Book Reviews

Book Reviews are listed beginning with the most recent issue.

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A Review of The Courage to Lead: Leadership in the African American Urban Church by James H. Harris

[1] Most people are familiar with the phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover.” There are times when you can’t judge one by its title either. The Courage to Lead tends to fall into the latter category in my estimation not for the lack of relevant material for which there is a great […]

“Nuggets of Wisdom and Grace”: A Review of Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living by Peter Gomes

[1] Upon finishing Sermons: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living, a collection of forty sermons preached by the Reverend Professor Peter J. Gomes, to the multicultural, cosmopolitan congregation of Harvard’s Memorial Church, my soul spoke to me saying, “Peter Gomes may be a twenty-first century Don Quixote, daring to ‘Dream the Impossible Dream,’ of the coming […]

A Review of Honoring African American Elders: A Ministry in the Soul Community by Anne Streaty

onoring African American Elders: A Ministry in the Soul Community. Anne Streaty Wimberly, editor. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers, 1997, 185 pages, a Preface, References, and Index. [1] Honoring African American Elders: A Ministry in the Soul Community, I found to be an interesting book. The title in essence captures the editor’s intent to cause the […]

Malcolm on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] Fifty years ago, the United Lutheran church commissioned some theologians, including Joseph Sittler, William Lazareth, and George Forell, to contribute to a three volume set entitled Christian Social Responsibility. Like them, the authors of this new collection of essays have been commissioned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America – through its Church Council […]

Schroeder on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

Postings to hosted by The Crossings Community, Inc. ( by Ed Schroeder. Used with permission of the author. Unless otherwise noted, the brackets are the author’s. I. “The Promise of Lutheran Ethics – The First Part of a Review” (October 22, 1998) [1] There could be more promise in The Promise of Lutheran Ethics. […]

Sherman on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] To judge by the current volume, the enterprise of “Lutheran ethics” is alive and well. Indeed, it’s a growth industry. The exhaustive bibliography provided by co-editor John Stumme lists some 45 books and articles on the subject by recognizably Lutheran scholars in the first 50 years of the present century (1900-1949), 115 in the […]

Solberg on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] Whoever is worried that Lutheranism as a living tradition is at risk should take heart from the publication of The Promise of Lutheran Ethics. Even before one assays its substance, the book is remarkable. It is a collection of seven thoughtfully drawn essays by eight disparate writers, introduced by two short reflections by the […]

Tuttle on The Promise of Lutheran Ethics

[1] Lutheran theological ethics has often seemed more impoverished than full of promise. Core concepts of the Lutheran tradition – justification by faith, the law-gospel distinction, the so-called “two kingdoms” doctrine, and the concept of vocation – have been read in ways that bifurcate Christian faith from social and personal ethics. Justification is an act […]

A Review of Let Christ be Christ: Theology, Ethics & World Religions in the Two Kingdoms. Essays in Honor of the Sixty-Fifth Birthday of Charles L. Manske

1] This volume, a Festschrift for Charles Louis Manske, a decades-long leader in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS), reads as a veritable “Who’s Who” of LCMS theologians. However, the volume is, shall we say, “inter-synodical,” containing essays by ELCA theologians George Forell, Ben Johnson, William Russell, and Trygve Skarsten. Naturally, the collection of essays […]

A Review of Paul Jersild’s Spirit Ethics: Scripture and the Moral Life

[1] At one point in his discussion of the interaction between the Bible and its readers, Paul Jersild acknowledges the inevitable reality that “…what each of us brings to the text has a bearing on what we receive from it . . .” (53). While his point is to caution against “self-interested interpretations” of Scripture, […]