Book Review Introductions

Book Review Introduction: December 2023/January 2024

[1] As we enter the Christmas season, Diane Yeager reviews The Magi: Who They Were, How They’ve Been Remembered, and Why They Still Fascinate by Eric Vanden Eykel.  From the history of biblical interpretation to contemporary literature to the covers of Christmas cards, the Magi capture our imagination. Yeager’s review explores Vanden Eykel’s scholarship and concludes […]

Book Review Introduction: August/September 2023

This month we cover recent books that range from the historical to the contemporary in their focus – from Nazi Germany to the current movement to abolish the prison system.  Michael Pickett reviews Break Every Yoke: Religion, Justice and the Abolition of Prisons by Joshua Dubler and Vincent Lloyd.  Michael Birkner reviews one of several volumes […]

April/May 2023: Book Editor’s Introduction

As we enter Holy Week, we explore a creative form of book reviewing used by ELCA Pastor Matthew Best who has transformed his book review into blog posts reflecting on each day in Holy Week. The book inspiring his reflections is Jason Porterfield’s Fight Like Jesus: How Jesus Wages Peace Throughout Holy Week.  He posted […]

Editor’s Introduction: Summer Book Review Issue

In this “Summer Books Issue” we include book reviews that consider Christianity and the laws of migration; racism through lenses of science and faith; religion and foreign policy; the emotional and experiential power of theological doctrines; and the value of disruption in the church.  Happy reading!

February/March 2023: Book Review Introduction

[1] The books reviewed in this issue of JLE bring the insights of Luther and Bonhoeffer to contemporary struggles over gendered language for God and the crisis of climate change. In Language for God: A Lutheran Perspective, Mary Streufert offers reasons and resources for embracing multigendered images of God. Reviewer Allen Jorgenson finds that her […]

Book Review Introduction: December 2022/January 2023

[1] Our first book review addresses the power and nature of sermons at times of mass shootings and other national traumas. Chaplain (Colonel–Retired) Ken Sampson reviews When Sorrow Comes—The Power of Sermons from Pearl Harbor to Black Lives Matter.  The book takes a fascinating historical journey through the types of sermons preached at various times […]

Book Review Introduction: October/November 2022

[1] The two books reviewed in this issue are academic works focused on Luther scholarship. Christine Helmer’s, How Luther Became the Reformer brings a critical lens to the image of Luther as “instigator of modernity.” Critiquing scholarship of the German Luther Renaissance, Helmer argues for a historical perspective that grounds Luther more solidly in late […]

Book Review Editor’s Introduction

Themes of sexuality and hope frame our book reviews this month.   In keeping with the topic of this journal issue, our first review considers sexuality in the context of aging. David Tiede offers a thoughtful and delightful consideration of Christian Faith and Sexuality in Later Life by Jim Childs. Sexuality among elders is a […]

Book Review Editor’s Introduction: February/March 2022

[1] Our reviews this month cover the latest books by progressive scholar Catherine Keller and Rod Dreher, writer for The American Conservative. Both authors speak of present and looming dangers, and they offer perspectives for moving forward. In Facing Apocalypse (2021), Keller addresses the climate catastrophe and democracy. Returning to the Book of Revelation, a site of her […]

Book Review Introduction: October/November 2021

[1] In this issue, we offer book reviews of three recent publications, the first geared toward families and churches, the second toward academics and the third toward children. [2] The first book, We Carry the Fire by Richard Hoehn, advocates a spirituality defined by action for the common good. Instead of private individual piety, Hoehn argues […]