Friday, July 11, 2014

Quick Summaries: Mark, Questions, Bonhoeffer, the Flood, and Catholics



Quick Summaries are pithy paragraph-long reviews
of releases that cross our QBR desk. 


These are reviews for when you don't have all day 

to decide whether a resource is worth
your time, money, storage space, or trouble.

Oden, Thomas C. The African Memory of Mark: Reassessing Early Church Tradition. Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2011. 279 Pages. Paper. $22.00 (On sale for $17.60). (LHP)

Wayne, Israel. Questions God Asks: Unlocking the Wisdom of Eternity. Green Forest, AR: New Leaf Press, 2014. 144 Pages. $11.99. (LHP)

Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. Edited by Clifford J Green, Michael DeJonge. The Bonhoeffer Reader. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2013. 850  Pages. ebook. (LHP)

Hodge,  Bodie and Laura Welch, editors and compilers.  Illustrations by Bill Looney.  The Flood of Noah: Legends and Lore of Survival.  Green Forest, AR: Master Books, 2014. 24 Pages. Interactive Hardcover. $18.99.  (LHPN)

Jahn, Curtis A. A Lutheran Looks at Catholics. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2014. 241 Pages. Paper. $16.50. (LHP)

We're back with more Quick Summaries. Enjoy!

+ I have enjoyed the writing of Thomas Oden. The African Memory of Mark is a 2011 eleven release with a fascinating thesis: John Mark was from North Africa. He also asserts that Mark was related to both Barnabas and Peter. Oden paints a powerful picture of Mark, based largely on evidence from African tradition, long-held and passionately held. This reassessment of Church tradition would be an unique addition to your library and background contextual study of the Second Evangelist. Because of the longer, more detailed Gospel accounts, Mark is sadly not paid the attention it is due. Mark the person gets similar treatment. This topic, a biography of Mark, deserves further study. I am interested enough in the authors thesis to double-check his claims in my further study. The select Bibliography will be a great place to start. Recommended.  

+ I had low expectations after my initial skim-through. This book was worth my time reading it. We do well to refrain from judging a book by its cover. Israel Wayne attempts to unlock the wisdom of eternity by studying Questions God Asks. I was concerned this would make Law overshadow Gospel. The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ as Wayne shows that the good Lord does what a good lawyer does, asking questions He already knows the answer to. From Adam and Eve to Hezekiah and Job to Jonah, this book puts on the Lord Jesus Christ and shows Him present for our benefit.

/+ Decades after his death at the hands of the Nazis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer remains controversial. Yes, he pushed the envelope on what he said and how he said it to be fresh, yet faithful in his day. Yes, fans on the theological left and right read and interpret him for their own ends. Yet, what he wrote has meaning in itself that often and usually is unmistakably clear. This book/ebook by Fortress is a bargain for what you get. The Church Fathers of ancient times are at their best when they say what Scripture says and faithfully apply it to their own day. The same is true for Bonhoeffer. Consider this, especially if your budget cannot afford Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works. 800+ Pages, including his major theological writings.

+  No, I have not seen the new movie about Noah. There's been enough bad press (and more ticket sales) to make the irreverent film a dud. Still, people are curious about the reality of Noah and of the true Bible history behind him and the worldwide flood that remade the globe. The Flood of Noah is an interactive hardcover for all ages. After all, why should the young have all the fun? Legends and Lore of Survival from cultures and oral traditions around the world are featured in text, graphics, charts, pull-outs, and booklets throughout. Recommended!

++ My only complaint with A Lutheran Looks at Catholics is that it may be the last in Northwestern Publishing House's ALLA... series. Though is is common for Lutherans to compare and contrast themselves with Roman Catholics historically, a compact, modern comparison and contrast resource has been needed. Curtis Jahn fills that gap in our pastoral care literature. Readers needing a quick assessment of where things stand should begin with Chapter 1 (Modern Catholicism) and Chapters 9 and 10 (Parish and Worship Renewal, A Few Global Trends in Catholicism). Pastors and laypeople alike will benefit from reading the entire volume. Recommended!

More information about each of these titles
may be found on each respective publisher's website. 

The Rev. Paul J Cain is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming, Headmaster of Martin Luther Grammar School, Yellowstone Circuit Visitor (LCMS Wyoming District), a permanent member of the Board of Directors of The Consortium for Classical and Lutheran Education, Wyoming District Worship Chairman, and Editor of QBR.

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