Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Recent Reads

I believe the last book that I talked about on the blog was John Wigger's, American Saint: Francis Asbury & the Methodists.  That was an excellent read!  However, I have recently read some other good books that I thought I would share.
First is Christian Preaching: A Trinitarian Theology of Proclamation by Michael Pasquarello III.  It was originally published by Baker Academic in 2006.  It has since been picked up by Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2011.

This is not a simple "how to" book.  This is, as the subtitle indicates, a Trinitarian theology of proclamation.  It is a strong and needed corrective to much of what has passed for Christian preaching in the modern age.  Pasquarello swims in the historical theology of the Church.  He compares modern preaching to the preaching of folks like Irenaus, Augustine, Luther, Wesley and others, and he finds much of modern preaching lacking.  -  There are many who will not like this book.  They will not like his critiques or his "closed mindedness."  Readers of this blog, however, will likely love the book.  My one criticism is that Pasquarello, at times, becomes a bit like St. Paul in terms of his sentence length.  :0)  -  (I should say, Michael was one of my professors during my doctoral program, and I took his Trinitarian Preaching class.)

After reading Pasquarello's book, I read the late Robert E. Webber's Ancient-Future Worship: Proclaiming and Enacting God's Narrative.  It was published by Baker Books in 2008.  -  This is Webber's final book and the final book in his Ancient-Future series.

It is a bit of an embarrassment to admit that I had not read this book, prior to now.  I have read lots and lots of Webber's writings.  And I have used his Ancient-Future Worship video curriculum while teaching on worship.  Webber has made a HUGE impact on my life and ministry.  I readily admit that I am an "Evangelical on the Canterbury Trail."  However, this is the first time I have read this particular book. -  Having said that, like most things "Webber," I loved this book!

I am, now, close to finishing Christopher A. Hall's Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers, InterVarsity P, 1998.

This is a companion book with Thomas Oden's Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture (which I also love).  There is another companion book, which I own but have not yet read, on Worshipping with the Church Fathers, also by Christopher Hall.

If you choose to read this book (i.e., Reading Scripture with the Church Fathers), it is important to know that this is an introduction book.  It introduces us to the fathers and the way that they read the Scriptures.  That is to say, if you already have a familiarity with the fathers, this may not be the book for you.  If, however, you don't really know the fathers, this may be a good place to begin.  -  Hall is good about pointing readers to other sources for further reading.

After I finish Hall's book, I will be picking up something new.  I have narrowed it down to three books.  (I don't think I will be moving to Hall's other book, at this time).  -  Here are the books I am thinking about:

Created to Worship: God's Invitation to Become Fully Human by Brent D. Peterson, Beacon Hill 2012.  -  This is "hot of the presses."  It is written by the only Nazarene with a PhD. in Liturgical Studies (to my knowledge).  (My degree is a D.Min.)

I am anxious to read this book, and for good reasons.  I know Brent.  He is a Nazarene, and there is very little out there about worship from Nazarenes, and even less that is really informed by classical and Wesleyan liturgical studies.  Also, if one looks at his "Acknowledgements" page, one will see a name familiar to the readers of this blog!  -  Brent had me read a portion of his book and make suggestions, prior to his final draft.

The second book that I am thinking about is A Holy Purpose: Five Strategies for Making Christlike Disciples edited by Bill Wiesman, Beacon Hill 2011.

This, too, is a Nazarene produced book.  I have been thinking about this book for a while, now.  One of the draws to this book is that it will be a change of pace.  I have read about preaching (anchored in classical Christian theology), about worship (anchored in classical Christian theology), and about reading the Scriptures with the Church Fathers (anchored in . . . well, you get the picture).  The subjects of the last three have been different from each other, but they have all drawn from common sources.  -  While I am sure this book is theologically informed, I do not anticipate that it will be anchored in the classical Christian theology of the ancient Church in the same way that the other three have been.  Yet, my anticipation (hope) is that it will be anchored in the Wesleyan tradition, and especially in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition.  -  Then, of course, is the immediate subject, which is discipleship.  I think that this book could be a timely read.

Finally, there is Orthodox and Wesleyan Spirituality edited by S.T. Kimbrough, Jr., St. Vladimir's Seminary Press 2002.

This book has been on my shelf for a number of years, and my recent attendance at the Climacus Conference at St. Michael the Archangel's Orthodox Church, has put it back on my radar.  Plus, this book is edited by Kimbrough.  A few years ago I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, his article (chapter?) titled  "Wesleyan Hymns As Icons of the Wesleyan Tradition" in Charles Wesley's Hymns: "Prints" and Practices of Love Divine, edited by Maxine E. Walker, Monograph Series: Number Seven, Point Loma Nazarene University, Point Loma P. 2007.

So, those are the three books that I am considering for my next read.  -  What do you think?  Make a comment and let me know.

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