Christian Century Recommended Books for the Upcoming Season

Stations of the Heart: Parting with a Son, by Richard Lischer. Lischer, a theologian at Duke Divinity School, acknowledges that “a father has no business writing a book about his son’s death.” But as the review in the Century noted, this honest but disciplined narrative “looks beyond one man’s death to the death we all will face” and manages to be “personal without self-absorption, profoundly emotional without sentimentality.” It is a moving testimony to a father’s love and to Adam Lischer’s life, and especially to Adam’s way of meeting death at the age of 33, supported by the prayers and rituals of the church””which is a memorable witness for every reader.

Read it all.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Advent, Books, Christmas, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Religion & Culture

One comment on “Christian Century Recommended Books for the Upcoming Season

  1. Karen B. says:

    I’m reading two devotional books this Advent, and I highly recommend them both. They’re very different than the book that Kendall linked… but I thought I’d share them here (and perhaps encourage other readers too to share what they’re reading this Advent!).

    1) John Piper’s FREE Advent devotional “Good News of Great Joy” – a short (1 1/2 pages, generally) daily devotional for Advent based on Luke’s gospel.

    I appreciated what Piper wrote about Zechariah (Luke 1:68-71). In his song following John the Baptist’s birth, Zechariah prophecies “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people and has raised up a horn of salvation…” Piper writes:

    [blockquote]”First, nine months earlier, Zechariah could not believe his wife would have a child. Now, filled with the Holy Spirit, he is so confident of God’s redeeming work in the coming Messiah that he puts it in the past tense. For the mind of faith, a promised act of God is as good as done. Zechariah has learned to take God at his word and so has a remarkable assurance: God has visited and redeemed!”[/blockquote]

    2) The second book I’m reading is Ann Voskamp’s “The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story.” This is basically a Jesse Tree for adults… a devotional a day unwrapping the history of salvation. (There are actually accompanying ornaments you can make.) Ann is an amazing writer and this book is FULL of beauty and insight. Not free, but really worth the price! (it’s available both in print and as an ebook)
    Find out more here: [url=] Ann Voskamp Advent book[/url]
    and at Ann’s website here:

    Here’s an excerpt from her December 3rd entry on Adam & Eve and the Fall a chapter which I’ve highlighted extensively because she has so many beautiful and powerful insights. On God’s question to Adam & Eve, “where are you” she writes:

    [blockquote]”We only find out where we are when we find out where He is. We only find ourselves… [b][em]when we find Him[/em][/b]. We lost ourselves at one tree. And only find ourselves at another. […]
    In all humanity’s religions, man reaches after God. But in all His relationships, God reaches for man. Reaches for you when you have fallen and scraped your heart raw, for you who feel the shame of words that have snaked off your tongue and poisoned corners of your life, for you who keep trying to cover up pain with perfectionism. Three words come through the dense thicket of failure: “Where are you?” Your God refused to give up on you. Your God looks for you when you’re lost, and your God seeks you out when you’re down, and your God calls for you when you feel cast aside.”[/blockquote]

    A blessed Advent to all.