Book Notices -- By: Anonymous
RAR 10:2 (Spring 2001) p. 171
My Only Comfort: Death, Deliverance, And Discipleship In The Music Of Bach, Calvin R. Stapert. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2000). 241 pages, paper, $16.00
In the history of Western music there can be little doubt that J. S. Bach is the unsurpassed master of both musical technique joined with profound theological and biblical thought. Bach, a faithful Lutheran, brought his great knowledge of the Scripture to all his work. Calvin Stapert, a professor of music at Calvin College, wrote this unique guide to the theological roots of the master musician’s work in order to coincide with the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death.
Stapert provides an introduction to Bach’s life, his theological knowledge (which was quite profound), his musical language, and the various genres of sacred music in his corpus. Besides taking the reader through major Bach pieces, showing how he uses principal doctrines in each piece, Stapert relates each work to quotations from The Heidelberg Catechism. This is a fresh, original interpretation from a clearly Reformational perspective that can be used with great profit by both the professional musician as well as the interested non-musician. A wonderful book that is highly recommended.
RAR 10:2 (Spring 2001) p. 172
The Fingerprints Of God: Tracking The Divine Suspect Through A History Of Images, Robert Farrar Capon. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2000). 163 pages, paper, $15.00
Capon is an Episcopal priest who is the author of numerous helpful books for serious biblical preachers, including The Foolishness of Preaching and The Parables of Grace, two wonderful books that ministers should own and read.
In this present book he asks, “How shall we understand God? The Trinity? The Bible?” He argues, correctly, that most of the time we conceive of answers to these questions through images, many of which are quite wrong. He develops the history of images and shows how they can and should be used to talk about God and the nature of Scripture. The Bible, says Capon, “is the mystery story of God’s hidden presence as the Divine Suspect behind all history.”
In the second part of this provocative and useful volume Capon surveys the work of major thinkers in church history, including Irenaeus, Athanasius, Anselm, Luther, Melanchthon, Calvin, and Julian of Norwich. This section lends a particular well-roundedness to the arguments made.
131 Christians Everyone Should Know, Mark Galli and Ted Olsen, editors. Nashville: Broadman & Holman (2000). 384 pages, paper, $14.99
This lovely book would be useful for almost an...
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