“J” in Bloom

The Book of J translated from the hebrew by david rosenberg interpreted by harold bloom grove weidenfeld, 340 pages, $21.95 The J of the title was discovered in 1711 by Henning Bernhard Witter, an obscure Lutheran pastor of Hildesheim, so obscure, in fact, that his role in the naming of this source . . . . Continue Reading »

The Things that Remain: An Episcopalian’s Credo

Fifteen years ordained and still serving in the parish. Still switching on the coffee at dawn Sunday mornings, still putting out the chairs for midweek Bible study, still riding with the youth group on ski trips. Still visiting at the hospital, still living with difficult people on the Vestry, still . . . . Continue Reading »

Back to Fundamentals

The Fundamentalist Phenomenon: A View from Within; A Response from Without edited by norman j. cohen eerdmans, 266 pages, $14.95This volume, containing sixteen essays (including the useful introduction by editor Norman Cohen), constitutes a valuable reference source on American Protestant and other . . . . Continue Reading »

Theology Through the Looking Glass

In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice has been having quite a run through the Garden of Live Flowers. “I declare it’s marked out just like a large chessboard!” she says. “There ought to be some men moving about somewhere—and so there are!” Alice gets excited by all . . . . Continue Reading »

Mortality: The Measure of Our Days

Men must endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither; Ripeness is all.  —King Lear For much of human history death was associated at least as much with infancy and youth as with old age. To live to be old was an achievement—a modest victory over death, and one often . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

Religion in the New World: The Shaping of Religious Traditions in the United States by richard e. wentz fortress press, 370 pages, $19.95 Wentz, who teaches religion at Arizona State, set out to give the general reader an accessible overview of the diversities of religion in America. He has . . . . Continue Reading »

David Byrne and the Curse of “Lifestyle”

Lately I’ve been noting an interesting linguistic phenomenon: the all-purpose word. You come across it most often in slang, especially the slang of children and adolescents. Take “narly,” for instance—a word which, in my limited acquaintance, seems capable of an almost infinite range of . . . . Continue Reading »

Islam and Modernity

As Communism loses its menacing posture and its threat recedes globally. Western concentration is beginning to focus increasingly on an old and inscrutable foe: Islam. The vast natural resources of the Middle East, the birthplace of Islam, coupled with the inherent political instability of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Toward a Christian Critique of the Arts

Sham Pearls for Real Swine by franky schaeffer wolgemuth & hyatt, 290 pages, $14.95 In 1948, a young American minister from the conservative Bible Presbyterian Church moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, to serve as a missionary to Europe. Intending lo work primarily as an evangelist, this earnest . . . . Continue Reading »