Books - Word&Way

Books

Robert D. Cornwall reviews "Pathways to Hindu-Christian Dialogue" by Anantanand Rambachan. This book provides an accessible foundation for Hindu-Christian relations that are often underdeveloped. Rambachan outlines barriers to relationships and understanding that both communities present to the other which can potentially be overcome through trust building and fruitful conversations.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews "Encountering Mystery: Religious Experience in a Secular Age" by Dale C. Allison Jr. This book seeks to help those who have had spiritual experiences that are not easily explained by sorting these occurances out instead of demythologizing our faith. This combines an open mind with a critical one and ultimately assists in pastoral responses to religious experience.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews "Reading Theology Wisely: A Practical Introduction" by Kent Eilers with art by Chris Koelle. This book, written for the student or layperson, makes the case that theology is more than dry intellectualism because how we see God has a lot to do with how we live out our faith. Reading theology also helps us navigate the complexities of Christianity, taking us beyond a simplistic faith.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews "Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity in Its Christological Context" by Peter Hooton. This book centers on the writings that appeared near the end of Bonhoeffer’s life that sought to envision what a non-institutionalized Christianity might look like. This exploration helps us understand how Bonhoeffer can be helpful to our current conversations in a world that is increasingly polarized.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews What Do We Do When Nobody Is Listening?: Leading the Church in a Polarized Society by Robin W. Lovin. This book, written by a United Methodist minister and Christian ethicist, tackles the question of how churches should navigate the polarization that divides us politically because it also divides churches from one another and even small, local churches experience it.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews Azusa Reimagined: A Radical Vision of Religious and Democratic Belonging by Keri Day. The book explores how the Azusa Street Revival that began in Los Angeles in 1906 served as the foundation of Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement. Revisiting this history helps us understand, and possibly embrace, its critique of American religion and culture.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews Freeing Jesus: Rediscovering Jesus as Friend, Teacher, Savior, Lord, Way, and Presence by Diana Butler Bass. This book is her attempt to free Jesus from the captivity she has experienced in life and in doing so invites us to do the same as a personal act of liberation.

We review a book each month at A Public Witness and for this installment, Beau Underwood examines and recommends Beth Allison Barr's The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth. He also discusses some of the strong reaction to the book by Barr's opponents.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews Indigenous Theology and the Western Worldview: A Decolonized Approach to Christian Doctrine by Randy S. Woodley. This book serves as a helpful introduction for those who are not familiar with an indigenous/Native American vision of Christianity and the ways it can differ from Western theology.

Robert D. Cornwall reviews That We May Be One: Practicing Unity in a Divided Church by Gary B. Agee. In this book, Agee reminds us that unity is not easy to achieve and that shortcuts that avoid difficult conversations about issues such as race and gender won’t lead to true ecumenism within Christianity.