Review

Lauren F. Winner 09-01-2011

The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith, by Sarah Azaransky.

Nancy Lukens 02-01-2011

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's writings, his prophetic Christian witness amid criminal abuses of power, racial persecution, terror, and genocide by his own government, and his martyrdom for participating in the coup to overthrow Hitler continue to inspire and provoke important questions and actions. The global following for this German pastor and theologian includes agnostics and atheists, evangelicals and liberal Protestants, Catholics and Jews, and people of many political persuasions, young and old alike.

By the same token, Bonhoeffer has been claimed by quite different, indeed opposite, religious groups, individuals, and political leaders to support their purposes. George W. Bush invoked his name before the German parliament in 2002 to justify the invasion of Iraq. Nelson Mandela read him in prison on Robben Island before his release in 1990. East German youth sang verses of his prison poem "By Powers of Good" before the fall of communism, without necessarily knowing he was a Christian.

The very titles of two biographies of Bonhoeffer that appeared within a few weeks of each other in 2010 suggest the diversity of those who may be drawn to him. While Eric Metaxas' book title, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich (Thomas Nelson), and his engaging style give his book the accessibility and appeal of a novel, it is stunningly flawed as a biography. Metaxas misleads readers both by his title and by his presentation of Bonhoeffer as a lone heroic figure. Yes, Bonhoeffer's covert position with a military intelligence office gave him the cover needed to travel abroad on behalf of the resistance, but a James-Bond-like "spy" he was not. Nor does Metaxas ever explain in the book the use of the term "righteous gentile" in the title. This designation is bestowed by Yad Veshem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, to those who aided Jews in the Holocaust. Does Metaxas know that Bonhoeffer has not been given this honor?

Julie Polter 09-01-2010

Consider All the Works

Abayea Pelt 09-01-2010
The ArchAndroid, by Janelle Monáe, Atlantic Records.
Gareth Higgins 08-01-2010
It’s ironic that the explosive, high-budget thrill rides understand so little about their own themes.
Danny Duncan Collum 08-01-2010
Lit: A Memoir, by Mary Karr. HarperCollins.
Tattoos on the Heart, by Gregory Boyle. Free Press.
Becky Garrison 07-01-2010
Made for Goodness: And Why This Makes all the Difference, by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. Harper One.
The Future of Faith, by Harvey Cox. HarperOne.
Onleilove Alston 04-01-2010
The BQE, by Sufjan Stevens. Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Allyne Smith 04-01-2010
Just War as Christian Discipleship: Recentering the Tradition in the Church Rather Than the State, by Daniel M. Bell Jr. Brazos Press.
Gareth Higgins 04-01-2010

It’s the end of the world for Denzel Washington in The Book of Eli, one of the legion of recent films (including one actually titled Legion) that suggest that while the earth ma

Tom Getman 03-01-2010
With God on Our Side, directed by Porter Speakman Jr. (Rooftop Productions)
Molly Marsh 02-01-2010

Blessed Are …

Gareth Higgins 02-01-2010

Cormac McCarthy’s novels are the Ecclesiastes of postmodern American literature—finely wrought chunks of sparseness in which the protagonists struggle to survive a violent or deadening

Jim Forest 02-01-2010

City of Belief, by Nicole d'Entremont

Gareth Higgins 01-01-2010

Another look at Gone with the Wind.

Solitude and Compassion: The Path to the Heart of the Gospel, by Gus Gordon. Orbis.

Kevin Lum 12-01-2009
Why David Sometimes Wins, by Marshall Ganz. Oxford University Press.
Danny Duncan Collum 12-01-2009
Capitalism: A Love Story examines a "filthy, rotten system."

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