Book Reviews

Book Reviews are listed beginning with the most recent issue.

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Book Review: Christianity, Social Justice, and the Japanese American Incarceration during World War II by Anne M. Blankenship

[1] Our personal security is more of a fantasy than we can comfortably admit, and appeals to national security can conceal the darkest chambers of social bigotry. Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt eighty years ago on February 19, 1942, devastated the lives of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese descent (Nikkei) […]

Book Review: Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents by Rod Dreher

[1] In 1989, Stanley Hauerwas and William Willimon published Resident Aliens: Life in the Christian Colony, arguing that the end of Christendom in the West arrived in Greenville, South Carolina, the night the Fox Theatre opened on a Sunday evening. “The Fox Theatre went head to head with the church over who would provide the […]

Book Review: Facing Apocalypse: Climate, Democracy, and Other Last Chances by Catherine Keller

[1] Don’t Look Up, a much-discussed movie that came out on Netflix in December 2021, posits a comet heading towards the Earth that will wipe out life on the planet. The comet is intended to represent the coming catastrophe of climate change, and the movie satirizes the denialism, greed, and disinterest paralyzing the discussion and […]

Review: White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert P. Jones

[1] As a white male middle-aged pastor with a beautiful family and photogenic dog, I couldn’t possibly be more of the image of white privilege in the church.  Which is why it was important for me to read White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity. [2] The book White Too Long […]

Review: To Baptize or Not to Baptize by Sarah Hinlicky Wilson

Rev. Dr. Sarah Hinlicky Wilson is Associate Pastor at Tokyo Lutheran Church in Japan. She has lived, served, and taught in multiple contexts throughout her ministry and brings her curiosity, humor, intelligence, and confessional insights to us through those lenses.   This book is a compendium of results from a case study method that Wilson […]

Review: Enemies of the Cross: Suffering, Truth and Mysticism in the Early Reformation by Vincent Evener

[1] Evener’s revised University of Chicago dissertation explores relationships between selfhood, suffering, and the knowledge of truth in the early Reformation writings of Martin Luther, Andreas Karlstadt, and Thomas Muntzer.  Through meticulous textual work, this account also carefully attends to ways that each author drew differently on earlier traditions of Christian mysticism.   Evener notes that […]

Review: We Carry the Fire: Family and Citizenship as Spiritual Calling by Richard A. Hoehn 

[1] Richard Hoehn, in his book We Carry the Fire, is arguing for a transformative spirituality in which people are called to go beyond themselves – to carry the “breath of fire” – to be in solidarity with the poor (and the earth) in their struggle for freedom from unjust systems and structures. He is […]

Review: Picture the Bible by Stacy Johnson Myers

[1] The book, Picture the Bible, by Stacy Johnson Meyers is an appropriately named children’s Bible. Beginning with creation “In the beginning,” to the Bible’s last word, “Amen,” Picture the Bible affirms God’s baptismal promise “You belong to God,” in 53 sequential stories written for young children, ages four to seven. [2] Beautiful and colorful […]

Book Review: Stjerna, Kirisi.  Lutheran Theology: A Grammar of Faith. (NY: T&T Clark, 2021)

[1] In this issue of JLE, which is dedicated to the discussion of the vocation of ELCA colleges and seminaries, it is fitting to review Kirsi Stjerna’s new handbook on Lutheran theology, a textbook dedicated to her students. This book is, itself, a connection for the Lutheran college with the church and laity.  It provides […]

Editor’s Introduction June/July 2021: Book Review Issue

[1] In a year seized by multiple pandemics, we seek wisdom and courage for the road ahead.  In the words of Rabbi Arthur Waskow, [2] “It is uncanny that the human race as a whole is at the moment struck with a viral disease that attacks most powerfully our ability to breathe.  And uncanny again […]