- This is the first book of read from this Author, and am pleased to have discovered another Aussie author whom I enjoy reading. Her Anglican background (I’m Lutheran) enables a good examination of Liturgical practices that is often lacking in other books on leadership, and I found this refreshing. I admit that I have been for women as pastors / church leaders for well over 40 years, and I have used many of the arguments that the Author has laid out here. I did appreciate the thoroughness with which she has down this. A detailed coverage of all areas of the New Testament is given, fully acknowledging the “difficult” passages - and laying out how they are dealt with in the hermeneutic being proposed. There is also a good coverage of Early Church history - though I would’ve enjoyed even more. As well as a theological examination of the issues - including a nice examination of the Trinity. I also appreciated that the author points out problem in various feminist approaches as well. I may not agree with all of her conclusions but I do appreciate them, and find this book a valuable addition to this ongoing concern within many of our churches.
- This brings to a conclusion 6 years of daily devotions with Spurgeon, and it has been very worthwhile. This 6th and final volume maintains the standard of the previous volumes, and Crosby does a good job, especially with his occasional comments and insights. Whilst this is a highly recommended devotional to Baptists everywhere, I would point out that as a Lutheran Pastor I thoroughly enjoyed them (though should admit I was for many years a Reformed Baptist).
- This third and final volume of Luther’s Letters was a fascinating read - and I especially enjoyed his letters to his dear wife, Katherine. There is often a brutal honesty in the way Luther writes, that gives us a valuable insight into the man and his world. We hear about his dreams, his fears, and of course his bodily functions - we hear about the quality of the food and the beer - we see his anger, his impatience, and at times his mistakes and flaws. Too often, our Christian heroes (and heroines) are made out to be these impossibly perfect people - but here we see a real person, struggling to serve his Lord, his family and his community. This volume also gives us his letters in the weeks prior to his death, and once again those to his wife in this period are well worth the read. The many footnotes are invaluable in filling in the history and references made in the letters! I am so thankful to have read these 3 volumes of Luther’s letters and recommend them to all who wish to get to know the Reformer better, and to get to know his world as it was!
- A good devotional book for Advent - well at least the first 25 days of December ;-) Whilst I don’t agree with all the author has to say, I appreciated his illustrations and liked his approach - especially his use of both Old and New Testament.
- I was keen to read this recent book from Michael Bird, not only because he is a fellow Aussie but I have enjoyed the previous books he has written. I was not disappointed. Whilst, for me, there was nothing new in this book, I did appreciate the way the Author presented the material and I will be “borrowing” some of his illustrations and arguments :) This is an excellent book for someone who is serious about their Bible Reading, and give a good introduction to Interpretation (Hermeneutics) - thus I would think it is good read for all Christians, especially those who do not know what Hermeneutics is ;-) Now as a Lutheran Pastor, there are several aspects within this book that I disagree with (the Author is Anglican) but I still appreciate the Author’s view - and it is always good to have your own views challenged. Looking forward to whatever he writes next!
- First, I would say that we need to bear in mind that this is quite a short book - and is only meant as an introduction. Unlike some other such small books, this one does have a list of further reading which I applaud. It is also up-to-date with references to events in 2021 :) This series is aimed at Christian University Students, and this is made clear at the beginning. This particular topic of course has relevance to all involved in Christian Leadership, as well as to any Christian who is involved within their local (and wider) communities. This is my first dip into this series, and given that the Author is a fellow Aussie is a bonus. The first 3 Chapters are excellent - I especially appreciated having the various terms explained and nicely laid out - making this a good pocket reference. Chapter 4’s coverage of Biblical and Theological exploration - whilst I agreed with most of it - doesn’t seem to really give any voice to Christian Theologians who have differing views. Now I realise that being a short book, that it is difficult - but do think, especially given a University audience, that at least a bit of coverage would’ve been worthwhile. It is not as simple as “this is what Christians believe” vs “this is what the world believes”. For the concluding chapter, I had hoped that there would be some tackling of the many valid questions raised - and I admit I felt a bit disappointed. There is no real dealing with how we reach out to the Transgender on our community; there is no real guidance of how we show care for those who have different views.. It comes across to me as being more about Law than about Gospel. Good to have more material on this matter out there. Will have to see what other books in this series are like.
- This is a fascinating journey through the lives of the four men who were chiefly responsible for the Formula of Concord - one of our (Lutheran Church of Australia) confessional documents. It is a time of transition following the death of Luther, with much confusion and misunderstanding amongst the Lutheran pastors and scholars. There is also the growing influence of the Reformed church, as well as political and sociological pressures. So the author gives us the background and insight into the 4 men who are the primary ones chosen to put together the Formula. Thus this book is not really concerned with contents of the Formula, rather is looking at these 4 men: Andreae, Chemnitz, Chytraeus and Selnecker. Whilst I found the author’s approach to be quite generous with all 4 men, he also is quite frank about their weaknesses and struggles. I must admit I came away being quite surprised that these 4 were able to produce such a fine document - and thus we get a glimpse of how God often works not only through us, but in spite us (or at least around us). This book is also a good insight into that period of the Reformation (in Germany) from the 1550s through to the1580s, and I appreciated learning more about that. This book is not just for Lutheran historians, but should be useful for those interested in Reformation History.
- This fourth volume, in this fine series by McGrath, looks in more depth at the Holy Spirit and Church aspects of the Apostles Creed (and the Nicene Creed). Like the other volumes, this is a short, easy-to-read book and continues the use of the creed to cover the areas of “basic” Christianity. As always, McGrath makes good use of historical references - with preferences for those such as Augustine and C S Lewis - and always giving the reader a thirst for more from his sources. Highly recommended, along with the other volumes, both for new and the less-new Christian.