Book Briefs -- By: John H. Armstrong
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Gender: Men Women Sex Feminism, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Ben Lomond, California: Conciliar Press (2002), 184 pages, paper, $15.95
This is a collection of previously-published articles and short pieces on the present gender debates. Mathewes-Green, a commentator on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, is also the wife of an Orthodox priest. She just happens to be one of the brightest and most engaging contemporary Christian writers I know. There is a chapter titled, “A Cab Ride with Gloria Steinem.” I was moved to the depths by this particular account, praying that Ms. Steinem might embrace the good news.
This book will not allow you to remain unmoved. The arguments may not convince you but the issues are handled with care and fairness. I agreed and disagreed but I could not stop marking my copy on page after page. I recommend it highly.
Christ’s Fulfillment Of Torah And Temple, Matthew Levering, Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press (2002), 264 pages, paper, $24.00
This is a book for both scholars and serious lay readers. If you want to understand Thomas Aquinas and the new Thomism developing within the Catholic church this is the place to begin. For what purpose does Jesus “save” human beings? Levering identifies six important aspects of soteriology
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and develops each carefully and concisely. For Aquinas, Christ fulfilled Israel’s Torah and Temple, law and liturgy. Torah expresses God’s wisdom, incarnated ultimately in Christ. Christ’s passion fulfills the moral, juridical and ceremonial precepts of that same law. This is a book evangelicals would profit from, if for no other reason than that they are unacquainted with Aquinas and what the tradition has to offer a serious reflective theology.
Creed & Culture: A Touchstone Reader, James M. Kushiner, editor, Wilmington, Delaware: Intercollegiate Studies Institute (2003), 239 pages, paper, $15.00
Has the Christian tradition lost its nerve in the face of secularism and pluralism? Some say yes. I believe the increasingly encouraging evidence is otherwise. One of my favorite magazines for addressing contemporary intellectual thought is Touchstone, a periodical of Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant opinion. Now the best of Touchstone, which began in 1987, is available in one very helpful volume. What does the Church say to the contemporary gods of tolerance and diversity?
Included are essays by Thomas Howard, Leon J. Podles, David Mills, James R. Edwards, Patrick Henry Reardon, James Hitchcoc...
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