarily linked to one religion, but to religious traditions in the goal of to 'attach people to the transcendental source of human happiness' (18). What does this amount to? For one, it represents the funamental reality of the spiritual co…

Beautiful Masterpieces

Bob Kilpatrick, professional musician and pastor and his son Joel have written a timely and well written book on living as God's masterpiece. Part of the central thrust of the book's message is "Too often, instead of enjoying the beauty our Maker is creating in and through us, we view God through the lens of personal weakness. Our theology is shaped by what we lack than by who God is" (11). Kilpatrick goes on to frame the idea that many believers think of God like a senior mechanic trying to fix what is broken rather than an amazing artist, crafting his work to display. The difference is one between math and art. Math is an equation to be solved, it is much more likely to arrange and account for information rather than create a new piece of work (15). In the end, God is much more concerned about the masterpiece you are being shaped into then the list of vices that you avoid and virtues that you extol. In what remains of my review I hope to engage four areas that were…

A Great Intro to the Fathers

Generally, I am a tough critic when it comes to book reviews, giving books three stars if I thought they were well written and informative. Yet, every once in a while there comes across my way a book that that compels me to dig in deeper and to appreciate the subject matter in a more refreshing way, such is Michael Haykin's new book entitled Rediscovering the Church Fathers. Haykin, a professor of church history and biblical spirituality at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has written a lucid, provocative, informative and appreciate book on the early church fathers. I have not quite read a book written both as an apology for reading the fathers and as an introduction of the early fathers that is so compelling as this book.




The first chapter of the book devotes itself to the renewal of interest in church fathers study by evangelicals, the question of who are the church fathers, and the more actute statments regarding the value of studying the fathers. In reading through …