Liturgical Worship

Liturgical Worship

Author Mark Earey
Publisher CHP  £14.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781781400586 2018

This revised and enlarged edition of a book first published a dozen years ago can work as a primer for those new to leading worship and as a stimulus and challenge to more experienced practitioners. The opening chapters explore the nature of worship, offering ‘something to make corporate worship possible’ as a definition of liturgy and commenting that this will include things implicit as well as explicit. This makes the book valuable for those from all backgrounds and experience, no matter what for them is customary on a Sunday morning. It encourages the questions: ‘What do we do?’, ‘Why do we do it?’ and ‘How could it be better?’ Four of the chapter headings begin: ‘Being intentional about…’ and cover such topics as words, music, symbols, and calendars. I found particularly stimulating the discussion of the need to seek a balance between worship shaping us for the future and worship expressing what we are now. The book is set out very clearly with sections bracketed off, creating spin-offs from the flow of the text into different aspects of liturgy. Each chapter concludes with questions ‘For further reflection’, therefore creating a useful resource for parish ministry teams, house groups and Reader meetings to read and then discuss.

JOHN KNOWLES

Liturgy

 

The Bible in Worship

The Bible in Worship

Author Victoria Raymer
Publisher SCM  £35.00
Format pbk
ISBN 9780334056478

How is the Bible presented, handled and introduced during public worship? Which passages are read and how are they chosen? Do people listen? If so, what are they hearing? Raymer’s book deals with these important questions in considerable depth, usually by studying the perspectives of three distinct church traditions in turn: Catholic, Reformed and Anglican. Early chapters focus on the role of the Bible in the performed liturgical life of church communities whilst later ones describe and analyse the concept and rationale of a prescribed lectionary, as well as the challenges it presents. There are short sections about ‘enhanced’ and ‘interactive’ uses of scripture (drama and art); and scripture in daily prayer. This mine of well-referenced material relating to the Bible in liturgical life is a ‘one stop shop’ for ministers and students who will have wondered about these vital issues but probably lacked access to the materials needed to explore them in an organised way. The author’s anecdotes and analyses are at their best when she is discussing the Anglican tradition, and – having identified the shortcomings of current practices – she ends the book with some compelling challenges for our churches.

STEPHEN LAIRD

Biblical Analysis

 

The Lambeth Conference

The Lambeth Conference

Author Paul Avis and Benjamin M. Guyer (Eds.)
Publisher T&T Clark £85
Format hbk
ISBN 9780567662316  2017

How much do you really know about the Lambeth Conference and its place in the Anglican Communion? This book seeks to offer an historical overview alongside more personal experiences of past conferences, all designed to inspire discussion about Lambeth 2020, its aims and its potential. A variety of contributors give, for the most part, a reasoned and balanced account of the Lambeth Conference, illuminating also the other Instruments of the Anglican Communion and the principles upon which the Communion seeks to operate. The one stridently jarring voice is that of Mark Thompson of the Diocese of Sydney, whose essay reads less as ‘scholarly study’ and more as a GAFCON manifesto. There is one lone ecumenical contributor: Donald Bolen providing a Roman Catholic perspective on Lambeth. The collection is informative and could easily provide material for a series of teaching or discussions sessions in churches keen to engage with the Lambeth Conference. It would be a useful addition to library collections (especially given its cost), where it could be consulted alongside other relevant texts such as Lambeth and Windsor reports.

GUDRUN WARREN

Church History, Anglican Communion

 

 

Walking with Domestic Abuse Sufferers

Walking with Domestic Abuse Sufferers

Author Helen Thorne
Publisher IVP £7.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9781783595952  2018

The statistics are shocking: the police are called to an incident of domestic abuse every thirty seconds, though it is estimated only 35% of cases come to their attention. Domestic abuse is officially defined as controlling, coercive, threatening or violent behaviour and may be psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional. Christian relationships are not immune. Thorne’s book, one of a series from Bible Counselling UK, uses case studies to explore various kinds of abuse and considers the distorted images of God and themselves which abuse sufferers have. Strategies for raising awareness of abuse within church communities and for supporting sufferers when disclosure occurs are explored and linked to scripture. There are four useful appendices to assist churches with their safeguarding responsibilities. This is an invaluable book for Readers involved in pastoral work; indeed, every church should have a copy.

GLORIA CADMAN

Pastoral, Safeguarding

 

Mark Through Old Testament Eyes

Mark Through Old Testament Eyes

Author Andrew T Le Peau
Publisher Kregel  £21.95
Format pbk
ISBN 9780825444111

This is the first of a new series of New Testament commentaries emphasizing the dependence of the New Testament upon the Old. Le Peau has thoroughly found all the important citations of significant NT words, so that there are 25 citations for ‘follow’, for example. The reward for this diligence is a host of ideas for interpretation of this Gospel – material that will be new to many Readers – while taking the opportunity to comment briefly on the OT writings he selects, old ground though that may be for most of us. The book is particularly strong on the chapters from Mark 11 onwards, clarifying many of Christ’s difficult sayings. The writer includes some essays on general topics within Mark. These read like sermon extracts and will appeal most to those who appreciate American Evangelicals. This will make a useful supplement to the standard commentaries we already have, such as writings by Nineham, Wright and Williams.

PETER THORNTON

New Testament Commentary

 

 

Luther’s Gospel

Luther’s Gospel

Author Graham Tomlin
Publisher Bloomsbury £16.99
Format pbk
ISBN 9780567677396 2017

The fruit of thirty years’ study, this brief introduction to Luther’s world and theology will be of immense value to anyone beginning a serious course of study on the Reformation. Tomlin argues that Luther’s one great insight, that we are justified solely by faith in Christ, informed all his subsequent writing to build a new vision of Christian living. The book is divided into three parts. The first three chapters examine Luther’s understanding of the Gospel, rooted in his reading and translation of the Scriptures. There follow three chapters on how Luther’s thought transformed patterns of Christian life. The last three consider his practical and theological teaching on sex and marriage, the devil and freedom. Tomlin is concerned to show Luther in his original context, while emphasising that ‘Truth speaks in historical clothes’ into our own age as well. There is a useful bibliography and checklist of Tomlin’s other writing to aid further study.

KIRSTY ANDERSON

History, Biography